By Raiza Giorgi

Of all the cities in Santa Barbara County, Solvang had the most growth in the 2020 Census with a 16.8% increase of 881 people, according to the data released in August by the U.S. Census Bureau. 

“The census data is confirming what residents who live in Solvang already know: We have a wonderful, safe, accepting, and involved community, who care about each other, our Valley, and our quality of life,” said Solvang Mayor Charlie Uhrig. “The numbers are also showing it’s a great place to retire, and to raise a family, as those two demographics showed the most growth.

“Obviously, we all have concerns on issues such as water, housing, and traffic, but overall Solvang is a great place to live. ‘Is this heaven? No, it’s Solvang.’”

Santa Barbara County grew 5.3% to more than 448,229 people in 2020, up from 423,947 in 2010, census data showed. 

Aside from Solvang’s growth, Guadalupe had the second biggest increase of 977 people, or a 13.9% increase, most likely due to the Pasadera housing development recently completed. That project added 800 housing units, according to the development’s website. 

Santa Maria had an increase of 10,150 people, or 10.2%; Goleta increased by 2,802 people or a 9.4% increase; Buellton grew by 333 people or 6.9%; Lompoc with 2,010 people or 4.7%; Carpinteria only grew 1.7% and Santa Barbara had the smallest increase of 0.3%. 

In the unincorporated areas, which includes the Santa Ynez, Los Olivos, Ballard, Los Alamos areas, there was an increase of 17,600 people. 

The biggest racial increases were in the Hispanic population making up 47% of the county’s population, an increase of 16%. The next largest population is Caucasian with 41.2% and Asian residents make up 29.5%. 

There was a 10% decrease in the Black population, of which residents now make up 1.4% of the county compared to 2010 numbers of 1.6%. 

Regionally, San Luis Obispo County saw an increase of 12,787 people or 4.7% and Ventura County saw an increase of 20,525 people or 2.5%. 

The state of California saw a growth of 2.2 million people or 6.1% increase and total population of 39,538,223 people. The largest county in California and the United States is Los Angeles County with 10,014,009 people. 

The United States population now totals 331,449,281 people for 2020, which is a 7.4% increase. The largest city in the country is New York City with 8.8 million people. 

To see more 2020 Census data visit