List of counties in California

Last updated
Counties of California

California county map (labeled).svg
Location State of California
Created
  • 1850 (27 original counties)
Number58 counties
PopulationsMinimum: Alpine, 1,204
Maximum: Los Angeles, 10,014,009
AreasMinimum: San Francisco, 47 square miles (120 km2)
Maximum: San Bernardino, 20,062 square miles (51,960 km2)
Government
Subdivisions

The U.S. state of California is divided into 58 counties. [1] The state was first divided into 27 counties on February 18, 1850. These were further sub-divided to form sixteen additional counties by 1860. Another fourteen were counties formed through further subdivision from 1861 to 1893. California is home to San Bernardino County, the largest county in the contiguous United States, as well as Los Angeles County, the most populous county in the United States. The most recent county to form was Imperial County, in 1907.

Contents

California counties are general law counties by default, but may be chartered as provided in Article XI, Section 3 of the California Constitution. [2] A charter county is granted limited home rule powers. Of the 58 counties in California, 14 are governed under a charter. They are Alameda, Butte, El Dorado, Fresno, Los Angeles, Orange, Placer, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, and Tehama. [3]

Nine counties in California are named for saints, tied with Louisiana for the largest number. This count however omits Santa Cruz County, not named for a saint, Merced County and Los Angeles County, both of whose names refer to Saint Mary, as well as Ventura County, indirectly named after St. Bonaventure. [4]

