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Lockdowns, Biz and School Closures, Mandates: Nearly 400K Californians Move Out

New York, California and Illinois suffered the largest population declines

By Katy Grimes, December 29, 2021 9:26 am

With California Governor Gavin Newsom extending his emergency powers and a “State of Emergency,” enforced mask mandates, vaccine mandates, and lockdowns for nearly two years, almost 400,000 Californians picked up and moved to red states opened for business and education – and no mask or vaccine mandates, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

New Census Bureau population data show that California’s population decreased in 2021 by -367,299, or 1% of the population.

Between 2020 and 2021, a total of 33 states saw population increases via inbound migration, while 17 states saw population decline via outbound migration. New York, California and Illinois suffered the largest population declines. Texas, Florida and Arizona enjoyed the largest numeric growth, and Idaho, Utah and Montana enjoyed the largest percentage growth.

The United States Census Bureau posted the most current migration numbers, as well as the growth of red states.

  • With a population of 29,527,941 in 2021, Texas had the largest annual and cumulative numeric gain, increasing by 310,288 (1.1%) and 382,436 (1.3%), respectively.
    • While gaining population through net international migration (27,185), the growth in Texas in the last year was primarily due to gains from net domestic migration (170,307) and natural increase (113,845).
  • Idaho had the fastest annual and cumulative population increase, growing by 2.9% (53,151) in the last year, and by 3.4% (61,817) since April 1, 2020.
    • Idaho made modest gains from natural increase (4,398) and net international migration (413); however, the main driver of its fast increase was net domestic migration (48,876).
  • New York had the largest annual and cumulative numeric population decline, decreasing by 319,020 (1.6%) and 365,336 (1.8%), respectively.
    • New York’s declining population in the last year was attributed to negative domestic migration (-352,185).
  • Over the past year, the District of Columbia’s population declined by 2.9%, or 20,043 residents, to a population of 670,050 in 2021. This was the largest annual percent decrease in the nation.
    • The decline in the District of Columbia’s population can be attributed to negative net domestic migration (-23,030), which was large enough to offset gains from natural increase (2,171) and net international migration (1,128).
  • Three states had populations above 20 million in 2021: California (39,237,836), Texas (29,527,941) and Florida (21,781,128). New York dropped below 20 million people in the last year, decreasing from 20,154,933 to 19,835,913.

The 2021 Census Bureau also reported that the South, with a population of 127,225,329, was the most populous of the four regions (38.3% of the total national population) and was the only region that had positive net domestic migration of 657,682 between 2020 and 2021. 

The Northeast region, the least populous of the four regions with a population of 57,159,838 in 2021, experienced a population decrease of -365,795 residents due to natural decrease (-31,052) and negative net domestic migration (-389,638).

The West saw a gain in population (35,868) despite losing residents via negative net domestic migration (-144,941). Growth in the West was due to natural increase (143,082) and positive net international migration (38,347).

Table 1. (Photo: Census.gov)
Table 2. (Photo: Census.gov)
Table 3. (Photo: Census.gov)
Table 4. (Photo: Census.gov)

You can read the entire Census report at census.gov.

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4 thoughts on “Lockdowns, Biz and School Closures, Mandates: Nearly 400K Californians Move Out

  1. @Katy Grimes, as always, excellent reporting. I am very interested in the demographics of the people leaving California and an estimate of the loss in tax base. I would leave California to live a life in a state that will not impose mask and vax mandates; however, I cannot make this decision unilaterally. The people that I know of who have left California were all kind and productive people. People that made my community a better place to live. They also were tax paying people that came to an understanding that the high tax rates/revenue was being squandered by corrupt politicians. Will California ever become great again?

    1. ^^^ Not if we keep getting Dominion’d or people wake up enough to change their voting habits in sufficient numbers that those that can game the counting systems cannot realistically make the changes that I suspect they have for over 20 years now….

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