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In San Bernardino County, nearly 11,000 more people moved out than moved in, and the county had the second-slowest population growth in the Southland. (Los Angeles Times / May 3, 1999)

By Tim Logan
March 27, 2014, 6:08 p.m.

Population growth in Southern California slowed last year, and that helped lead to softer demand for housing.

The number of residents in the seven-county region grew 0.8% to 21.7 million last year, a slight dip from 0.82% growth the previous year, according to figures released Thursday by the Census Bureau.

The populations of the Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino and Ventura counties grew 0.5% to 0.9%, and Imperial County shrank 0.1%. But populations of Riverside and San Diego counties grew faster than the state as a whole, rising 1.2% and 1.1%, respectively.

Statewide, the number of residents, as of last July 1, rose to 38.3 million, a 0.9% hike from the previous year.

Housing economists and demographics experts noted that fewer people moving and fewer people forming new households have dampened demand for housing since the end of the recession. Thursday’s numbers bear that out locally.

The region’s population grew because births outpaced deaths, which has been typical statewide for years.

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