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County of Sierra
—  County  —
Official seal of County of Sierra
Seal
Location in the state of California
California's location in the United States
Country  United States
State  California
Region Sierra Nevada
Incorporated 1852
Named for Sierra Nevada
County seat Downieville
Largest city Loyalton
Area
 • Total 2,490 km2 (962 sq mi)
 • Land 2,470 km2 (953 sq mi)
 • Water 20 km2 (9 sq mi)
Population (2010)
 • Total 3,240
 • Density 1.3000000000000/km2 (3.4000000000000/sq mi)
Time zone Pacific Standard Time (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST) Pacific Daylight Time (UTC-7)
Website www.sierracounty.ws

Sierra County is a county located in the Sierra Nevada of the U.S. state of California, northeast of Sacramento on the border with Nevada. As of the 2010 census the population was 3,240, down from 3,555 at the 2000 census. The county seat is Downieville.

The only incorporated city in the county is Loyalton.

History[edit | edit source]

Sierra County was formed from parts of Yuba County in 1852. The county derives its name from the Sierra Nevada.

Geography[edit | edit source]

According to the 2000 census, the county has a total area of 961.97 square miles (2,491.5 km2), of which 953.38 square miles (2,469.2 km2) (or 99.11%) is land and 8.59 square miles (22.2 km2) (or 0.89%) is water.[1]

Cities and towns[edit | edit source]

Ghost Towns[edit | edit source]

Adjacent counties[edit | edit source]

National protected areas[edit | edit source]

Politics[edit | edit source]

Sierra County vote
by party in presidential elections
Year GOP DEM Others
2012 59.4% 1,056 36.7% 652 4.0% 71
2008 58.2% 1,158 37.4% 743 4.9% 97
2004 64.1% 1,249 33.2% 646 2.7% 53
2000 63.5% 1,172 29.2% 540 7.3% 135
1996 51.4% 877 33.6% 573 15.1% 257
1992 36.9% 691 34.8% 653 28.3% 531
1988 50.7% 860 46.6% 791 2.7% 45
1984 56.9% 1,078 41.2% 781 2.0% 37
1980 49.8% 855 37.9% 651 12.3% 212
1976 43.2% 680 53.4% 841 3.5% 55
1972 47.5% 629 49.7% 658 2.8% 37
1968 45.9% 548 46.9% 559 7.2% 86
1964 33.3% 413 66.7% 828 0.0% 0
1960 46.8% 576 52.6% 647 0.7% 8
1956 50.6% 638 49.1% 620 0.3% 4
1952 53.8% 822 45.7% 698 0.6% 9
1948 43.4% 546 52.5% 660 4.1% 52
1944 39.9% 443 59.6% 662 0.5% 5
1940 32.4% 511 67.0% 1,057 0.6% 10
1936 22.6% 340 76.4% 1,152 1.0% 15
1932 25.5% 292 69.4% 796 5.1% 59
1928 51.5% 457 47.4% 420 1.1% 10
1924 38.9% 276 10.3% 73 50.8% 360
1920 72.2% 506 22.5% 158 5.3% 37

Sierra County at one time had favored the Democratic party in Presidential elections and was one of few counties in California to be won by George McGovern. In more recent times it 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.

Sierra County is in California's 1st congressional district, represented by Republican   Doug LaMalfa.[2]

In the state legislature Sierra is in the 3rd Assembly district, which is held by Republican Dan Logue, and the 1st Senate district, which is held by Republican Ted Gaines.

On Nov. 4, 2008 Sierra County voted 64.2% for Proposition 8, which amended the California Constitution to ban same-sex marriages.

Transportation Infrastructure[edit | edit source]

Major highways[edit | edit source]

County routes and roads[edit | edit source]

Public transportation[edit | edit source]

Public transportation in Sierra County is limited to vans run by senior citizen agencies in Downieville and Loyalton. (The general public may ride on a space-available basis) [3]

Airports[edit | edit source]

Sierraville-Dearwater Field Airport is a general aviation airport located near Sierraville.

