California shrinks; still most populous state

By Associated Press, May 2, 2020 

“The nation’s most populous state shrank a bit in the second half of last year, according to official figures released May 1. It still tops second-place Texas, which has about 30 million people. 

“California had a population of 39.78 million as of January, the state Department of Finance said, down from its previous report of 39.96 million residents in July. 

“But Doug Kuczynski of the department’s Demographic Research Unit said the two numbers aren’t directly comparable because of various adjustments and because each figure represents a point in time.  

“By the department’s reckoning, California added about 87,500 residents during the last full calendar year, comparing January-to-January figures. But even that comparison shows population growth of just 0.2 percent, which continues slow growth trends since the Great Recession.  

“The figures predate the current recession caused by the coronavirus pandemic. 

“Growth slowed to near zero or declined in most coastal counties, grew slightly in the San Francisco Bay Area, and remained robust in the Central Valley and counties east of Los Angeles. 

“Los Angeles County lost residents for the second straight year, but it remains the nation’s most populous with more than 10 million residents. 

“More people left California between July 2018 and July 2019 for the first time since the 2010 census, leading to the state’s slowest recorded growth rate since 1900. 

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