List

County
FIPS code [5] County seat [6] Est. [6] Formed fromEtymology [7] General Law or Charter
[8]
Population (2020) [9] Area [6] Map
AlamedaCounty 001 Oakland 1853Contra Costa and Santa ClaraThe oak and other trees, once abundant in the region; alameda is Spanish for "avenue shaded by trees" or "cottonwood grove".Charter1,682,353738 sq mi
(1,911 km2)
Map of California highlighting Alameda County.svg
AlpineCounty 003 Markleeville 1864Amador, El Dorado, Calaveras, Mono and TuolumneLocation high in the Sierra Nevada; alpine refers to the Alps or other mountains.General Law1,204739 sq mi
(1,914 km2)
Map of California highlighting Alpine County.svg
AmadorCounty 005 Jackson 1854Calaveras Jose Maria Amador (1794–1883), a soldier, rancher, and miner who, along with several Native Americans, established a successful gold mining camp near present-day Amador City in 1848General Law40,474606 sq mi
(1,570 km2)
Map of California highlighting Amador County.svg
ButteCounty 007 Oroville 1850original Sutter Buttes, which were mistakenly thought to be in the county at the time of its establishmentCharter211,6321,640 sq mi
(4,248 km2)
Map of California highlighting Butte County.svg
CalaverasCounty 009 San Andreas 1850original Calaveras River; calaveras is Spanish for "skulls".General Law45,2921,020 sq mi
(2,642 km2)
Map of California highlighting Calaveras County.svg
ColusaCounty 011 Colusa 1850original Rancho Colus land grant from MexicoGeneral Law21,8391,151 sq mi
(2,981 km2)
Map of California highlighting Colusa County.svg
Contra CostaCounty 013 Martinez 1850originalLocation across San Francisco Bay from San Francisco; contra costa is Spanish for "opposite coast".General Law1,165,927720 sq mi
(1,865 km2)
Map of California highlighting Contra Costa County.svg
Del NorteCounty 015 Crescent City 1857KlamathLocation along California's northern border; del norte is Spanish for "northern".General Law27,7431,008 sq mi
(2,611 km2)
Map of California highlighting Del Norte County.svg
El DoradoCounty 017 Placerville 1850original El Dorado, a mythical city of gold, owing to the area's significance in the California Gold Rush Charter191,1851,712 sq mi
(4,434 km2)
Map of California highlighting El Dorado County.svg
FresnoCounty 019 Fresno 1856Mariposa, Merced and TulareThe city of Fresno; fresno is Spanish for "ash tree".Charter1,008,6545,963 sq mi
(15,444 km2)
Map of California highlighting Fresno County.svg
GlennCounty 021 Willows 1891ColusaDr. Hugh J. Glenn, a California businessman and politicianGeneral Law28,9171,315 sq mi
(3,406 km2)
Map of California highlighting Glenn County.svg
HumboldtCounty 023 Eureka 1853Trinity Alexander von Humboldt, a German naturalist and explorerGeneral Law136,4633,573 sq mi
(9,254 km2)
Map of California highlighting Humboldt County.svg
ImperialCounty 025 El Centro 1907San Diego Imperial Valley, named after the Imperial Land Company General Law179,7024,175 sq mi
(10,813 km2)
Map of California highlighting Imperial County.svg
InyoCounty 027 Independence 1866Mono and TulareExact etymology disputed; early settlers believed Inyo to be the native name for area mountains, but it may be the name of a Mono Indian leader.General Law19,01610,192 sq mi
(26,397 km2)
Map of California highlighting Inyo County.svg
KernCounty 029 Bakersfield 1866Los Angeles and Tulare Edward Kern, cartographer for John C. Fremont's 1845 expeditionGeneral Law909,2358,142 sq mi
(21,088 km2)
Map of California highlighting Kern County.svg
KingsCounty 031 Hanford 1893Tulare Kings River; original Spanish name Rio de los Santos Reyes ("River of the Holy Kings")General Law152,4861,390 sq mi
(3,600 km2)
Map of California highlighting Kings County.svg
LakeCounty 033 Lakeport 1861Napa Clear Lake General Law68,1631,258 sq mi
(3,258 km2)
Map of California highlighting Lake County.svg
LassenCounty 035 Susanville 1864Plumas and Shasta, and now defunct Lake County, Nevada Peter Lassen, a Danish naturalist and explorerGeneral Law32,7304,558 sq mi
(11,805 km2)
Map of California highlighting Lassen County.svg
Los AngelesCounty 037 Los Angeles 1850originalThe city of Los Angeles, derived from the original Spanish name El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Angeles del Río de Porciúncula ("The Village of Our Lady, the Queen of the Angels of the River of Porziuncola")Charter10,014,0094,060 sq mi
(10,515 km2)
Map of California highlighting Los Angeles County.svg
MaderaCounty 039 Madera 1893FresnoThe city of Madera, which was named for the forested landscape; madera is Spanish for "wood".General Law156,2552,138 sq mi
(5,537 km2)
Map of California highlighting Madera County.svg
MarinCounty 041 San Rafael 1850original Chief Marin, "great chief of the tribe Licatiut" (a branch of the Coast Miwok people)General Law262,321520 sq mi
(1,347 km2)
Map of California highlighting Marin County.svg
MariposaCounty 043 Mariposa 1850originalThe city of Mariposa; mariposa is Spanish for "butterfly".General Law17,1311,451 sq mi
(3,758 km2)
Map of California highlighting Mariposa County.svg
MendocinoCounty 045 Ukiah 1850original Antonio de Mendoza, first viceroy of New Spain General Law91,6013,509 sq mi
(9,088 km2)
Map of California highlighting Mendocino County.svg
MercedCounty 047 Merced 1855MariposaThe city of Merced, derived from the original Spanish name El Río de Nuestra Señora de la Merced ("River of Our Lady of Mercy")General Law281,2021,929 sq mi
(4,996 km2)
Map of California highlighting Merced County.svg
ModocCounty 049 Alturas 1874SiskiyouThe Modoc people General Law8,7003,944 sq mi
(10,215 km2)
Map of California highlighting Modoc County.svg
MonoCounty 051 Bridgeport 1861Calaveras, Fresno and Mariposa Mono Lake; derived from Monachi, a Yokut name for native peoples of the Sierra Nevada General Law13,1953,044 sq mi
(7,884 km2)
Map of California highlighting Mono County.svg
MontereyCounty 053 Salinas 1850originalDerived from Monterey Bay, which was named for a Viceroy of New Spain, Gaspar de Zúñiga, 5th Count of Monterrey General Law439,0353,322 sq mi
(8,604 km2)
Map of California highlighting Monterey County.svg
NapaCounty 055 Napa 1850originalDisputed origin; possibly derived from the Patwin word napo, meaning "home"General Law138,019754 sq mi
(1,953 km2)
Map of California highlighting Napa County.svg
NevadaCounty 057 Nevada City 1851YubaThe phrase Sierra Nevada; nevada is Spanish for "snow-covered," referencing the area's high elevation. The neighboring state was named after the county, which was named after Nevada City.General Law102,241958 sq mi
(2,481 km2)
Map of California highlighting Nevada County.svg
