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County of Sierra
County
Downieville, California, at Main and Commercial St., looking south.jpg Conifer forest.jpg
Stampede Dam.jpeg
Images, from top down, left to right: Downieville, Conifer forest in the Sierra National Forest, Stampede Dam
Official seal of County of Sierra
Seal
Location in the state of California
Location in the state of California
California's location in the United States
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 1.3/km2 (3.4/sq mi)
Time zone Pacific Standard Time (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST) Pacific Daylight Time (UTC-7)
Website www.sierracounty.ws Website

Sierra County is a county located in the U.S. state of California. As of the 2010 census, the population was 3,240[1] making it the second-least populous county in California. The county seat is Downieville,[2] and the only incorporated city is Loyalton. The county is located in the Sierra Nevada, northeast of Sacramento on the border with Nevada.

History[edit]

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

Prior to the California Gold Rush, the area was home to both the Maidu and the Washoe peoples. They generally summered in the higher elevations to hunt and fish, and returned to lower elevations for the winter months.[3] After the discovery of gold in the Sierra foothills sparked the California Gold Rush, more than 16,000 miners settled in Sierra County between 1848-1860. Most mining settlements in the county sprung up along the North and Middle Forks of the Yuba River, both of which had rich deposits of gold. While some of the mining boom towns faded away once gold fever died down, other settlements such as Downieville and Sierra City have remained.[4][5]

Geography[edit]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 962 square miles (2,490 km2), of which 953 square miles (2,470 km2) is land and 9.0 square miles (23 km2) (0.9%) is water.[6]

Adjacent counties[edit]

National protected areas[edit]

Politics[edit]

Voter registration statistics[edit]

Cities by population and voter registration[edit]

Overview[edit]

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.[9]

In the state legislature Sierra is in the 1st Senate District, represented by Republican Ted Gaines,[10] and the 1st Assembly District, represented by Republican Brian Dahle.[11]

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

Transportation[edit]

Major highways[edit]

County roads[edit]

Public transportation[edit]

Public transportation in Sierra County is limited to vans run by senior citizen agencies in Downieville and Loyalton which the general public may ride on a space-available basis.[12]

Airport[edit]

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

Crime[edit]

The following table includes the number of incidents reported and the rate per 1,000 persons for each type of offense.

Demographics[edit]

2011[edit]

Places by population, race, and income[edit]

2010[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 11,387
1870 5,619 −50.7%
1880 6,623 17.9%
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%
Est. 2013 3,047 −6.0%
U.S. Decennial Census[21]
1790-1960[22] 1900-1990[23]
1990-2000[24] 2010-2013[1]

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%).[25]

2000[edit]

As of the census[26] 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.[27] 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.

Education[edit]

Communities[edit]

City[edit]

Census-designated places[edit]

Unincorporated communities[edit]

Ghost towns[edit]

Trivia[edit]

  • 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.[28]
  • 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%.[29]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Percentage of registered voters with respect to total population. Percentages of party members with respect to registered voters follow.
  2. ^ Only larceny-theft cases involving property over $400 in value are reported as property crimes.
  3. ^ Other = Some other race + Two or more races
  4. ^ Native American = Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander + American Indian or Alaska Native

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 31, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ Sierra County History, 2008, The Online Guide to Sierra County, accessed 02 April 2013
  4. ^ Deadlink April 2013
  5. ^ Sierra Valley, Sierra County History, 2012, East Sierra Valley Chamber of Commerce, accessed 02 April 2013
  6. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey, 2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, Table B02001. American FactFinder. Retrieved 2013-10-26.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q California Secretary of State. February 10, 2013 - Report of Registration. Retrieved 2013-10-31.
  9. ^ "California's 1st Congressional District - Representatives & District Map". Civic Impulse, LLC. Retrieved March 1, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Senators". State of California. Retrieved March 10, 2013. 
  11. ^ "Members Assembly". State of California. Retrieved March 2, 2013. 
  12. ^ County of Sierra, Calif (2006-04-19). "Sierra County 2005 Regional Transportation Plan" (PDF). Sierra County 2005 Regional Transportation Plan. Archived from the original on 2006-10-18. Retrieved 2007-04-01. 
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Office of the Attorney General, Department of Justice, State of California. Table 11: Crimes – 2009. Retrieved 2013-11-14.
  14. ^ a b U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey, 2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, Table B03003. American FactFinder. Retrieved 2013-10-26.
  15. ^ a b U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey, 2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, Table B19301. American FactFinder. Retrieved 2013-10-21.
  16. ^ a b U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey, 2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, Table B19013. American FactFinder. Retrieved 2013-10-21.
  17. ^ a b U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey, 2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, Table B19113. American FactFinder. Retrieved 2013-10-21.
  18. ^ a b U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey, 2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates. American FactFinder. Retrieved 2013-10-21.
  19. ^ U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey, 2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, Table B01003. American FactFinder. Retrieved 2013-10-21.
  20. ^ a b c d e Data unavailable
  21. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 31, 2014. 
  22. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved May 31, 2014. 
  23. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 31, 2014. 
  24. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 31, 2014. 
  25. ^ "2010 Census P.L. 94-171 Summary File Data". United States Census Bureau. 
  26. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-05-14. 
  27. ^ Sierra County, CA ANCESTRY & FAMILY HISTORY, 2007, accessed 02 April 2013
  28. ^ "Sierra County Government Directory". Retrieved 2011-03-05. 
  29. ^ La Ganga, Maria L., Sierra County (where everyone votes by mail) is serious about elections, 22 May 2009, Los Angeles Times, accessed 02 April 2013

External links[edit]

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

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