Merced County grew by roughly 3,000 people from 2009 to 2010, according to new estimates from the state Department of Finance.
As of Jan. 1, the departments Demographic Research Unit estimated that Merced County had 258,495, an increase of 1.1 percent over the previous years figure of 255,591. The city of Atwater grew by the largest percentage in Merced County, with 474 more people for a 1.7 percent jump.
The same estimates showed the city of Merceds population climbed by 0.9 percent with 712 additional residents. Mariposa County decreased in population by 0.3 percent. The annual estimates are used for distributing state funding to cities and counties and are derived from measures such as building permits, births, deaths, school enrollment and migration data. Next year, they will be brought into line with the results of the 2010 Census now under way.