On Monday, the California’s Department of Finance reported that between July 1, 2015, and July 1, 2016, the state added more than 295,000 people to its census and brought the state’s population to a new total of 39.4 million residents.
The state achieved this new demographic high even though California’s birth rate has fallen from 13.69 births per 1,000 in the 2010 to a current low of 12.42 births per 1,000. In addition, the state’s death rate has increased to its current rate of 6.71 deaths per 1,000 population compared to a rate of 6.26 deaths per 1,000 in 2010.
The Department of Finance also affirmed that within the last year, more than 70,000 individuals have migrated to the state. This total includes all foreign immigrants—of both legal and illegal status and residents who left the state to live abroad.
The U.S. Census Bureau and the Public Policy Institute of California reported in 2015, that immigration from Mexico to California had slowed dramatically during the last fifteen years—by a factor of nearly 70 percent. China has now surpassed Mexico as the primary source of immigrants who now make their way to the Golden State.
The balance of this year’s added residents included those who move to and from California from within the United States.
The report came as nominal news for the state which has experienced slow growth in recent years. Historically, California touted an annual growth rate of approximately three percent; however, a review of Department of Finance Data for a report published by the Sacramento Bee last year, confirmed that during the previous eleven years, California’s growth rate had slowed to less than one percent per year (the same held true for this year as well). The decline occurred almost concurrent with the crash of the state’s housing market and was further fueled by the Great Recession.