The U.S. Census Bureau reported on Thursday that 300,000 residents left California between mid-2021 and mid-2022. This is more than any other state in the country, during a period of slow growth in the U.S. population as the nation recovered from COVID-19.
The estimates cover the time period between July 2021 and July 2022.
For the third time in a row, it was a year of decline for California, the Sacramento Bee noted, though the rate of births was higher than deaths. The U.S. population grew by approximately 1.3 million people, due in large part to the influx of more than one million migrants:
“After a historically low rate of change between 2020 and 2021, the U.S. resident population increased by 0.4%, or 1,256,003, to 333,287,557 in 2022, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Vintage 2022 national and state population estimates and components of change released today.
“Net international migration—the number of people moving in and out of the country—added 1,010,923 people between 2021 and 2022 and was the primary driver of growth. This represents 168.8% growth over 2021 totals of 376,029, an indication that migration patterns are returning to pre-pandemic levels. Positive natural change (births minus deaths) increased the population by 245,080.”
Internally, the South grew the most due to the influx of people from other states. Florida grew at the fastest rate, followed by Texas and North Carolina. (California, New York, and Illinois lost the most residents.) The Northeast and Midwest shed residents due to outward migration, while the West increased its population numbers through the natural process of growth (births), which helped to offset the net losses in California.
International migration has a nation-wide impact: “All 50 states and the District of Columbia saw positive net international migration with California (125,715), Florida (125,629) and Texas (118,614) having the largest gains,” the Census reported.