San Luis Obispo County, California

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County of San Luis Obispo
County
Cerro San Luis.JPG Justin vineyard.jpg
Pismo.jpg MissionSanMiguelArches.JPG
Hearst Castle pool.jpg Morro Rock 1.jpg
Images, from top down, left to right: Cerro San Luis (Mountain) in San Luis Obispo, a vineyard in Paso Robles, Pismo Beach, Mission San Miguel Arcángel, Neptune Pool at Hearst Castle, Morro Rock
Official seal of County of San Luis Obispo
Seal
Motto: Not For Ourselves Alone
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 California Central Coast
Incorporated February 18, 1850[1]
County seat San Luis Obispo
Area
 • Total 9,364.2 km2 (3,615.54 sq mi)
 • Land 8,558.1 km2 (3,304.32 sq mi)
 • Water 806.1 km2 (311.22 sq mi)
Population (2010)
 • Total 269,637
 • Density 29/km2 (75/sq mi)
Time zone Pacific Standard Time (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST) Pacific Daylight Time (UTC-7)
Website www.slocounty.ca.gov

San Luis Obispo County is a county located along the Pacific Ocean in the Central Coast of the U.S. state of California, between Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area. As of the 2010 census its population was 269,637. The county seat is San Luis Obispo, with about 46,000 residents.

The county's distance from the large metro areas of San Francisco and Los Angeles has helped it to retain its rural character and reminders of old California abound. Commonly referred to as "the Central Coast," the area is more rural and agricultural than many other coastal regions in California. Father Junipero Serra founded the Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa in 1772 and the Mission is today an active part of downtown San Luis Obispo (popularly referred to as SLO or SLO-town). The small size of the county's communities, scattered along the beaches, coastal hills, and mountains of the Santa Lucia range, provides a wide variety of coastal and inland hill ecologies to support many kinds of fishing, agriculture, and tourist activities.

The mainstays of the economy are California Polytechnic State University with its almost 20,000 students, tourism, and agriculture. San Luis Obispo County is the third largest producer of wine in California, surpassed only by Sonoma and Napa Counties. Wine grapes are the second largest agricultural crop in the county (after strawberries),[2] and the wine production they support creates a direct economic impact and a growing wine country vacation industry.

The town of San Simeon is located at the foot of the hill where newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst built the famed Hearst Castle. Other coastal towns (listed from North to South) include Cambria, Cayucos, Morro Bay, and Los Osos (Baywood Park is considered to be Los Osos by the majority of locals). The city of Morro Bay and the village of Los Osos share the bay that has been made famous by Morro Rock. Surprisingly, the Village of Los Osos has a bigger population by roughly 4 thousand residents. These cities and villages are located northwest of San Luis Obispo city, and Avila Beach and the Five Cities to the south: Arroyo Grande, Grover Beach, Oceano, Pismo Beach and Shell Beach. Nipomo, just south of the Five Cities, borders northern Santa Barbara County. Inland, the cities of Paso Robles, Templeton, and Atascadero lie along the Salinas River, near the Paso Robles wine region. San Luis Obispo lies south of Atascadero and north of the Five Cities region. Just south of Cambria lies Harmony, one of the smallest towns in California with a population of 18.

History[edit]

The prehistory of San Luis Obispo County is strongly influenced by the Chumash people who had significant settlement here at least as early as the Millingstone Horizon thousands of years before the present age. Important settlements existed, for example, in many coastal areas such as Morro Bay and Los Osos.[3][4]

The entrance lobby and belfry of the Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa. A statue of Fray Junípero Serra stands outside the church.

Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa was founded on September 1, 1772 in the area that is now the city of San Luis Obispo.

San Luis Obispo County was one of the original counties of California, created in 1850 at the time of statehood.

The Salinas River Valley, a region that figures strongly in several Steinbeck novels, stretches north from San Luis Obispo County. The remote California Valley near Soda Lake is the region most untouched by modernity. Travels through this area and the hills east of highway 101 during wildflower season are very beautiful and can be incorporated with wine tasting at local vineyards.

On December 7, 1987, Pacific Southwest Airlines Flight 1771 crashed in San Luis Obispo County after a passenger shot 5 people on board, including the pilots, then intentionally crashed the plane. All 43 on board, including the gunman, were killed.

