California records first annual population decrease in state history

Source: The Hill | May 7, 2021 | Reid Wilson

California’s population declined last year, marking the first time the nation’s largest state has registered a drop since it joined the Union in 1850.

The state’s Department of Finance said in a report Friday that California’s population stood at 39,466,855 as of Jan. 1, down 182,083 from the prior year, a growth rate of minus 0.46 percent.

More Californians died in 2020 than were born, even before factoring in the 51,000 Golden State residents who died from COVID-19.

The state also received 100,000 fewer immigrants than in 2019, a drop the Finance Department attributed to federal policy under the Trump administration.

“In recent years, the slowdown in natural increase — a nationwide trend affecting California more than other states — has contributed to the state’s population growth slowing and plateauing,” the department said in a statement. “The addition of 2020’s Covid-19-related deaths, combined with immigration restrictions in the past year, tipped population change to an annual loss.”

Population growth in California, as in the rest of the nation, remains uneven: The number of residents in the Sacramento Valley and the Inland Empire has risen in recent years, while the most populace regions have seen their numbers decline.

Los Angeles County has lost residents for three consecutive years, including a drop of almost 1 percent last year. San Francisco’s population dropped by 1.7 percent, and San Jose lost 1.1 percent of its population. San Diego, Long Beach and Anaheim all lost residents, while inland cities like Fresno and Sacramento gained.

The figures give statistical evidence to anecdotal observations about those fleeing the Bay Area and Los Angeles, either for other low-tax states or for less expensive areas inland.

California’s population grew during the last decade by 6.1 percent, up by more than 2.2 million residents. But that growth rate was not significant enough for the state to maintain its 53-seat congressional delegation. California will lose a seat in the House of Representatives in next year’s midterm elections for the first time in its history.

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  •  EVERYDAY #48759

    Join the club, California. Pennsylvania’s population caused it to lose one congressional seat. Same happened in other states.

    My friend in Texas told me a number of Californians have moved to Texas and are still coming in. Might be that Texas will turn blue.

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