Recent population statistics show Sonoma's population increasing at a slower rate than the already stagnated county growth.
Between Jan 1 and Dec. 31, Sonoma County's population increased less than a half percent – rising up to 487,011, according to statistics obtained by the Santa Rosa Press Democrat.
Sonoma– along with Cloverdale, Cotati and Rohnert Park – had the smallest growth of any Sonoma County City, just .1 percent.
Economists blame the stagnant growth on the poor economy, which is lowering the immigration rates of ethnic populations.
“The bottom line is people are still reeling from the recession,” Robert Eyler, head of the Center for Regional and Economic Analysis at Sonoma State University, told the Santa Rosa Press Democrat. “You're seeing people staying in one place"
But Sonoma's growth remains slow even in long-term estimations. Population predictions released by the Association of Bay Area Governments in Plan Bay Area anticipate Sonoma will grow just 12 percent by 2040 – the second lowest growth of any North Bay municipality.
Though the statistics, released in conjunction with the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, are still in draft form, the final version of the plan will create recommendations for future housing growth.
Currently, Sonoma is slated for just 3 percent more housing over the next 27 years – an increase of 170 units.
Are you in favor of such slow growth? Overpopulation leads to a decrease in municipal offerings, but growth – especially of housing units – spurs the economy and can lead to job and business growth.