Geography[edit]

According to the 2000 census, the county has a total area of 3,615.54 square miles (9,364.2 km2), of which 3,304.32 square miles (8,558.1 km2) (or 91.39%) is land and 311.22 square miles (806.1 km2) (or 8.61%) is water.[5]

San Luis Obispo
Sand dunes - Oceano CA
Avila Pier
Morro Bay Docks

Incorporated Cities[edit]

Unincorporated Census-designated places[edit]

Unincorporated Communities not Census Designated Places[edit]

Adjacent counties[edit]

Counties and bodies of water adjacent to San Luis Obispo County, California

National protected areas[edit]

Marine Protected Areas[edit]

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 rates[edit]

Politics[edit]

Voter registration statistics[edit]

Cities by population and voter registration[edit]

Overview[edit]

San Luis Obispo County vote
by party in presidential elections
Year GOP DEM Others
2012 48.0% 59,967 49.0% 61,258 3.0% 3,741
2008 46.1% 61,055 51.4% 68,176 2.0% 3,924
2004 52.7% 67,995 45.5% 58,742 1.8% 2,313
2000 52.2% 56,859 40.9% 44,526 6.9% 7,501
1996 46.5% 46,733 40.2% 40,395 13.3% 13,372
1992 34.7% 36,384 38.4% 40,136 26.9% 28,099
1988 55.9% 46,613 42.7% 35,667 1.4% 1,187
1984 63.7% 49,035 35.0% 26,946 1.3% 969
1980 55.6% 38,631 29.5% 20,508 14.9% 10,388
1976 51.2% 27,785 45.9% 24,926 2.9% 1,587
1972 56.0% 28,566 40.7% 20,779 3.3% 1,688
1968 51.3% 19,420 41.8% 15,828 7.0% 2,633
1964 40.1% 14,906 59.8% 22,252 0.1% 28
1960 54.0% 17,862 45.3% 14,975 0.7% 218
1956 58.5% 16,223 41.1% 11,407 0.4% 118
1952 65.4% 17,716 33.9% 9,174 0.8% 213
1948 53.5% 10,325 42.1% 8,135 4.4% 844
1944 48.9% 7,793 50.6% 8,068 0.5% 75
1940 45.3% 7,204 53.4% 8,499 1.4% 217
1936 37.3% 4,812 61.1% 7,889 1.6% 205
1932 28.6% 3,449 65.8% 7,933 5.6% 680
1928 60.8% 5,425 37.4% 3,336 1.8% 159
1924 49.0% 3,804 9.4% 731 41.6% 3,226
1920 61.3% 4,123 23.9% 1,606 14.8% 996

San Luis Obispo County, as a whole, leans toward the Republican Party in presidential and congressional elections. In 2008, however, Barack Obama won the county with 51.2 percent of the vote.[10] Prior to 2008, the last Democrat to win a majority in the county was Lyndon Johnson in 1964. In 2012, Obama again won the county, this time with a slim plurality of the vote.

San Luis Obispo County is included in California's 24th congressional district and is represented by Democrat Lois Capps. In the state legislature, the county is part of the 35th Assembly district, which is represented by Republican Katcho Achadjian, and the 17th Senate district, represented by Democrat Bill Monning.

In April 2008, the California Secretary of State reported that there were 147,326 registered voters in San Luis Obispo County. Of those voters, 61,226 (41.6%) were registered Republicans, 52,586 (35.7%) were registered Democratic, 8,030 (5.4%) are registered with other political parties, and 25,484 (17.3%) declined to state a political preference. The cities of Grover Beach, Morro Bay, and San Luis Obispo had pluralities or majorities of registered Democratic voters, whereas the rest of the county's towns, cities, and the unincorporated areas have a plurality or majority of registered Republican voters.[citation needed]

Transportation Infrastructure[edit]

Major highways[edit]

Public transportation[edit]

San Luis Obispo County is served by Amtrak trains and Greyhound Lines buses. The San Luis Obispo Regional Transit Authority provides countywide service along US 101 as well as service to Morro Bay, Los Osos, Cambria and San Simeon.

The cities of San Luis Obispo, Atascadero and Paso Robles operate their own local bus services; all of these connect with SLORTA routes.

Intercity service is provided by Amtrak trains, Greyhound and Orange Belt Stages buses.

