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SPECIAL COVERAGE: Living With Wildfires: San Diego Firestorm 10 Years Later

San Diego County Population Grows, But Not As Fast

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San Diego County grew by more than 38,000 people last year, most of that growth due to new children born to existing residents. However, significantly fewer new babies were born in the region compared to the year before.

San Diego County grew by more than 38,000 people last year, most of that growth due to new children born to existing residents. However, significantly fewer new babies were born in the region compared to the year before.

The growth of San Diego's population is mostly internal: the biggest increase comes from residents having more children, rather than from immigration.

Regional demographer, Ed Shafer, of the San Diego Association of Governments or SANDAG, says the long term trend of increasing births was interrupted last year.

"They’ve been going up 200 to 500 a year," he says. "And then this last year they dropped by about a thousand. It’s hard to say that is trumpeting some sort of new trend. I think the drop in birth rates is because of the economy.”

Shafer points out birth rates fell to their lowest rates on record during the Great Depression of the 1930s.

46,000 new babies were born in San Diego county last year and 19,000 residents died.

Shafer says another trend that emerged last year was fewer people moving either in to or out of San Diego County from another state. The poor housing market and lack of jobs put a crimp on domestic migration. Three thousand more people left San Diego than arrived.

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