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Ceres, most Stanislaus County cities record population losses
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Fewer people are calling Ceres home, according to new population estimates released last week by the California Department of Finance.

Unlike neighboring Valley cities to the north and south that recorded large population increases over the past year, Ceres lost 376 residents to drop to 48,386. Turlock also saw a decrease – 203 fewer residents to bring Turlock’s population to 71,531, as of Jan. 1, 2022. Ceres’ immediate neighbor, Modesto lost 865 residents to drop to 217,880.

Ceres is now the 186th largest city in California out of 1,418 cities and towns.

Stanislaus County as a whole saw a loss of over 2,000 residents in 2021. Merced County, by contrast, was one of the top five counties in California to gain residents.

All Stanislaus County cities recorded population losses, except for Patterson which saw a 2.2 percent increase (531 residents) and Hughson which neither added or lost during the year. Hughson is estimated at a population of 7,495.

Two of the fastest growing cities in the state are located in San Joaquin County — Lathrop (13th largest numerical gain in the state) and Manteca (14th largest gain). In raw population gain, Lathrop added 1,947 residents and 1,864 additional residents now call Manteca home. But given Manteca is roughly three times larger in population, Lathrop’s additional residents translated into a 6.63 percent growth rate as opposed to Manteca’s 2.19 percent growth rate that made it California’s 25th fastest growing city in 2021.

Manteca has consistently been adding between 1,600 and 2,200 residents during the past seven years. Both Lathrop and Manteca are on pace to build more new housing units this year than they did in 2021.

In 2021, only 123 of the state’s 482 cities gained population. California’s population as a whole dipped slightly by 117,552 residents last year, bringing the state’s total to 39,185,605 people as of Jan. 1, 2022. The 0.3-percent decline represents a slowing compared to the 0.59-percent decline over the nine-month period between the April 2020 Census date and the year’s end.

The Northern San Joaquin Valley for the first time in at least two decades, if not longer, saw cities that dropped population as well.

Cities in the three-county Valley region that gained residents and their estimated population as of Jan. 1, 2022 are as follows:

• Tracy added 914 residents to increase to 94,538.

• Merced added 858 residents to increase to 89,058.

• Patterson added 531 residents to increase to 24,370.

• Los Banos added 471 residents to increase to 46,339.

• Lodi added 425 residents to increase to 66,570.

• Livingston added 70 residents to increase to 14,410.

Cities in the three-county Northern San Joaquin Valley region that lost residents and their estimated population as of Jan. 1, 2022 are as follows:

• Oakdale lost 39 residents to drop to 23,071.

• Waterford lost 72 residents to drop to 8,872.

• Escalon lost 77 residents to drop to 7,362.

• Newman lost 82 residents to drop to 12,244.

• Gustine lost 117 residents to drop to 5,981.

• Dos Palos lost 120 residents to drop to 5,715.

• Riverbank lost 152 to drop to 8,340.

• Ripon lost 183 residents to drop to 15,979.

• Turlock lost 203 residents to drop to 71,531.

• Atwater lost 367 residents to drop to 31,652.

• Stockton lost 1,395 residents to drop 322,489.

— Dennis Wyatt contributed to this report.