Madera County, California

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Madera County, California
County of Madera
Wassama Roundhouse.jpg Devils Postpile National Monument near Mammoth Lakes.jpg
Fresno Dome 2004.jpg Mt Banner and Thousand Island Lake.jpg
Basslake goatmountain.jpg
Flag of Madera County, California
Official seal of Madera County, California
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
Regions San Joaquin Valley, Sierra Nevada
Metropolitan area Metropolitan Fresno
Incorporated 1893
County seat Madera
 • Total 2,153 sq mi (5,580 km2)
 • Land 2,137 sq mi (5,530 km2)
 • Water 16 sq mi (40 km2)
Population (April 1, 2010)[1]
 • Total 150,865
 • Estimate (2014)[1] 154,548
 • Density 70/sq mi (27/km2)
Time zone Pacific Time Zone (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST) Pacific Daylight Time (UTC-7)
FIPS code 06-039
GNIS feature ID 277284

Madera County, officially the County of Madera, is a county at the geographic center of the U.S. state of California.[2] As of the 2010 census, the population was 150,865.[1] The county seat is Madera.[3]

Madera County comprises the Madera, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is included in the Fresno-Madera, CA Combined Statistical Area. It is located in the Central Valley and the Sierra Nevada.

The southeasternmost part of Yosemite National Park is located in the county's northeast.


Logging in the Sierra, Madera County, about 1901

Madera County was formed in 1893 from the southern part of Mariposa County during a special election held on May 16, 1893. Citizens residing in the area that was to become Madera County voted 1,179 to 358 for establishment of the new county.[4]

Madera is the Spanish term for wood.[5] The county derives its name from the town of Madera, named when the California Lumber Company built a log flume to carry lumber to the Central Pacific Railroad there in 1876.[6]

The Madera County Sheriff's Department employed the first woman in California to die in the line of duty as a sworn law enforcement officer—Tulare native Lucille Helm (1914-1959). For 15 years, the Madera housewife and mother of four worked on call as a "matron" assisting with female transfers.[7]


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 2,153 square miles (5,580 km2), of which 2,137 square miles (5,530 km2) is land and 16 square miles (41 km2) (0.8%) is water.[8]

Madera County is part of the Madera AVA wine region.

National protected areas[edit]



Places by population, race, and income[edit]


Historical population
Census Pop.
1900 6,364
1910 8,368 31.5%
1920 12,203 45.8%
1930 17,164 40.7%
1940 23,314 35.8%
1950 36,964 58.5%
1960 40,468 9.5%
1970 41,519 2.6%
1980 63,116 52.0%
1990 88,090 39.6%
2000 123,109 39.8%
2010 150,865 22.5%
Est. 2014 154,548 2.4%
U.S. Decennial Census[16]
1790–1960[17] 1900–1990[18]
1990–2000[19] 2010–2014[1]

The 2010 United States Census reported that Madera County had a population of 150,865. The racial makeup of Madera County was 94,456 (62.6%) White, 5,629 (3.7%) African American, 4,136 (2.7%) Native American, 2,802 (1.9%) Asian, 162 (0.1%) Pacific Islander, 37,380 (24.8%) from other races, and 6,300 (4.2%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 80,992 persons (53.7%).[20]


County government office building.

As of the census[21] of 2000, there are 123,109 people in the county, organized into 36,155 households, and 28,598 families. The population density is 58 people per square mile (22/km²). There are 40,387 housing units at an average density of 19 per square mile (7/km²). The racial makeup of the county is 62.2% White, 4.1% Black or African American, 2.6% Native American, 1.3% Asian, 0.2% Pacific Islander, 24.4% from other races, and 5.2% from two or more races. 44.3% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race. 8.0% were of German, 5.9% English, 5.4% American and 5.3% Irish ancestry according to Census 2000. 63.6% spoke English and 33.7% Spanish as their first language.

There are 36,155 households out of which 40.2% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.9% are married couples living together, 12.2% have a female householder with no husband present, and 20.9% are non-families. 16.5% of all households are made up of individuals and 7.7% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 3.18 and the average family size is 3.52.

In the county the population is spread out with 29.6% under the age of 18, 9.9% from 18 to 24, 29.1% from 25 to 44, 20.4% from 45 to 64, and 11.0% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 33 years. For every 100 females there are 91.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 86.0 males.

