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It was a sad day when the city of San Diego slipped from the nation’s seventh-largest metropolis to being No. 8. (Thanks a lot, San Antonio.)

But San Diego County overtook Orange County as the state’s second most populous county this year, according to the state’s Department of Finance.

The Orange County Register reports:

Orange County grew to 3,083,894 people from July 1, 2005, to July 1, 2006, while San Diego County grew to 3,084,634.

Both are well behind Los Angeles County, which is home to an estimated 10,292,723 people.

Orange County had been ranked No. 2 in the state since 1996, when it passed San Diego County.

San Diego County had a .87 percent growth rate in that time, according to the state figures.

ROB DAVIS

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