State Achieves Largest Influx Since '43

United Press International

California last year achieved the largest one-year growth in population since 1943 to reach 27.6 million residents, the state Department of Finance announced Friday in revealing its latest population figures.

The state's 1987 increase of 662,000 people represents a growth of 2.5% over the 1986 figure, Finance Director Jesse Huff said. Fifty-four of California's 58 counties grew in population between July 1, 1986, and July 1, 1987.

Los Angeles County again posted the greatest gain numerically with a net total of 153,000 new residents to reach 8.4 million people.

The natural increase in population (more births than deaths) of 282,000 is the largest in the state's history, and the net migration total of 380,000 is the largest since 1942-43, Huff said.

More than 65% of the state's growth occurred in six counties: Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and San Diego in Southern California and Sacramento in Northern California.

Regionally, California's Mother Lode country, from Mariposa to Sierra counties, experienced the largest growth rate at 4.7%, while the San Francisco Bay Area growth rate was the lowest with 1.3%.

Calaveras was the fastest growing county in the state with an increase of 6.9%, followed by Riverside and Lassen with 6.4% each.

Contra Costa County passed San Francisco in population to become the ninth-largest county in the state. San Francisco grew by only 300 residents last year, while Contra Costa grew by 14,700 residents.

The top-10, most-populated California counties are:

Los Angeles 8,484,500; San Diego 2,288,300; Orange 2,216,800; Santa Clara 1,421,600; Alameda 1,227,400; San Bernardino 1,202,000; Sacramento 947,400; Riverside 915,400; Contra Costa 743,900, and San Francisco 741,600.

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