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California sees first year-over-year population decline

The Los Angeles skyline Associated Press/Photo by Damian Dovarganes (file)

California sees first year-over-year population decline

On Friday, California’s Department of Finance announced the state’s population fell by more than 182,000 people last year, a drop of 0.46 percent. Only a week earlier, the U.S. Census Bureau said the state had grown so slowly in the past decade compared to others that it was losing a congressional seat for the first time.

What’s behind the population decline? State officials blame the declining birth rate, reductions in immigration under President Donald Trump, and increased deaths from the pandemic. They predict that next year California will again see a slight annual population increase. For the past several decades, the state has seen more people move out of the state than move in, but immigration and births previously offset those losses.

Dig deeper: Read my report in Compassion on a recent lawsuit aimed at homelessness in Los Angeles.

Charissa Koh

Charissa is a WORLD reporter who often writes about poverty fighting and prison reform, including profiling ministries in the annual Hope Awards for Effective Compassion competition. She is also a part of WORLD's investigative unit, the Caleb Team. Charissa resides with her husband, Josh, in Austin, Texas.



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Dad Dog

I was born in California and have lived here all of my life. Despite what the "officials" say, I have personally known at least 7 families (all of whom are native born Calfornians) and the MAIN reasons they have left are the high cost-of-living, cost of housing, incredibly high taxes and the extreme left bent of politicians in our state. If you are lucky enough to have been able to purchase a home in this state (and my husband and I have been blessed enough to do so about 25 years ago) more than likely you would not be able to buy back your own home if you ever decided to return. People know that they can get more land, larger homes, a better quality of life and for a lot less money. Most people realize that once they leave the state they won't be able to afford to return. You won't be able to find better weather, but the weather is about all we have going for us out here right now. Call it fake media, but officials are officially wrong...the rest of us who are paying the taxes are the ones who should be asked why people are leaving. And there will be more to follow unless the upcoming recall election (which is incredibly non-partisan at this point, despite what the "officials" say) puts someone in office who can turn this once incredible state around and I myself, will be among that number. I would never have considered saying that until the last year but the threshold has been reached by many out here. It is sad.