California Sees Population Increase for First Time in Three Years

Bo Tefu | California Black Media

California, the country’s most populous state, saw an increase in state residents in 2023, reversing a declining trend over the past three years.

The state’s population grew by over 67,000 people, according to the California Department of Finance (DOF). Currently, the state has a population of 39.1 million people.

The most notable population increases happened in 31 counties, with the most significant growth occurring in the Bay Area, Central Valley, and the Inland Empire.

Gov. Gavin Newsom attributed the population growth to an increase in immigrants relocating to California and a slower mortality rate following the COVID-19 pandemic.

“With the improvement of federal legal immigration processing backlogs, rebounding legal immigration levels – not including people seeking asylum at the border – and mortality rates returning to long-term trends, a stable foundation for continued growth has returned,” the governor’s office stated.

“From the Inland Empire to the Bay Area, regions throughout California are growing – strengthening local communities and boosting our state’s future,” Newsom’s statement continued.

Recent state data indicated that the number of people moving out of state decreased since 2021 when many people migrated to other states during the pandemic.

The Department of Finance showed that housing production in cities such as Emeryville in the Bay Area helped drive population growth.

Before the recent surge in population, California experienced a record-low growth rate caused by the pandemic and deadly wildfires, the report states.

Thousands of people lost their homes, jobs, and in worse cases their lives. As the nation’s fifth-largest economy, The Department of Finance estimates that California will continue to experience positive population growth.

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