Last year the state grew by nearly 500-thousand people or just over one percent. Mary Heim is the chief demographer for the State Department of Finance. She says that’s not what she would call strong growth—but it’s steady. And she doesn’t see that changing any time in the near future—at least not until the economy picks up.
“I will say that population growth usually lags the economy by anyplace from twelve to eighteen months so you might see the economy pick up a little bit quicker than you’ll see population growth pick up.…”
Heim says the growth is largely due to more births than deaths and immigration. And she says more cities gained people and fewer cities lost population than in the previous year.
The small city of San Joaquin in Fresno County was the state’s fastest growing, increasing by more than 17-percent.