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The Wall Street Journal: California state population declined rapidly during pandemic

California is losing more than twice as many people to domestic migration as it was before the pandemic, a new report from University of California researchers shows.

The research released Wednesday shows the change is largely being driven by a drop in the number of people moving to California from other parts of the U.S. and is most acute in the high-cost San Francisco Bay Area.

The researchers examined anonymized credit bureau data and found that the downward trend in net domestic migration has been accelerated by a 38% decrease in the number of new arrivals between March 2020 and September of this year. The number of new arrivals declined in all of the state’s 58 counties.

“Entrances have been really stable over time, but they did dip pretty substantially since the pandemic,” said Natalie Holmes, a UC Berkeley doctoral student and one of the authors of the report from the nonpartisan California Policy Lab.

An expanded version of this story appears on

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