(February 14, 2004, updated Feb. 17) -- The CA Dept. of Finance Demographic Research Unit has released data indicating that L.A. County's population topped ten million and Orange County had over three million residents as of July 2003.
The agency's provisional population estimate (as of July 1, 2003) for L.A. County is 10,047,300, an increase of 1.6% over the prior fiscal year. Orange County's population as of July 1/03 was estimated as 3,001,300...[update] larger than San Diego County, which had 2,989,300.
Riverside County had 1,758,700 residents, growing 4.53% over the previous fiscal year, making it California's fastest growing county. San Bernardino County was slightly more populous, boasting 1,869,300. Ventura County had 799,200.
CA's population as of July 1, 2003 was estimated as 35,934,000.
L.A. County is home to nearly 27.9% of the CA's residents.
[updated to include SD in total] Over half of all Californians -- 56.95% -- live in roughly (very roughly) the southern third of CA: L.A., Orange, San Diego, San Bernardino, Riverside + Ventura Counties.