Many rural Northern California cities losing residents (including Grass Valley and Nevada City)

Editor’s note: From the front page of, a trend we discuss here regularly:

“About 50 California cities saw populations declines last year, even as most California cities grew slowly, new census figures show,” the Sacramento Bee is reporting.

“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.”

Grass Valley is also on the map.

The rest of the article is here.

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for 12 years, and he was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News for eight years, among other positions. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing, swimming, and trout fishing in the Sierra.

3 thoughts on “Many rural Northern California cities losing residents (including Grass Valley and Nevada City)”

  1. Look at our school enrollments. Nevada City went from four schools to two in two years. NU is down about a one-third in the past dozen years.

    NU can house around 3,000. There is a little over 2,000.

    Bear River is below 800.

  2. When you have no decent paying jobs available and extreme housing prices,(especially in the city limits) young families can’t afford to live here. This community seems hell bent on retirement villas rather than attracting business. The problem is that these retirees run out of money quickly and they cant afford to shop in the trendy shops and eateries around town. Kmart and Denny’s gets most of their money.

    1. Well, we don’t have a Denny’s anymore, but IHOP will do. I remember back in the 70’s my dad telling people that ‘if you want to live here, you’d better bring your job with you’.

      Ironically, I buy IHOP and Kmart gift cards for my parents.

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