Nevada County population climbs a bit |

Nevada County population climbs a bit

Nevada County’s population edged up slightly last year, with Grass Valley recording the fastest growth rate among the three incorporated cities, according to a new state report.

There were some 89,600 residents in the county as of last year, a .4 percent gain over the year before, the state Department of Finance reported.

Grass Valley was home to 9,585 people, marking a 3.7 percent gain, according to Linda Gage, chief of the Department of Finance’s Demographic Research Unit.

On the other hand, Nevada City’s estimated population remained unchanged at 2,890.

Truckee grew by 1.6 percent and was home to 12,450 residents, Gage reported.

The state figures for Nevada County are at odds with the population estimate by the U.S. Census Bureau, which reported in March that the county had 91,000 residents.

The two agencies use different methods for calculating population.

The Census Bureau, for instance, uses data such as building permits issued, Gage said. The state uses actual housing starts and completions – which Gage said is more accurate – and data from the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Overall, California’s population jumped 1.7 percent last year, to nearly 33.8 million, Gage said.

Kings was the fastest growing county last year, because of prison expansion. Its population climbed more than 6 percent, to 128,300. Placer County also continued to its rapid population expansion, with a nearly 3 percent growth rate.

Sierra was among a handful of rural counties with small population losses, according to the report.

Meanwhile, cities continued to grow. The state reported that nearly 81 percent of California residents live in incorporated communities, up from just over 75 percent in 1970.

And 56 of the state’s 471 cities now have at least 100,000 residents, compared to 20 cities with those numbers in 1970, according to a report on city and county population growth last year.

Downey, with 101,100 residents, is the latest city to reach that mark.

One fourth of the state’s residents live in just eight cities: Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, San Francisco, Long Beach, Fresno, Oakland and Sacramento, the report said.

Los Angeles remains the state’s largest city, with nearly 3.8 million residents, up 1.8 percent in 1998.

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