I thought the base was 0.1. I never use any slow infertile malus, and I have always had a a base growth rate of 0.1.
As you point out well, the biggest problem is using NO ADDITIONAL signficant digits. So, you therefore only get boosts when you have pop % modifiers above 50%, 150%, 250%, etc.
However, I'm surprised with such a simplistic pop growth mechanism. It takes no account into the size of the current pop, no account of planet class, no account of having 'plentiful' food (meaning how much spare food you have), no malus other than -0.1 when starving (you can starve with zero food, and it still drops only -0.1).
Birth studies is too easy to boost pop, again not taking the above into factor.
i'd be happy if they just added 1 bloody significant digit to the pop growth rate. Then any building or any modifer has a direct effect. Right now it doesn't. You just have to worry about the +50%, +150%, +250% cutoffs.