Thursday, December 21, 2006

California’s Growth Rate Slows

Still a big state with a whole lot of people and growing at a pretty good clip, but a slow down might be good to consolidate what is here, and grow the infrastructure to accommodate existing population.

Other states siphon growth
California's population increase slows, despite immigration, births.
By Clea Benson - Bee Capitol Bureau
Published 12:00 am PST Thursday, December 21, 2006

California continues to lose residents to other states, one factor driving a slowing population growth rate, the state Department of Finance reported Wednesday.

Overall, the state gained a net 462,000 residents in the fiscal year that ended June 30, bringing the total population to 37.4 million.

California lost a net of about 67,000 people to other states, the report said, but gained about 213,000 foreign immigrants. Those people, combined with hundreds of thousands of babies born to California residents, accounted for the growth.

The relatively high cost of living in California is both keeping people from moving here and encouraging some to move away, said Hans Johnson, a demographics expert at the Public Policy Institute of California.

"A lot of people who are choosing to leave this state are what has been called equity refugees," Johnson said. "Californians have a lot of equity to buy a less expensive, larger house in another state."

High costs are also slowing the rate of foreign migration to California, Johnson said, as immigrants increasingly are moving to states with cheaper housing.