State Population Climbs to 38.5 Million

The state added 335,000 residents over the last year, as the mass exodus of Californians finally began showing signs of slowing. The increase—which represents the highest since 2003-2004—brings the state’s total population up to 38.5 million, as outlined by newly-released state figures.

This is the first time in 11 years that the state has managed to add more than 300,000 people—an indication of an economic upswing, according to John Malson, research manager at the state Department of Finance. The fastest growth was seen in San Benito County, which witnessed a population increase of 1.48 percent. Sacramento followed closely behind with an uptick of 1.37 percent. The county of Modoc, on the other hand, saw a contraction of 0.72 percent.

Despite the positive figures, California’s birthrate continues to fall precipitously. While births still accounted for the bulk of the state’s new residents, the overall rate came in at 12.9 per 1,000 in July, which is the lowest since 1934. Fortunately, a decline in teeth births contributed significantly to those figures.

Read more about California’s population growth here.