San Joaquin County’s economic growth — judged by incoming investments — is the sixth strongest among California’s 58 counties.

Financial technology firm Smart Asset analyzed growth domestic product, the number of new businesses established as well as new construction permits issued per 1,000 homes to determine the top 10 counties in California.

Adjusted for inflation, investments added $593 million to San Joaquin County’s gross domestic product. It is a direct result of a 6.7 percent growth in new businesses over the past three years as well as significant overall growth in housing and business park constriction.

If reflects the fact in 2020 San Joaquin County had two cities in the over 30,000 population category — Tracy and Manteca — that tied for the third largest residential gain in California. Both cities grew 3.1 percent.

The state Department of Finance data had Manteca gaining 2,519 residents and Tracy 2,740 residents.

Lathrop in 2020 was the fastest growing city of any size in the state with a population gain of 6.3 percent thanks to 1,697 new residents.

Ripon was the sixth fastest growing city of any size in California with a population gain of 3.0 percent thanks to 480 new residents to reach 16,292.

Housing growth alone doesn’t reflect a strong economy.

For that there needs to be strong gains in new businesses being established.

That trend was noted by Manteca Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Joann Beattie last month.

The chamber has seen a surge in membership due to business start-ups. Some are brick and mortar but many are home based as the pandemic accelerated the trend of people in the workforce opting to strike out on their own or else augment income.

The Smart Asset analysis catches the trends that are not as obvious as the huge rush by companies to site e-commerce centers as well as hybrid distribution centers for brick and mortar stores plus online sales.

A number of the nation’s largest industrial developers of structures used for distribution centers and business parks are building square footage in Tracy, Lathrop, Manteca, and Stockton.

The firms include ProLogis, Panattoni Development Co., Catellus, CenterPoint, and KPRS that consistently rank in the Top 20 of industrial developers.

They specialize in constructing various sizes of distribution centers — some in excess of 1 million square feet — they lease to concerns such as Amazon, Penske, Wayfair and others.

Often the buildings are sold to investment concerns such as insurance companies for their portfolios.