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California’s Population is Increasing

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: More people are moving to California and the state’s population is expected to continue to experience positive growth.

SACRAMENTO – California’s population increased by 67,000 people last year to 39,128,162, according to new data released today by the California Department of Finance (DOF). The state’s population growth can be attributed to an increase in legal foreign immigration and natural population increasing. This is the first year since 2020 that the state has seen a net increase.

WHAT GOVERNOR NEWSOM SAID:  “People from across the nation and the globe are coming to the Golden State to pursue the California Dream and experience the success of the world’s 5th largest economy. From the Inland Empire to the Bay Area, regions throughout California are growing – strengthening local communities and boosting our state’s future.”

With the improvement of federal legal immigration processing backlogs, rebounding legal immigration levels – not including people seeking asylum at the border – and mortality rates returning to long-term trends, a stable foundation for continued growth has returned. Net domestic migration has receded to its lower rates of the 2010s, and DOF estimates California is likely to experience continued positive population growth.


The report contains preliminary year-over-year January 2024 and revised January 2021 through January 2023 population data for California cities, counties, and the state. These estimates are based on information through January 1, 2024. Significant changes over the year include:

  • The population increased in 31 counties, largely in the Bay Area, Central Valley, and the Inland Empire. Los Angeles County and Orange County grew by 0.05 and 0.31 percent in population, respectively.

  • Five counties had growth above one percent: Sutter (1.9 percent), Imperial (1.8 percent), Glenn (1.4 percent), Yuba (1.1 percent), and San Benito (1.1 percent) due to housing gains. The next largest in percentage growth were San Joaquin (0.96 percent), Madera (0.9 percent), Tulare (0.9 percent), Monterey (0.8 percent), and Merced (0.7 percent) counties.

  • Nine of the ten Counties with populations over 1 million saw increases in population comprising 72 percent of the state’s total population. Riverside County led with an increase of 13,800.

  • The top five cities where housing production drove population growth include: Paradise (16.1 percent) in Butte County, Lathrop (5.4 percent) in San Joaquin County, Emeryville (5.0 percent) in Alameda County, Orland (4.9 percent) in Glenn County, and Shafter (4.3 percent) in Kern County.


California is the 5th largest economy in the world. The Golden State, which has the most equitable tax system in the entire country, is #1 in the nation for new business starts, #1 for access to venture capital funding, and the #1 state for tourism spendingmanufacturinghigh-tech, and agriculture.