California reports first-ever population drop

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California’s population boom is over.

The state, whose population growth began with the Gold Rush of the 1840s and whose sun-splashed image inspired a mythic reputation of glamour around the world, reported a loss of 182,000 people in 2020.

It was the first-ever year-to-year decline for the nation’s most populous state, according to state officials reported in local media.

The city of Los Angeles alone lost 52,000 people in 2020. The population bust will cost California one of its national-most 53 congressional seats.

The cities of San Diego, San Jose, San Francisco, Long Beach and Anaheim also saw their populations decline.

California remains the nation’s largest state by a wide margin, with about 39.5 million residents. But that number is nearly half a percent lower than it was at the start of 2020. The state’s data conflicts slightly with recently released US Census data, which showed a small population increase but also measured a different time frame.

California’s decline comes to the benefit of states such as Texas, which added 374,000 residents from 2019 to 2020, according to the US Census, and picks up two congressional seats.

Congressional apportionment is based upon Census results.

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