PARADISE, Calif. — Paradise is the fasting growing city in California, according to the new numbers just released by the state finance department.
Paradise was number one on the list of population growth from housing production. In 2020, Paradise grew by 31%. At the end of 2019, the population was 4,608. By the end of 2020, the number had increased to more than 6,000. Prior to the Camp Fire, Paradise had a population of almost 27,000. The growth represents more people returning to Paradise after the fire.
"Right now, it's primarily people who are coming back home, people who lived in Paradise before and who are rebuilding after the fire," says Colette Curtis, Assistant to the Paradise Town Manager. "There tends to be this narrative of 'Paradise lost' after the fire., which is really not the case. The reality here is that this is a thriving community and we're working towards something that is going to be vibrant and beautiful but we're all of those things now."
The numbers from the California Department of Finance show that Chico remains the largest city in the Northstate.
At the end of 2020, Chico's population was 111,480, an increase of 1% from the previous year. Redding's population 0.2% to 91,715. You can read about all the California population trends by going to the California Department of Finance website.
Growth remains strong in the interior counties of the Sacramento Valley, the Central Valley, and the Inland Empire, while coastal and northern counties saw population losses. Statewide, California's population dipped by more than 182,000. It marks the first time California's population has dropped since state population estimates have been recorded. The current population is about 39.5 million.
State officials attribute the decrease to declines in foreign immigration and deaths linked to COVID, not to migration to other states.