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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

Under-18 population in U.S. declined by 1 million over last decade

Young people look at a phone in Times Square in New York City in October 2020. Photo: Noam Galai/Getty Images

The Census Bureau counted 1.1 million fewer people under the age of 18 in last year's census than it did in 2010's tally, according to new data released Thursday.

Why it matters: The decrease in the U.S.' under-age-18 population reflects a general decrease in fertility and the fact that the country, overall, is growing older.

Native American population jumps to largest size in modern history

Zuni Pueblo women march 98th Gallup Inter-tribal Indian Ceremonial in Gallup, N.M. Photo: Visions of America/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

The number of people who identify as Native American or Alaska Native alone grew by 27.1% to 3.7 million people over the last decade, according to the U.S. Census.

Why it matter: The spike in the number of people who solely identify as Native American or Alaska Native mirrors the steady rise of the population since 1890, when Indigenous people were nearly wiped out in the U.S.

Updated 5 hours ago - Technology

From Malcolm X to "Free Britney," new media shapes the justice system

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

True crime documentaries, podcasts and social media campaigns are bringing new attention to real-world legal proceedings — and are often affecting the outcome.

Why it matters: New media platforms can instantly put a national spotlight on cases that have long been forgotten or buried under red tape.