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Slower population growth could help Calif.

April 24, 2012 at 9:07 PM

LOS ANGELES, April 24 (UPI) -- California's floundering economy will get a little help from a slowing of the state's population growth rate, researchers say.

A report on population projections by two University of Southern California researchers found the state's population, standing at 37 million, will expand at a "manageable" rate through 2050, easing back from boom rates seen in recent decades such as the 1980s.

John Pitkin and Dowell Myers from the Population Dynamics Research Group of USC's public policy school attribute the slowdown to a drop in immigration numbers to the Golden State, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Myers and Pitkin found the population in California during the 1980s surged up 26 percent to more than 6 million people; it bumped up 14 percent in 1990s and 10 percent from 2000-2010 and it's projected to grow at less than a 10 percent rate for many decades to come.

The population projections actually differ from the state of California's official population forecasts, the Times said.

The low population estimates should have a significant impact on the state's planning for infrastructure, roads, development, schools and other areas.

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