San Benito County, California

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For the California wine region, see San Benito AVA.
County of San Benito
County
San Benito County Courthouse 23-Aug-2008-e.jpg
Sanjuanbautistamission.jpg New Idria grounds.jpg
Images, from top down, left to right: San Benito County Courthouse, Mission San Juan Bautista, New Idria grounds
Official seal of County of San Benito
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 Central Coast
Metropolitan statistical area San Francisco Bay Area Combined Statistical Area
Incorporated 1874
County seat Hollister
Area
 • Total 3,600 km2 (1,390 sq mi)
 • Land 3,600 km2 (1,389 sq mi)
 • Water 5 km2 (1.8 sq mi)
Population (2010) 55,269
Time zone Pacific Standard Time (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST) Pacific Daylight Time (UTC-7)
Website www.cosb.us

San Benito County is a county located in the Coast Range Mountains of the U.S. state of California. As of the 2010 census, the population was 55,269.[1] The county seat is Hollister.[2]

San Benito County is located several miles southeast of the Santa Clara Valley, and is included in the San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is also included in the San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland, CA Combined Statistical Area. Although it is inland, the county is also considered part of the California Central Coast.[3]

El Camino Real passes through the county and includes one mission in San Juan Bautista.

History[edit]

San Benito County was formed from parts of Monterey County in 1874.

The county is named after the San Benito Valley. Father Juan Crespí, in his expedition in 1772, named a small river in honor of San Benedicto (Saint Benedict), the patron saint of the married, and it is from the contraction of this name that the county took its name.

Geography[edit]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,390 square miles (3,600 km2), of which 1,389 square miles (3,600 km2) is land and 1.8 square miles (4.7 km2) (0.1%) is water.[4]

Sharing a border with Santa Clara County, San Benito County lies adjacent to the San Francisco Bay Area and is sometimes considered a part of that region. Frequently, the county is associated with the Monterey Bay Area through governmental organizations such as the Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments as well as the Pajaro River, which flows from northern San Benito County into the Monterey Bay. However, the United States Census Bureau includes the county in the San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara MSA and the San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland CSA, which the Census uses as a statistical definition of the San Francisco Bay Area.

The county is also the location of the Mount Harlan and San Benito American Viticultural Areas. The latter contains the Cienega Valley, Lime Kiln Valley, and Paicines AVAs.

Fauna and flora[edit]

There are a number of plant communities that occur in San Benito County including grasslands and chaparral; however, one of the more unusual is the Sargent cypress forest.[5] Benitoite, the official gem of the State of California, was discovered in San Benito County.[6] The county is also home to the San Benito evening primrose (Camissonia benitensis);[7] and Illacme plenipes, a millipede having more legs than any other millipede species, discovered in the county in 1926.[8] The plant genus Benitoa was named for San Benito County.[9]

National protected area[edit]

Transportation[edit]

Major highways[edit]

Public transportation[edit]

San Benito County Express provides fixed route service in the city of Hollister, and intercity service in the northern portion of the county. Service operates as far north as Gilroy, in Santa Clara County.

Airports[edit]

Hollister Municipal Airport is a general aviation airport located just north of Hollister.

Crime[edit]

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

Cities by population and crime ratable[edit]

Demographics[edit]

2011[edit]

Places by population, race, and income[edit]

2010[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 5,584
1890 6,412 14.8%
1900 6,633 3.4%
1910 8,041 21.2%
1920 8,995 11.9%
1930 11,311 25.7%
1940 11,392 0.7%
1950 14,370 26.1%
1960 15,396 7.1%
1970 18,226 18.4%
1980 25,005 37.2%
1990 36,697 46.8%
2000 53,234 45.1%
2010 55,269 3.8%
Est. 2013 57,600 4.2%
U.S. Decennial Census[19]
1790-1960[20] 1900-1990[21]
1990-2000[22] 2010-2013[1]