Airports[edit]

Economy[edit]

San Luis Obispo County’s economy is primarily a service economy. Service jobs account for 38% of the County’s jobs, government jobs accounts for 20.7%, and manufacturing jobs represent 6% of the County's jobs.

Demographics[edit]

2011[edit]

Places by population, race, and income[edit]

2010[edit]

The 2010 United States Census reported that San Luis Obispo County had a population of 269,637. The racial makeup of San Luis Obispo County was 222,756 (82.6%) White, 5,550 (2.1%) African American, 2,536 (0.9%) Native American, 8,507 (3.2%) Asian (1.0% Filipino, 0.6% Chinese, 0.4% Japanese, 0.3% Indian, 0.3% Korean, 0.2% Vietnamese), 389 (0.1%) Pacific Islander, 19,786 (7.3%) from other races, and 10,113 (3.8%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 55,973 persons (20.8%); 17.7% of San Luis Obispo County is Mexican, 0.3% Puerto Rican, and 0.2% Salvadoran.[17]

2000[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1850 336
1860 1,782 430.4%
1870 4,772 167.8%
1880 9,142 91.6%
1890 16,072 75.8%
1900 16,637 3.5%
1910 19,383 16.5%
1920 21,893 12.9%
1930 29,613 35.3%
1940 33,246 12.3%
1950 51,417 54.7%
1960 81,044 57.6%
1970 105,690 30.4%
1980 155,435 47.1%
1990 217,162 39.7%
2000 246,681 13.6%
2010 269,637 9.3%
Est. 2012 274,804 1.9%
U.S. Decennial Census[18]
2012 Estimate[19]

As of the census[20] of 2000, there were 246,681 residents, 92,739 households, and 58,611 families in the county. The population density was 75 people per square mile (29/km²). There were 102,275 housing units at an average density of 31 per square mile (12/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 84.6% White, 2.0% Black or African American, 1.0% Native American, 2.7% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 6.2% from other races, and 3.4% from two or more races. 16.3% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 13.9% were of German, 11.4% English, 9.7% Irish, 6.1% American and 5.7% Italian ancestry according to Census 2000. 85.7% spoke English and 10.7% Spanish as their first language.

There were 92,739 households out of which 28.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.40% were married couples living together, 9.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.8% were non-families. 26.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.49 and the average family size was 3.01.

In the county the population was spread out with 21.7% under the age of 18, 13.6% from 18 to 24, 27.0% from 25 to 44, 23.3% from 45 to 64, and 14.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 105.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 105.2 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $42,428, and the median income for a family was $52,447. Males had a median income of $40,726 versus $27,450 for females. The per capita income for the county was $21,864. About 6.8% of families and 12.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.4% of those under age 18 and 5.9% of those age 65 or over.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

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

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ "Chronology". California Counties. California State Association of Counties. Retrieved 2012-05-14. 
  2. ^ Settevendemie, Marty. "2012 Crop Report". San Luis Obispo County Department of Agriculture. 
  3. ^ Terry L. Jones and Kathryn Klar (2007) California Prehistory: Colonization, Culture, and Complexity, Published by Rowman Altamira ISBN 0-7591-0872-2, 408 pages
  4. ^ C.Michael Hogan (2008) Morro Creek, ed. by A. Burnham
  5. ^ "Census 2000 U.S. Gazetteer Files: Counties". United States Census. Retrieved 2011-02-13. 
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ 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.
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ Map of Election Results, County-by-County: The New York Times
  11. ^ a b U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey, 2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, Table B03003. American FactFinder. Retrieved 2013-10-26.
  12. ^ a b U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey, 2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, Table B19301. American FactFinder. Retrieved 2013-10-21.
  13. ^ a b U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey, 2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, Table B19013. American FactFinder. Retrieved 2013-10-21.
  14. ^ a b U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey, 2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, Table B19113. American FactFinder. Retrieved 2013-10-21.
  15. ^ a b U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey, 2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates. American FactFinder. Retrieved 2013-10-21.
  16. ^ U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey, 2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, Table B01003. American FactFinder. Retrieved 2013-10-21.
  17. ^ "2010 Census P.L. 94-171 Summary File Data". United States Census Bureau. 
  18. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". Census.gov. Retrieved July 9, 2013. 
  19. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012". Census.gov. Retrieved July 9, 2013. 
  20. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 35°23′N 120°27′W / 35.38°N 120.45°W / 35.38; -120.45