San Francisco Chronicle
California’s population up to nearly 40 million
Number of state residents has doubled since 1970
SACRAMENTO — If it seems more crowded in California, that’s because it is.
California’s population is nearly 40 million, a number that has steadily grown despite birth rates declining to the fourth-lowest level in more than a century, according to state estimates released Thursday.
State Department of Finance data showed that between July 1, 2016, and July 1, 2017, California’s population grew by 301,000 people to 39.6 million, a growth rate of nearly 1 percent. That’s an increase of 2.4 million people since 2010 and double the number of residents who lived in California in 1970.
“The most important factor for the (population) increase is there are more births than deaths,” said Phuong Nguyen, a Department of Finance researcher.
In the past year, the state welcomed 486,000 babies, while saying goodbye to 265,000 people who died, with the net increase accounting for most of the population growth.
The birth rate in the state declined from 13.8
births per 1,000 people in 2010 to 12.3 births per 1,000 people in 2017. At the same time, the number of deaths per 1,000 people has increased from 6.2 in 2010 to 6.7 today due to the aging Baby Boomer population.
International migration accounted for the second-largest source of the state’s population growth, Nguyen said. There was a net increase of 80,000 people who moved to California — including people moving from other countries and other states.
Still, California has seen more people move to other states than move in from other states since 2000, with that trend continuing last year but at a slower pace. The net number of people who left for other states dropped from 164,000 in 2016 to 105,000 this year.
Other highlights from the data include:
Seventy percent of the state lives in nine of the 58 counties: Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Santa Clara, Alameda, Sacramento and Contra Costa. Each of those counties has more than 1 million residents.
Five Southern California counties had the highest population gains — Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Orange and San Bernardino — which each added at least 20,000 residents and made up half of the state’s growth.
Thirteen counties had more deaths than births. Those were Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, Inyo, Lake, Mariposa, Nevada, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Trinity and Tuolumne.
A quarter of the state lives in Los Angeles County, which has 10.2 million people. The least populous county is Alpine, which has 1,141 residents. Alpine had four births and 13 deaths in the past year.
Santa Clara, the most populated of the nine Bay Area counties, saw its population rise 0.65 percent to 1.9 million residents. San Francisco grew 0.91 percent to 880,000 residents.