Dan Walters: California sees slower population growth

The U.S. Census Bureau and the state Department of Finance issue annual population estimates each December and they don’t always agree on how many human beings occupy California.

During the previous decade, following the 2000 census, their estimates were as much as one million persons apart – largely because of different calculations of state-to-state migration.

Since 2010, however, they have been fairly well in synch and last month, they were very close.

The Census Bureau estimated California’s population, as of July 1, at 39.6 million, while the Department of Finance tabbed it at 39.8 million.

Both sets of numbers underscored, however, one of California’s most important demographic trends – the slowing of the state’s once-soaring population growth rate.

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