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Placer County, California
Seal of Placer County, California
Map of California highlighting Placer County
Location in the state of California
Map of the U.S. highlighting California
California's location in the U.S.
Founded 1851
Seat Auburn
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

1,503 sq mi (3,893 km²)
1,404 sq mi (3,636 km²)
98 sq mi (254 km²), 6.55%
 - (2004)
 - Density

218/sq mi (84/km²)

Placer County is a county located in the Sierra Nevada of the U.S. state of California, in what is known as the Gold Country. It stretches from the suburbs of Sacramento to Lake Tahoe and the Nevada border. Because of the expansion of the Sacramento metropolitan area, Placer County is one of the fastest growing counties in the state. It is also considered one of the more politically and morally conservative counties and has less ethnic diversity than is found in other suburban regions of California. As of 2000, the population was 248,399. In 2004, the population had grown to 307,004. The county seat is Auburn.

History[edit | edit source]

Placer County was created from parts of Sutter and Yuba Counties in 1851.

"Placer" is probably a contraction of the words plaza de oro (the place of gold) and in Spanish means "a place near a river where gold is found." The county derived its name from the numerous places where the method of extracting gold from the earth, called placer mining, was practiced.

Geography[edit | edit source]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 3892 km² (1503 sq mi). 3637 km² (1404 sq mi) of it is land and 255 km² (98 sq mi) of it (6.55%) is water. Watercourses in Placer County include the American River and Bunch Creek.

Incorporated Cities[edit | edit source]

Incorporated Towns[edit | edit source]

Unincorporated Places[edit | edit source]

Adjacent Counties[edit | edit source]

Transportation Infrastructure[edit | edit source]

Major Highways[edit | edit source]

Public Transportation[edit | edit source]

Airports[edit | edit source]

There are three general aviation airports in Placer County:

Demographics[edit | edit source]

As of the census² of 2000, there were 248,399 people, 93,382 households, and 67,701 families residing in the county. The population density was 68/km² (177/sq mi). There were 107,302 housing units at an average density of 30/km² (76/sq mi). The racial makeup of the county was 88.59% White, 0.82% Black or African American, 0.89% Native American, 2.95% Asian, 0.16% Pacific Islander, 3.39% from other races, and 3.21% from two or more races. 9.67% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 89.7% spoke English and 6.0% Spanish as their first language.

There were 93,382 households out of which 35.30% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.40% were married couples living together, 9.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.50% were non-families. 21.30% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.10% 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 26.50% under the age of 18, 6.90% from 18 to 24, 29.00% from 25 to 44, 24.50% from 45 to 64, and 13.10% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 96.40 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.90 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $57,535, and the median income for a family was $65,858. Males had a median income of $50,410 versus $33,763 for females. The per capita income for the county was $27,963. About 3.90% of families and 5.80% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.30% of those under age 18 and 3.80% of those age 65 or over.

Politics[edit | edit source]

Presidential Election Results
Year GOP DEM Others
2004 62.6% 95,969 36.3% 55,573 1.1% 1,736
2000 59.3% 69,835 36.0% 42,449 4.7% 5,515
1996 52.8% 49,808 37.1% 34,981 10.2% 9,638
1992 41.9% 38,298 33.7% 30,783 24.4% 22,285
1988 59.6% 42,096 39.0% 27,516 1.5% 1,030
1984 62.9% 38,035 35.2% 21,294 1.8% 1,098
1980 54.8% 28,179 33.7% 17,311 11.6% 5,950
1976 45.0% 18,154 52.2% 21,026 2.8% 1,131
1972 50.3% 18,597 45.8% 16,911 3.9% 1,437
1968 42.6% 12,427 48.2% 14,050 9.2% 2,667
1964 33.9% 9,389 66.0% 18,256 0.1% 31
1960 43.8% 10,439 55.8% 13,304 0.5% 120

Placer is a strongly Republican county in Presidential and congressional elections. The last Democrat to win a majority in the county was Jimmy Carter in 1976.

Placer is part of California's 4th congressional district, which is held by Republican John Doolittle. In the State Assembly, Placer is part of the 3rd, 4th, and 5th districts, which are held by Republicans Rick Keene, Ted Gaines, and Roger Niello respectively. In the State Senate, Placer is mostly in the 1st district with parts in the 4th district. Both districts are held by Republicans, Dave Cox and Sam Aanestad respectively.

References[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

Coordinates: 39°04′N 120°44′W / 39.06, -120.73

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