Politics & Government

California’s population increases at highest rate in a decade

California’s population growth rate ticked up by nearly 1 percent in the year ending June 30, in part because more people are moving into the state from foreign countries and other states than are leaving, according to the state Department of Finance.

The state, according to the department’s estimates, gained 332,000 people during the 2012-13 period, and population stood at 38.2 million. The 0.88 percent growth rate was the highest since 2004.

While the 507,000 babies born in the state during the 12-month period were the major source of population growth – offset by 241,000 deaths – improving economic conditions also appeared to slow the outflow to other states and nations.

Nearly 103,000 more people left for other states than arrived, but 169,000 more people immigrated here from other nations than left. The net 66,000 population increase from migration doubled that of the previous year. It also marked the second consecutive year of positive net migration after seven years of negative migration during California’s economic downturn.

Alameda‘s 1.68 percent population increase made it the state’s fastest-growing county, while tiny Sierra County lost nearly 2 percent of its population.

– Bee Capitol Bureau