California Snapshot: Population Swells to 40 Million with Modest Housing Gains

California’s population swelled to 39.8 million last year according to the latest figures from the state’s Department of Finance. The population increase (about 309,000) is slightly down from an average of 333,000 per year since 2010.

Of the state’s 482 cities, 421 saw gains in population. 57 saw reductions. The remaining 4 saw no change.

The cities of Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco saw the largest number of new Californians overall (33,000, 20,000, and 10,000 respectively). But Sacramento is now the fastest growing city in terms of percentage growth. For the first time, its population hit more than 500,000.

The five fastest growing counties were Merced, Placer, and San Joaquin.

“The San Joaquin Valley as a whole is really primed to be California’s next frontier,” said Merced County Director of Community and Economic Development Mark Hendrickson

The report also provides an important glimpse on housing.

There are now 14,158,000 housing units in California, according to the report. California added a net of 85,000 housing units (an increase of 0.6 percent). That figure would have been higher were it not for the loss of 13,200 homes -- many to wildfires.

Not surprisingly, the counties that lost the most homes were fire-ravaged Sonoma, Napa, and Mendocino. Among cities, Santa Rosa led the way with a loss of 3,081 housing units due to fire.

The cities of Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco and San Jose added the most housing units.

You can access the entire report here