CA Dept. of Finance says population decline slows to 38,940,231 while housing grows

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STATEWIDE – The California Department of Finance released data, May 1, showing that stable births, fewer deaths, and a rebound in foreign immigration slowed California’s recent population decline in 2022. The state’s population is estimated at 38,940,231 people as of January 1, 2023.

The state says that over the same period, housing growth increased to 0.85 percent – its highest level since 2008. 

Housing Growth

“California added 123,350 housing units on net, including 20,683 accessory dwelling units (ADUs), to bring total housing in the state to 14,707,698 units. New construction represents 116,683 housing units with 63,423 single family housing units, 51,787 multi-family housing units, and 1,473 mobile homes,” says the news release.

The report says the 0.35-percent population decline for 2022 – roughly 138,400 persons, is a slowdown compared to the recent decline during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Between 2021 and 2022, California’s population decreased by 207,800 persons.

Photo credit: CA Department of Finance

Natural Increase

Natural increase – the net amount of births minus deaths — increased from 87,400 in 2021 to 106,900 in 2022. Births decreased from 420,800 in 2021 to 418,800 in 2022. Deaths declined from 333,300 persons in 2021 to 311,900 persons in 2022. 

Foreign Immigration

Foreign immigration had a net gain of 90,300 persons in 2022 compared to 31,300 in 2021. The data shows that foreign immigration to California has nearly returned to pre-pandemic levels.

The report states that slower domestic in-migration and increased domestic out-migration is likely the result of work from home changes. 

Photo credit: CA Department of Finance

Other noteworthy items in the report

  • Population growth remained positive in the interior counties of the Central Valley and the Inland Empire. Most counties saw declines, including every coastal county except San Benito (0.2 percent).
  • 356 cities lost population, while 125 gained population and one had no change.
  • Of the ten largest cities in California, only three gained population: Sacramento had the largest percentage gain in population (0.2 percent, or 1,203) followed by Bakersfield (0.2 percent, or 882) and Fresno (0.1 percent, or 599). 
  • Accessory dwelling unit production increased by 60.6 percent, with the state adding 20,638 ADUs in 2022. 
Photo credit: CA Department of Finance

RELATED: Victorville and Hesperia make top 100 Boomtowns in America for 2022

The California Department of Finance population estimates are produced annually for use by local areas to calculate their annual appropriations limit. Related population reports are available at:


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