California Population Grows by 1%

California Population Grows by 1%

The nation’s most populous state has added 356,000 residents in the past year, bringing it to a total of 38,340,000 as of January 1, 2014, according to a report released Wednesday by California’s Department of Finance.

The Bay Area is the fastest-growing region in the state but Los Angeles can still boast about being the largest city, with a population of 3.9 million. San Diego is next with a population of 1.3 million. The report attributed growth in three of the top four fastest-growing cities–McFarland in Kern County (8.9%), Chowchilla in Madera County (8.7%), and Calipatria in Imperial County (5.5%)–to a surge in the number of prison inmates. Dublin in Alameda County (7.1%) attributed its growth to 1,100 new housing units.

State demographers said California’s overall population increases have been primarily due to substantially more births last year than deaths, according to The chief demographer for the Department of Finance Bill Schooling cited “immigration from other countries” as a main cause for the increase in the Bay Area.

Out of 482 California cities, 439 gained population while many rural areas continued to experience population declines.

California’s smallest county, Alpine County, added just one resident last year, bringing its population to 1,079. The smallest city in the state, Vernon in Los Angeles County, also added one resident in 2013, leaving it off with a count of just 122 residents.