2018-2019 Demographic & Statistical Profile

Nevada County, California

County of Nevada CountyNC

Location in the state of California

California is located in the United States
521px-Map_of_California_highlighting_Nevada_County.svgRegion Sierra Nevada, Greater Sacramento
Incorporated 1851
County seat Nevada City
Largest city Truckee (population and area)

• Total 974 sq mi (2,520 km2)
• Land 957 sq mi (2,480 km2)
• Water 17 sq mi (40 km2)
Population (2013)
• Total 97,019
• Density 100/sq mi (39/km2)
Time zone Pacific Standard Time (UTC-8)
• Summer (DST) Pacific Daylight Time (UTC-7

Nevada County is a county located in the Sierra Nevada of California, in the Mother Lode Country. As of the 2010 Census Statistics its population was 98,764. The county seat is Nevada City.



Martis Creek Lake and Dam at the eastern end of Nevada County near Truckee. At full pool, the lake extends into Placer County in the distance to the south.

Martis Creek Lake and Dam in Nevada County. This picture was actually taken over Placer County, looking north into Nevada County.

Nevada County was created in 1851 from parts of Yuba County.

The county was named after the mining town of Nevada City, a name derived from the term “Sierra Nevada.” The word nevada is Spanish for “snowy” or “snow-covered.”[1]

Nevada City was the first to use the word “Nevada” in its name. In 1851 the newly formed Nevada County used the same name as the county seat. The bordering state of Nevada used the same name in 1861. The region came to life in the Gold Rush of 1849. Many historical sites remain to mark the birth of this important region in California’s formative years. Among them is the Nevada Theatre in Nevada City, the oldest theater built in California in 1865. It operates to this day and once hosted Mark Twain among other historical figures. The Old 5 Mile House stagecoach stop built in 1890, also operates to this day as a provider of hospitality spanning three centuries. This historical site still features “The stagecoach safe” that is on display outside the present day restaurant and is the source of many legends of stagecoach robbers and notorious highwaymen in the California gold rush era. The gold industry in Nevada County thrived into the post-WWII days.

799px-Gold-270445Gold nugget of about 6 troy ounces, from the Yuba River placers of Nevada County. Size: 8.3 x 2.8 x 2.3 cm.

The county had many firsts and historic technological moments. The first long-distance telephone in the world, built in 1877 by the Ridge Telephone Company, connected French Corral with French Lake, 58 miles (93 km) away.[2] It was operated by the Milton Mining Company from a building on this site that had been erected about 1853. The Pelton wheel, designed to power gold mines, still drives hydro-electric generators today. Nevada City and Grass Valley were among the first California towns with electric lights. The OlympicsNASA, and virtually every television station around the country utilizes video/broadcasting equipment designed and manufactured by Grass Valley Group, founded in Grass Valley. Electronic medical dosing equipment was first developed and manufactured in Nevada County.[citation needed] The first commercially viable picture-phone was developed in Nevada City.[citation needed] More than fifty high tech and applied tech companies, and more than one thousand hardware and software design and development professionals call Nevada County home. The county is sometimes referred to as the “Silicon Valley of the Sierras.” The arcade video game was born in Nevada County, with Pong.

The Nevada County Narrow Gauge Railroad was built in 1876 and was the only railroad in the West that was never robbed, even though its primary freight was gold. (Builder-owner John Flint Kidder‘s reputation made it clear that he would personally hunt down and kill anyone who tried.) The rail line closed in 1942 and was torn up for scrap.

In Grass Valley, the historic Holbrooke Hotel opened in 1851 and housed Mark TwainBret Harte, and fourU.S. presidents (U.S. GrantGrover ClevelandBenjamin Harrison, and James A. Garfield).

The Community of Rough and Ready seceded from the Union for a time and became the Great Republic of Rough and Ready.

Geography and ecology

According to the 2000 census, the county has a total area of 974.49 square miles (2,523.9 km2), of which 957.61 square miles (2,480.2 km2) (or 98.27%) is land and 16.88 square miles (43.7 km2) (or 1.73%) is water.[3] The county is drained by Middle andSouth Yuba rivers.[4]

The western part of the county is defined by the course of several rivers and the irregular boundaries of adjoining counties. When the county was created, the founders wanted to include access to the transcontinental railroad, so a rectangular section was added that includes the railroad town of Truckee. What is remarkable about this is that the final shape of the county closely resembles the Deringer pocket pistol, a favorite at the time of the more urbane residents of this gold rush country.


The county has substantial areas of forest, grassland, savannariparian area and other ecosystems. Forests include both coniferous as well as oak dominated woodland types. There are also numerous understory forbs and wildflowers including the Yellow Mariposa Lily (Calochortus luteus).[5]

National protected areas

Cities and town

Settlements over 10,000 population

Settlements under 10,000 population

Nevada City, the county seat, is incorporated as a city. The other settlements under 10,000 population are unincorporated.

Adjacent counties

  • Placer County, California – south
  • Yuba County, California – west
  • Sierra County, California – north
  • Washoe County, Nevada – east

Nevada County is one of four counties in the United States to border a state with which it shares the same name (the other three counties are Texas County, Oklahoma, Delaware County, Pennsylvania, and Ohio County, West Virginia).

Transportation infrastructure

Major highways

Public Transportation

  • Gold Country Stage runs bus service in Grass Valley, Nevada City, Penn Valley, Alta Sierra and Lake of the Pines. A connection is available between Grass Valley and Auburn (Placer County).
  • Tahoe Area Rapid Transit, operated by Placer County, has a route connecting Truckee with Lake Tahoe and the state of Nevada. Truckee also has its own local bus service.
  • Greyhound and Amtrak stop in Truckee and Colfax.

