California saw record-low population growth in 2020, as the state lost more residents than it gained for the second consecutive year.
About 135,600 more people left the state than moved in, according to data from the state’s finance department released this week, marking the third largest migration loss in the state’s history.
In total, just 21,200 people were added between July 2019 and July 2020.
The 2020 growth rate was 0.05 percent, down from 0.23 percent the year prior – marking the slowest growth rate on record.
The state saw a similar outflow of residents when compared with last year, but the inflow was notably smaller.
The total population currently sits at about 39.78 million people.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk is among the notable business leaders who left California for no-income-tax Texas this year.
Hewlett Packard and Oracle are also leaving the Golden State for Texas.
While tax rates in California are the highest in the U.S., which has long been deemed a factor in residency decisions, there are other factors at play this year contributing to a loss of residents.
State officials say the pandemic and the migration patterns of the state’s large community of international immigrants played significant roles.
Cities like San Francisco – where the cost of living is notoriously high – have seen an exodus of residents who have more flexibility to work remotely during the pandemic and beyond.
Further, stay-at-home orders that have been implemented intermittently since March may have led to a lower influx of residents to California this year.
Where immigration is concerned, immigrants often come to California first before moving elsewhere.
The data also shows more people are dying and fewer people are having children. That’s partly because California’s population is getting older, leaving fewer people who are more likely to have kids.
More people have also died because of the coronavirus pandemic.
California had reported a total of 6,163 coronavirus deaths on July 1, a number that has since grown to 21,481 as of Tuesday.