The decline in births and immigration and the aging of the baby boomers mean California, which has traditionally had a relatively young and vibrant population, is rapidly graying. We are becoming more like states in the East and the upper Midwest, while our neighboring states are more like California used to be.
The population boom of the 1980s pushed California from 24 million residents to 30 million, and after the 1990 census it was awarded seven additional congressional seats. Growth slowed in the 1990s, so we got just one new seat after the 2000 census, and none after the 2010 census.
Demographers say California will be lucky to break even in congressional seats after the 2020 census and could lose one seat—even if the count is not depressed by a very controversial citizenship question, as state officials fear.
Thus, one consequence of much slower population growth is relatively declining political influence, not only in congressional seats but in presidential electoral votes based on those seats.