In 2021, it was big news — the “California exodus.” Now, it just looks like the new trend: California’s population is still shrinking.
According to the latest population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau, California’s total population declined by more than 500,000 between April 2020 and July 2022.
Put another way, 1 out of 100 people living in California at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic had, two years later, left the state — either by U-Haul or by hearse.
Where’d they all go?
Just counting out-of-staters coming in and Californians leaving, the state’s population saw a 871,127 net decline. If you’re wondering why the state lost a congressional seat at the beginning of this decade, this is why.
- Some died, though there were far more births;
- Some left the country, though on net, more immigrants arrived;
- The major driving factor: Californians departing for other states.
This isn’t a national problem. It’s a California, New York, Illinois and Louisiana problem. California is one of only 18 states that saw its numbers decline and had the fourth biggest drop as a share of its population.