California added 309,000 residents in 2017 to bring the state’s total population as of January 1st to 39,810,000, according to new population estimates released today by the California Department of Finance. Last year’s 0.78-percent growth rate compares to the 0.86-percent annualized growth rate since the 2010 Census. Since 2010, when the state’s population was 37,253,956, population growth has averaged 333,000 a year. Tuesday’s report contains preliminary January 2018 and revised January 2017 population data for California cities, counties, and the state.
- Growth was strongest in the more densely populated counties in the Bay Area, the Central Valley, and Southern California, averaging 0.86 percent. Of California’s 482 cities, 421 saw gains in population, 57 saw reductions, and 4 experienced no change.
- The three fastest growing counties on a percentage basis were Merced (1.8 percent, 4,900 persons), Placer (1.7 percent, 6,400 persons), and San Joaquin (1.5 percent, 11,500 persons); all attributing their growth to a combination of an increase in housing construction and positive domestic migration.
- Los Angeles, California’s largest city, grew by almost 33,000 persons (0.8 percent) in 2017 adding on to a population of over four million (4,054,000). San Diego, California’s second largest city with a population of 1,420,000, added almost 20,000 persons during the year. San Francisco, with a population of 884,000, added almost 10,000 persons, while Irvine with a population of 276,000, added almost 9,000 persons in 2017. San Jose (1,051,000) rounds out the top five largest numeric changes with an increase of 8,500 persons.
- California’s statewide housing growth, as measured by net unit growth in completed housing units for 2017, was 85,000 units. Total housing in California reached 14,158,000 units, a 0.6- percent increase.
- Throughout the state, more than 13,200 housing units were demolished in 2017, with wildfires heavily influencing a number of areas. The counties with most housing loss due to fire include Sonoma (2.6 percent), Napa (1.1 percent), and Mendocino (1.0 percent). Between 2010 and 2016, an average of 5,500 housing units were demolished statewide.
- Santa Rosa in Sonoma County lost 3,081 housing units as a result of the wildfires, the most in the state. However, overall change in Santa Rosa population is positive (0.2 percent) due to a large annexation of almost 2,000 housing units. While the Thomas fire in Ventura County was the largest by area, fewer housing units were affected. The current estimates do not include complete impacts from that fire, and will be revised next year.
Direct to News Release/Report/Data
10 pages; PDF.
Direct to Data Files (.xls)
- E-1 Cities, Counties, and the State Population Estimates with Annual Percent Change— January 1, 2017 and 2018
Direct to Methodology