Tilly Sees a Leadership Opportunity in California’s Population Decline

Chris Tilly, professor of urban planning at UCLA Luskin, commented in a New York Times feature weighing whether the Golden State has lost its luster as population growth has leveled off in recent years — declining from its high of almost 40 million residents — in the midst and aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. The article cites data from the state’s finance department that projects a possible population stagnation for decades to come. Tilly said America has always had a frontier mentality, but perhaps that should be reimagined.  “Maybe it’s time for us to grow up and realize we live in a world of limits,” he said. “That could be a level of maturity. If California is in a position to lead the country and come to terms with its limitations on growth, that could be a way California could still be in the lead. Which could really be an interesting twist.”


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