California Population 2018

39,776,830

California is a large state on the west coast of the United States that is home to one of the world's most diverse populations. Our current estimate for California's population in 2018 is 39.78 million. At the last official United States census carried out in 2010, the population of California was declared at 37,253,956 which makes the state the most populous by a wide margin over 2nd place Texas (28 million).

Much of the population is centered in several large cities. California contains the second largest city (Los Angeles), 3 of the largest 10 cities (Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Jose), and the largest county (Los Angeles County) in the United States.

California is projected to surpass 40 million residents by 2019, and represents approximately 1 out of every 8 US citizens. By 2050, the population is projected to surpass 50 million.

California Area and Population Density

California is the 3rd largest state by area, putting its population density at 251.3 per square mile, which ranks 11th in the country. It is currently the 21st fastest growing state with a yearly growth rate of .61%. This growth rate has slowed somewhat in recent years however.

California Demographics

Age/Sex, Race, Religion

The median age in California is 36 years, with 50.3% of the population being female and 49.6% being male.

In terms of racial diversity, the state is composed of 61.3% Caucasians, 13.9% Asian, 13.3% identify as 'other race', 5.9% African American, 4.6% identify as multiple races, and 1.1% identify as a Native American, Native Alaskan, or Native Islander.

In religious terms, 63% of Californians associate with a Christian based faith, 9% are affiliated with non-Christian faiths, and have a rate of 27% unaffiliated individuals.

California Historical Growth, Statehood

California has a healthy natural growth rate and the gap between the birth rate and death rate is quite significant. Between 2000 and 2009, 5,058,440 births and 2,179,958 deaths resulted in a natural growth of 3,090,016.

Another significant factor for the California population is immigration: California had huge appeal in the days of the Gold Rush and that fact holds true today. Between those years of 2000 and 2009, the state enjoyed a net migration gain of 306,925 people. It’s also been estimated that up to approxmiately 6.3% of California’s population is made up of illegal immigrants.

California is larger than all but 35 countries in the world. It is also the second most populous national sub-entity, behind only Sao Paulo of Brazil.

California was the 31st in line to be admitted as a State in 1850. The historical first census of this state is noted because California also conducted a state census in 1852 in addition to the federal census of 1850. Both results are included in the 1850 census publications. The federal census of 1850 is missing Contra Costa, San Francisco, and Santa Clara counties. They are included in the 1852 state census however.

California Population Chart

California Population History

California was part of the region acquired from Mexico in 1848, and was admitted as a State on September 9, 1850 with essentially its present boundaries.

Although the 1850 census covered the whole State, the 1850 returns are incomplete; those for Contra Costa and Santa Clara Counties were lost before reaching Washington, and those for San Francisco County were destroyed by fire.

California Historical Population Growth

The population of California in 2016 is growing at an above-average rate and an estimate carried out in 2015 suggests that there has been an increase from the 2010 Census figure of 37,253,956 to numbers in the region of 39,144,818.

In 1850 there were just 92,597 people living in California, but the gold rush of the mid-19th century was primarily responsible for a rise of over 300% to 379,994. The population of California continued to grow at a steadier rate but increases in excess of 50% between ten year censuses were not uncommon.

After World War II, the California population in 1950 was declared at 10,586,223, and it has been growing exponentially ever since. Ten years later in 1960, it was 15,717,204, and in 1970 that had grown to 19,953,134. From there, the numbers have been increasing at similar rates.

California has seen growth in every 10 year period of its history, and was officially determined to be most populous state at the 1970 Census, claiming the mantle from New York. It has remained the biggest state for nearly a half-century by posting consistenly high growth rates from year to year.

Population of California Projections

California is still growing and although it is difficult to track down any predictions, there is no reason to suggest that this growth will slow down. As such, could the population of California continue the trend and explode beyond the 40 million mark by the time of the next Census in 2020? If the current rate of growth continues, California's population may even approach 41 million by 2020.

