Placer County, California
|Regions||Sacramento Valley, Sierra Nevada|
|Metro area||Greater Sacramento|
|Incorporated||April 25, 1851|
|Named for||Placer mining, a reference to the area being a center of the California Gold Rush|
|• Chair||Cindy Gustafson|
|• Vice Chair||Jim Holmes|
|• County Executive Officer||Jane Christenson (Acting)|
|• 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)|
|• Density||270/sq mi (100/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−8 (Pacific Time Zone)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−7 (Pacific Daylight Time)|
|Area codes||530, 916, 279|
|GNIS feature ID||277295|
Placer County ( // PLASS-ərr; Spanish for "sand deposit"), officially the County of Placer, is a county in the U.S. state of California. As of the 2020 census, the population was 404,739. The county seat is Auburn.
Placer County is included in the Greater Sacramento metropolitan area. It is in both the Sacramento Valley and Sierra Nevada regions, in what is known as the Gold Country. The county stretches roughly 65 miles (105 km) from Sacramento's suburbs at Roseville to the Nevada border and the shore of Lake Tahoe.
The discovery of gold in 1848 brought tens of thousands of miners from around the world during the California Gold Rush. In addition, many more thousands came to provide goods and services to the miners. On April 25, 1851, the fast-growing county was formed from parts of Sutter and Yuba Counties 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".
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 courthouse, which is clearly visible from Interstate 80 through Auburn, was laid on July 4, 1894. The building was renovated during the late 1980s and continues to serve the public with courtrooms, a 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 established 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, in Placer County.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has an 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. 40.96% of Lake Tahoe's surface area is in Placer County, more than in any of the four other counties in which it lies.
|U.S. Decennial Census |
1990–2000 2010 2020
|Race / Ethnicity||Pop 2010||Pop 2020||% 2010||% 2020|
|White alone (NH)||265,294||272,471||76.14%||67.32%|
|Black or African American alone (NH)||4,427||6,440||1.27%||1.59%|
|Native American or Alaska Native alone (NH)||2,080||2,010||0.60%||0.50%|
|Asian alone (NH)||19,963||34,776||5.73%||8.59%|
|Pacific Islander alone (NH)||697||967||0.20%||0.24%|
|Some Other Race alone (NH)||603||2,091||0.17%||0.52%|
|Mixed Race/Multi-Racial (NH)||10,658||25,356||3.06%||6.26%|
|Hispanic or Latino (any race)||44,710||60,628||12.83%||14.98%|
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.
|Population, race, and income|
|Black or African American||4,587||1.3%|
|American Indian or Alaska Native||2,654||0.8%|
|Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander||750||0.2%|
|Some other race||11,478||3.3%|
|Two or more races||12,647||3.7%|
|Hispanic or Latino (of any race)||43,268||12.6%|
|Per capita income||$35,583|
|Median household income||$74,645|
|Median family income||$90,446|
|Places by population and race|
|Place||Type||Population||White||Other ||Asian||Black or African|
|Native American ||Hispanic or Latino|
(of any race)
|‡ Data for Placer County area of this CDP|
|Places by population and income|
|Place||Type||Population||Per capita income||Median household income||Median family income|
|‡ Data for Placer County area of this CDP|
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. There were 4,710 Hispanics or Latinos of any race (12.8%).
|Population reported at 2010 United States Census|
|All others not CDPs (combined)||57,003||51,248||478||616||1,554||83||1,125||1,899||4,360|
|‡ Note: these numbers reflect only the portion of these CDPs in Placer County|
As of the census 177 inhabitants 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.of 2000, there were 248,399 people, 93,382 households, and 67,701 families residing in the county. The population density was
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.
County government is by a five-person four-year term elected board of supervisors with a board-appointed county manager and his/her department administrators.
The Placer County Sheriff's Office provides court protection, jail administration, and coroner services for all of Placer County. It provides patrol, detective, and other police services for the unincorporated areas of the county plus by contract to the city of Colfax and the town of Loomis.
|Population and registered voters|
|Peace and Freedom||359||0.2%|
|No party preference||43,077||20.7%|
|Cities by population and voter registration|
|City||Population||Registered voters ||Democratic||Republican||D–R spread||Other||No party preference|
In its early history Placer County was solidly Republican: it voted Republican in every election between 1860 and 1912, when Bull Moose nominee Theodore Roosevelt was California's official Republican nominee.Between 1916 and 1976, however, the county voted Republican only in three landslide elections of 1920, 1952 and 1972 – in all of which its GOP margins were much smaller than for the state or nation. Since the “Reagan Revolution” Placer County has become and remained a stronghold of the Republican Party; it consistently elects Republican public officials and has voted for presidential candidates from the party in every election since 1980.
In the United States House of Representatives, Placer County is split between California's 1st and 4th congressional districts, ( R – Richvale ) and Tom McClintock ( R – Elk Grove ), respectively.represented by Doug LaMalfa
In the California State Senate, Placer County is split between the 1st and 4th districts,represented by Brian Dahle and Jim Nielsen, respectively.
In the California State Assembly, the county is split between the 1st, 5th, and 6th districts,represented by Megan Dahle, Frank Bigelow, and Kevin Kiley, respectively.
The following table includes the number of incidents reported and the rate per 1,000 persons for each type of offense.
|Population and crime rates|
|Motor vehicle theft||711||2.07|
|Cities by population and crime rates|
|City||Population||Violent crimes||Violent crime rate|
per 1,000 persons
|Property crimes||Property crime rate|
per 1,000 persons
According to the county's 2010 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,the top employers in the county are:
|#||Employer||# of Employees|
|4||Union Pacific Railroad||2,000|
|6||Northstar at Tahoe||1,500|
|7||Thunder Valley Casino Resort||1,412|
|8||City of Roseville||1,282|
mPOWER Placer is Placer County's Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program. It provides financing to commercial, industrial, agricultural and multifamily property owners to install energy efficiency, water conservation and renewable energy retrofits. The program, administered by the Placer County Treasurer-Tax Collector’s Office, was approved by the Board of Supervisors on February 9, 2010, and launched on March 22, 2010, and is open to eligible Placer County property owners.
