The fastest growing area in the Northern San Joaquin Valley is the South County and the four 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 4,241 residents in 2016. That’s based on estimates released by the state Department of Finance on Monday. The four cities have a combined population of 205,379 or 9,701 less than Modesto’s 215,080 residents that ranks as California’s 19th largest city. Stockton is the largest city in the Northern San Joaquin Valley and 13th statewide with 320,564 people.
The three county Northern San Joaquin Valley region — San Joaquin, Stanislaus and Merced counties — added 20,900 residents. Stockton added 4,090 and Modesto grew by 2,797.
The three-county region has a combined population of 1,569,590. 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 as a whole is still by far the most populous state in the union with 39,524,000 residents having grown 0.85 percent in 2016 to grow the population by 335,000. At the current rate, the Golden State will surpass 40 million residents in 2019.
uLathrop was the fifth fastest growing city in California percentage wide growing 4.2 percent by adding 936 residents. Menlo Park topped the list with an annual growth rate of 5.5 percent.
uIn terms of actual residents added four of the top 50 cities for growth where in the Northern San Joaquin Valley. Stockton was 10th with 4,090 new residents, Modesto was 20th with 2,793 more residents, Manteca was 33rd with 2,025 more residents, and Tracy was 48th with 1,429 more residents, Los Angeles topped the list growing by 42,470 as it broke the 4 million mark with a population of 4,041,707.
uManteca is now the 112th largest city out of 482 statewide.
uManteca at is current growth rate will top 80,000 residents in 2018. If that happens, Manteca will have doubled in size in 18 years. The city’s population in 1990 was 40,773 residents.
uLathrop at its current growth rate will top 25,000 residents in 2018.
uRipon at its current growth rate will top 17,000 residents in 2020.
uSan Joaquin County is the fifth fastest growing county in the state expanding by 1.5 percent to 746,868 residents. It will break the 750,000 population mark this year. Of the county’s overall population all but 149,673 are inside the city limits of the seven incorporated cities. Population in unincorporated areas grew by 1.1 percent or 1,647 people in 2016.
uThe 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.
Other highlights from a state Department of Finance press release based on the population growth is as follows:
uGrowth 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.
uThe five cities with the largest percentage population decline were all due to group quarters loss via correctional facilities, military barracks, or college dorms. The remaining 75 cities that had population declines were all below one percent loss.
uAmador 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.
uCalifornia’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).
uMulti-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).
uRanked by net housing gains, Los Angeles (16,574), San Francisco (5,114), San Diego (4,876), Irvine (3,460), and San Jose (2,750) added the most housing units in 2016.
uOf the ten largest cities in California, Sacramento had the largest percentage gain in population (1.4 percent, or 6,900).
uMenlo 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.
uA 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.
uGroup 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.
The 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.