Stockton officially breaks the 300,000 population mark

After teetering on the edge for a few years, Stockton has officially cracked the 300,000 population mark. According to newly-released California Department of Finance population estimates for 2014, Stockton’s population now stands at 300,899. This represents a 1.1% increase over last year’s population estimate (297,757). Here’s a look at the numbers:

Stockton, California. Population: 300,899

Stockton, California. Population: 300,899

–          Stockton remains the 13th largest city in California, just behind Riverside

–          Stockton’s overall increase of just over 3,000 residents ranks as the 13th most in the state

–          However, the city’s rate of growth (1.06% without rounding) is only good enough for 114th place

–          For county perspective, Stockton’s rate of growth is faster than Tracy and Lodi (0.8 and 0.7), but lower than Manteca and Lathrop (1.9 and 2.7)

–          Overall, San Joaquin County grew at 1.8% to 710,731 total residents

–          The fastest growing city in California is McFarland in Kern County which grew at 8.9%. At the other end, Avenal in King County shrunk by 6.5%

–          California as a whole grew by 0.9%, adding 356,000 new residents, roughly the size of Bakersfield


Though not a huge jump, officially surpassing the 300,000 population threshold represents a symbolic milestone for the city, which unofficially passed this threshold years ago. As many know, Stockton’s official population estimate does not include unincorporated areas of the city, meaning Stockton’s actual population is understated. Areas such as Lincoln Village, Colonial Heights and Country Club combine to make Stockton’s real population closer to 350,000.

Nevertheless, it’s nice to finally top 300,000—and we’re still growing. Many don’t realize it, but that makes Stockton as big as or bigger than cities like Pittsburgh, Orlando, Cincinnati, Buffalo, and Salt Lake City.  We live in a pretty big city, let’s start thinking like one.


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Categories: Community Commentary

Author:David A. Garcia

David A. Garcia created SCL in March of 2012. Garcia is a Stockton native with a background in urban policy and planning, holding a Bachelor's Degree from UCLA as well as a Master's Degree in Public Policy from the Johns Hopkins Institute for Policy Studies. He currently serves as the Policy Director at the UC Berkeley Terner Center for Housing Innovation. David was also COO at Ten Space, a real estate development firm focused exclusively on Downtown Stockton, and continues to advise on their projects. Prior to that, he worked three years as a researcher/analyst for a Congressional research agency in Washington, DC. The views expressed on this site are entirely of the author's

One Comment on “Stockton officially breaks the 300,000 population mark”

  1. Jon Seisa
    May 7, 2014 at 11:30 am #

    Good for Stockton. The unincorporated areas certainly do make the city larger in population than Riverside (as well as San Bernardino). Stockton is mentioned in this 1/29/2014 article at Newgeography about 2042 metropolitan population projections assembled by United States Conference of Mayors (USCM)…

    “USCM anticipates that the number of major metropolitan areas – those over 1,000,000 population –- will rise from 51 in 2012 to 70 in 2042 (Note). The additional 19 major metropolitan areas range from Honolulu, which should exceed the million threshold next year, to Colorado Springs. California would add four new major metropolitan areas, including Fresno, Bakersfield, and Stockton from the San Joaquin Valley and Oxnard, which is adjacent to Los Angeles. Texas would add two, McAllen and El Paso, as would Florida (Cape Coral and Sarasota) and South Carolina (Columbia and Charleston).”

    The article defines a trend of accelerated national growth shifting towards the West (35.8%) and the South (51.9%).

    But the “California Dream” comes with a caveat, according to Newgeography:

    “It is probably far too much to expect any major material progress in California, with a business climate so colorfully dismissed by The Economist in its current edition (see The Not So Golden State:

    Apparently, this is confirmed in this week’s dismal announcement that the Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. (TMS) of North American Toyota sales, marketing, and distribution subsidiary devoted to the U.S. market which employs 3,929 marketing and sales personnel from the Los Angeles Basin and a long 50-year tenant located in Torrance, CA, is relocating its entire operation to more business-friendly Texas, and this decline in jobs (including peripheral community support jobs, services and local vendors) seems to parallel the USCM study regarding the slowing growth for LA, one of the two current primary over 10 million population national metros (besides New York) – “Los Angeles, a national growth leader for a century, which would grow at only a 0.4 percent annual rate”…

    Toyota’s CEO Jim Lentz spinned the announcement as logistics consolidation rather than placing blame on CA’s business over-regulations and over-taxation, and the shocking secrecy of the move withheld from its very own employees is a telltale sign of concealment of another rationale. After the announcement, even shell-shocked Torrance Mayor Frank Scotto lamented that Sacramento and Governor Brown could do a lot better to equip California cities with the right tools and policies to attract and keep major multinational business tenants: California drove Toyota out of state: Torrance Mayor

    “California drove Toyota out of state: Torrance Mayor”:

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