Estimates released by the state of California on Friday show that while California had added 141,300 people in the last year for a total population of 39.96 million, a net migration loss has caused the state’s population to experience it’s slowest growth-rate in a decade.
“More people moved out of California than into California this year. That was negative for the first time since 2010,” noted Eddie Hunsinger of the California Department of Finance.
California remains the most populous state in the United States with nearly 10 million more people than the state of Texas. But while Texas is still experiencing a population boom with a growth rate of 1.3%, California has almost completely halted at .35%.
“The growth rate has plummeted for a lot of reasons,” said Kyle Sherman, a demographics analyst in Los Angeles. “It’s gotten expensive here in California. Housing prices alone have created a huge crisis in California. Arizona and Nevada are cheaper and many Californians are fleeing there for relief. High taxes are playing a part too.”
“California has become more and more left in recent years, and many conservatives in California have left the state. There’s also an aging population which is increasing death rates. The state is also blaming lower migration from foreign countries, but we don’t have hard numbers on that yet. With fears of ICE and detention centers though it wouldn’t surprise me.”
A lower or stagnant population for California could also lead to some nationwide consequences.
“2020 Census figures are due next year,” Hunsinger said. “As notoriously inaccurate as they are, those figures will go into how many congressmen a state will have. That also means a revised electoral college map. California could lose one or two depending on how much other states have grown.”
“That means congressional districts will be redone, some incumbents will face each other in new districts, and we’ll have less say in picking the president. It may not seem like a lot, but over time it can add up. Look at how far Ohio has fallen in lost congressmen. Or Illinois. They’ve steadily lost a few for the past several decades.”
“It also means more or less federal dollars too, and California needs as much as they can get where they are now.”
More locally, some counties saw declines, such as Los Angeles County losing nearly 10,000 people in the past year.
While the state of California is still predicting an overall growth in the next several years, California’s current affordability and quickly changing politics are leading to losses for at least the next several years.