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L.A. POPULATION PASSES 4 MILLION COUNT: IMMIGRATION REMAINS STEADY, BUT MORE CALIFORNIANS LEAVING FORCHEAPER STATES.

Byline: Harrison Sheppard

Staff Writer

Los Angeles' population has surpassed 4 million for the first time, officials announced Thursday.

While state officials said last year that L.A. had passed thatmilestone on Jan. 1, 2007, they said final tabulations on that earlier estimate showed the city's population was actually 3.996 million.

However, the city's population grew 1.2 percent last year to reach 4,045,873 residents as of Jan. 1, 2008, according to the state Department of Finance.

Overall, California's population grew 1.3 percent last year to 38,049,462 people. Los Angeles County's population grew 0.9 percent to 10,363,850.

State demographic experts said California's population has been growing more slowly this decade, a trend driven in part by the high cost of housing. And while the rate of immigration has remained steady, a greater number of Californians have been leaving for cheaper states.

"We estimate there have been, for the last couple of years, more Californians leaving than coming from other states," said Mary Heim, chief of the demographic unit in the Department of Finance.

"That doesn't count immigration - that is just domestic migration. We think that is continuing, but it hasn't accelerated at this point in time."

The state has also been experiencing a slowdown in housing growth, with about 130,000 units added in 2007, down from 170,000 in 2006 and 197,000 in 2005.

Still, even though longer-term residents are leaving, growth in the city's population indicates Los Angeles remains a top destination point for immigrants. A spokeswoman for Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said that is because the city still remains an attractive place to live.

"Los Angeles continues to grow because it truly is the city where the dreams of so many have come to life," said Janelle Erickson.

harrison.sheppard(at)dailynews.com

(818) 713-3706

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SOURCE: California Department of Finance

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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Article Type:ST
Date:May 2, 2008
Words:322
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