California adds 358,000 people with San Diego, San Jose making biggest city gains



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SACRAMENTO, California — California grew modestly last year to 38.7 million people, with San Diego and San Jose experiencing the largest gains among major cities, state demographers announced Friday.

California grew by about 1 percent, adding 358,000 residents, in 2014, according to the state Department of Finance. The growth rate mirrors that of recent years, and the population gains were widely distributed throughout the state.

Los Angeles grew 1.1 percent by adding nearly 43,000 people and remains the state's largest city with nearly 4 million people. However, the second- and third-largest cities each grew at a rate of about 1.5 percent.

As of Jan. 1, San Diego had nearly 1.4 million people, and San Jose had 1 million people. San Francisco was the state's fourth-largest city with 845,602 people, and Fresno placed fifth by recording 520,159 people.

San Joaquin County was the fastest-growing county in the state, adding nearly 11,000 people. It was closely followed by Imperial County and three San Francisco Bay Area counties, including San Francisco, Alameda and Contra Costa.

The fastest-growing city in the state was Taft in Kern County. Taft, which reopened a correctional facility, grew 6.3 percent to 9,500 residents.

California continues to add people even as the state endures its fourth year of drought, prompting tough conservation efforts. Earlier this week, Gov. Jerry Brown called for $10,000 fines for residents and businesses that waste the most water during the drought.

Brown previously ordered a mandatory 25 percent reduction in statewide water use in cities and towns after voluntary conservation wasn't enough to meet his goals.

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