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California population grew only slightly in last fiscal year

December 6, 2011 |  1:18 pm


California's population grew by less than 1% in the fiscal year that ended June 30, and natural growth, rather than migration, accounted for the increase of 260,000 new residents, according to a new official estimate.

The Golden State's population reached 37.5 million people, up seven-tenths of a percentage point from the previous 12-month period, the California Department of Finance reported.

The modest growth, a slight increase over the previous year's 0.65% rise, continued a decadelong trend that was fueled by natural growth.

During the last fiscal year, 511,000 new Californians were born, while 228,000 died. At the same time, 22,000 more people moved out of the state than moved in. About 132,000 migrants entered the state while 154,000 left.

Here are some highlights of the July 1, 2011, population report:

--Of the 58 California counties, Los Angeles was the most populous with 9.8 million people while Alpine in the Sierra Nevada had just 1,109.

--Seventy percent of all Californians live in just nine counties: Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Santa Clara, Alameda, Sacramento and Contra Costa.

--Riverside, Imperial, Placer, Tulare, Santa Clara and San Bernardino counties posted the highest population growth, all with more than 1%. Riverside grew the most at 1.59%. Alpine lost the most population with a decline of 3.31%.

--Two-thirds of all counties experienced net out-migration, with more people moving out than moved in.

Read the Department of Finance release.


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More people leaving state than moving in

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-- Marc Lifsher

Photo: Nelida Mondragon of Fresno with her newborn boy, Isaac Serrano Mondragon, born at exactly 11:11 a.m. on Nov. 11, 2011. New births were responsible for all of California's population growth over the last fiscal year. Credit: Craig Kohlruss / Fresno Bee