The state lost 182,083 people last year, a loss that followed several years of minor population gains. Even though the pandemic and unemployment played a role, the decline mirrored recent trends that has have already cost California a Congressional seat.
“Much has been made of the California exodus, and rightly so,” Hans Johnson, a senior fellow at Public Policy Institute of California, wrote in a recent report. “This migration, over the decades, has the power to reshape the state.”
California’s population is actually up from the last census, growing 2 million. But its growth rate was slower than the national average.
Statistics show about 6.1 million people left California in the last decade, while 4.9 million moved in from other places. The emigrants complained about housing prices and jobs as the reason for departing, according to a survey by the Public Policy Institute of California.
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