California’s population bumping into 40 Million

May 1, 2017 12:13pm
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•  New state estimates show a net increase of 335,000 residents in 2016

•  Yolo and San Joaquin counties are among the fastest growing

California’s population grew by 0.85 percent in 2016, adding 335,000 residents to total 39,524,000 as of January 1, 2017, according to an annual population report released Monday by the state’s Department of Finance.

The report contains preliminary January 2017 and revised January 2016 population data for California cities, counties, and the state.

Highlights include:

• Growth was widely distributed among the state’s geographical regions, with most cities and counties throughout the state experiencing increases in population. Nine northern and eastern counties, however, saw decreases, continuing a near decade-long downward trend.

• Of the 482 California cities, 393 had gains in population, 80 had reductions, and 9 experienced no change.

• The largest numeric increases occurred in the state's largest cities. The city of Los Angeles, California's largest city, grew by more than 42,000 persons in 2016 to a population of over four million (4,042,000).

• Besides Los Angeles, San Diego, California’s second largest city with a population of 1,392,000, added over 15,000 persons during the year. San Jose, with a population of 1,046,000, added almost 10,000 persons, while San Francisco with a population of 874,000, added over 9,000 persons in 2016.

• The five cities with the largest percentage population decline were all due to group quarters loss. The remaining 75 cities that had population declines were all below 1 percent loss. Of the ten largest cities in California, Sacramento had the largest percentage gain in population (1.4 percent, or 6,900).

• Amador was the fastest growing county in the state (1.9 percent) due to prison expansion. The next fastest growing counties were Placer (1.8 percent), Yolo (1.6 percent), Riverside (1.6 percent), and San Joaquin (1.5 percent) due to growth in people residing in households other than group quarters.

• California's statewide housing growth, as measured by net unit growth in completed housing units for 2016, was up over 31 percent from the previous year, adding 89,000 units. The total number of housing units in the state has now passed the 14 million mark for the first time (14,071,000).

• Multi-family housing comprised more than 50 percent of all new units in 100 of the 482 cities in California. Statewide, multi-family units represented 57 percent of unit growth last year, continuing a five-year trend. This year marks the first time since 1991 that a net of over 50,000 multi-family housing units have been added to California’s housing stock. Los Angeles led the state with 15,992 multi-family units gained, followed by San Francisco (5,065), San Diego (3,986), and San Jose (2,666).

• Menlo Park in San Mateo County had the largest percentage of household population growth in California, increasing by 5.5 percent, resulting from multi-family housing development.

• The next four largest changes in percentage terms were Rio Vista in Solano County (4.6 percent), Shafter in Kern County (4.5 percent), Rocklin in Placer County (4.5 percent), and Lathrop in San Joaquin County (4.2 percent). All of these cities added a large number of residents from recent housing increases.

A significant portion of the total population growth in Rocklin in Placer County (4.5 percent) and Santa Clarita in Los Angeles County (3.0 percent) is due to annexations from the counties.

The Central Valley has three of California’s ten largest cities. Here are the figures for the top ten:

1. Los Angeles, 4,041,707, up 1.1 percent

2. San Diego, 1,406,318, up 1.1 percent

3. San Jose, 1,046,079, up 0.9 percent

4. San Francisco, 874,228, up 1.1 percent

5. Fresno, 525,832, up 1.0 percent

6. Sacramento, 493,025, up 0.1 percent

7. Long Beach, 480,173, up 0.7 percent

8. Oakland, 426,074, up 0.,.7 percent

9. Bakersfield, 383,512, up 1.1 percent

10. Anaheim, 358,546, up 0.8 percent

Other Central Valley cities include:

• Hanford, 55,645, up 1.1 percent

• Merced, 84,464, up 0.6 percent

• Madera, 66,082, up 1.2 percent

• Stockton, 320,554, up 1.3 percent

• Modesto, 215,080, up 1.3 percent

• Visalia, 133,151, up 1.7 percent’

Group quarters account for about 2 percent of the total state population (842,000). This population includes college dorms (234,000), correctional facilities (215,000), military barracks (55,000), and other types of group housing (338,000). In 2016, group quarters grew by just under 7,000 people at about the same rate (0.83) as the state population. The college dormitory population grew slightly faster at 2.2 percent, local jails grew by 1.4 percent and state prisons grew by 1 percent. State prisons are generally located in remote areas. The result of increases or decreases in this population can account for significant changes in their respective locations. For example, state prison declines led the population decreases in Corcoran in Kings County and Crescent City in Del Note County, and drove population increases in Ione in Amador County, Adelanto in San Bernardino County and Susanville in Lassen County.

About the data

These population estimates are produced annually by the Department of Finance for use by local areas to calculate their annual appropriations limit. The State Controller’s Office uses Finance's estimates to update their population figures for distribution of state subventions to cities and counties, and to comply with various state codes. Additionally, estimates are used for research and planning purposes by federal, state, and local agencies, the academic community, and the private sector.

Changes to the housing stock are used in the preparation of the annual city population estimates. Estimated occupancy of housing units and the number of persons per household further determine population levels. Changes in city housing stock result from new construction, demolitions, housing unit conversions, and annexations. The sub-county population estimates are then adjusted to be consistent with independently produced county estimates.

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