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The California Department of Finance recently released a new estimate of San Diego County’s population growth. According to the DOF, San Diego’s population grew by 46,634 people in the year to July 2008. This 1.5 percent increase represents the fastest annual percent growth since 2003.

The accompanying graph shows the DOF’s population growth data since 2001 in orange. Just for kicks I’ve also included the US Census Bureau’s estimates of the same in blue. The Census Bureau didn’t release a San Diego-specific estimate for 2008 population growth, although it did estimate that statewide population increased by 1.2 percent.

We looked at the difference between the Census and DOF population stats a while back and found that the consensus at the time seemed to be that the DOF data was better. So I will stick with that assumption unless I hear otherwise.

According to the DOF, people moving to San Diego from elsewhere in the United States accounted for only 3,032 people out of the 46,634-person total increase. The remainder of the increase was due to immigration (16,053 people) and natural population growth (births minus deaths, totalling 27,549 people).

Note that the growth in San Diego’s population is taking place even as the number of employed San Diegans is on the decline.

— RICH TOSCANO

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