The 2010 United States Census reported that San Benito County had a population of 55,269. The racial makeup of San Benito County was 35,181 (63.7%) White, 483 (0.9%) African American, 895 (1.6%) Native American, 1,443 (2.6%) Asian, 94 (0.2%) Pacific Islander, 14,471 (26.2%) from other races, and 2,702 (4.9%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 31,186 persons (56.4%).[23]

2000[edit]

As of the census[24] of 2000, there were 53,234 people, 15,885 households, and 12,898 families residing in the county. The population density was 38 people per square mile (15/km²). There were 16,499 housing units at an average density of 12 per square mile (5/km²). The racial makeup of the county in 2010 was 38.3% non-Hispanic White, 0.6% non-Hispanic Black or African American, 0.4% Native American, 2.3% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 0.1% from other races, and 1.7% from two or more races. 56.4% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 7.6% were of German, 6.3% Irish and 5.4% Italian ancestry according to Census 2000. 62.8% spoke English and 35.3% Spanish as their first language. As of the 2010 United States Census, San Benito County was the only county in the greater San Francisco Bay Area with a Hispanic majority and where a minority race formed the largest race composition.

There were 15,885 households out of which 46.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 65.7% were married couples living together, 10.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 18.8% were non-families. 14.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.32 and the average family size was 3.64.

In the county the population was spread out with 32.2% under the age of 18, 8.8% from 18 to 24, 31.5% from 25 to 44, 19.3% from 45 to 64, and 8.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females there were 102.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 99.6 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $57,469, and the median income for a family was $60,665. Males had a median income of $44,158 versus $29,524 for females. The per capita income for the county was $20,932. About 6.7% of families and 10.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.4% of those under age 18 and 8.5% of those age 65 or over.

Politics[edit]

Voter registration statistics[edit]

Cities by population and voter registration[edit]

Overview[edit]

San Benito County vote
by party in presidential elections
Year GOP DEM Others
2008 37.7% 7,425 60.5% 11,917 2.3% 446
2004 46.5% 8,698 52.6% 9,851 0.9% 176
2000 41.7% 7,015 54.3% 9,131 4.1% 685
1996 38.7% 5,384 50.6% 7,030 10.7% 1,492
1992 32.3% 4,112 42.0% 5,354 25.7% 3,273
1988 54.1% 5,578 44.2% 4,559 1.7% 171
1984 60.7% 5,695 37.9% 3,554 1.4% 131
1980 53.3% 4,054 36.2% 2,749 10.5% 799
1976 50.9% 3,398 46.7% 3,122 2.4% 160
1972 57.6% 3,961 37.5% 2,582 4.9% 338
1968 47.5% 2,961 45.1% 2,809 7.4% 459
1964 39.2% 2,444 60.6% 3,779 0.2% 14
1960 51.4% 3,056 48.4% 2,876 0.2% 13
1956 59.5% 3,252 40.3% 2,201 0.2% 10
1952 65.2% 3,733 34.4% 1,968 0.4% 22
1948 55.6% 2,775 42.0% 2,096 2.3% 116
1944 52.8% 2,253 46.8% 1,998 0.4% 16
1940 49.3% 2,407 50.0% 2,441 0.7% 35
1936 36.6% 1,515 61.9% 2,565 1.5% 62
1932 33.9% 1,269 61.0% 2,283 5.1% 192
1928 58.9% 1,971 40.8% 1,366 0.3% 11
1924 53.5% 1,443 13.4% 361 33.1% 891
1920 65.0% 1,965 29.8% 900 5.2% 158

San Benito is a Democratic-leaning county in Presidential and congressional elections. The last Republican to win a majority in the county was George H.W. Bush in 1988. It is often considered the bellwether of California, as most of its election returns mirrored the state as a whole.

In the United States House of Representatives, San Benito County is part of California's 20th congressional district, represented by Democrat Sam Farr.[26]

In the state legislature San Benito is in the 28th Assembly district, which is held by Democrat Luis Alejo, and the 12th Senate district, which is held by Republican Anthony Cannella.

