It’s been another year of slow population growth in the state of California, as much like other years, more residents left the state than those who arrived. The Department of Finance released a new report that shows the state's population grew by just .7 percent in the last year, making it one of the slowest rates in California’s history. The state now has 37.5 million residents, which is an addition of 260,000 new residents. Fewer births, fewer immigrations, and residents fleeing for greener grass are all contributing factors and experts say the state has not experienced healthy growth since 2003. Out of the state's 58 counties, 18 saw a decline in population. That being said, it is still believed that California will reach 40 million residents by 2020. So which county saw the fastest growth? Riverside. The following highlights were released regarding county population figures:
- The state’s nine largest counties, Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Santa Clara, Alameda, Sacramento and Contra Costa each have over one million residents. They are home to 70 percent of Californians.
- Riverside, Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, and San Bernardino counties posted the highest numeric population gains and account for over half of the state's growth. Growth in these counties was primarily due to natural increase. Los Angeles County experienced net out-migration.
- Riverside, Imperial, Placer, Tulare, Santa Clara, and San Bernardino counties had the largest percentage increases in population, each growing more than one percent. Population change ranged from the highest growth rate of 1.59 percent in Riverside to a negative 3.31 percent in Alpine.
- Natural increase was the primary source of growth in the state and for 37 of the counties that had population growth. Eleven counties experienced natural decrease (more deaths than births during the year) – Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, Lake, Mariposa, Nevada, Plumas, Sierra, Siskiyou, Trinity, and Tuolumne
- Like the state, two-thirds of the counties experienced net out-migration (more people moving out of the county than moving in).
- Twenty counties had a higher growth rate than the state, another 20 had a lower growth rate, while the remaining 18 posted declines
You can find additional county ranking tables, maps, and data at the Department of Finance’s website here.