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Mono County, California facts for kids

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Mono County, California
County of Mono
Mono Lake, the dominant geographical feature in Mono County
Mono Lake, the dominant geographical feature in Mono County
Official seal of Mono County, California
Official logo of Mono County, California
Location in the state of California
Location in the state of California
Country United States
State California
Region Eastern California
Founded 1861
Named for Mono Lake, which is derived from Monachi, a Yokutsan name for native peoples of the Sierra Nevada
County seat Bridgeport
Largest city Mammoth Lakes (population and area)
 • Total 3,132 sq mi (8,110 km2)
 • Land 3,049 sq mi (7,900 km2)
 • Water 83 sq mi (210 km2)
Highest elevation
14,252 ft (4,344 m)
 • Total 13,195
 • Density 4.2130/sq mi (1.6266/km2)
Time zone UTC-8 (Pacific Time Zone)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-7 (Pacific Daylight Time)
Area code 530, 442 and 760

Mono County ( MOH-noh) is a county located in the east central portion of the U.S. state of California. As of the 2020 census, the population was 13,195. making it the fourth-least populous county in California. The county seat is Bridgeport. The county is located east of the Sierra Nevada between Yosemite National Park and Nevada. The only incorporated town in the county is Mammoth Lakes, which is located at the foot of Mammoth Mountain. Other locations, such as June Lake, are also famous as skiing and fishing resorts. Located in the middle of the county is Mono Lake, a vital habitat for millions of migratory and nesting birds. The lake is located in a wild natural setting, with pinnacles of tufa arising out of the salty and alkaline lake. Also located in Mono County is Bodie, the official state gold rush ghost town, which is now a California State Historic Park.


Bodie, as seen from the hill looking to the cemetery

Mono County was formed in 1861 from parts of Calaveras, Fresno and Mariposa counties. Parts of the county's territory were given to Inyo County in 1866.

The county is named after Mono Lake which, in 1852, was named for a Native American Paiute tribe, the Mono people, who historically inhabited the Sierra Nevada from north of Mono Lake to Owens Lake. The tribe's western neighbors, the Yokut, called them monachie, meaning "fly people" because they used fly larvae as their chief food staple and trading article.

Archeologists know almost nothing about the first inhabitants of the county, as little material evidence has been found from them. The Kuzedika, a band of Paiute, had been there many generations by the time the first anglophones arrived. The Kuzedika were hunter-gatherers and their language is a part of the Shoshone language.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 3,132 square miles (8,110 km2), of which 3,049 square miles (7,900 km2) is land and 83 square miles (210 km2) (2.6%) is water.

Adjacent counties

National protected areas

  • Inyo National Forest (part)
  • Toiyabe National Forest (part)
  • Granite Mountain Wilderness (California)


Historical population
Census Pop.
1870 430
1880 7,499 1,644.0%
1890 2,002 −73.3%
1900 2,167 8.2%
1910 2,042 −5.8%
1920 960 −53.0%
1930 1,360 41.7%
1940 2,299 69.0%
1950 2,115 −8.0%
1960 2,213 4.6%
1970 4,016 81.5%
1980 8,577 113.6%
1990 9,956 16.1%
2000 12,853 29.1%
2010 14,202 10.5%
2020 13,195 −7.1%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790–1960 1900–1990
1990–2000 2010 2020


In June 2021, U.S. News & World Report ranked the county with the third best life expectancy in the United States at 96.5 years old.

2020 census

Mono County, California - Demographic Profile
(NH = Non-Hispanic)
Race / Ethnicity Pop 2010 Pop 2020 % 2010 % 2020
White alone (NH) 9,687 8,679 68.21% 65.77%
Black or African American alone (NH) 42 68 0.30% 0.52%
Native American or Alaska Native alone (NH) 239 177 1.68% 1.34%
Asian alone (NH) 191 159 1.34% 1.21%
Pacific Islander alone (NH) 11 26 0.08% 0.20%
Some Other Race alone (NH) 33 78 0.23% 0.59%
Mixed Race/Multi-Racial (NH) 237 501 1.67% 3.80%
Hispanic or Latino (any race) 3,762 3,507 26.49% 26.58%
Total 14,202 13,195 100.00% 100.00%

Note: the US Census treats Hispanic/Latino as an ethnic category. This table excludes Latinos from the racial categories and assigns them to a separate category. Hispanics/Latinos can be of any race.


Places by population, race, and income

2010 Census

The 2010 United States Census reported that Mono County had a population of 14,202. The racial makeup of Mono County was 11,697 (82.4%) White, 47 (0.3%) African American, 302 (2.1%) Native American, 192 (1.4%) Asian, 11 (0.1%) Pacific Islander, 1,539 (10.8%) from other races, and 414 (2.9%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3,762 persons (26.5%).


As of the census of 2000, there were 12,853 people, 5,137 households, and 3,143 families residing in the county. The population density was 4/sq mi (1.5/km2). There were 11,757 housing units at an average density of 4/sq mi (1.5/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 84.2% White, 0.5% Black or African American, 2.4% Native American, 1.1% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 9.5% from other races, and 2.3% from two or more races. 17.7% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 13.4% were of German, 12.6% Irish and 11.4% English ancestry according to Census 2000. 84.0% spoke English and 15.1% Spanish as their first language.

There were 5,137 households, out of which 28.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.6% were married couples living together, 6.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.8% were non-families. 26.6% of all households were made up of individuals, and 4.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.43 and the average family size was 2.98.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 23.0% under the age of 18, 10.3% from 18 to 24, 33.4% from 25 to 44, 25.6% from 45 to 64, and 7.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 121.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 126.8 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $44,992, and the median income for a family was $50,487. Males had a median income of $32,600 versus $26,227 for females. The per capita income for the county was $23,422. About 6.3% of families and 11.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.2% of those under age 18 and 1.9% of those age 65 or over.


Bridgeport, California Historic Court House, Main Street - August 2012
The Mono County Court House in Bridgeport.

Major highways

Public transportation

Eastern Sierra Transit Authority operates intercity bus service along U.S. 395, as well as local services in Mammoth Lakes. Service extends south to Lancaster, California (Los Angeles County) and north to Reno, Nevada.

Yosemite Area Regional Transit System (YARTS) also runs along U.S. 395 from Mammoth Lakes to Lee Vining before entering Yosemite National Park.


General aviation airports in Mono County include Bryant Field near Bridgeport, Mammoth Yosemite Airport and Lee Vining Airport. In December 2021 seasonal commercial air service by United Airlines to SFO, LAX, and DEN began at the Eastern Sierra Regional Airport in Bishop, CA, providing local service to southern Mono County.


Population ranking

The population ranking of the following table is based on the 2010 census of Mono County.

county seat

Rank City/Town/etc. Municipal type Population (2010 Census)
1 Mammoth Lakes Town 8,234
2 Crowley Lake CDP 875
3 Walker CDP 721
4 Chalfant CDP 651
5 June Lake CDP 629
6 Bridgeport CDP 575
7 Coleville CDP 495
8 Benton CDP 280
9 Lee Vining CDP 222
10 Swall Meadows CDP 220
11 Sunny Slopes CDP 182
12 Mono City CDP 172
13 Paradise CDP 153
14 Benton Reservation (Utu Utu Gwaitu Paiute Tribe) AIAN 76
15 Aspen Springs CDP 65
16 Topaz CDP 50
17 McGee Creek CDP 41
18 Bridgeport Reservation (Paiute Indians) AIAN 35

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Condado de Mono para niños

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