Fastest-growing counties in California

Written by:
September 23, 2021
Daniel Orth // Flickr

Fastest-growing counties in California

From 2019 to 2020, the U.S. population grew by .35%, its slowest rate since 1900. Declining births, increasing deaths largely due to the graying Baby Boomer population, and a crackdown on immigration have contributed to many states seeing net population losses in recent years.

But in other pockets of the country, populations are growing. These shifts can be due to job opportunities, high quality of life, easy commutability to job centers, low rents, or any combination of these or other factors. Stacker compiled a list of the fastest-growing counties in California using data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Counties are ranked by the highest population growth from 2010 to 2020.

A county typically sees population growth as a “bedroom community” (a municipality with an atypically large commuting population) to a large city. These communities are typically quieter than their feeder cities, offer lower rents and a higher quality of living, and are remote enough to be immune to the feeder city’s crime, traffic, and crowds. Keep reading to see if your home county made the list.

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Kenneth Green // Wikimedia Commons

#50. Plumas County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -602
--- #2,255 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -3.0%
--- #52 among counties in California, #2,009 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 19,790
--- #51 largest county in California, #1,827 largest county nationwide
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Bobak Ha'Eri // Wikimedia Commons

#49. Tuolumne County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -454
--- #2,124 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -0.8%
--- #48 among counties in California, #1,691 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 55,620
--- #43 largest county in California, #926 largest county nationwide
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Canva

#48. Sierra County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -130
--- #1,727 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -3.9%
--- #54 among counties in California, #2,145 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 3,236
--- #57 largest county in California, #2,948 largest county nationwide
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Susan Popielaski // Wikimedia Commons

#47. Alpine County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: 28
--- #1,530 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +2.4%
--- #46 among counties in California, #1,235 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 1,204
--- #58 largest county in California, #3,098 largest county nationwide
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Chuck Abbe // Wikimedia Commons

#46. Inyo County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: 582
--- #1,194 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +3.2%
--- #40 among counties in California, #1,133 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 19,016
--- #52 largest county in California, #1,870 largest county nationwide
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CleanWater17 // Wikimedia Commons

#45. Colusa County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: 674
--- #1,165 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +3.2%
--- #39 among counties in California, #1,128 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 21,839
--- #50 largest county in California, #1,721 largest county nationwide
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Trance addict // Wikimedia Commons

#44. Glenn County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: 982
--- #1,085 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +3.5%
--- #38 among counties in California, #1,089 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 28,917
--- #48 largest county in California, #1,459 largest county nationwide
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Armona // Wikicommons

#43. Kings County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: 1,364
--- #1,001 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +0.9%
--- #47 among counties in California, #1,438 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 152,486
--- #33 largest county in California, #445 largest county nationwide
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Bobak Ha'Eri // Wikimedia Commons

#42. Amador County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: 2,147
--- #879 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +5.6%
--- #31 among counties in California, #882 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 40,474
--- #46 largest county in California, #1,172 largest county nationwide
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Almonroth // Wikimedia Commons

#41. Trinity County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: 2,411
--- #837 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +17.6%
--- #3 among counties in California, #242 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 16,112
--- #54 largest county in California, #2,028 largest county nationwide
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Frank Schulenburg // Wikimedia Commons

#40. Tehama County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: 3,254
--- #747 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +5.2%
--- #34 among counties in California, #913 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 65,829
--- #41 largest county in California, #815 largest county nationwide
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Cory Maylett // Wikimedia Commons

#39. Humboldt County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: 3,405
--- #734 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +2.6%
--- #45 among counties in California, #1,209 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 136,463
--- #35 largest county in California, #476 largest county nationwide
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CFang // Wikimedia Commons

#38. Lake County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: 3,792
--- #707 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +5.9%
--- #29 among counties in California, #853 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 68,163
--- #40 largest county in California, #783 largest county nationwide
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Stan Shebs // Wikicommons