Population Data via US Census

California Growth Rate

California Population Rank

Year Pop % Change
202040,257,1840.60%
201940,017,0070.60%
201839,776,8300.61%
201739,536,6530.61%
201639,296,476Infinity%
201638,654,206-0.97%
201539,032,4440.86%
201438,701,2780.92%
201338,347,3830.86%
201238,019,0060.92%
201137,672,6540.92%
201037,327,6900.98%
200033,871,6481.30%
199029,760,0212.32%
198023,667,9021.72%
197019,953,1342.42%
196015,717,2044.03%
195010,586,2234.36%
19406,907,3871.98%
19305,677,2515.18%
19203,426,8613.72%
19102,377,5494.82%
19001,485,0532.04%
18901,213,3983.45%
1880864,6944.44%
1870560,2473.96%
1860379,99415.16%
185092,5970.00%

California Facts

California Population in 2018Source: By BDS2006 (talk). (Wikimedia Commons) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

California Population Density by County

Los Angeles County

  • Population10,163,507
  • Density2504.50 per sq km
  • Growth Since 20103.45%
  • State Rank1
  • % of State25.71%

California Population Growth Rate by County

With so many counties, it's no surprise that California has seen significant increases and decreases in its population across the state. Between the 2010 Census and estimates taken in 2015, the largest increase in population in a California county was recorded in Alameda County, which grew by 8.22%. Many of its neighboring counties, including Santa Clara County, San Mateo County, and San Francisco County were just a few that posted significant population gains. Other notable counties that saw growth during this 5-year period include the southern counties of Riverside, Orange, and San Diego, which posted rates of 7.21%, 5.03%, and 6.29%, respectively.

The counties that saw the biggest declines are located along the eastern border, with Lassen County seeing a decrease in population by 10.03%. Trailing behind are Plumas County, Modoc County, and Sierra County. Trinity County, located in northwestern California, also saw one of the highest declines with 5.05%.

Population by Race

Race Population
White23,680,584
Asian5,354,608
Some Other Race5,133,600
Black or African American2,261,835
Two or More Races1,787,159
American Indian and Alaska Native285,512
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander150,908

Race Data via US Census (2016 ACS 5-Year Survey)

California Population Pyramid 2018

0%2%4%6%8% Male Population0%2%4%6%8% Female Population80757065605550454035302520151050

Data via US Census (2016 ACS 5-Year Survey): Table S0101

California Median Age

36


Total

34.9


Male

37.1


Female

California Adults

There are 29,531,813 adults, (4,986,393 of which are seniors) in California.

California Age Dependency

57.5

Age Dependency Ratio

20.3

Old Age Dependency Ratio

37.3

Child Dependency Ratio

California Sex Ratio

Female

19,453,236

50.33%

Male

19,200,970

49.67%

California Households and Families

California Renter vs Owner Occupied by Household Type

California Household Types

Type Owner Renter
Married67.4%32.6%
All54.1%45.9%
Male42.9%57.1%
Non Family41.9%58.1%
Female38.8%61.2%

54.1%

Rate of Home Ownership

California Households by Type

Type Count Average Size Owned
All12,807,3872.9554.1
Married6,310,5373.6367.4
Non Family4,007,3681.3841.9
Female1,724,5023.7638.8
Male764,9803.7942.9

3.54

Average Family Size

2.95

Average Household Size

6.3%

Unmarried (Opposite Sex)

0.5%

Unmarried (Same Sex)

California Households

California Education

California Educational Attainment by Sex (over 25)

Education Attained Count Percentage
Less Than 9th Grade2,524,6369.88%
9th to 12th Grade2,048,3278.02%
High School Graduate5,260,90420.59%
Some College5,548,47921.71%
Associates Degree1,995,5797.81%
Bachelors Degree5,136,04320.10%
Graduate Degree3,040,44411.90%

California Educational Attainment by Race

Name Total High School Bachelors
White11,241,97810,616,9074,690,343
Hispanic8,307,6845,093,165976,994
Asian3,851,0763,346,9581,941,212
Other Race2,934,0951,690,383267,335
Black1,489,0101,320,384344,879
Multiple Races780,820678,922248,533
Native American182,845137,03025,217
Islander98,63283,46716,898

The highest rate of high school graduation is among white people with a rate of 94.44%.

