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Irvine Is California's Fastest Growing City

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Irvine is Southern California's fastest growing city, according to new census data. It grew at a pace five times the Southern California average, with its population leaping to nearly 230,000, or 4.2%, from July 2011 and July 2012.

Real estate agents say that the Orange County city's schools are the biggest draw, according to the Los Angeles Times. More growth is expected for Irvine, with its population nearing 300,000 by 2035.

New construction has also continued to increase with more than 1,400 new homes sold last year in Irvine Co. developments. That's up from 774 sold the year before.

Irvine also boasts the lowest violent crime rate of any U.S. city with more than 100,000 people.

Other fast growing cities in Southern California include Corona, with a 2.1% leap and Lake Elsinore at 2.1%. In the Los Angeles County, growth change typically remained under 1% with the exception of Santa Monica, where the population jumped 1.2% between 2011 and 2012.

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