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Photo: Amanda Edwards via Getty Images

California's population declined last year for the first time in the state's recorded history, the Washington Post reports.

Driving the news: The state Department of Finance attributed the 0.46% dip — a loss of 182,083 people — to a decrease in out-of-state migration, slowed immigration and the coronavirus pandemic.

What they're saying: "Driven largely by a declining birthrate, the state’s population growth slowed in recent years and essentially hit a plateau," H.D. Palmer, the department’s deputy director and chief spokesperson, told the Post.

  • "What’s temporarily tipped us into negative territory over the past year is deaths caused by covid, combined with the impact of immigration policy."

Worth noting: California is losing a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives for the first time in history, according new Census numbers released last month.

The big picture: The state's population grew 6.1% in the last decade, a rate that's lower than the national average, per the U.S. Census Bureau.

  • Though California saw decades of double-digit population increases, more recent economic factors like high housing costs and tax policies have led to migration out of the state, according to the Post.
  • More people have left the state than arrived, and that trend accelerated last year.
  • A recent study by the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California found that the state "has been losing lower- and middle-income residents to other states for some time while continuing to gain higher-income adults."

Go deeper

John Frank, author of Denver
May 6, 2021 - Axios Denver

In post-Trump era, Colorado moves to provide aid to immigrants

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Unburdened by former President Donald Trump's threats against "sanctuary states," Colorado is moving confidently to provide financial relief and legal protections to people who entered the country unlawfully.

What's happening: Gov. Jared Polis signed first-of-its-kind legislation in April to grant state taxpayer-funded housing benefits, such as loans and vouchers, to families regardless of their immigration status.

  • A separate bill would go even further to remove other prohibitions from a 2006 Colorado law (supported by top Democrats at the time) to allow more state and local government aid and professional licenses to people living in the U.S. illegally.

Earlier in the year, Polis signed legislation granting a tax break in the 2020 tax year to people without a Social Security number — a year earlier than planned.

What's next: Other legislation pending at the state Capitol would:

What they're saying: Sen. Julie Gonzales, a Denver Democrat and leading immigration advocate, said the assistance will help thousands of children who live in mixed-status households amid the pandemic and beyond.

  • "Even if just one member of the family was undocumented, the entire family was barred from accessing the critically important rental assistance resources," she said.

The other side: Sen. John Cooke (R-Greeley) objected to using state dollars on people living here illegally, the Denver Post reported.

  • "They need to get in line and come in to this country legally, like millions of other people have," he said. "Taxpayer money shouldn’t be funding these people staying here.”

Of note: Democratic Attorney General Phil Weiser announced Tuesday that the state won a lawsuit initially filed against the Trump administration for requiring immigration enforcement as a condition of a $2.7 million federal grant.

  • A federal judge ruled in the state's favor in April 2020, and the Biden administration decided not to continue an appeal of the case.

California's "boardroom quota" impact

Data: Equilar, KPMG via California Partners Project; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

A first-in-the-nation California law helped set off a boardroom boom for women executives.

Driving the news: 26% of board seats there are now held by women — twice as many as before the law passed, according to a new report.

John Frank, author of Denver
May 7, 2021 - Axios Denver

Colorado's COVID "high plateau"

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Colorado's COVID-19 case rate is decreasing, but the state continues to hit alarming benchmarks.

Driving the news: Public health officials reported yesterday that five cases of an Indian variant are present in Mesa County — the first detected in the state.