Latinos, Asians fuel California's population growth

During the past decade, the state's inland areas grew as Californians moved beyond the pricey coastal region. But demographers say that migration appears to have slowed in recent years after the economy slumped.

Of the state's most populous counties, Riverside County grew the most. Its population jumped 41.7 percent, making it the state's fourth largest county.

California's inland counties also become more diverse. For example, Riverside County is now 46 percent Latino and San Bernardino County is 49 percent Latino, up from 36 percent and 39 percent a decade ago, respectively.

African-Americans also moved to outlying areas such as Riverside County and San Joaquin County, leaving counties including Los Angeles, Alameda and San Francisco, the data shows.

Hans Johnson, director of research at the Public Policy Institute of California, said the growing diversity in suburbia might eventually ease the political divide between a largely Democratic coastal region and more Republican inland California since Latinos are more likely to vote Democratic.

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