MODESTO -- Stanislaus County's population edged up less than 1 percent in 2012, primarily because births and immigration offset the large number of people moving out of the county.
Stanislaus reached 521,726 residents last year, which was 3,769 more than in 2011. That's a 0.7 percent increase, according to just-released U.S. Census Bureau counts.
More than twice as many babies were born last year as there were deaths in the county, which created what the Census Bureau considers a "natural increase" in population.
Stanislaus, however, had 1,200 more residents move out of the county than move into the county from other parts of America. That domestic migration was counterbalanced, in part, by an estimated 790 immigrants who moved in from abroad.
Merced and Tuolumne counties also had more residents move out than move in, even after foreign immigrants were counted.
San Joaquin County was different. It had nearly three times more people move in from abroad as it lost to domestic moves, gaining population from migration and natural increases.
The opposite was true in Tuolumne, Calaveras and Mariposa counties, which all lost population last year.
Tuolumne, for instance, had more deaths than births, and far more people moved out than moved in. The county lost about 1.3 percent of its population from 2011 to 2012, dropping to about 54,000 residents. Fewer people call Tuolumne home now than did in 2000, as the population has steadily declined the past several years.