By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Northern SJ Valley adds 18,735 people
California should top 40M people sometime in 2019
POPILATION webart.jpg

The Northern San Joaquin Valley — San Joaquin, Stanislaus and Merced counties — was one of the fastest growing regions in California from July 2017 through June 2018.

The three-county 209 region had two of the 10 fastest growing counties. Merced was No. 6 with a 1.5 percent gain in population and San Joaquin County was No. 8 at 1.25 percent. Stanislaus County was ranked 18th in population growth at 0.76 percent.

The three Northern San Joaquin Valley counties added 18,735 residents as of July 1, 2017. That was just over 2,900 more than Ripon’s population of 15,847 on the first day of 2017. Just over 12 percent of the 2017-2018 population growth in the three counties was concentrated in Manteca and Lathrop that added a combined 2,980 residents. San Joaquin added 9,376 residents, Stanislaus 4,198, and Merced 4,161. 

The 209 as of July 1, the 209 had 1,594,661 residents with almost half or 759,186 residents in San Joaquin County. Stanislaus County was at 554,703 and Merced County at 280,772.

If the Northern San Joaquin Valley were a separate state it would rank 40th based on population. It would be ahead of Hawaii, New Hampshire, Maine, Rhode Island, Montana, Delaware, South Dakota, North Dakota, Alaska, Vermont and Wyoming plus the District of Columbia.

California now has

39,825,191 residents

The Department of Finance numbers released Thursday put California’s overall population on July 1 at 39,825,191 up 214,625 or 0.54 percent from the previous year. If the pace continues through June 30, California will break the 40 million in terms of population on July 1, 2018.

Three of the two 209 counties — San Joaquin and Stanislaus — bucked the statewide trend of more people leaving California moving in. California had 159,420 more people move out than into the state. San Joaquin County based on domestic and foreign migration had a net gain of 2,170 people while Merced gained 872. Stanislaus lost 742 residents. The numbers do not reflect in-state migration in or out of other California counties.

California as a whole had 193,710 more births than deaths. The three-county 209 region had 9,637 more births than death. The 209 region as a whole has a lower mortality rate than the state.

The lower morality rate is typically reflective of the average age of a county’s population. That would dovetail with studies that have shown San Joaquin County, as an example, is dropping in median age and will continue to do so for at least the next decade.

California’s counties range in size from 10.3 million in Los Angeles, which is larger than most states, to tiny Alpine with just 1,141 people.

1 in 4 Californians

live in LA County

The largest numeric increases were in the Southern California counties of Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Orange and San Bernardino. A little more than 1 of every 4 Californians reside in Los Angeles County. The top four counties for the biggest percentage jumps were Amador, Del Norte, Kings, and San Benito.

Fifteen counties shrank. Most of them are sparsely populated areas in far Northern California and the Sierra Nevada range. The counties that saw the biggest losses in the state — Sonoma and Napa — lost 2,207 and 714 residents respectively. The loss was blamed on people forced to move due to the devastating wildfires.

Nine counties with more than 1 million people each comprise 70 percent of the state’s population. They include the cities and suburbs of Los Angeles, San Diego and Sacramento as well as Silicon Valley and the East Bay outside San Francisco.

 The city population numbers will be released in May.

Previous state report

for city populations

The last report for cities based on population as of Jan. 1, 2017 showed that the fastest growing area in the Northern San Joaquin Valley is South San Joaquin County and the five cities whose economies are becoming more tied into the Bay Area via freeway umbilical cords with each passing year.

The cities of Manteca, Tracy, Lathrop, and Ripon added 4,464 residents in 2017. The four cities have a combined population of 214,013 or 1,679 less than Modesto’s 215,692 residents that rank as California’s 19th largest city. Stockton is the largest city in the Northern San Joaquin Valley and 13th statewide with 315,103 people.

Based on the May 2016 state report: 

Manteca added 1,996 residents last year breaking the 80,000 barrier for a population of 81,345 as of Jan. 1, 2018. That means Manteca’s population has essentially doubled in the past 28 years. The city had 40,773 residents in 1990. Manteca is six times larger than it was in 1970 when it had 13,284 residents — 553 less residents than Ripon’s current population of 15,847 residents.

Manteca added the second highest number of new residents in the Northern San Joaquin Valley with a 1,996 gain. It was topped only by Stockton that added 3,379 residents solidifying its spot as the largest city in the three counties at 315,103.

Stockton is the largest city in the 209 followed by Modesto at 215,693, Tracy at 92,553, Merced at 86,750 and Manteca fifth at 81,345.

Lathrop was the 13th fastest growing city in California percentage wise growing 3.8 percent by adding 884 residents. Crescent City topped the list with an annual growth rate of 6.7 percent.

In terms of percentage of population gain 12 of the top 100 cities in California for growth where in the Northern San Joaquin Valley. Lathrop was 13th, Hughson 14th, Dos Palos 19th, Livingston 35th, Manteca 40th, Los Banos 43rd, Oakdale 49th, Lodi 71st, Ripon 72nd, Atwater 75th, Tracy 83rd, and Gustine 88th.

Manteca is now the 112th largest city out of 482 statewide.

Manteca at is current growth rate will top 100,000 residents in 2027. If that happens, Manteca will have quadrupled in size in 47 years. The city’s population in 1980 was 23,150 residents or 1,118 less residents than Lathrop is at today at 24,268.

Lathrop at its current growth rate will top 36,000 residents in 2028.

Ripon at its current growth rate will top 20,000 residents in 2030.

The top 10 cities in the entire 209 region including valley and foothill cities are, in descending order, Stockton, Modesto, Tracy, Merced, Manteca, Turlock, Lodi, Ceres, Los Banos, and Atwater.


To contact Dennis Wyatt, email