Demographics[edit | edit source]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1880 6,623
1890 5,051 −23.7%
1900 4,017 −20.5%
1910 4,098 2.0%
1920 1,783 −56.5%
1930 2,422 35.8%
1940 3,025 24.9%
1950 2,410 −20.3%
1960 2,247 −6.8%
1970 2,365 5.3%
1980 3,073 29.9%
1990 3,318 8.0%
2000 3,555 7.1%
2010 3,240 −8.9%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010[edit | edit source]

The 2010 United States Census reported that Sierra County had a population of 3,240. The racial makeup of Sierra County was 3,022 (93.3%) White, 6 (0.2%) African American, 44 (1.4%) Native American, 12 (0.4%) Asian, 2 (0.1%) Pacific Islander, 75 (2.3%) from other races, and 79 (2.4%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 269 persons (8.3%).[4]

Population reported at 2010 United States Census
The County
Total
Population
White
African
American
Native
American
Asian
Pacific
Islander
other
races
two or
more races
Hispanic
or Latino
(of any race)
Sierra County 3,240 3,022 6 44 12 2 75 79 269
Incorporated
cities and towns
Total
Population
White
African
American
Native
American
Asian
Pacific
Islander
other
races
two or
more races
Hispanic
or Latino
(of any race)
Loyalton 769 701 2 21 0 0 20 25 108
Census-designated
places
Total
Population
White
African
American
Native
American
Asian
Pacific
Islander
other
races
two or
more races
Hispanic
or Latino
(of any race)
Alleghany 58 58 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
Calpine 205 184 0 0 0 1 10 10 26
Downieville 282 269 0 4 2 0 0 7 12
Goodyears Bar 68 64 0 4 0 0 0 0 1
Pike 134 130 0 1 2 0 0 1 2
Sattley 49 48 0 1 0 0 0 0 1
Sierra Brooks 478 466 0 4 1 1 0 6 22
Sierra City 221 200 0 2 3 0 12 4 21
Sierraville 200 187 2 0 0 0 10 1 16
Verdi 162 153 0 0 1 0 5 3 10
Unincorporated
communities
Total
Population
White
African
American
Native
American
Asian
Pacific
Islander
other
races
two or
more races
Hispanic
or Latino
(of any race)
All others not CDPs (combined) 614 562 2 7 3 0 18 22 49

2000[edit | edit source]

As of the census[5] of 2000, there were 3,555 people, 1,520 households and 986 families residing in the county. The population density was 4 people per square mile (1/km²). There were 2,202 housing units at an average density of 2 per square mile (1/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 94.2% White, 0.2% Black or African American, 1.9% Native American, 0.2% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 1.0% from other races, and 2.5% from two or more races. Six percent of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

Eighteen percent were of English ancestry, 16% were of Irish, 11% German and 8% Italian ancestry.[6] Over ninety-five (95.3) percent spoke English and 3.4% Spanish as their first language.

There were 1,520 households out of which 27.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.1% were married couples living together, 7.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.1% were non-families. 29.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.32 and the average family size was 2.83.

In the county the population was spread out with 23.3% under the age of 18, 4.8% from 18 to 24, 24.0% from 25 to 44, 30.2% from 45 to 64, and 17.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 44 years. For every 100 females there were 102.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.9 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $35,827, and the median income for a family was $42,756. Males had a median income of $36,121 versus $30,000 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,815. About 9.0% of families and 11.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.3% of those under age 18 and 2.2% of those age 65 or over.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Because Loyalton is Sierra County's most populous municipality and its only incorporated city, generally half of the meetings of the county's board of supervisors are held in Downieville and the other half are held in Loyalton.[7]
  • There is only one traffic signal (a flashing red light at the intersection of highways 49 and 89) in Sierra County. In the winter of 2007 it was removed after an automobile accident and was replaced in the fall of 2008.
  • In the 2009 special statewide election, Sierra County had the highest voter turnout of any county in California, with 53.6% of registered voters participating, according to the Los Angeles Times. The election was nearly double the overall voter turnout in the state, about 23%. [1]

Unified School Districts[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

Coordinates: 39°35′N 120°30′W / 39.59, -120.50


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