Data Points

Population growth on the rise

(Photo by Joshua Sortino via Unsplash)

Robust growth is happening in at least five Bay Area counties, where the population increased at a rate of 8 percent or more, according to estimates by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Alameda County’s population grew by 10.4 percent, the highest of any county, while growth in both San Francisco and Contra Costa counties was above 9 percent. 

In six Bay Area counties, population growth between 2010 and 2018 outpaced the state, at 6.2 percent, and the nation, which grew at 6 percent

Here’s how the counties rank by growth in population over the 2010 to 2018 period. 

1
1. Alameda County — 10.4%
2
2. San Francisco — 9.7%
3
3. Contra Costa County — 9.6%
4
4. Santa Clara County — 8.8%
5
5. Solano County — 8%
6
6. San Mateo County — 7.1%
7
7. Sonoma County — 3.3%
8
8. Marin County — 2.9%
9
9. Napa County — 2.1%

1. Alameda County

10.4%

2. San Francisco

9.7%

3. Contra Costa County

9.6%

4. Santa Clara County

8.8%

5. Solano County

8%

6. San Mateo County

7.1%

7. Sonoma County

3.3%

8. Marin County

2.9%

9. Napa County

2.1%

“Broadly speaking, that’s in line with trends for several decades,” said John Goodwin, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and the Association of Bay Area Governments, two regional planning agencies. “This is a growing area.” 

But he said the population figures tell only part of the story. Job growth has been greater than population growth, creating pressure on the region’s housing market and transportation system. 

People looking for housing in the Bay Area either cannot find it or can’t afford it. So they are commuting from outside the area, causing increased regional congestion. 

SourceU.S. Census Bureau; Metropolitan Transportation Commission, Association of Bay Area Governments