OrangeCounty 059 Santa Ana 1889Los Angeles Oranges, to illustrate a perception of a region with a semi-tropical atmosphere to those from the eastern parts of the United StatesCharter3,186,989948 sq mi
(2,455 km2)
Map of California highlighting Orange County.svg
PlacerCounty 061 Auburn 1851Sacramento Placer mining, a reference to the area being a center of the California Gold RushCharter404,7391,407 sq mi
(3,644 km2)
Map of California highlighting Placer County.svg
PlumasCounty 063 Quincy 1854ButteThe Feather River; plumas is Spanish for "feathers".General Law19,7902,554 sq mi
(6,615 km2)
Map of California highlighting Plumas County.svg
RiversideCounty 065 Riverside 1893San Bernardino and San DiegoThe city of Riverside, named for its location on the Santa Ana River General Law2,418,1857,208 sq mi
(18,669 km2)
Map of California highlighting Riverside County.svg
SacramentoCounty 067 Sacramento 1850originalThe city of Sacramento, named after the Santísimo Sacramento (Spanish for "Most Holy Sacrament")Charter1,585,055966 sq mi
(2,502 km2)
Map of California highlighting Sacramento County.svg
San BenitoCounty 069 Hollister 1874Monterey Saint Benedict (Benito is a Spanish diminutive of Benedict).General Law64,2091,389 sq mi
(3,597 km2)
Map of California highlighting San Benito County.svg
San BernardinoCounty 071 San Bernardino 1853Los AngelesThe city of San Bernardino, named after Saint Bernardino of Siena (Spanish for Saint Bernardine)Charter2,181,65420,062 sq mi
(51,960 km2)
Map of California highlighting San Bernardino County.svg
San DiegoCounty 073 San Diego 1850originalThe city of San Diego, from Mission San Diego (Spanish for Saint Didacus)Charter3,298,6344,204 sq mi
(10,888 km2)
Map of California highlighting San Diego County.svg
San Francisco 075 San Francisco 1850originalThe city of San Francisco, from Presidio of San Francisco and Mission San Francisco de Asís, named after Saint Francis of Assisi (Spanish for Saint Francis)Charter873,96547 sq mi
(122 km2)
Map of California highlighting San Francisco County.svg
San JoaquinCounty 077 Stockton 1850originalSpanish for Saint Joachim, father of the Virgin Mary General Law779,2331,399 sq mi
(3,623 km2)
Map of California highlighting San Joaquin County.svg
San Luis ObispoCounty 079 San Luis Obispo 1850originalThe city of San Luis Obispo, from Mission San Luis Obispo, named after Saint Louis of Toulouse (Spanish for Saint Louis, the Bishop)General Law282,4243,304 sq mi
(8,557 km2)
Map of California highlighting San Luis Obispo County.svg
San MateoCounty 081 Redwood City 1856San Francisco and Santa CruzSpanish for Saint Matthew Charter764,442449 sq mi
(1,163 km2)
Map of California highlighting San Mateo County.svg
Santa BarbaraCounty 083 Santa Barbara 1850originalThe city of Santa Barbara, from Mission Santa Barbara, (Spanish for Saint Barbara)General Law448,2292,738 sq mi
(7,091 km2)
Map of California highlighting Santa Barbara County.svg
Santa ClaraCounty 085 San Jose 1850originalCity of Santa Clara, from Mission Santa Clara de Asís, named for Saint Clare of Assisi (Spanish for Saint Clare)Charter1,936,2591,291 sq mi
(3,344 km2)
Map of California highlighting Santa Clara County.svg
Santa CruzCounty 087 Santa Cruz 1850originalThe city of Santa Cruz, from Mission Santa Cruz (Spanish for "holy cross")General Law270,861446 sq mi
(1,155 km2)
Map of California highlighting Santa Cruz County.svg
ShastaCounty 089 Redding 1850original Mount Shasta; the indigenous Shasta people General Law182,1553,786 sq mi
(9,806 km2)
Map of California highlighting Shasta County.svg
SierraCounty 091 Downieville 1852YubaSierra is Spanish for "mountain range", a reference to the area's topographyGeneral Law3,236953 sq mi
(2,468 km2)
Map of California highlighting Sierra County.svg
SiskiyouCounty 093 Yreka 1852Shasta and Klamath Siskiyou Mountains; exact etymology of Siskiyou is disputed.General Law44,0766,287 sq mi
(16,283 km2)
Map of California highlighting Siskiyou County.svg
SolanoCounty 095 Fairfield 1850original Chief Solano of the Suisunes General Law453,491828 sq mi
(2,145 km2)
Map of California highlighting Solano County.svg
SonomaCounty 097 Santa Rosa 1850originalExact etymology disputed; probably a Pomo term meaning "valley of the moon," which references a native legend about spiritual activity in the areaGeneral Law488,8631,576 sq mi
(4,082 km2)
Map of California highlighting Sonoma County.svg
StanislausCounty 099 Modesto 1854Tuolumne Stanislaus River, named after Estanislao, a native of the area when California was under Spanish and Mexican ruleGeneral Law552,8781,495 sq mi
(3,872 km2)
Map of California highlighting Stanislaus County.svg
SutterCounty 101 Yuba City 1850original John Sutter, a Swiss pioneer of California associated with the California Gold Rush General Law99,633603 sq mi
(1,562 km2)
Map of California highlighting Sutter County.svg
TehamaCounty 103 Red Bluff 1856Butte, Colusa and ShastaThe city of Tehama, probably a native term describing its locationCharter65,8292,951 sq mi
(7,643 km2)
Map of California highlighting Tehama County.svg
TrinityCounty 105 Weaverville 1850originalThe city of Trinidad, Spanish for "trinity"General Law16,1123,179 sq mi
(8,234 km2)
Map of California highlighting Trinity County.svg
TulareCounty 107 Visalia 1852Mariposa Tulare Lake, which is named after the tule rush ( Schoenoplectus acutus ) that grew in the marshes and sloughs along its shoresGeneral Law473,1174,824 sq mi
(12,494 km2)
Map of California highlighting Tulare County.svg
TuolumneCounty 109 Sonora 1850originalExact etymology disputed; probably a corruption of the native term talmalamne, which means "cluster of stone wigwams," a reference to local cave dwelling tribesGeneral Law55,6202,236 sq mi
(5,791 km2)
Map of California highlighting Tuolumne County.svg
VenturaCounty 111 Ventura 1872Santa BarbaraThe city of Ventura, derived from Mission San Buenaventura (Spanish for St. Bonaventure)General Law843,8431,846 sq mi
(4,781 km2)
Map of California highlighting Ventura County.svg
YoloCounty 113 Woodland 1850originalThe Yolan people, a local Native American tribeGeneral Law216,4031,012 sq mi
(2,621 km2)
Map of California highlighting Yolo County.svg
YubaCounty 115 Marysville 1850originalNamed either by the Maidu people, a local Native American tribe who live on the banks of the Feather and Yuba Rivers, for one of their villages, or by Gabriel Moraga for the wild grapes ( Vitis californica ) that grow abundantly at the edge of the rivers (uva being Spanish for "grape")General Law81,575630 sq mi
(1,632 km2)
Map of California highlighting Yuba County.svg

