The county’s total population grew from nearly 424,000 in 2010 to more than 448,200 in 2020, according to the census data. The county’s voting-age population (residents older than age 18) totaled 350,805 in the 2020 census.
The cities with the biggest increase in population were Solvang with a 16.8% increase of 881 people followed by Guadalupe with a 13.9% increase of 977 people and Santa Maria with a 10.2% increase of more than 10,150 people.
Goleta grew 9.4%, or an increase of 2,802 people; Buellton grew 6.9%, or 333 people; and Lompoc’s population increased 4.7%, or 2,010 people.
The cities of Carpinteria and Santa Barbara saw the smallest increases in population out of all the cities, with Carpinteria growing 1.7% and Santa Barbara growing 0.3%, according to the data.
There was an increase of more than 17,600 people throughout all of the county’s unincorporated areas.
The new census data also broke down the county’s racial demographics, showing that Hispanic or Latino residents make up the largest portion of the county’s total population at 47% — a nearly 16% increase from the 2010 census data. Hispanic or Latino residents also make up 41.7% of the county’s voting-age population.
White residents make up the next largest portion of the county’s population at 41.2%, but that population size decreased 9% from 2010. White residents make up nearly 46% of the county’s voting-age population.
The population of Asian county residents increased 29.5% from 2010, to 5.7% of the county’s total population in 2020. Asians make up 6.5% of the county’s voting-age population.
People who identified as two or more races increased 83.5% in 2020 to a total of 3.7% of the county’s population and 3.3% of the county’s voting-age population.
The population of Black or African-American residents in Santa Barbara County decreased 10.7% since the 2010 census, to 1.4% of the county’s total population in 2020 and 1.6% of the county’s voting-age population.
Individuals who identified “other” as their race made up 0.5% of the county’s total population, which is a 201% increase from 2010, according to the 2020 census data. Those residents also make up 0.5% of the county’s voting-age population.
The American Indian and Native Alaskan population decreased 6.1% since 2010, to 0.4% of the county’s total population and 0.4% of the county’s voting-age population.
The Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander population made up the smallest portion of the county at 0.1%, a decrease of 20.3% from 2010. That group also makes up 0.1% of the county’s voting-age population.
The 2020 census data also show that there are 158,279 total housing units across the county, which is a 3.6% increase from 2010. Of those housing units, more than 148,300 are occupied households, which is a 4.4% increase from 2010.
The number of vacant households decreased 7.5% to 9,926 in 2020, and the 2020 vacancy rate was 6.3%, according to the data.
A second set of the same 2020 census data will be released at the end of September in a more accessible, user-friendly format for the public on the U.S. Census Bureau’s website.