California Population

The Population of California, The Most Populous State in the United States

California Population
Los Angeles is California's most populous metropolitan area and is the second largest urban area in the United States. Getty Images

California has been the most populous state in the United States officially since the 1970 Census when population of California (19,953,134) exceeded the population of New York State (18,237,000).

California's current population is estimated at 38,715,000 as of January 1, 2015 by the California Department of Finance.

The United States Census Bureau officially estimates the California population at 36,756,666 as of July 1, 2008.

In the 2000 Census, the California population was numbered at 33,871,648.

Historical California Population

The population of California has grown dramatically since the first census taken in California in 1850, the year California became a state. Here are some historical California population numbers...

1850 - 92,597
1860 - 379,994, a 410% increase over 1850
1900 - 1,485,053
1930 - 5,677,251
1950 - 10,586,223
1970 - 19,953,134
1990 - 29,760,021
2000 - 33,871,648
2009 - 38,292,687
2015 - 38,715,000

California Population Demographics

Based on 2007 data from the U.S. Census Bureau, California's population is 42.7% white non-Hispanic, 36.2% Hispanic, 6.7% black, and 12.4% Asian.

California Population Growth

California's population growth rate has slowed in recent year. Between 2014 and 2015 the California population was estimated to have grown a mere 0.9%. While many people are immigrating to California, many more Californians are leaving the state.

According to the Census Bureau, from 2000 to 2004, California lost 99,000 more people to other states than it gained from other places in the United States. (During this period Florida, Arizona, and Nevada saw the largest numbers of immigrants from other states).

With California's high rate of foreign immigration as a high birth rate California's population is nonetheless expected to rise over the next few decades as shown by these California population projections from the U.S. Census Bureau...

2020 - 42,206,743
2025 - 44,305,177
2030 - 46,444,861

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Rosenberg, Matt. "California Population." ThoughtCo, Mar. 3, 2017, thoughtco.com/california-population-overview-1435260. Rosenberg, Matt. (2017, March 3). California Population. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/california-population-overview-1435260 Rosenberg, Matt. "California Population." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/california-population-overview-1435260 (accessed November 20, 2017).