How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

Census: LA County surpassed 10M residents in 2013

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New U.S. Census population estimates released Thursday confirmed that Los Angeles County broke 10 million residents in 2013, making it the nation's most populous.

The data confirmed what the California Department of Finance announced late last year.

The population of California as a whole also kept growing for the third straight year, adding more than 330,000 people between 2012 and 2013. In Southern California, growth occurred in Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties between 2012 and 2013; Los Angeles had the nation's third-largest population increase, with more than 65,000 new residents.

The new data — available on the Census' official website and highlighting the nation’s 10 fastest-growing metropolitan areas in the year ending July 1, 2013 — also found that Los Angeles County had the country’s largest increase of international migrants while, at the same time, native births in the region ticked slightly up.

More than 39,000 people came to Los Angeles County between 2012 and 2013 from outside the borders of the U.S., according to the data. This doesn't mean new immigrants exclusively, but rather mix of the following:

  • Those born in a foreign country moving to the U.S.
  • Those moving between the U.S and Puerto Rico
  • Those born in the U.S. who move back to the country from abroad
  • Armed forces personnel moving between the U.S and overseas.

Beyond L.A. County, the data revealed that six of the fastest-growing areas were within or near the Great Plains, suggesting residents have been drawn by that region’s energy boom.

Native births have again become a part of this growth, if a small one: While births in California have been on the downswing in recent years, there was an uptick between 2012 and 2013 of about 3,000 live births. This was reflected in the five-county Los Angeles area, with slight increases in births per county throughout.

Other facts of note between July 1, 2012, and July 1, 2013, in the data released Thursday:

  • The Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim Metropolitan area is the nation's second largest, with 13.1 million residents. It also had the nation's fourth largest population increase, adding  94,386 new residents.
  • The county with country's fastest drop in population (among those with 10,000 or more people) was Lassen County, Calif., where the population declined by 4.4 percent.
  • Overall, California is home to three of the six most populous counties in the U.S. Joining Los Angeles are San Diego (fifth) and Orange counties (sixth).

Ten largest California counties by estimated population

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