California’s population grows for the first time since 2020

California’s population is celebrating its first net increase since 2020 — with a net gain of 67,000 residents last year, state authorities announced on Tuesday.

Officials attributed the rise — to 39,128,162 individuals as of Jan. 1 — to an improvement in legal foreign immigration policies, a growth in the natural population and the return of mortality rates to long-term trends.

Meanwhile, net domestic migration rates receded to those of the 2010s, while the state’s Department of Finance projected a continued positive population expansion.

“With immigration processing backlogs largely eliminated and deaths returning to long-term trends, a stable foundation for continued growth has returned,” a statement from the agency said.

Population numbers rose in 31 of California’s 58 counties, predominantly in the Bay Area, the Central Valley and the “Inland Empire:” the metropolitan area eastbound of coastal Southern California.

Los Angeles County and Orange County grew by 0.05 and 0.31 percent, respectively, according to the data.

Five counties across the state featured growth that surpassed one percent: Sutter, Yuba and Glenn counties in the Sacramento Valley; San Benito County east of Monterey; and Imperial County east of San Diego. The Department of Finance attributed those increases largely to housing gains.

Nine of 10 counties with populations of more than 1 million, which make up 72 percent of the state’s total residents, saw surges in their numbers. Riverside County was at the helm, with an increase of 13,800 individuals.

“People from across the nation and the globe are coming to the Golden State to pursue the California Dream and experience the success of the world’s fifth largest economy,” Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) said in a statement.

“From the Inland Empire to the Bay Area, regions throughout California are growing — strengthening local communities and boosting our state’s future,” the governor added.

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