Gold Country Telecare is the paratransit bus company providing door to door service for seniors and persons with disabilities in Grass Valley, Nevada City, and Penn Valley.


Nevada County Air Park is a general aviation airport located just east of Grass Valley.
Truckee Tahoe Airport is a general aviation airport in Truckee, partially in Nevada County and partially in Placer County.

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1860 16,446
1870 19,134 16.3%
1880 20,823 8.8%
1890 17,369 −16.6%
1900 17,789 2.4%
1910 14,955 −15.9%
1920 10,850 −27.4%
1930 10,596 −2.3%
1940 19,283 82.0%
1950 19,888 3.1%
1960 20,911 5.1%
1970 26,346 26.0%
1980 51,645 96.0%
1990 78,510 52.0%
2000 92,033 17.2%
2010 98,764 7.3%
Est. 2012 98,292 −0.5%
U.S. Decennial Census[16]
2012 Estimate[17]

The 2010 United States Census reported that Nevada County had a population of 98,764. The racial makeup of Nevada County was 90,233 (91.4%) White, 389 (0.4%) African American, 1,044 (1.1%) Native American, 1,187 (1.2%) Asian, 110 (0.1%) Pacific Islander, 2,678 (2.7%) from other races, and 3,123 (3.2%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 8,439 persons (8.5%).[18]

Population reported at 2010 United States Census


As of the census[19] of 2000, there were 92,033 people, 36,894 households, and 25,936 families residing in the county. The population density was 96 people per square mile (37/km²). There were 44,282 housing units at an average density of 46 per square mile (18/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 93.4% White, 0.3% Black or African American, 0.9% Native American, 0.8% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 1.9% from other races, and 2.6% from two or more races. 5.7% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 16.4% were of German, 16.3% English, 11.1% Irish, 6.8% Italian and 6.6% American ancestry according to Census 2000. 94.0% spoke English and 4.2% Spanish as their first language.

There were 36,894 households out of which 28.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.6% were married couples living together, 8.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.7% were non-families. 22.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.47 and the average family size was 2.88.

In the county, the population was spread out with 23.1% under the age of 18, 6.1% from 18 to 24, 24.1% from 25 to 44, 29.3% from 45 to 64, and 17.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43 years. For every 100 females, there were 98.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.7 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $45,864, and the median income for a family was $52,697. Males had a median income of $40,742 versus $27,173 for females. The per capita income for the county was $24,007. About 5.5% of families and 8.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.5% of those under age 18 and 4.9% of those age 65 or over.


Voter registration statistics

Population and registered voters

Cities by population and voter registration

Cities by population and voter registration


Nevada County vote
by party in presidential elections
Year GOP DEM Others
2012 48.6%24,986 48.0% 24,663 2.9% 907
2008 46.2% 25,663 51.5%28,617 2.1% 1,138
2004 53.4%28,790 44.9% 24,220 1.7% 910
2000 54.8%25,998 37.2% 17,670 8.0% 3,811
1996 50.4%21,784 35.6% 15,369 14.0% 6,066
1992 39.2%17,343 34.9% 15,433 25.9% 11,425
1988 57.8%21,383 40.5% 14,980 1.8% 660
1984 62.4%19,809 35.3% 11,198 2.4% 761
1980 57.9%15,207 29.0% 7,605 13.1% 3,449
1976 48.4%8,170 47.0% 7,926 4.7% 785
1972 54.7%8,004 38.9% 5,693 6.4% 941
1968 51.4%6,061 39.1% 4,607 9.6% 1,126
1964 43.3% 4,899 56.5%6,397 0.2% 22
1960 53.4%5,419 45.7% 4,633 0.9% 89
1956 59.7%5,475 40.0% 3,667 0.3% 31
1952 64.0%6,819 35.1% 3,735 0.9% 94
1948 47.1%3,917 47.0% 3,914 5.9% 495
1944 44.4% 2,648 54.8%3,266 0.8% 47
1940 32.7% 2,863 66.0%5,782 1.3% 114
1936 26.8% 1,913 71.9%5,128 1.3% 90
1932 32.9% 1,842 63.3%3,544 3.8% 210
1928 52.0%2,173 46.9% 1,959 1.1% 47
1924 42.2% 1,513 8.6% 307 49.2%1,763
1920 65.0%2,055 23.6% 747 11.4% 361

As of April 21, 2009, there are 25,601 registered Republicans, 21,548 registered Democrats, and 12,184 Declined to State voters in Nevada County. The American Independent and Green Parties have under 2,000 registered voters each. In both 2000 and 2004, George W. Bush won a majority of the votes in the county. In 2008, Barack Obama carried the county with a 51.5%-46.2% margin. 2008 marked the first time Nevada County went for a Democrat since Lyndon Johnson in 1964.

Nevada County is split between California’s 1st and 4th congressional districts, which are represented by Doug LaMalfa (R–Richvale) and Tom McClintock (R–Elk Grove), respectively.[21]

In the state legislature, Nevada County is in the 1st Assembly District, represented by Republican Brian Dahle and in the State Senate, the county is in the 4th Senate District, represented by Republican Jim Nielsen.

On November 4, 2008, Nevada County voted for Proposition 8, which amended the California Constitution to ban same-sex marriages, by 3 votes.

Noted residents


See also

Information above provided by Wikipedia.