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Turlock records modest population growth
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There are 557 new residents calling Turlock home according to the population figures recently released by the California Department of Finance.

Turlock’s population grew by 0.8 percent between Jan. 1, 2011 and Jan. 1, 2012. Turlock came in as the third fastest growing city in Stanislaus County, tied with Oakdale, which had a growth of 168 people for 0.8 percent.

Hughson recorded the largest growth in Stanislaus County with a growth of 1.7 percent or 112 new residents. The increase gave Hughson a total population of 6,799.

The Stanislaus County cities with the least amount of population growth were Patterson and Waterford, which came in at 0.5 percent each.

As a whole, the population in Stanislaus County grew by 0.7 percent. Merced County had a total growth of 0.6 percent and San Joaquin County grew by 1 percent, according to the Department of Finance.

California’s population grew by almost 251,000 new residents in 2011 – a 0.7-percent growth rate – to total 37,679,000 as of Jan. 1.

These 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 payment population figures for distribution of state allocations to cities and counties, and to comply with various state codes. Additionally, estimates are used for research and planning purposes by federal, state, and local agencies, the academic community, and the private sector.

The 2012 report lists 482 California cities, of which 412 had gains in population, 68 lost population, and two experienced no change.

The City of Calipatria in Imperial County ranked as the fastest growing city in California, increasing by 4.2 percent. The bulk of the growth in Calipatria came from a reported increase of 286 inmates in Calipatria State Prison and a small increase in household population.

The next four fastest growing cities were California City in Kern County (3.7 percent), Winters in Yolo County (3.5 percent), Dinuba in Tulare County (3.4 percent), and Eastvale in Riverside County (2.8 percent). California City’s growth can be attributed to a reported increase of 392 inmates in the Federal Correctional Institution — California City. Winters, Dinuba, and Eastvale added a proportionally large number of new residents from recent housing increases.

The 2011 realignment of public safety programs resulted in the overall number of state prison inmates declining 14,535 to 138,956 inmates; while county jail populations rose 3,119 to 72,779. Federal prison populations in California rose 2,704 to 20,774 inmates statewide. The largest prison decline occurred in Delano (-1,713) in Kern County. Other significant state prison losses include Coalinga (-1,309) in Fresno County, Chowchilla (-1,138) in Madera County, Wasco (-887) in Kern County, and unincorporated Marin County (-784).

Los Angeles is California’s largest city with 3,825,297 people calling the City of Angels home. The city grew by 18,886 over the last year.

The incorporated city with the smallest population in the state is Vernon in Los Angeles County, which is home to 120 people.