California’s Population Growth Is Lowest Since 1900

California added just 21,200 residents in the fiscal year that ended July 1, the slowest rate of growth since 1900.

The 0.05% increase brings California’s total population to 39.8 million, according to estimates from the state’s Department of Finance released Wednesday. That was down from 0.23% growth the year before, also a century-long low.

While the numbers reflect just a few months of the Covid-19 era, the pandemic is having an impact. Deaths, due to an aging population and the virus, rose by 12,800 compared to the prior year. Lower international migration was also a factor, the state said.

Wrestling with soaring housing prices and high taxes, the Golden State has been losing residents to other parts of the U.S. Just in the past month, Oracle Corp., Hewlett Packard Enterprise and billionaire Elon Musk announced they were moving to Texas.

Overall 135,600 more people left California than came, the data shows. Migration to other states was similar to the prior year, but the number moving to California was fewer, particularly from April to June when virus-related stay-at-home orders were in effect.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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