Porterville was the fastest-growing city in California last year, and Clovis, which was one of the fastest-growing cities in 2014, cracked the top 10 again.
But the two cities were in the top 10 of cities above 30,000 for different reasons.
Porterville’s population grew by more than 3,000 residents, but about 90 percent of them were annexed into the city from six county islands during 2015, according to figures from the Tulare County Local Agency Formation Commission.
Residents of county areas just beyond the city limits wanted dependable utility services, and Porterville pledged to hook them up to city water if they consented to becoming residents, said Ben Giuliani, executive director of Tulare County’s Local Agency Formation Commission, which oversees community boundaries.
By contrast, nearly all the 2.6 percent growth in Clovis was from new homes, and much of that housing increase was in the Loma Vista neighborhood near Clovis East High School, said City Manager Robert Woolley.
Clovis’s population is 108,039, moving it to the state’s 64th largest city from 67th, according to state records.
“We’re anticipating the growth to continue at even a higher pace for the balance of this year,” Woolley said. “There’s a lot of dirt being moved in Clovis right now.”
The city, he said, also is focusing on job growth, noting the announcement of the California Health Sciences University proposal on 70 acres north of Clovis Community Medical Center.
We’re anticipating the growth to continue at even a higher pace for the balance of this year. There’s a lot of dirt being moved in Clovis right now.
Robert Woolley, Clovis city manager
Work also is continuing on the new northwest Clovis plan, north of Shepherd and east of Willow avenues, the city’s next large growth area. Woolley said new housing subdivisions could begin there as early as next year.
California’s overall population moved to about 39 million after growing in 2015 by 348,000 residents.
Fresno remains the state’s fifth-largest city with 520,453 residents, a 0.8 percent population rise last year. Also among the fastest-growing towns in Fresno County were Parlier and Sanger, which each grew by 2.4 percent. Other Central Valley cities that grew at least 2 percent last year included: Corcoran, 2.1 percent; Lemoore, 2 percent; Dos Palos, 2.2 percent.
Visalia expanded by 1.4 percent to 130,231 residents. Visalia is California’s 45th-largest city. In Kings County, Hanford stayed nearly flat, with 0.9 percent growth to 55,840. Madera grew by 1 percent to 65,474.
Two cities that lost population, Avenal and Chowchilla, were most significantly affected by their state prisons, whose inmates are considered residents in the communities where they are imprisoned.
Avenal’s population fell to 12,373, or by 5 percent. Avenal State Prison’s population dropped by 778. Chowchilla, which has men’s and women’s prisons, lost 415 inmates. Its population fell to 18,547, or 1.3 percent.
Mariposa County also fell by 0.1 percent, dropping to 18,159 residents.