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Another Year Of Population Loss

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Sonora, CA – California has seen its second straight year of population loss.

The state lost 173,000 people in the year ending July 1. It is the first time that Los Angeles County and all nine counties surrounding the San Francisco Bay have lost population in the same year. Together, those two areas account for more than 44% of the state’s nearly 40 million people. Additionally, populations declined in seven of California’s ten counties that have at least 1 million people, according to new data released Friday.

The state’s population is calculated twice a year. The first report comes out in May for the estimated numbers of the previous calendar year. The second report, in December, estimates the population for the previous fiscal year, which ends June 30. California reported its first-ever annual population decline back in May when the state said it lost 182,083 people in 2020. Friday’s data shows that trend continuing with a loss of 173,000 people between July 1, 2020, and July 1, 2021.

Critics blame California’s high cost of living for the exodus. That includes Republican lawmakers who pointed to the declining numbers as proof people are fleeing the state, frustrated by the Democrat’s policies since they govern the state. The latter counter that the pandemic and a declining birth rate is to blame.

New research, out this week and found here, shows the number of people moving from other states fell 38% since the start of the pandemic. The number of people leaving California rose 12% over that same time period. Combined, researchers say California’s population loss because of domestic migration has more than doubled since the pandemic began in March 2020.