California is the most populous nation in the U.S., having reached a total population of 38.2 million. This is after a 332,000 increase in residents. The latest report by the state Department of Finance attributes the 0.9 percent rise to the youngest residents who are newborn babies. According to a Dec.12 Sacramento Bee article, the latest report is as of July 30 and represents the 2012-2013 reporting year.
According to the Department of Finance PDF report, the birthrate is not rising that much, but compared with a stable death rate, new births add to the population totals.
Legal and illegal immigration, citizens moving in and out and other net migration issues contributed to 66,000 new California residents.
The fastest growing county is Alameda County with a 1.68 percent growth. The fastest slowing county is Alpine County with a drop of 2 percent of the population. In general, the urban coastal counties grew the most, with some valley counties having growth. Several smaller, more remote counties actually lost population.
Seven out of ten Californians live in the largest counties, 9 of which have over one million residents. Los Angeles, Alameda, Sacramento, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Santa Clara, and Contra Costa counties are in this group.
California is growing, with denser populations on the coast and sparser populations in the remote alpine counties. The valley is seeing some growth, but not enough to rival the urban coastal metropolises.