There are three general aviation airports in Placer County:
The closest commercial airport is Sacramento International Airport in Sacramento.
The population ranking of the following table is based on the 2020 census of Placer County.
|Rank||City/Town/etc.||Municipal type||Population (2020 Census)|
|18||Tahoma (partially in El Dorado County )||CDP||1,034|
|22||Kingvale (mostly in Nevada County )||CDP||128|
Sacramento County is a county located in the U.S. state of California. As of the 2020 census, the population was 1,585,055. Its county seat is Sacramento, which has been the state capital of California since 1854.
Yolo County, officially the County of Yolo, is a county located in the northern portion of the U.S. state of California. As of the 2020 census, the population was 216,403. Its county seat is Woodland.
Amador County is a county located in the U.S. state of California, in the Sierra Nevada. As of the 2020 census, the population was 40,474. The county seat is Jackson. Amador County, located within California's Gold Country, is known as "The Heart of the Mother Lode". There is a substantial viticultural industry in the county.
Butte County is a county located in the northern part of the U.S. state of California. In the 2020 census, the population was 211,632. The county seat is Oroville.
Colusa County is a county located in the U.S. state of California. As of the 2020 census, the population was 21,839. The county seat is Colusa. It is in the North Valley of California, northwest of the state capital, Sacramento.
El Dorado County, officially the County of El Dorado, is a county located in the U.S. state of California. As of the 2020 census, the population was 191,185. The county seat is Placerville. The County is part of the Sacramento-Roseville-Arden-Arcade, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area. It is located entirely in the Sierra Nevada, from the historic Gold Country in the western foothills to the High Sierra in the east. El Dorado County's population has grown as Greater Sacramento has expanded into the region. Where the county line crosses US 50 at Clarksville, the distance to Sacramento is 15 miles. In the county's high altitude eastern end at Lake Tahoe, environmental awareness and environmental protection initiatives have grown along with the population since the 1960 Winter Olympics, hosted at the former Squaw Valley Ski Resort in neighboring Placer County.
Glenn County is a county located in the U.S. state of California. As of the 2020 census, the population was 28,917. The county seat is Willows. It is located in the Sacramento Valley, in the northern part of the California Central Valley. The Grindstone Rancheria, reservation of the Grindstone Indian Rancheria of Wintun-Wailaki Indians, is located in Glenn County.
Mono County 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.
Nevada County is a county located in the U.S. state of California, in the Sierra Nevada. As of the 2020 census, the population was 102,241. The county seat is Nevada City. Nevada County comprises the Truckee-Grass Valley, CA Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is also included in the Sacramento-Roseville, CA Combined Statistical Area, part of the Mother Lode Country.
Sierra County is a county located in the U.S. state of California. As of the 2020 census, the population was 3,236, making it California's second-least populous county. The county seat is Downieville, and the only incorporated city is Loyalton. The county is in the Sierra Nevada, northeast of Sacramento on the border with Nevada.
Sutter County is a county located in the U.S. state of California. As of the 2020 census, the population was 99,633. The county seat is Yuba City. Sutter County is included in the Yuba City, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area as well as the Sacramento-Roseville, CA Combined Statistical Area. The county is located along the Sacramento River in the Sacramento Valley.
Tehama County is a county located in the northern part of the U.S. state of California. As of the 2020 census, the population was 65,829. The county seat and largest city is Red Bluff.
Yuba County is a county in the U.S. state of California. As of the 2020 U.S. Census, the population was 81,575. The county seat is Marysville. Yuba County is included in the Yuba City, California Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is also included in the Sacramento–Roseville, California Combined Statistical Area. The county is in the Central Valley region along the Feather River.
Washoe County is a county in the U.S. state of Nevada. As of the 2020 census, the population was 486,492, making it Nevada's second-most populous county. Its county seat is Reno. Washoe County is included in the Reno, NV Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Truckee is an incorporated town in Nevada County, California, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the population was 16,180, reflecting an increase of 2,316 from the 13,864 counted in the 2000 Census and having the 316th highest population in California and 2114th in the United States.
Auburn is a city in and the county seat of Placer County, California, United States. Its population was 13,330 during the 2010 census. Auburn is known for its California Gold Rush history, and is registered as a California Historical Landmark.
Colfax is a city in Placer County, California, at the crossroads of Interstate 80 and State Route 174. The population was 1,963 at the 2010 census. The town is named in honor of U.S. Vice President Schuyler Colfax (1869–73), a bronze statue of whom stands at Railroad Street and Grass Valley Street.
Kings Beach is a census-designated place (CDP) in Placer County, California, United States, on the north shore of Lake Tahoe. The population was 3,563 at the 2020 census.
Incline Village is a census-designated place (CDP) on the north shore of Lake Tahoe in Washoe County, Nevada, United States. The population was 8,777 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Reno−Sparks Metropolitan Statistical Area. Until the 2010 census, the CDP Crystal Bay, Nevada was counted jointly with Incline Village.
The Greater Sacramento area refers to a metropolitan region in Northern California comprising either the U.S. Census Bureau defined Sacramento–Roseville–Arden-Arcade metropolitan statistical area or the larger Sacramento–Roseville combined statistical area, the latter of which consists of seven counties, namely Sacramento, Yolo, Placer, El Dorado, Sutter, Yuba, and Nevada counties.