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Population Rises while Houses Sit Empty

The population in Watsonville and in the county have gone up over the last year. See all the numbers here.

The California Department of Finance released new census numbers this week, showing steady population growth across the state over the last year. The influx of people was equally reflected here in Santa Cruz County. 

Statewide, the population grew an estimated 0.7 percent from January 1, 2011 to January 1, 2012, increasing by approximately 251,000 people up to a total of 37,679,000.

Locally, Santa Cruz's population showed the largest growth, increasing by 1.2 percent. According to the Department of Finance's new estimates, Santa Cruz is now has the 138th largest population in California followed by Watsonville (169th), Scotts Valley (354th) and Capitola (375th). See the breakdown of our local population growth in the chart below.

Location Jan. 1, 2011 Population Jan. 1, 2012 Population Percent Change Capitola 9,923 9,981 0.6 Santa Cruz 61,245 61,955 1.2 Scotts Valley 11,581 11,641 0.5 Watsonville 51,226 51,611 0.8

Now with a total estimated population of 262,382, Santa Cruz Crounty has 104,476 households, 9.69 percent of which are vacant, according to a Department of Finance estimate. That puts 2.665 people per housing unit across the county. 

To see the rest of the population estimates for California, click here and scroll down to the "What's New" section. For more on Watsonville demographics, .

Any thoughts on the population growth? How about all those empty housing units? Tell us in the comments!

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