Story at a glance

  • For the first time in state history, California registered a decline in population growth.
  • Heightened death rates and less immigration were two main culprits for the drop.
  • Officials expect a rebound in 2021.

New demographic data out of California reveals a surprising decline in population over the course of 2020, with about 182,000 less residents than recorded in 2019.

The Associated Press reports that the loss in population is the first year-over-year loss ever recorded for the state, with the population falling by 182,000 from January 2020 to 2021, leaving the current population at about 39.5 million.

State officials reportedly attribute this decline to a drop in births and reduction in international immigration. This is partly due to former President Trump’s restrictive visa policy, as well as COVID-19 restrictions curbing travel a spike in deaths due to the coronavirus  pandemic.

The death rate itself saw a staggering 19 percent increase versus long-standing three-year averages. 

The state’s Department of Finance reportedly said it expects a “slightly positive annual growth” for the 2021 calendar year.

Published on May 07, 2021