#37. Napa County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: 3,968
--- #691 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +3.0%
--- #43 among counties in California, #1,159 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 138,019
--- #34 largest county in California, #470 largest county nationwide
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Frank Schulenburg // Wikimedia Commons

#36. Nevada County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: 4,055
--- #686 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +4.1%
--- #37 among counties in California, #1,016 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 102,241
--- #36 largest county in California, #595 largest county nationwide
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Binksternet // Wikimedia Commons

#35. Mendocino County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: 4,114
--- #682 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +4.7%
--- #35 among counties in California, #969 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 91,601
--- #38 largest county in California, #651 largest county nationwide
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Doug Kerr // Wikicommons

#34. Shasta County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: 5,249
--- #616 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +3.0%
--- #42 among counties in California, #1,158 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 182,155
--- #30 largest county in California, #366 largest county nationwide
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Ray Bouknight // Wikicommons

#33. Sutter County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: 6,213
--- #579 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +6.7%
--- #27 among counties in California, #792 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 99,633
--- #37 largest county in California, #609 largest county nationwide
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Public Domain

#32. Madera County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: 8,517
--- #507 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +5.8%
--- #30 among counties in California, #864 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 156,255
--- #32 largest county in California, #432 largest county nationwide
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Michael Patrick // Wikimedia Commons

#31. San Benito County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: 9,717
--- #490 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +17.8%
--- #2 among counties in California, #236 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 64,209
--- #42 largest county in California, #840 largest county nationwide
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U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District // Wikimedia Commons

#30. Yuba County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: 10,415
--- #469 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +14.6%
--- #5 among counties in California, #328 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 81,575
--- #39 largest county in California, #703 largest county nationwide
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Cbl62 // Wikicommons

#29. Imperial County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: 11,650
--- #443 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +6.9%
--- #25 among counties in California, #772 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 179,702
--- #31 largest county in California, #374 largest county nationwide
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DimiTalen // Wikimedia Commons

#28. El Dorado County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: 12,132
--- #431 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +6.8%
--- #26 among counties in California, #786 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 191,185
--- #29 largest county in California, #351 largest county nationwide
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Kglavin // Wikimedia Commons

#27. Marin County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: 13,720
--- #405 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +5.5%
--- #32 among counties in California, #888 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 262,321
--- #26 largest county in California, #267 largest county nationwide
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Aaronbrick // Wikicommons

#26. Santa Cruz County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: 13,960
--- #397 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +5.4%
--- #33 among counties in California, #891 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 270,861
--- #25 largest county in California, #258 largest county nationwide
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Fred Hsu // Wikicommons

#25. Sonoma County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: 14,816
--- #382 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +3.1%
--- #41 among counties in California, #1,139 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 488,863
--- #17 largest county in California, #147 largest county nationwide
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Basar // Wikicommons

#24. San Luis Obispo County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: 16,847
--- #359 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +6.3%
--- #28 among counties in California, #821 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 282,424
--- #23 largest county in California, #248 largest county nationwide
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Epolk // Wikimedia Commons

#23. Yolo County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: 19,985
--- #331 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +10.2%
--- #17 among counties in California, #548 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 216,403
--- #27 largest county in California, #317 largest county nationwide
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Mark Miller // Wikimedia Commons

#22. Merced County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: 30,503
--- #247 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +12.2%
--- #10 among counties in California, #429 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 281,202
--- #24 largest county in California, #250 largest county nationwide
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Naotake Murayama // Wikicommons

#21. Monterey County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: 31,600
--- #238 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +7.8%
--- #22 among counties in California, #712 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 439,035
--- #21 largest county in California, #163 largest county nationwide
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Pixabay

#20. Santa Barbara County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: 32,178
--- #233 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +7.7%
--- #23 among counties in California, #715 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 448,229
--- #20 largest county in California, #160 largest county nationwide
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#19. Ventura County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: 34,763
--- #216 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +4.3%
--- #36 among counties in California, #998 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 843,843
--- #13 largest county in California, #75 largest county nationwide
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Public Domain

