A population report released Monday by California’s Department of Finance shows that, for the first time ever, the city of Los Angeles has a population of more than 4 million. That’s due to a net increase of just over 50,000 residents in 2015, or a 1.3 percent increase, the largest among California’s 10 biggest cities. What’s driving this kind of growth? It’s not immigration or childbirth, according toLA Weekly. No, it seems that most of the newcomers are Millennials. That’s right: food truck-loving, Broad-visiting Millennials. “We’ve been losing Latinos and kids,” USC professor Dowell Myers tells the Weekly. “So this increase in population is not due to immigration at all. It’s due to millennials and jobs.”
It’s not exactly clear how much overlap there is between job growth and the number of Millennials coming to Los Angeles. As LA Weekly reported in October, about 57 percent of Millennials in Los Angeles work low-income jobs, with a rate of unemployment hovering just under 18 percent. Still, Southern California’s Millennial-attracting tech industry is growing pretty rapidly, and as Myers says, “young people like to live in cities. It’s a demographic fact of life.”
This influx of young adults probably isn’t helping with the city’s massive shortage of affordable rentals. A growing population naturally drives up demand for housing, and the Department of Finance report shows that the supply side just isn’t keeping up; the 12,224 new apartments that hit the market last year amounted to less than a quarter of the number of new residents.