County government is overseen by a five-member elected Board of Supervisors, who serve four year terms of office. Other elected county leaders include:

  • Assessor
  • Clerk-Auditor-Recorder
  • District Attorney
  • Marshal
  • Sheriff-Coroner
  • Treasurer-Tax Collector-Public Administrator

San Benito County has the last elected Marshal in California. Shasta and Trinity Counties still have appointed Marshals.

As of May, 2010, the California Secretary of State reports that San Benito County has 34,562 eligible voters. Of those 24,736 (71.57%) are registered voters. Of those, 11,959 (48.35%) are registered Democratic, 7,477 (30.23%) are registered Republican, 565 (2.28%)are registered American Independent, and 116 (0.47%) are Green Party. The two incorporated municipalities of Hollister and San Juan Bautista have Democratic majorities on their voter rolls, whereas the unincorporated areas of San Benito County have a small Republican plurality in voter registration.

Economy[edit]

The economy is statistically included in metro San Jose, though the dominant activity is agriculture.

Top employers[edit]

According to the San Benito County Chamber of Commerce,[27] the top employers in the county are:

# Employer # of employees
1 Earthbound Farm 1000+
2 Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital 250-499
3 Milgard 250-499
4 Pacific Scientific 250-499
5 San Benito High School 250-499
6 True Leaf Farms 250-499
7 Nob Hill Foods 100-249
8 Target 100-249
9 Trical 100-249
10 Corbin 100-249
11 West Marine 100-249
12 Ridgemark 100-249
13 Casa de Fruta 100-249
14 Cedar Valley Shingle Systems 100-249
15 Tanimura & Antle 100-249
16 El Modeno Gardens[28] 100-249
17 LifeSparc 100-249
18 MC Electronics 100-249
19 San Benito Foods 100-249

Communities[edit]

Cities[edit]

Census-designated places[edit]

Unincorporated communities[edit]

Populated places[edit]

Ghost town[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

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

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 29, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ "Central Coast". California State Parks. California Department of Recreation. Retrieved July 26, 2014. 
  4. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  5. ^ C. Michael Hogan. 2010. Leather Oak, Quercus durata. Encyclopedia of Earth. National Council for Science and Environment. Wash.DC
  6. ^ Louderback, George Davis. 1907. "Benitoite, A New California Gem Mineral." Bulletin of The Department of Geology, Vol. 5, No. 9. University of California Publications.
  7. ^ Hickman, James C. (editor). 1993. The Jepson Manual: Higher Plants of California. University of California Press.
  8. ^ Sara Goudarzi (June 7, 2006). "666-Legged Creature Rediscovered.". LiveScience. 
  9. ^ Flora of North America: Benitoa
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ 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.
  12. ^ a b c United States Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation. Crime in the United States, 2012, Table 8 (California). Retrieved 2013-11-14.
  13. ^ a b U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey, 2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, Table B03003. American FactFinder. Retrieved 2013-10-26.
  14. ^ a b U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey, 2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, Table B19301. American FactFinder. Retrieved 2013-10-21.
  15. ^ a b U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey, 2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, Table B19013. American FactFinder. Retrieved 2013-10-21.
  16. ^ a b U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey, 2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, Table B19113. American FactFinder. Retrieved 2013-10-21.
  17. ^ a b U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey, 2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates. American FactFinder. Retrieved 2013-10-21.
  18. ^ U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey, 2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, Table B01003. American FactFinder. Retrieved 2013-10-21.
  19. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 29, 2014. 
  20. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved May 29, 2014. 
  21. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 29, 2014. 
  22. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 29, 2014. 
  23. ^ "2010 Census P.L. 94-171 Summary File Data". United States Census Bureau. 
  24. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-05-14. 
  25. ^ 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.
  26. ^ "California's 20th Congressional District - Representatives & District Map". Civic Impulse, LLC. Retrieved September 24, 2014. 
  27. ^ San Benito County Chamber of Commerce-Economic Development
  28. ^ Color Spot Buys El Modeno Assets. Greenhouse Grower.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 36°37′N 121°05′W / 36.61°N 121.08°W / 36.61; -121.08