Stanislaus County is the fifth fastest growing county in California.
The Department of Finance on Dec. 19 indicated the county's population grew by 1.23 percent or 6,636 residents between July 1 of 2015 and 2016. Overall California grew by 295,000 residents for a 0.75 percent growth rate. There were an estimated 39.4 million people as of July 1 living in California. At the current pace, California will top 40 million people by mid-2018.
Rounding out the top five counties are Yolo at 1.97 percent, San Joaquin at 1.56 percent, Placer at 1.44 and Riverside at 1.35 percent.
Stanislaus had 545,008 residents on July 1. When San Joaquin County's 738,873 residents and Merced County's 272,610 residents are added to the mix there are 1,556,491 residents in the three-county Northern San Joaquin Valley region.
Stanislaus' was mostly attributed to natural increase - births exceeding deaths. There were 7,758 births in the county during the 12-month period as opposed to 4,379 deaths for a net natural gain of 3,379 residents.
The department reported the birth rate declined to 12.42 births per 1,000 population from 13.69 births per 1,000 in the 2010 census.
As the Baby Boomer generation ages the death rate has slowly increased to 6.71 deaths per 1,000 population compared to a rate of 6.26 in 2010.
The department says net migration added 70,000 persons to California last year. That includes all foreign immigrants regardless of legal status, residents who left the state to live abroad, and the balance of people who move to and from the California from within the United States.
Other highlights of the state's county population report include:
• The state's nine largest counties are Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Santa Clara, Alameda, Sacramento, and Contra Costa. Each has over one million residents. They represent 70 percent of California's population.
• Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Orange, and San Bernardino counties posted the highest numeric population gains and accounted for nearly half of the state's growth. Growth in these counties was due primarily to natural increase, although most of the counties had positive net migration as well.
• Although natural increase was a significant source of growth in the state, 14 counties experienced natural decrease (more deaths than births during the year) - Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, El Dorado, Lake, Mariposa, Modoc, Nevada, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Trinity, and Tuolumne.
• Alpine is the smallest county with 1,148 residents. That reflects a loss of nine residents since July 1, 2015.
• Los Angeles is the largest county at 10,229,245 residents accounting for 25.99 percent of the state's population. Los Angeles gained 43,758 residents.
Dennis Wyatt contributed to this report.