Santa Maria still biggest city in SB County

Although population growth has slowed, Santa Maria is still the biggest city in Santa Barbara County with 90,333 residents.

The annual California Department of Finance population report showed Santa Maria’s population only rose 0.6 percent in the past year.

The fastest-growing city in Santa Barbara County was Buellton, which grew 3 percent to 4,663 people. Unincorporated areas of the county grew 2.2 percent to 141,774 residents.

The estimates, released each May, cover the 2006 calendar year and are used by the state to determine annual funding appropriations for cities and counties.

The population for the city of Santa Barbara was estimated at 89,456, also a 0.6 percent increase over last year.