About 50 California cities saw populations declines last year, even as most California cities grew slowly, new census figures show.
Most cities losing residents are rural and located in northern California or the Central Valley.
Declining birth rates and aging populations explain much of the trend. Most of the cities have a small employment base that was hurt by the economic downturn, causing some residents to try their luck elsewhere.
The most tangible sign of the population declines can be seen in these cities' schools, some of which shuttered as enrollment fell.
Among towns losing population last year were the nearby communities of Truckee, Nevada City, Jackson and Sutter Creek. This map shows all Northern California cities losing residents.