38.8 Million

That's how many Californians there were as of July 2010, according to the State Department of Finance.

That represents unusually slow growth for California -- 350,000 more Californians than in July 2009, or less than 1 percent growth. What happened? Most of that growth came from births, with foreign immigration accounting for the rest. Californians also lost 72,000 people to other states, which undercut the growth:

The state finance department explains:

Natural increase remains the primary source of the state’s growth since 2002.  The natural increase of 284,000 in the past year is composed of roughly 525,000 births minus 241,000 deaths.  This accounted for 81 percent of the 2009-10 fiscal year growth.  Net migration contributed over 66,000 new residents, around 19 percent of the growth.  Net migration includes all legal and unauthorized foreign immigrants, residents who left the state to live abroad, and the balance of hundreds of thousands of people moving within the United States both to and from California.  During the fiscal year, the state gained over 138,000 new foreign immigrants and, similar to the net domestic outmigration of the prior five years, experienced a modest loss of 72,000 persons to other states.

One caution: federal estimates of the California population are nearly 2 million less-- the feds calculate their population numbers based on different data.

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