California’s Population Declined Again. Here’s How Cities Compare.

California’s population continues to decline. A new report from the state Department of Finance shows a decline of 117,552 people or 0.3% between Jan. 1, 2021, and Jan. 1, 2022. The reduction was led by shifting demographics, including an aging population, changing immigration patterns, and declining birth rates. Adding to the losses were out-of-state moves and pandemic-related fatalities.

The declining population is a story that gets plenty of attention. Less noted are the population shifts occurring within the state. All but three coastal counties experienced population declines. Meanwhile, population numbers held strong in the Central Valley and the Inland Empire.

Thirty-four counties saw population declines. 361 cities lost population, 118 gained population, and 3 had no change.

Among the ten largest cities, Bakersfield saw the largest population increase at 0.7%.

Below are the population shifts seen in the state’s 10 largest cities:

  1. Los Angeles (-0.9%)
  2. San Diego (+0.2%)
  3. San Jose (-1.5%)
  4. San Francisco (-0.8)
  5. Fresno (+0.2)
  6. Sacramento (-0.1%)
  7. Long Beach (+0.2)
  8. Oakland (-1.3%)
  9. Bakersfield (+0.7%)
  10. Anaheim (-1.0)

The 10 fastest growing cities with populations over 30,000 are Santa Cruz, Lathrop, Seaside, Irvine, Menifee, Berkeley, Stanton, Delano, Chino, and Manteca.


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