California's population growth, driven by a continued high production of babies, picked up a bit during the 12 months ending June 30, according to the latest estimate by the state Department of Finance.
The growth rate, .9 percent, was the highest since California was plunged into recession a half-decade ago. The state, according to state estimates, gained 332,000 persons during the 2012-13 period, and stood at 38.2 million.
While the 507,000 babies born in the state during the 12-month period were the major source of population growth, offset by 241,000 deaths, improving economic conditions also appeared to slow the outflow to other states and nations.
Net immigration, which had been negative, produced 66,000 new Californians during the period.
Alameda was the state's fastest growing county at 1.68 percent while tiny Sierra County lost nearly 2 percent of its population.
(Corrected at 1 p.m. to reflect that Sierra County lost nearly 2 percent of population.
PHOTO: People make their way north on Broadway Street during a march and rally for federal immigration reform and a protest against Arizona's controversial immigration law, in Los Angeles Saturday, May 1, 2010. (Associated Press/Jason Redmond