Wallace Stegner, a novelist, once called California “America…only more so.” To judge by population estimates released on May 2nd, the state is still America, but slightly less so. The population fell to 39.2m in the year to January 2022, 400,000 lower than in 2020.
The biggest contribution to the decline came from migration. In 2021, the net change (people moving out of state minus those moving in) was twice as large as the number of COVID deaths and four times the population’s natural change (the excess of deaths over births).
Big cities have been hit hardest;
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