Census Bureau: California and New York Populations Declined from 2019 to 2020

By Terence P. Jeffrey | December 22, 2020 | 3:55pm EST
(Photo by Joe Sohm/Visions of America/Universal Images Group via Getty)
(Photo by Joe Sohm/Visions of America/Universal Images Group via Getty)

(CNSNews.com) - The four most populous states in the nation as of July 1, 2020 were California, Texas, Florida and New York—with California and New York declining in population and Texas and Florida increasing, according to the annual population estimates released today by the Census Bureau.

The resident population of California declined slightly from 39,437,610 as of July 1, 2019 to 39,368,078 as of July 1, 2020, according to the Census Bureau estimates.

Despite this slight decline, California remained by far the most populous state, according to the Census Bureau.

At the same time, all three of the states bordering on California saw their populations increase from July 1, 2019 to July 1, 2020. Arizona rose from 7,291,843 to 7,421,401; Nevada rose from 3,090,771 to 3,138,259; and Oregon rose from 4,216,116 to 4,241,507.

Texas was the second most-populous state in the nation. From July 1, 2019 to July 1, 2020, according to the Census Bureau estimates, its population rose from 28,986,794 to 29,360,759.

Florida, the third most-populous state, also had a growing population. From July 1, 2019 to July 1, 2020, its population rose from 21,492,056 to 21,733,312.

New York was the fourth most-populous state. Like California, it saw a small decline in its estimated population, which decreased from 19,463,131 on July 1, 2019 to 19,336,776 on July 1, 2020.

Wyoming (582,328), Vermont (623,347), Alaska (731,158), and North Dakota (765,309) were the four least populated states in the nation as of July 1, 2020, according to the Census Bureau estimates.

California’s population in the Census Bureau’s 2020 estimate (39,368,078) was lower than both the 2019 estimate (39,437,610) and the 2018 estimate (39,437,463). It was slightly higher, however, than the 2017 estimate (39,337,785).

From April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2018, California’s population grew every year, according to the Census Bureau estimates, rising from 37,319,550 to 39,437,463. From July 1, 2018 (39,437,463) to July 1, 2019 (39,437,610) it was essentially static.

New York’s population, by contrast, has declined in the Census Bureau’s estimates in every year since 2015. That year, New York had a resident population of 19,657,321 as of July 1—compared to 19,336,776 as of this July 1.

Both Texas and Florida saw their populations increase every year over the past decade, according to the Census Bureau estimates. The Texas population rose from 25,241,897 as of July 1, 2010 to 29,360,759 as of July 1, 2020. The Florida population rose from 18,846,143 as of July 1, 2010 to 21,733,312 as of July 1, 2020.

The overall national resident population as of July 1, 2020 was 329,484,123 (up from 328,329,953 as of July 1, 2019 and 308,758,105 as of April 1, 2010), according to the Census Bureau estimates.

“Populations can change in three ways: people may be born (births), they may die (deaths), or they may move (domestic and international migration),” says the Census Bureau in a methodology statement explaining its estimates. “The U.S. Census Bureau’s Population Estimates Program measures this change and adds it to the last decennial census to produce updated population estimates every year.”

“The population estimate at any given time point starts with a population base (the last decennial census or the previous point in the time series), adds births, subtracts deaths, and adds net migration (both international and domestic),” says the Census Bureau.

“Overall, our estimates time series from 2000 to 2010 was very accurate, even accounting for ten years of population change,” says the Bureau. “The average absolute difference between the final total resident population estimates and 2010 Census counts was only about 3.1 percent across all counties.

Here are the 50 states and the District of Columbia ranked by their populations as of July 1, 2020 as estimated by the Census Bureau:


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