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Tulare County, California
County of Tulare
Visalia Acequia Ave..JPG 2009-0725-CA-Allensworth-Hotel.jpg
Moro Rock-View from Potwisha.jpg 2006 12 29 - Terminus Dam (3).JPG
Images, from top down, left to right: Acequia Avenue in Visalia, Allensworth Hotel in Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park, Moro Rock in Sequoia National Park, Lake Kaweah
Official seal of Tulare County, California
Tulare County's location in California
Tulare County's location in California
Country  United States
State  California
Regions San Joaquin Valley and Sierra Nevada
Metro area Visalia-Porterville Metropolitan Area
Incorporated 1852
Named for Tulare Lake
County seat Visalia
Incorporated cities 8
 • Total 4,839 sq mi (12,530 km2)
 • Land 4,824 sq mi (12,490 km2)
 • Water 14 sq mi (40 km2)
Highest elevation
14,501 ft (4,420 m)
 • Total 442,179
 • Estimate 
 • Density 91.378/sq mi (35.281/km2)
Time zone UTC-8 (Pacific)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-7 (PDT)
Area code 559
FIPS code 06-107
GNIS feature ID 277318

Tulare County ( too-LAIR-ee) is a county in the U.S. state of California. As of the 2010 census, the population was 442,179. Its county seat is Visalia. The county is named for Tulare Lake, once the largest freshwater lake west of the Great Lakes. Drained for agricultural development, the site is now in Kings County, which was created in 1893 from the western portion of the formerly larger Tulare County.

Tulare County comprises the Visalia-Porterville, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area. The county is located south of Fresno, spanning from the San Joaquin Valley east to the Sierra Nevada.

Sequoia National Park is located in the county, as are part of Kings Canyon National Park, in its northeast corner (shared with Fresno County), and part of Mount Whitney, on its eastern border (shared with Inyo County). As of the 2010 census, the population was 442,179, up from 368,021 at the 2000 census.


Tulare County, California (1920)
Road sign, 1920

The land was occupied for thousands of years by varying cultures of indigenous peoples. Beginning in the eighteenth century, Spain established missions to colonize California and convert the American Indians to Christianity. Comandante Pedro Fages, while hunting for deserters in the Central Valley in 1772, discovered a great lake surrounded by marshes and filled with rushes; he named it Los Tules (the tules). It is from this lake that the county derives its name. The root of the name Tulare is found in the Nahuatl word tullin, designating cattail or similar reeds.

After Mexico achieved independence, it continued to rule California. After the Mexican Cession and the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848, the area became part of the United States. Tulare County was soon formed from parts of Mariposa County only 4 years later in 1852. There were two early attempts to split off a new Buena Vista County in 1855, and Coso County in 1864, but both failed. Parts of the county's territory were given to Fresno County in 1856, to Kern County and to Inyo County in 1866 and to Kings County in 1893.

The infectious disease Tularemia caused by the bacterium Francisella tularensis is named after Tulare County.

In 1908 Colonel Allen Allensworth and associates founded Allensworth as a black farming community. They intended to develop a place where African Americans could thrive free of white discrimination. It was the only community in California founded, financed and governed by African Americans. While its first years were highly successful, the community encountered environmental problems from dropping water tables which eventually caused it to fail. Today the historic area is preserved as the Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 4,839 square miles (12,530 km2), of which 4,824 square miles (12,490 km2) is land and 14 square miles (36 km2) (0.3%) is water.

Giant Forest
Sequoia National Park is located within Tulare County
Mount Whitney 2003-03-25
Mount Whitney is located on the Tulare-Inyo County line



  • Angora River
  • Alpine River
  • Kaweah River
  • Needlerock River
  • Monarch River


  • Allensworth Historic District
  • Alpaugh Park
  • Balch Park
  • Bartlett Park
  • Cutler Park
  • Horse Creek Recreation Area
  • Kings River Nature Preserve
  • Lackeys Cabin
  • Lake Kaweah Recreation Area
  • Mineral King Game Refuge
  • Mooney Grove Park / Ancient Oak Forest Preserve
  • Sequoia National Park
  • Woodville Park
  • West Main Street Park

National protected areas

Sequoia National Park

Sequoia National Park is a national park in the southern Sierra Nevada, east of Visalia. It was established in 1890 as the second U.S. national park, after Yellowstone. The park spans 404,051 acres (1,635.14 km2). Encompassing a vertical relief of nearly 13,000 feet (3,962 m), the park contains among its natural resources the highest point in the contiguous 48 United States, Mount Whitney, at 14,505 feet (4,421 m) above sea level. The park is south of and contiguous with Kings Canyon National Park; the two are administered by the National Park Service as one unit, called Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.


Major highways

  • California 43.svg State Route 43
  • California 63.svg State Route 63
  • California 65.svg State Route 65
  • California 99.svg State Route 99
  • California 180.svg State Route 180
  • California 190.svg State Route 190
  • California 198.svg State Route 198

Public transportation

Tulare County Transit provides a countywide bus service linking the population centers. A connection to Delano in Kern County is also operated.

The cities of Tulare, Porterville, and Visalia have their own local bus services.

Greyhound and Orange Belt Stages provide long-distance, intercity bus service.


