Latino population in county grew 32%

New Census figures show that Chula Vista grew by 40% in last decade

It’s official: Latinos fueled much of California’s population growth during the past decade, including in San Diego County, where the Hispanic population increased by 32 percent, according 2010 Census results released Tuesday.

California’s population increased by 10 percent during the 2000s, according to the census. The county’s population also rose by 10 percent.

Meanwhile, California’s Latino population jumped by 27.8 percent during the decade. In San Diego County, it grew by 32 percent, according to the 2010 census.

California’s 14 million Latinos now make up more than one third, or 37.6 percent, of the state’s 37.2 million people, up from 10.9 million, and 32.4 percent of the population, in 2000. In San Diego County, the number of Latinos grew from 750,965 in 2000 to 991,348 in 2010, a 32 percent increase.

The county’s population increased from 2.8 million to 3.1 million, according to the census.

The city of San Diego grew 6.9 percent and remains the state’s second largest city, with 1.3 million residents. Latinos account for 28.7 percent of the city’s population, according to the 2010 census.

Chula Vista’s population increased by 40.5 percent and the city is now the 14th largest in the state, up from 19th in 2000. Latinos make up 58 percent of the Chula Vista’s population.

"The level of growth of the Hispanic population was not a surprise. Latina women have a higher fertility rate than any other group. That's a big component in addition to migration," said Beth Jarosz, senior demographer at the San Diego Association of Governments.

Census data is used to help determine public policy, how public funds are distributed and is closely followed by government, business, social and political bodies.

The U.S. Census Bureau late last year released general population figures for the nation and states for congressional reapportionment purposes and did not include racial or ethnic breakdowns.

Census watchers at that time said that much of California’s population growth could be attributed to the Latino population, which has a higher birth rate than the general population, but were waiting for the 2010 racial and ethnic breakdowns for the state to make that official.

Leonel.sanchez@sandiegored.com

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