Placer County, California facts for kids

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Placer County, California
County
County of Placer
Auburn California courthouse.jpg Colfax, CA.JPG
May Snow in Squaw - Flickr - Joe Parks.jpg
Images, from top down, left to right: The Auburn Courthouse, a view of Colfax, May snow in Squaw Valley
Flag of Placer County, California
Flag
Official seal of Placer County, California
Seal
Location in the state of California
Location in the state of California
The location of California in the United States
The location of California in the United States
Country  United States
State  California
Regions Sacramento Valley, Sierra Nevada
CSA Greater Sacramento
Incorporated April 25, 1851
Named for Placer mining
Area
 • Total 1,502 sq mi (3,890 km2)
 • Land 1,407 sq mi (3,640 km2)
 • Water 95 sq mi (250 km2)
Highest elevation 9,044 ft (2,757 m)
Population (April 1, 2010)
 • Total 348,432
 • Estimate (2015) 375,391
 • Density 231.98/sq mi (89.567/km2)
Time zone Pacific Time Zone (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST) Pacific Daylight Time (UTC-7)
Area codes 530, 916
FIPS code 06-061
GNIS feature ID 277295
Website www.placer.ca.gov
Gold-Quartz-22791
Gold specimen from the Eagle's Nest Mine, a source of specimen gold in Placer County

Placer County (/ˈplæsər/ PLAS-ər), officially the County of Placer, is a county located in the U.S. state of California. As of the 2010 census, the population was 348,432. The county seat is Auburn.

Placer County is included in the Sacramento-Roseville-Arden-Arcade, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area. It is located in both the Sacramento Valley and Sierra Nevada regions, in what is known as the Gold Country. It stretches from the suburbs of Sacramento to Lake Tahoe and the Nevada border.

Etymology

The discovery of gold in 1848 brought tens of thousands of miners from around the world, in addition to many more thousands intending to provide goods and services to the miners. Only three years after the discovery of gold, the fast-growing county was formed from portions of Sutter and Yuba counties on April 25, 1851 with Auburn as the county seat. Placer County took its name from the Spanish word for sand or gravel deposits containing gold. Miners washed away the gravel, leaving the heavier gold, in a process known as "placer mining".

History

Gold mining was a major industry through the 1880s, but gradually the new residents turned to farming the fertile foothill soil, harvesting timber and working for the Southern Pacific Railroad. Auburn was settled when Claude Chana discovered gold in Auburn Ravine in May 1848 and later became a shipping and supply center for the surrounding gold camps. The cornerstone of Placer's beautiful and historic courthouse, which is clearly visible from Interstate 80 through Auburn, was laid on July 4, 1894. The building itself was renovated during the late 1980s and continues to serve the public today with courtrooms, a historic sheriff's office and the Placer County Museum. Roseville, once a small agricultural center, became a major railroad center and grew to the county's most populous city after Southern Pacific Railroad moved its railroad switching yards there in 1908.

Loomis and Newcastle began as mining towns, but soon became centers of a booming fruit-growing industry, supporting many local packing houses. Penryn was founded by a Welsh miner, Griffith Griffith, who turned from mining to establish a large granite quarry. Rocklin began as a railroad town and became home to a number of granite quarries. Lincoln and Sheridan continue to support ranching and farming. Lincoln also is the home of one of the county's oldest businesses, the Gladding, McBean terra cotta clay manufacturing plant established in 1875.

The 1960 Winter Olympics were hosted in Squaw Valley, which is located in Placer County.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,502 square miles (3,890 km2), of which 1,407 square miles (3,640 km2) is land and 95 square miles (250 km2) (6.4%) is water. Watercourses in Placer County include the American River and Bunch Creek. Lake Tahoe has 40.96% of its surface area in Placer County, more than in any of the four other counties in which it lies.