The Visalia Municipal Airport has very limited commercial passenger service. Sequoia Field, just north of Visalia, is a county-owned general aviation airport. The Porterville Municipal Airport is a city-owned airport for the city of Porterville, offers general aviation to the public, it is also home to Porterville Air Attack Base on the south part of the airport. Mefford Field is a city-owned general aviation airport located in Tulare.

The nearest full operation commercial airports are Bakersfield's Meadows Field Airport to the South, and Fresno's Fresno Yosemite International Airport to the North.



Places by population, race, and income


The 2010 United States Census reported that Tulare County had a population of 442,179. The racial makeup of Tulare County was 265,618 (60.1%) White, 7,196 (1.6%) African American, 6,993 (1.6%) Native American, 15,176 (3.4%) Asian, 509 (0.1%) Pacific Islander, 128,263 (29.0%) from other races, and 18,424 (4.2%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 268,065 persons (60.6%).


Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 4,638
1870 4,533 −2.3%
1880 11,281 148.9%
1890 24,574 117.8%
1900 18,375 −25.2%
1910 35,440 92.9%
1920 59,031 66.6%
1930 77,442 31.2%
1940 107,152 38.4%
1950 149,264 39.3%
1960 168,403 12.8%
1970 188,322 11.8%
1980 245,738 30.5%
1990 311,921 26.9%
2000 368,021 18.0%
2010 442,179 20.2%
Est. 2015 459,863 4.0%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2015

As of the census of 2000, there were 368,021 people, 110,385 households, and 87,093 families residing in the county. The population density was 76 people per square mile (29/km²). There were 119,639 housing units at an average density of 25 per square mile (10/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 58.1% White, 1.6% Black or African American, 1.6% Native American, 3.3% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 30.8% from other races, and 4.6% from two or more races. 50.8% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 6.2% were of American, 5.7% German and 5.0% English ancestry according to Census 2000. 56.3% spoke English, 38.9% Spanish and 1.1% Portuguese as their first language.

There were 110,385 households out of which 44.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.1% were married couples living together, 14.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 21.1% were non-families. 17.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.28 and the average family size was 3.67.

In the county, the population was spread out with 33.8% under the age of 18, 10.6% from 18 to 24, 27.6% from 25 to 44, 18.2% from 45 to 64, and 9.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 29 years. For every 100 females there were 100.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.7 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $33,983, and the median income for a family was $36,297. Males had a median income of $30,892 versus $24,589 for females. The per capita income for the county was $14,006. About 18.8% of families and 23.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 32.6% of those under age 18 and 10.5% of those age 65 or over.


Census designated places

Other unincorporated communities

Indian reservation

  • Tule River Indian Reservation

Population ranking

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

county seat

Rank City/Town/etc. Municipal type Population (2010 Census)
1 Visalia City 124,442
2 Tulare City 59,278
3 Porterville City 54,165
4 Dinuba City 21,453
5 Lindsay City 11,768
6 Farmersville City 10,588
7 Exeter City 10,334
8 Orosi CDP 8,778
9 Earlimart CDP 8,357
10 Woodlake City 7,279
11 East Porterville CDP 6,767
12 Cutler CDP 5,000
13 Ivanhoe CDP 4,495
t-14 Pixley CDP 3,310
t-14 Terra Bella CDP 3,310
15 Goshen CDP 3,006
16 Richgrove CDP 2,882
17 Strathmore CDP 2,819
18 Tipton CDP 2,543
19 Poplar-Cotton Center CDP 2,470
20 Three Rivers CDP 2,182
21 London CDP 1,869
22 Patterson Tract CDP 1,752
23 Woodville CDP 1,740
24 Teviston CDP 1,214
25 Matheny CDP 1,212
26 Tule River Reservation AIAN 1,049
27 Alpaugh CDP 1,026
28 Plainview CDP 945
29 Springville CDP 934
30 Linnell Camp CDP 849
31 East Tulare Villa CDP 778
32 Sultana CDP 775
33 Traver CDP 713
34 Ducor CDP 612
35 West Goshen CDP 511
36 East Orosi CDP 495
37 Seville CDP 480
38 Allensworth CDP 471
39 Delft Colony CDP 454
40 Lindcove CDP 406
41 Tooleville CDP 339
42 Tonyville CDP 316
43 Lemon Cove CDP 308
44 Yettem CDP 211
45 Monson CDP 188
46 Pine Flat CDP 166
47 Rodriguez Camp CDP 156
48 El Rancho CDP 124
49 Waukena CDP 108
50 Camp Nelson CDP 97
51 Pierpoint CDP 52
52 Idlewild CDP 43
53 Panorama Heights CDP 41
54 California Hot Springs CDP 37
55 Hartland CDP 30
56 Kennedy Meadows CDP 28
57 Sugarloaf Saw Mill CDP 18
58 Ponderosa CDP 16
t-59 McClenney Tract CDP 10
t-59 Posey CDP 10
t-59 Sequoia Crest CDP 10
t-59 Sugarloaf Village CDP 10
60 Poso Park CDP 9
61 Wilsonia CDP 5
t-62 Cedar Slope CDP 0
t-62 Silver City CDP 0
t-62 Sugarloaf Mountain Park CDP 0
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