Five Takeaways From California’s 2022 Demographic Changes

California’s recent population losses could provide an opportunity for state leaders to address the challenges facing the state.

1 minute read

January 1, 2023, 9:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Large numbers of young people, some wearing and masks and others note, walk around an outdoor shopping mall in Southern California.

Wirestock Creators / Shutterstock

Writing in the Mercury News, Jonathan Lansner describes some surprising twists in California’s 2022 demographic changes. According to Lansner, “California’s population suffered the nation’s No. 2 largest drop, off 113,649 in a year as the U.S. grew by 1.26 million overall.”

Lansner outlines five surprising developments. The rate of decline in 2022 cooled down significantly from 2021, when the state lost 358,662 people. The state ranked first in births, with 424,652 births or 12 percent of its population. “California’s 2022 births were 470% above pandemic-twisted 2020 – the No. 6 gain and topping 333% growth nationally.”

On the other end of the spectrum, California also saw the most deaths, at 318,497. However, this is 9 percent of the nation’s deaths, while California makes up 12 percent of the total U.S. population.

The state also saw massive growth from immigration, Lansner notes. “California’s new residents from other lands grew by 185% in 12 months, the largest jump among the states and topping 169% national growth.”

While population loss could signal economic decline, in a state with strained resources, “Flat population trends could give the state some needed breathing room in order for progress to be made in light of the complex headaches California faces, of which few have quick or easy solutions.”

Tuesday, December 27, 2022 in Mercury News

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