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More Than 60,000 People Added to Metropolitan Bay Area

Keith Burbank (BCN)
Friday March 25, 2016 - 11:17:00 AM

The San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward metropolitan statistical area added the 11th biggest number of people between 2014 and 2015 among the nation's 381 MSAs, according to U.S. Census Bureau data released today.  

The metropolitan statistical area consists of Marin, San Francisco, Contra Costa, Alameda and San Mateo counties.  

The MSA added 60,152 people and was one of only 16 MSAs in the country to add more than 50,000 people.  

In percentage terms, population grew by 1.3 percent from 4,595,980 people to 4,656,132. 

The MSA is the 11th largest in the country, according to the Census data. 

The population of the MSA has been increasing because of an increase in the number of available jobs in the Bay Area over the past five to seven years, especially in technology and healthcare, Association of Bay Area Governments Senior Regional Planner Hing Wong said.  

The population growth is causing or exacerbating a couple of the area's challenges.  

Population has grown faster than the number of housing units, Wong said, leading to what some have called a housing crisis.  

Another challenge is the crowded transportation network, Wong said. BART, for example, has been breaking ridership records every year since 2012, BART spokesman Jim Allison said.  

That has led to some crowded trains.  

Between 2011 and 2015, average weekday ridership grew from 344,647 to 412,284, or 19.6 percent, according to Allison.  

During commute hours, the transit agency currently runs 24 trains per hour through the Transbay Tube, which is the tube's capacity, Allison said.  

Wong said officials have been talking about building another Transbay Tube because it's running at capacity.  

But he said a second tube is decades away, if it will be built at all.