The highest rate of bachelors degrees is among white people with a rate of 50.41%.

California Earnings by Educational Attainment

Name Average Male Female
Overall$37,777$42,421$32,047
Less Than High School$20,384$23,611$15,559
High School Grad$28,734$32,125$23,549
Some College$36,592$42,729$31,054
Bachelors Degree$57,109$68,065$48,731
Graduate Degree$80,616$99,970$66,747

$37,777

Average Earnings

$42,421

Average Male

$32,047

Average Female

California Language

California Language by Age

California Language

55.99% of California residents speak only English, while 44.01% speak other languages. The largest non-English language is Spanish, which is spoken by 28.79% of the population.

California Poverty

California Poverty by Race

Name Total In Poverty Poverty Rate
Hispanic14,646,9153,208,68021.91%
White14,566,9141,476,06010.13%
Other5,040,7201,189,59223.60%
Asian5,275,125610,72411.58%
Black2,162,989523,88824.22%
Multiple1,741,100266,17415.29%
Native277,06563,81823.03%
Islander147,16523,47715.95%

15.84%

Overall Poverty Rate

14.75%

Male Poverty Rate

16.90%

Female Poverty Rate

Poverty in California

The race most likely to be in poverty in California is Black, with 24.22% below the poverty level.

The race least likely to be in poverty in California is White, with 10.13% below the poverty level.

The poverty rate among those that worked full-time for the past 12 months was 3.33%. Among those working part-time, it was 17.37%, and for those that did not work, the poverty rate was 23.98%.

California Poverty Rate by Education

Name Poverty
Less Than High School25.34%
High School15.52%
Some College10.86%
Bachelors or Greater5.30%

California Poverty Rate by Employment Status and Sex

Name Poverty
Female Unemployed32.61%
Male Unemployed28.97%
Female Employed8.18%
Male Employed7.14%

California Income

California Income by Household Type

Name Median Mean
Households$63,783$91,149
Families$72,952$101,373
Married Families$89,326$118,866
Non Families$41,858$63,209

California Marital Status

California Marital Status

Marriage Rates

46.6%

Overall Marriage Rate

47.9%

Male Marriage Rate

45.3%

Female Marriage Rate

California Married by Age and Sex

California Marriage

The age group where males are most likely to be married is Over65, while the female age group most likely to be married is 35To44.

California Marital Status by Race

California Veterans

California Veterans by War

1,720,635

Number of Veterans

1,591,709

Male Veterans

128,926

Female Veterans

Name Veterans
Vietnam615,025
First Gulf War279,664
Second Gulf War265,732
Korea190,314
World War II117,181

California Veterans by Age

Name Veterans
75+433,047
65 to 74429,325
35 to 54373,138
55 to 64316,943
18 to 34168,182

California Veterans by Race

Name Veterans % of Total
White1,320,4477.18%
Hispanic262,9262.59%
Black155,8698.98%
Asian103,8882.40%
Other64,1321.78%
2 or More53,9965.37%
Indian14,9756.95%
Hawaiian7,3286.36%

California Veterans by Education

7.56%

Veteran Poverty Rate

27.97%

Veteran Disability Rate

California Employment Status

California Employment by Age

63.4%

Labor Force Participation

57.5%

Employment Rate

8.7%

Unemployment Rate

California Employment by Race

California Employment by Education

California Nativity

California Citizenship Status

Data Sources
  1. California State Demographics
  2. California's Population
  3. US Census State Population Estimates - Most recent state estimates from the Census Bureau's Population Estimates Program
  4. US Census County Population Estimates - Most recent county estimates from the Census Bureau's Population Estimates Program
  5. American Community Survey (2009 - 2013)
  6. Census QuickFacts
  7. Historical Populations of States and Counties (1790 - 1990)