Defunct counties

Related Research Articles

Southern California American geographic and cultural region

Southern California is a geographic and cultural region that generally comprises the southern portion of the U.S. state of California. It includes the Los Angeles metropolitan area, the second most populous urban agglomeration in the United States. The region generally contains ten of California's 58 counties: Imperial, Kern, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and Ventura counties. The Colorado Desert and the Colorado River are located on southern California's eastern border with Arizona, and San Bernardino County shares a border with Nevada to the northeast. Southern California's southern border with Baja California is part of the Mexico–United States border. Over time, droughts and wildfires have increased in frequency and become less seasonal and more year-round, further straining the region's water security.

Scouting in California Description of Scouting in California

Scouting in California has a long history, from the 1910s to the present day, serving thousands of youth in programs related to their environments.

California Aqueduct Water supply project

The Governor Edmund G. Brown California Aqueduct is a system of canals, tunnels, and pipelines that conveys water collected from the Sierra Nevada Mountains and valleys of Northern and Central California to Southern California. Named after California Governor Edmund Gerald "Pat" Brown Sr., the over 400-mile (640 km) aqueduct is the principal feature of the California State Water Project.

Central California Region of California in the United States

Central California is generally thought of as the middle third of the state, north of Southern California, which includes Los Angeles, and south of Northern California, which includes San Francisco. It includes the northern portion of the San Joaquin Valley, part of the Central Coast, the central hills of the California Coast Ranges and the foothills and mountain areas of the central Sierra Nevada.

California in the American Civil War The War effort in the U.S. state of California

California's involvement in the American Civil War included sending gold east to support the war effort, recruiting volunteer combat units to replace regular U.S. Army units sent east, in the area west of the Rocky Mountains, maintaining and building numerous camps and fortifications, suppressing secessionist activity and securing the New Mexico Territory against the Confederacy. The State of California did not send its units east, but many citizens traveled east and joined the Union Army there, some of whom became famous.

National Register of Historic Places listings in California Wikipedia list article

Buildings, sites, districts, and objects in California listed on the National Register of Historic Places:

California State Board of Equalization Tax administration agency of California, United States

The California State Board of Equalization (BOE) is a public agency charged with tax administration and fee collection in the state of California in the United States. The authorities of the Board fall into four broad areas: sales and use taxes, property taxes, special taxes, and acting as an appellate body for franchise and income tax appeals. The BOE is the only publicly elected tax commission in the United States. It is made up of four directly elected members, each representing a district for four-year terms, along with the State Controller, who is elected on a statewide basis, serving as the fifth member. In June 2017, Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation stripping the Board of many of its powers, returning the agency to its original core responsibilities.

