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Posted: Saturday, December 25, 2010 6:00 am

LOS ANGELES —California officials estimate that the U.S. Census Bureau failed to count 1.5 million of the state's residents, a discrepancy that if true could cost the state billions of dollars in federal aid over the next decade and perhaps an increase in its representation in Congress.

On Tuesday, the Census Bureau released national and state population figures that showed California to have 37.3 million residents, 10 percent more than in 2000. That growth — based on mailed-in surveys and door-to-door interviews by census takers — roughly mirrored the nation's, but meant that for the first time since California became a state in 1850 it did not grow enough to add a member to its congressional delegation.

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