#18. Stanislaus County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: 43,196
--- #176 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +8.5%
--- #21 among counties in California, #653 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 552,878
--- #16 largest county in California, #127 largest county nationwide
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#17. Solano County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: 43,449
--- #174 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +10.6%
--- #15 among counties in California, #523 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 453,491
--- #19 largest county in California, #159 largest county nationwide
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#16. Tulare County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: 43,713
--- #171 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +10.2%
--- #16 among counties in California, #547 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 473,117
--- #18 largest county in California, #152 largest county nationwide
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Craig Howell // Wikimedia Commons

#15. San Mateo County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: 60,115
--- #125 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +8.5%
--- #20 among counties in California, #647 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 764,442
--- #15 largest county in California, #86 largest county nationwide
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Doug Olson // Wikimedia Commons

#14. Placer County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: 68,262
--- #107 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +20.3%
--- #1 among counties in California, #185 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 404,739
--- #22 largest county in California, #178 largest county nationwide
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Canva

#13. San Francisco County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: 84,793
--- #85 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +10.7%
--- #14 among counties in California, #513 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 873,965
--- #12 largest county in California, #66 largest county nationwide
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nickchapman // Wikicommons

#12. Kern County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: 93,542
--- #69 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +11.5%
--- #11 among counties in California, #469 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 909,235
--- #11 largest county in California, #62 largest county nationwide
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David Jordan // Wikicommons

#11. Fresno County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: 99,824
--- #64 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +11.0%
--- #13 among counties in California, #497 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 1,008,654
--- #10 largest county in California, #47 largest county nationwide
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LPS.1 // Wikicommons

#10. San Joaquin County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: 105,620
--- #54 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +15.7%
--- #4 among counties in California, #288 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 779,233
--- #14 largest county in California, #84 largest county nationwide
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MARELBU // Wikimedia Commons

#9. Contra Costa County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: 141,118
--- #39 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +13.8%
--- #8 among counties in California, #356 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 1,165,927
--- #9 largest county in California, #38 largest county nationwide
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#8. San Bernardino County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: 176,367
--- #34 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +8.8%
--- #19 among counties in California, #629 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 2,181,654
--- #5 largest county in California, #14 largest county nationwide
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#7. Sacramento County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: 189,911
--- #29 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +13.6%
--- #9 among counties in California, #367 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 1,585,055
--- #8 largest county in California, #24 largest county nationwide
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Uladzik Kryhin // Shutterstock

#6. Santa Clara County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: 196,863
--- #26 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +11.3%
--- #12 among counties in California, #477 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 1,936,259
--- #6 largest county in California, #18 largest county nationwide
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Jennifer Williams // Wikimedia Commons

#5. Alameda County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: 204,373
--- #25 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +13.8%
--- #7 among counties in California, #351 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 1,682,353
--- #7 largest county in California, #21 largest county nationwide
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Hollywood // Wikimedia Commons

#4. Orange County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: 221,464
--- #21 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +7.5%
--- #24 among counties in California, #732 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 3,186,989
--- #3 largest county in California, #6 largest county nationwide
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BDS2006 // Wikimedia

#3. Los Angeles County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: 255,753
--- #19 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +2.6%
--- #44 among counties in California, #1,203 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 10,014,009
--- #1 largest county in California, #1 largest county nationwide
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SD Dirk // Flickr

#2. San Diego County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: 276,166
--- #15 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +9.1%
--- #18 among counties in California, #605 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 3,298,634
--- #2 largest county in California, #5 largest county nationwide
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Daniel Orth // Flickr

#1. Riverside County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: 308,721
--- #10 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +14.6%
--- #6 among counties in California, #329 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 2,418,185
--- #4 largest county in California, #10 largest county nationwide

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