San Luis Obispo County’s declining population

December 19, 2020

By JOSH FRIEDMAN

San Luis Obispo County’s population declined over the last fiscal year, while statewide growth fell to a record low rate, as California is on the verge of a population decline.

Between July 1, 2019 and July 1, 2020, San Luis Obispo County’s population fell by 1,125, or .41 percent, from 277,276 to 276,151, according to preliminary data released this week by the state Department of Finance.

The last fiscal year marked the second consecutive 12-month period of population decline in SLO County. Between July 1, 2018 and July 1, 2019, SLO County’s population decreased by approximately .3 percent.

SLO County’s trend is consistent with coastal counties in California, most which declined in population over the last fiscal year. Neighboring Santa Barbara and Monterey counties both experienced population decline in 2019-2020 after having growth in 2018-2019.

Statewide, California’s population grew by a measly .05 percent over the last fiscal year, a record low growth rate since 1900. In 2018-2019, the state’s population grew by .23 percent.

California only gained 21,200 residents in 2019-2020. As of July 1, 2020, California has a population of 39.78 million.

The state Department of Finance cites a lower birth rate, higher death rate, the coronavirus pandemic, less immigration and more residents leaving California as reasons for the decline in population growth. The coronavirus pandemic is also viewed as having factored into the other reasons for low population growth, even though statistics only reflect July 2019-June 2020.

In 2019-2020, California lost 135,400 residents as a result of net migration, as international immigration became more difficult and a rising number of residents left the state many because of the rising costs of living and operating businesses.

Among California’s 10 largest counties, only Fresno, Riverside and Sacramento counties recorded population growth from net migration. As a whole, inland counties grew at a faster rate than coastal counties over the last fiscal year.


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ByteMaker

…yet they are building houses left and right without regard to infrastructure, Pre Corona, if you left work @5:00pm it is a thirty minute drive from Tank Farm to the Country Club.


paragon

The 30-minute commute all you country club dwellers have to deal with is actually because they haven’t built enough houses in SLO to house everyone who works in town. The result is that people with jobs in SLO have to live in the cheaper outlying areas like AG and Santa Maria, clogging the 101 and 227 with their commutes back and forth. Stopping all house construction would only make it worse. If people could live closer to where they worked, you would not see all that congestion.


The related problem was that past SLO city councils approved practically every commercial development they could while shooting down most residential developments to protect the home values of those on the council.


Jorge Estrada

Better to get expensive than crowded. There are plenty of other places to live and oh dear, work.


Adam Trask

I can’t say this breaks my heart, but, yes, California has grown simply too expensive for anyone who would like to own a home and put money in the bank. Arizona, Nevada and Utah offer cheaper property and lower of cost of living expenses. I live in Arizona part of the year and I have seen the population increase consistently for the last 15 years.


Cmonnow

Interesting… Of course the State Dept of Finance sites only those reasons (plus a quick mention of higher costs) which no doubt are all contributing factors. But everyone I’ve known that’s left, anyone I’ve heard discuss their reasons, anything I’ve heard on the radio or read about as to why people are leaving pretty much boils down to the lousy direction of the state politically, financially, and the decisions (or lack there of) of the legislature. People who have loved living here for generations are leaving for places they never thought they’d live because of a completely out of touch state government, getting fleeced with incessant taxation, ridiculous over bearing regulations, and just plain looniness emitting from Sacramento on important issues. Its easy to support looniness for votes, politicians get a nice paychecks and benefits regardless. Their main goal is to stay in office no matter what. Spin it how they may… the many many booming communities in other states are filled with people that just needed some relief from the self serving Calif govt.


kayaknut

Just count all the homeless population and San Luis County will be increasing for the foreseeable future.


Boldguy

A good point, the data doesn’t spell out who’s leaving and who’s coming!!!

There have been a lot of retirements of Government workers in this County, many I talk to are leaving the State, taking our tax dollars with them!!!

Homeless population seems to be growing, coming from other State’s for the weather and financial support.

So overall it seems that taxpayer’s are leaving and tax taker’s are coming:(


slo-to-load

Honestly, there have been homeless people here for decades and it seems the numbers have actually decreased in the last few months. I would love to see actual numbers on the SLO homeless population delta over the years instead of the usual rhetoric, hype, and hysteria. Anyone have some?


shelworth

Good, now let’s see if we can get it down to 1989 levels!


blackjack

Good riddance- The State and SLO County have felt more crowded than ever throughout the last decade.