RivCo Takes Top Spot Amid CA’s First Population Gain Since 2019

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RIVERSIDE COUNTY, CA — California’s population increased slightly last year, helped along by Riverside County, according to state figures released Tuesday.

California’s population increased by 67,100 people last year to 39,128,162, according to data from the California Department of Finance.

Nine of the state’s 10 counties with populations over 1 million saw year-over-year increases in 2023. Riverside County led the pack by adding 13,798 residents, or 0.57% growth, putting the population at 2.44 million.

Among all of the Golden State’s 58 counties, Riverside County saw the 14th largest population percentage gain. San Bernardino County was up by 8,739 residents to 2.18 million, or 0.40%, landing with the 19th largest population percentage gain statewide.

Combined, the Inland Empire contributed to about 34% of the state’s overall gains last year.

The 10 counties (regardless of size) with the largest percentage gains were:

  • Sutter (1.9 percent)
  • Imperial (1.8 percent)
  • Glenn (1.4 percent)
  • Yuba (1.1 percent)
  • San Benito (1.1 percent)
  • San Joaquin (0.96 percent)
  • Madera (0.9 percent)
  • Tulare (0.9 percent)
  • Monterey (0.8 percent)
  • Merced (0.7 percent)

Gov. Gavin Newsom lauded the modest increases.

“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,” he said.

The number of people leaving California receded in 2023 to rates witnessed in the 2010s, according to the governor’s office.

More people are moving to California, and the state’s population is expected to continue to experience “positive growth,” Newsom said.

The governor also attributed the statewide uptick to improvements in processing federal legal immigration backlogs, rebounding legal immigration levels (not including people seeking asylum at the border), and lower mortality rates.

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