California’s Shrinking Population Has Big Impacts

Although California’s population growth began to slow in the 1990s after exploding in the previous decade by 6 million people, both official and independent demographers continued to see relatively strong growth for decades to come.

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In 2007, then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s in-house demographers projected that California would have 39.9 million residents by 2011. It didn’t happen.

Five years later, then-Gov. Jerry Brown’s 2012-13 budget projected that the state’s population would be “over 39.6 million” by 2016. That didn’t happen either.

In 2016, with the state’s population estimated at 38.7 million, the Public Policy Institute of California declared that “California will continue to gain millions of new residents in each of the next two decades, increasing demand in all areas of infrastructure and public services – including education, transportation, housing, water, health, and welfare.”

“By 2030, PPIC said, “California’s population is projected to reach 44.1 million.”

That’s not going to happen either.

The 2020 census pegged the state’s population at 39.5 million and a recent report from the Census Bureau says California had a net loss of more than a quarter-million residents between July 1, 2020, and July 1, 2021.

“California appears to be on the verge of a new demographic era, one in which population declines characterize the state,” PPIC demographer Hans Johnson writes in a new analysis. “Lower levels of international migration, declining birth rates, and increases in deaths all play a role. But the primary driver of the state’s population loss over the past couple years has been the result of California residents moving to other states.”

Since 2010, Johnson continued, “about 7.5 million people moved from California to other states, while only 5.8 million people moved to California from other parts of the country. According to Department of Finance estimates, the state has lost residents to other states every year since 2001.”

Instead of zooming past 40 million to 45 and then 50 million by mid-century, as earlier projections indicated, California may remain stuck just under 40 million indefinitely.

That said, a stagnant population doesn’t mean a lack of demographic change. Declining birth rates, the aging of the large baby boom cohort and rising death rates – three other components – mean, for example, that as a whole, California’s population is growing older. We’re already seeing sharp declines in public school enrollment from the state’s baby bust.

The state-to-state migration patterns Johnson cites also affect the composition of an otherwise stagnant population. Overall, he says, those leaving the state tend to have low to moderate incomes and relatively low levels of education while those moving here have higher levels of education and income.

Click here to read the full article at CalMatters


  1. Bogiewheel says

    “Where have all the flowers gone”

  2. Are all the illegal, undocumented immigrants, flooding into the state, from around the world included in these numbers? My guess is NO.

  3. The Socialist State is in the process of imploding.

    As the State ages the demand for housing reverses. As the state ages the demand for less density happens.

    Getting it yet. The Democrats put in motion the destruction of the State and the reason people wanted to live here. The only people that can do that are those who have made money other places (that means rational States and Capitalist economies). The crime levels created by the Radical Socialist Party (aka Democrats), and the destruction of solid moral values (aka school indoctrination of kids), and more are the result of failure.

    To answer Bogiewheel……. long time passing (the result of communal politics that always fail).

    • I agree with you 100%!! It’s time for Californians to vote differently if they
      don’t want to implode our state. It’s currently being run
      by a crime family. It’s time for government to quit the overreach.

  4. This State has gone DOWNHILL ever since Reaan left. All of the foolish sheeple started pulling the “D” lever and were promised the moon. And they are still blinded asnd stupid!

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