Districts in California geographically divide the U.S. state into overlapping regions for political and administrative purposes.

California State Assembly districts

California's State Assembly districts are numbered 1st through 80th, generally in north-to-south order.

California Army National Guard Land force component of the California National Guard

The California Army National Guard is one of three components of the California National Guard, a reserve of the United States Army, and part of the National Guard of the United States. The California Army National Guard is composed of 18,450 soldiers. Nationwide, the Army National Guard comprises approximately one half of the US Army's available combat forces and approximately one third of its support organization. National coordination of various state National Guard units are maintained through the National Guard Bureau.

Outline of California Overview of and topical guide to California

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to the U.S. state of California.

The District of Southern California was a nineteenth century district of Department of the Pacific, a command of the United States Army.

History of Visalia, California

Visalia, California, commonly known in the 1850s as Four Creeks, is the oldest continuously inhabited inland European settlement between Stockton and Los Angeles. The city played an important role in the American colonization of the San Joaquin Valley as the county seat of Old Tulare County, an expansive region comprising most if not all of modern-day Fresno, Kings, and Kern counties.

The California High School Speech Association, or CHSSA, is a speech and debate organization offered to all schools in the state of California. It is the governing body for local and state speech and debate competitions in California, with higher-level competition under the auspices of the National Forensic League and the National Catholic Forensic League. The league held its first championship tournament in 1958, and continues to hold championship tournaments every April.

Local government in California

California has an extensive system of local government that manages public functions throughout the state. Like most states, California is divided into counties, of which there are 58 covering the entire state. Most urbanized areas are incorporated as cities, though not all of California is within the boundaries of a city. School districts, which are independent of cities and counties, handle public education. Many other functions, especially in unincorporated areas, are handled by special districts, which include municipal utility districts, transit districts, health care districts, vector control districts, and geologic hazard abatement districts.

Partition and secession in California

California, the most populous state in the United States and third largest in area after Alaska and Texas, has been the subject of more than 220 proposals to divide it into multiple states since its admission to the United States in 1850, including at least 27 significant proposals in the first 150 years of statehood. In addition, there have been some calls for the secession of multiple states or large regions in the American West which often include parts of Northern California.

Territory of Colorado (California) was an 1859-60 attempt by Californios and pro-slavery Southerners to separate the southern counties of California into a separate Territory of the United States.

Hispanic and Latino Californians are residents of the state of California who are of Hispanic or Latino ancestry. As of the 2010 U.S. Census, Hispanics and Latinos of any race were 38.1% of the state's population.

1938 Fresno State Bulldogs football team American college football season

The 1938 Fresno State Bulldogs football team represented Fresno State Normal School during the 1938 college football season.

In the U.S. state of California, a congestion management agency is a county-level government agency responsible for a comprehensive transportation improvement program that reduces traffic congestion and reduces transportation-related air pollution through local land-use planning.

References

  1. "Regions | CA Census".
  2. "California Constitution, ARTICLE XI LOCAL GOVERNMENT [SEC. 1 - SEC. 15] SEC. 3". leginfo.legislature.ca.gov. State of California. June 2, 1970. Retrieved May 10, 2018.
  3. "County Structure & Powers". www.counties.org. California State Association of Counties. Retrieved May 10, 2018.
  4. Kane, Joseph Nathan; Aiken, Charles Curry (2005). The American Counties: Origins of County Names, Dates of Creation, and Population Data, 1950-2000. Scarecrow Press. p. 11. ISBN   978-0-8108-5036-1.
  5. "EPA County FIPS Code Listing". EPA.gov. Retrieved February 23, 2021.
  6. 1 2 3 National Association of Counties. "NACo - Find a county". Archived from the original on June 5, 2008. Retrieved April 30, 2008.
  7. Sanchez, Nellie Van de Grift (1914). Spanish and Indian Place Names of California: Their Meaning and Their Romance. San Francisco: A. M. Robertson. ISBN   9781404750845. OCLC   4268886.
  8. "County Structure & Powers". www.counties.org. California State Association of Counties. Retrieved May 10, 2018.
  9. "US Census Bureau". United States Census Bureau, Population Division. August 2021.
  10. https://www.counties.org/sites/main/files/file-attachments/tab_1_-_intro_to_california_counties.pdf