Led by growth in the San Francisco Bay Area, California’s population increased by nearly a full percentage point in 2013, adding 356,000 residents to bring the number of people in the nation’s most populous state to 38.3 million.
The figures were included in an annual population report issued Wednesday by the California Department of Finance.
Of 482 California cities included in the report, 439 gained population. Many rural areas, the report concluded, continued to experience population declines.
The five cities with the fastest rates of growth in 2013 were McFarland in Kern County, Chowchilla in Madera County, Dublin in Alameda County, Calipatria in Imperial County and Irvine in Orange County.
McFarland’s growth rate of 8.9% was due largely to changes in the way the state houses its prison inmates.
Three of the five fastest-growing counties in California were in the Bay Area. Santa Clara County led the way with an increase of 1.5%, followed closely by Alameda County.
The city of Los Angeles, California’s largest city, saw its population grow by more than 38,000 people in 2013 to 3.9 million.