The Bay Area led the charge in California's massive population increase last year, particularly Santa Clara County, which ended up being state's fastest growing county, according to a report by the Department of Finance.
California's population shot up by nearly 298,000 to 37,966,000, a growth of .8 percent.
While Santa Clara County grew 1.6 percent, from from 1,813,696 to 1,842,254 this year, four out of five of the state's fastest growing counties were in the Bay Area -- the others were Alameda, San Francisco and San Mateo County.
The report stated that Palo Alto's population increased by about 1.4 percent, from 63,443 to 64,368.
San Mateo County grew by about 1.1 percent last year, according to the report. Burlingame and Redwood City, the county's two fastest-growing cities, each grew by about 1.3 percent.
The report also stated that California's statewide housing growth was up 27 percent last year, adding 45,309 housing units compared to 2011's 35,638. But this number is still at a historic low, the report said.
The Department of Finance produces population estimates annually for local areas to calculate annual appropriation limits.