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Census Data: California Population Drops Again; Below 39 Million

The population of the State of California has fallen again — below 39 million people, according to new data from the U.S. Census.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported:

California’s population dipped by about 75,000 from 2022 to 2023, estimates released Tuesday by the Census Bureau shows, with about 38,965,000 million people in the state this year. The state’s population has fallen since its 2019 peak of 39.5 million, though the annual loss has also slowed each year.
Between 2021 and 2022, California lost a net of about 104,000 people, or 0.3%, higher than the dip of 0.2% between 2022 and 2023.

California’s Department of Finance, whose estimates use different data sources than the Census, suggested the state’s population [drop] could be … less severe. By its measure, the state’s 2023 population is about 39.1 million, falling by just 37,000 people from the year prior. The department, which also said San Francisco’s population has grown slightly in the past two years, told the Chronicle they believe their data tracked in-migration slightly better than the Census Bureau.

California’s population losses through domestic migration were partially offset by international immigration and in-state births.

However, the Los Angeles Times noted that the population drop was the third straight for the Golden State:

Prior to the fiscal year from July 1, 2020, to July 1, 2021, California had never seen even one year of population decline since 1900, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.

The numbers suggest California’s latest exodus is slowing as the pandemic eases, but it still remains a concern.

Only New York, Louisiana, Hawaii, Illinois and West Virginia lost a larger share of their population over the year.

The result could be that California could continue to lose seats in the House of Representatives; it lost one in the 2020 Census.

Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) appeared stumped in last month’s debate with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) when asked why people from “blue” Democrat-run states are moving to “red” Republican-run ones; he relied on dubious statistics to deflect the issue.

 

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