By Kenneth Harwood

Solvang Chamber of Commerce

Santa Barbara County grew by 3,150 people in the year from July 1, 2017, to June 30, 2018. Natural increase (births minus deaths) provided 2,181 of these residents, while net migration (arrivers minus leavers) made up the other 969.

Natural growth was 69 percent of the total, and net migration 31 percent. 

Santa Barbara County’s population grew by 3,150 people, or 0.7 percent, from July 2017 to June 2018.

The total population of Santa Barbara County was 450,138, making the rate of growth 0.70 percent for the year. California grew 0.54 percent in that year, putting Santa Barbara County among the faster-growing places in the state. 

Santa Barbara County lost 460 people in net migration with other places in the United States. Net migration with other countries produced a gain of 1,429. 

California seemed to have attracted the well-educated and wealthy, because the cost of housing was especially high here. Those who left the state tended to include retirees who sought lower costs.

Economic consequences for people who were born in Santa Barbara County often depended upon a range of variables, including interest in remaining here, family history, economic cycles, and chance.   

For more information, go online to the California Department of Finance, Demographic Research Unit, news release of Dec. 21, 2018, on growth rates. Characteristics of those who move to and from California were described by Margot Roosevelt in the Santa Barbara News-Press on Dec. 23, 2018, page A4.


Dr. Kenneth Harwood is the economist for the Solvang Chamber of Commerce.