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California added 346,000 people over the last year

Newborns are wrapped in Christmas stockings last year at Miller Children's and Women's Hospital in Long Beach.

Newborns are wrapped in Christmas stockings last year at Miller Children’s and Women’s Hospital in Long Beach.

(Christina House / For The Times)

New figures show that California added nearly 350,000 people over a one-year period, bringing its total population to just under 39.1 million.

The Department of Finance released the numbers Wednesday. The growth covers the period from July 1, 2014, to July 1, 2015.

California, the nation’s most populous state, added 346,000 people, with most of the growth caused by what’s called a “natural increase.” There were 507,000 births and 245,000 deaths.

The rest comes from migration into and out of the state, resulting in 84,000 new people. California added about 145,000 people from other countries and lost 61,000 to other states.

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“We’re getting just below 1% of growth a year. It shows the state’s recovery since the recession is ongoing,” said John Malson, the state’s chief demographer.

California has gained more than 1.8 million people since the 2010 U.S. Census, department officials said.

Much of the growth has been in urban coastal counties, although inland counties have posted growth in recent years as people move away from urban centers for more affordable housing.

Of the state’s 58 counties, five accounted for more than half of California’s population growth. They are the Southern California counties of Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego and Riverside, and the Northern California county of Santa Clara.

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Smaller counties in remote areas continue to lose people or post smaller gains, department officials said.

Lassen County in northeastern California, for example, lost the most number of people: 815. Los Angeles County gained the most, with nearly 69,000 added, bringing its total population to nearly 10.2 million.

San Diego is the state’s second most populous county, followed by Orange, with more than 3 million people each.

Fifteen counties posted a population growth of more than 1%, including San Joaquin and Fresno in Central California.

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The Northern California Bay Area counties of San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Contra Costa also grew by more than 1% each.


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