California population declining amid lower immigration, fewer births, pandemic deaths

California
California’s population declined by 173,000 between July 2020 and July 2021, bringing the estimated total to 39.37 million, according to state figures released Friday.(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

California’s population declined by 173,000 between July 2020 and July 2021, bringing the estimated total to 39.37 million, according to state figures released Friday.(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

California’s population has continued to decline after falling for the first time on record, new demographic data show — underscoring shifting immigration patterns, declining birthrates and the large number of deaths at the hands of the pandemic.

The state’s population declined by 173,000 between July 1, 2020, and July 1, 2021, bringing the estimated total population to 39.37 million, according to estimates released by the state Department of Finance on Friday. The 0.44% decline is slightly less than the population loss reported for 2020, demographers said.

Three main factors contributed to California’s net population loss, demographers found: a continued decline in birthrates; fewer foreign immigrants, which officials attributed to federal policy in recent years; and more than 55,000 pandemic-related deaths.

Officials also attributed the decrease to the loss of 53,000 international students because of pandemic restrictions, as well as declines in domestic in-migration.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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