National protected areas

  • El Dorado National Forest in part
  • Tahoe National Forest in part

Demographics

2011

Places by population, race, and income

2010

Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 13,270
1870 11,357 −14.4%
1880 14,232 25.3%
1890 15,101 6.1%
1900 15,786 4.5%
1910 18,237 15.5%
1920 18,584 1.9%
1930 24,468 31.7%
1940 28,108 14.9%
1950 41,649 48.2%
1960 56,998 36.9%
1970 77,306 35.6%
1980 117,247 51.7%
1990 172,796 47.4%
2000 248,399 43.8%
2010 348,432 40.3%
Est. 2015 375,391 7.7%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790–1960 1900–1990
1990–2000 2010–2015

The 2010 United States Census reported that Placer County had a population of 348,432. The racial makeup of Placer County was 290,977 (83.5%) White, 4,751 (1.4%) African American, 3,011 (0.9%) Native American, 20,435 (5.9%) Asian, 778 (0.2%) Pacific Islander, 13,375 (3.8%) from other races, and 15,105 (4.3%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 44,710 persons (12.8%).

2000

As of the census of 2000, there were 248,399 people, 93,382 households, and 67,701 families residing in the county. The population density was 177 people per square mile (68/km²). There were 107,302 housing units at an average density of 76 per square mile (30/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 88.6% White, 0.8% Black or African American, 0.9% Native American, 3.0% Asian, 0.2% Pacific Islander, 3.4% from other races, and 3.2% from two or more races. 9.7% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 15.5% were of German, 12.3% English, 10.6% Irish, 7.1% Italian and 7.0% American ancestry according to Census 2000. 89.7% spoke only English at home; 6.0% spoke Spanish.

There were 93,382 households out of which 35.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.4% were married couples living together, 9.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.5% were non-families. 21.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.63 and the average family size was 3.06.

In the county, the population was spread out with 26.5% under the age of 18, 6.9% from 18 to 24, 29.00% from 25 to 44, 24.5% from 45 to 64, and 13.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 96.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.9 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $57,535, and the median income for a family was $65,858 (these figures had risen to $68,463 and $80,987 respectively as of a 2007 estimate). Males had a median income of $50,410 versus $33,763 for females. The per capita income for the county was $27,963. About 3.9% of families and 5.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.3% of those under age 18 and 3.8% of those age 65 or over. Unemployment in the county is just under 7% which is considerably lower than the state's average.

Transportation

Major highways

  • I-80 (CA).svg Interstate 80
  • California 28.svg State Route 28
  • California 49.svg State Route 49
  • California 65.svg State Route 65
  • California 89.svg State Route 89
  • California 174.svg State Route 174
  • California 267.svg State Route 267

Public transportation

  • Placer County Transit provides basic bus service primarily along the I-80 corridor between Alta and the Watt Ave. Sacramento Regional Transit light rail station. PCT also runs commuter service to Downtown Sacramento.
  • The cities of Auburn, Lincoln, and Roseville have their own local transit service. The city of Roseville also offers a commuter service to Sacramento.
  • Gold Country Stage (Nevada County) provides a connection between Auburn and Grass Valley.
  • Tahoe Area Regional Transit operates in Truckee (Nevada County), Tahoe City and along the North Shore of Lake Tahoe to Incline Village, Nevada.
  • Greyhound and Amtrak provide long distance intercity service.

Airports

There are three general aviation airports in Placer County:

  • Lincoln Regional Airport
  • Auburn Airport
  • Truckee-Tahoe Airport

The closest commercial airport is Sacramento International Airport in Sacramento.

Communities

Cities

Towns

Census-designated places

Other communities

Ghost town

  • Iowa Hill

Population ranking

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

county seat

Rank City/Town/etc. Municipal type Population (2010 Census)
1 Roseville City 118,788
2 Rocklin City 56,974
3 Lincoln City 42,819
4 Granite Bay CDP 20,402
5 Auburn City 13,330
6 North Auburn CDP 13,022
7 Loomis Town 6,430
8 Kings Beach CDP 3,796
9 Meadow Vista CDP 3,217
10 Colfax City 1,963
11 Sunnyside-Tahoe City CDP 1,557
12 Foresthill CDP 1,483
13 Tahoe Vista CDP 1,433
14 Sheridan CDP 1,238
15 Newcastle CDP 1,224
16 Dollar Point CDP 1,215
17 Tahoma (partially in El Dorado County) CDP 1,191
18 Penryn CDP 831
19 Alta CDP 610
20 Carnelian Bay CDP 524
21 Dutch Flat CDP 160
22 Kingvale (mostly in Nevada County) CDP 143
23 Auburn Rancheria AIAN 0

Placer County, California Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.