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Solano County, California facts for kids

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Solano County, California
County of Solano
Solanocountygovoffice.jpg CABeniciaCapitol0152.jpg
Suisun City Marina and City Hall.jpg Lockheed C-5 Galaxy take off.jpg
Vacaville Hills.jpg
Images, from top down, left to right: The Solano County Government Center in Downtown Fairfield, Benicia Capitol State Historic Park, Suisun City Marina, Military C-5 Aircraft takes off from Travis Air Force Base, Vacaville Hills
Official seal of Solano County, California
Location in the state of California
Location in the state of California
California's location in the United States
California's location in the United States
Country  United States
State  California
Region San Francisco Bay Area
Incorporated February 18, 1850
County seat Fairfield
Largest city Vallejo (population)
Fairfield (area)
 • Total 906 sq mi (2,350 km2)
 • Land 822 sq mi (2,130 km2)
 • Water 84 sq mi (220 km2)
Highest elevation
2,822 ft (860 m)
 • Total 413,344
 • Estimate 
 • Density 456.23/sq mi (176.15/km2)
Time zone UTC-8 (Pacific Time Zone)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-7 (Pacific Daylight Time)
Area code 707
FIPS code 06-095
GNIS feature ID 277312

Solano County is a county located in the U.S. state of California. As of the 2010 census, the population was 413,344. The county seat is Fairfield.

Solano County comprises the Vallejo-Fairfield, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is also included in the San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland, CA Combined Statistical Area. Solano County is the northeastern county in the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area region.

A portion of the South Campus at the University of California, Davis is in Solano County.


Solano County was one of the original counties of California, created in 1850 at the time of statehood.

At the request of General Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo, the county derives its name directly from an Indian Chief, Chief Solano of the Suisun people, a Native American tribe of the region and Vallejo's close ally. Chief Solano at one time led the tribes between the Petaluma River and the Sacramento River. The chief was also called Sem-Yeto, which signifies "brave or fierce hand." The Chief was given the Spanish name Francisco Solano during baptism at the Catholic Mission, and is named after the Spanish Franciscan missionary, Father Francisco Solano. "Solano" is a common surname in the north of Spain, especially in Navarra, Zaragoza and La Rioja.

Travis Air Force Base is located just east of Fairfield.


Solano County is the easternmost county of the North Bay. As such, it is sometimes reported by news agencies as being in the East Bay. Additionally, a portion of the county extends into the Sacramento Valley, geographically.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 906 square miles (2,350 km2), of which 822 square miles (2,130 km2) is land and 84 square miles (220 km2) (9.3%) is water.

Solano County has several inactive cinnabar mines including the Hastings Mine and St. John's Mine, both of which are subject to ongoing environmental monitoring; these mines were worked in the first half of the twentieth century.


Solano County has a number of rare and endangered species including the beetle Elaphrus viridis, the wildflower Lasthenia conjugens, commonly known as Contra Costa goldfields and the annual plant Legenere limosa or False Venus' looking glass.

Adjacent counties

National protected area


Major highways

  • I-80 (CA).svg Interstate 80
  • I-505 (CA).svg Interstate 505
  • I-680 (CA).svg Interstate 680
  • I-780 (CA).svg Interstate 780
  • California 12.svg State Route 12
  • California 29.svg State Route 29
  • California 37.svg State Route 37
  • California 84.svg State Route 84
  • California 113.svg State Route 113

Public transportation

Solano County is served by several transit agencies:

  • SolTrans, formed as a merger between these two existing transit agencies:
    • Vallejo Transit, which used to also operate the Baylink Ferry to San Francisco
    • Benicia Breeze
  • San Francisco Bay Ferry, with a terminal in Vallejo
  • Fairfield and Suisun Transit
  • Vacaville City Coach
  • Rio Vista Delta Breeze

Each agency interconnects with each other, enabling transit trips throughout the county. Service also connects with BART stations in Contra Costa County. Transit links are provided to Napa, Yolo and Sacramento counties as well.

Greyhound and Amtrak provide long-distance intercity service.


General aviation airports in Solano County which are open to the public are the Nut Tree Airport and Rio Vista Municipal Airport.



Places by population, race, and income


Historical population
Census Pop.
1850 580
1860 7,169 1,136.0%
1870 16,871 135.3%
1880 18,475 9.5%
1890 20,946 13.4%
1900 24,143 15.3%
1910 27,559 14.1%
1920 40,602 47.3%
1930 40,834 0.6%
1940 49,118 20.3%
1950 104,833 113.4%
1960 134,597 28.4%
1970 169,941 26.3%
1980 235,203 38.4%
1990 340,421 44.7%
2000 394,542 15.9%
2010 413,344 4.8%
2015 (est.) 436,092 5.5%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2015

The 2010 United States Census reported that Solano County had a population of 413,344. The racial makeup of Solano County was 210,751 (51.0%) White, 60,750 (14.7%) African American, 3,212 (0.8%) Native American, 60,473 (14.6%) Asian, 3,564 (0.9%) Pacific Islander, 43,236 (10.5%) from other races, and 31,358 (7.6%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 99,356 persons (24.0%). At 52,641 Filipinos in the County making up 12% of the population, Solano County has the largest percentage Filipino population of any County in all of the United States.


As of the census of 2000, there were 394,542 people, 130,403 households, and 97,411 families residing in the county. The population density was 476 people per square mile (184/km²). There were 134,513 housing units at an average density of 162 per square mile (63/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 56.4% White, 14.9% Black or African American, 0.8% Native American, 12.8% Asian, 0.8% Pacific Islander, 8.0% from other races, and 6.4% from two or more races. 17.64% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 8.5% were of German, 6.4% Irish and 6.0% English ancestry according to Census 2000. 75.7% spoke English, 12.1% Spanish and 6.6% Tagalog as their first language.

There were 130,403 households out of which 39.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.7% were married couples living together, 13.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.3% were non-families. 19.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.90 and the average family size was 3.33.

In the county, the population was spread out with 28.3% under the age of 18, 9.2% from 18 to 24, 31.3% from 25 to 44, 21.7% from 45 to 64, and 9.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 101.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 100.2 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $54,099, and the median income for a family was $60,597. Males had a median income of $41,787 versus $31,916 for females. The per capita income for the county was $21,731. About 6.1% of families and 8.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.3% of those under age 18 and 6.3% of those age 65 or over.



Census-designated places

Other unincorporated communities

Population ranking

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

county seat

Rank City/Town/etc. Municipal type Population (2010 Census)
1 Vallejo City 115,942
2 Fairfield City 105,321
3 Vacaville City 92,428
4 Suisun City City 28,111
5 Benicia City 26,997
6 Dixon City 18,351
7 Rio Vista City 7,360
8 Hartley CDP 2,510
9 Green Valley CDP 1,625
10 Allendale CDP 1,506
11 Elmira CDP 188


  • In 1985 Humphrey the humpback whale strayed off his migration route and ended up in Shag Slough north of Rio Vista. Rescuers from The Marine Mammal Center and other volunteers dismantled a county bridge before being able to turn him around in the narrow slough.
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