FAIRFIELD — Census 2010 and the related American Community Survey provides a numeric portrait of a Solano County that is changing.
To begin with, there’s the county’s total population. It has 413,344 residents, compared to 394,542 in 2000. That’s an additional 18,802 residents, enough to fill a city the size of Dixon.
But for Solano County, that marks a big slowdown. The county for decades routinely added far more residents than that, with such forces as the World War II-era influx at military bases and the rush for cheaper suburban housing fueling its growth. One has to go back to the 1930s to find a slower growth decade,
The county added 54,121 residents during the 1990s, 105,218 residents during the 1980s, 65,262 residents during the 1970s, 35,344 residents during the 1960s, 29,764 residents during the 1950s and 55,715 residents during the 1940s. Then comes the 1930s, when the county added only 8,284 residents. But then, the county only had about 40,000 residents in 1930, so this number marked a large percentage increase.
That’s what the Great Recession did to Solano County’s growth rate.
Meanwhile, the county’s poverty rate grew from 8.3 percent in 2000 to 10.4 percent in 2010, the highest rate since the 1960s. More than 41,000 residents live in poverty. That too is a result of the Great Recession.
The county’s population is 49.9 percent male and 50.1 percent female, a statistical even split. That’s virtually the same for California as a whole.
Solano County’s population is 51 percent white, 14.7 percent black, 14.6 percent Asian, 0.9 percent native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, 0.8 percent Native American or Alaska native, 10.5 percent some other race and 7.6 percent two or more races.
But there’s another way to look at the numbers. The census shows 24 percent are Hispanic or Latino of any race and 76 percent are non-Hispanic or Latino. Of the latter population, 40.8 percent are white, 14.2 percent are black, 14.3 percent are Asian, 0.8 percent are native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander,0 .5 percent are Native American, 5.1 percent are two or more races and 0.4 percent are some other race.
County residents have an average commute time to work of 29.5 minutes, compared to 26.9 minutes for California. Vehicles are the preferred means of transportation, with 91 percent of commuters traveling in cars, trucks or vans and 76 percent of them driving alone.
The county’s population is aging, with 11.3 percent of residents over age 64. That compares to 9.5 percent in that age group in 2000, 8.2 percent in 1990, 7.5 percent in 1980, 6.7 percent in 1970, 5.9 percent in 1960 and 4.9 percent in 1950.
Local and regional transportation officials have pointed to this aging population when talking about designing neighborhoods with more mass transit options.
The county has 503 people per square mile, compared to 239.1 for California as a whole. Still, many parts of the state have far denser populations than Solano. San Francisco County has 17,180 people per square mile.
Reach Barry Eberling at 427-6929 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/beberlingdr.