California population declines for second consecutive year, second consecutive Year

California population declines for second consecutive year, second consecutive Year

California's population decreased by more than 100,000 people in 2021, the second consecutive year the state has seen a decline in population, officials said Monday.

The state attributes its population drop off due to reduced births and immigration, as well as an increase in deaths and people moving to other states.

California is the most populous state in the country with an estimated 39 million residents, despite the decline. Texas is home to 29.5 million people, second in comparison to Texas.

According to the state Department of Finance, California lost 117,552 people between Jan. 1, 2021 and Jan. 1, 2022, bringing its population back to where it was in 2016

California had seen its population growth wane even before COVID 19 due to older generations aging, younger generations producing fewer children and more residents leaving for other states, while the state has reported population declines during the first and second years of the epidemic.

California was able to offset population losses by having more births than deaths and taking in a large number of immigrants. In 2020, the state suffered thousands of deaths from the pandemic, and international immigration declined after the federal government imposed travel restrictions and visa limitations in an effort to mitigate the spread of the disease.

The state saw its population decline for the first time this year in what officials believed was an outlier year caused by the global pandemic. The state's population declined in 2021, although the decline was less than in 2020, according to the numbers released Monday.

State officials said the decline is due to a dip in international immigration, which grew just 43,000 residents from other countries in 2021 compared to the pre-pandemic annual average of 140,000.

Some Republicans blame the number of people leaving the state on its Democratic policies, as California has a Democratic governor and a Democratic-controlled state legislature.

In 2021, about 280,000 more people left for other states than moved to the golden state, but this number shows a trend that has gone on for decades.

The state's decline even cost them a seat in Congress for the first time after the U.S. Census found California's population growth fell behind other states.

Three of California's coastal counties did not suffer population declines last year. The majority of the state's inland counties saw steady growth.