The median income for a household in the county is $36,286, and the median income for a family is $39,226. Males have a median income of $33,658 versus $24,415 for females. The per capita income for the county is $14,682. 21.4% of the population and 15.9% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 28.6% of those under the age of 18 and 9.0% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.


Madera County is mostly covered by the State Center Community College District centered on Fresno City College in Fresno. Other districts with terrirtory within Madera County also include the West Hills Community College District and the Merced Community College District.

Government and politics[edit]

Voter registration[edit]

Cities by population and voter registration[edit]


Presidential election results
Year GOP DEM Others
2012 58.7% 18,990 39.2% 12,698 2.1% 684
2008 56.4% 20,251 41.8% 14,997 1.8% 684
2004 64.0% 24,871 34.7% 13,481 1.3% 498
2000 60.7% 20,283 34.9% 11,650 4.4% 1,462
1996 53.8% 16,510 36.7% 11,254 9.5% 2,898
1992 43.2% 13,066 35.9% 10,863 20.9% 6,316
1988 54.6% 13,255 43.8% 10,642 1.6% 384
1984 60.0% 13,954 38.7% 8,994 1.3% 293
1980 53.6% 10,599 39.3% 7,783 7.1% 1,398
1976 46.0% 6,844 51.2% 7,625 2.8% 423
1972 52.6% 7,835 44.2% 6,580 3.2% 477
1968 43.5% 6,229 48.5% 6,932 8.0% 1,142
1964 32.2% 4,461 67.7% 9,391 0.1% 10
1960 41.8% 5,869 57.8% 8,126 0.4% 62

Madera 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.

Madera is split between the 4th and 16th congressional districts,[23] represented by Tom McClintock (RElk Grove) and Jim Costa (DFresno), respectively.[24]

With respect to the California State Assembly, the county is in the 5th Assembly District, represented by Republican Frank Bigelow.

In the California State Senate, Madera is split between the 8th Senate District, represented by Republican Tom Berryhill, and the 12th Senate District, represented by Republican Anthony Cannella.[25]

On November 4, 2008, Madera County voted 73.4% for Proposition 8, which amended the California Constitution to define marriage as a union between one man and one woman.[citation needed]

The county is one of three counties in California to establish a separate department to deal with corrections pursuant to California Government Code §23013, the Madera County Department of Corrections, along with Napa County and Santa Clara County. The officers receive their powers under 831 and 831.5 of the California Penal Code.[citation needed]


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]


The Chowchilla/Madera County Fairgrounds hosts the Chowchilla Junior Fair, founded in 1946, and the Chowchilla Western Stampede. It also houses the Chowchilla Speedway, a 1/3 mile dirt track, and the Associated Feed Pavilion, a covered arena. The venue hosts numerous horse events and auctions, a Spring Festival barbecue, and other public and private events.[28]


Major highways[edit]

Other roads[edit]

The eastern side of Madera County, which includes Devil's Postpile National Monument and part of Minaret Summit, is unconnected to the rest of Madera County by road. This only road into this area is Minaret Summit Road which becomes State Route 203 at the Mono County border, connecting this area to Mammoth Lakes. Red's Meadow Road is a further extension of this route.

The gap between Minaret Road (not to be confused with Minaret Summit Road), which runs northeast into the Sierras from North Fork, and the end of the Red's Meadow Road is less than 10 miles, and plans for a highway (or tunnel) connecting the Eastern Sierra and the San Joaquin Valley via Minaret Summit had often been discussed. An area southwest of Minaret Summit was not included in the Wilderness Act of 1964 in order to leave a corridor for this possibility. During his time as Governor of California, Ronald Reagan made a horse packing trip into the area. Afterward he supported conservationists' efforts to prevent this highway. Reagan continued his efforts after being elected President in 1980, and the area was eventually designated wilderness by the California Wilderness Act of 1984.

Public transportation[edit]




Census-designated places[edit]

Unincorporated communities[edit]

See also[edit]


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


  1. ^ a b c d "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 26, 2014. 
  2. ^ "California Geography". NETSTATE. Retrieved March 1, 2010. 
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  4. ^ Madera County GenWeb, Madera County History. Accessed 2010.04.11.
  5. ^ Madera County, County History. Accessed 2009.10.09.
  6. ^ Durham, David L. (1998). California's Geographic Names: A Gazetteer of Historic and Modern Names of the State. Clovis, Calif.: Word Dancer Press. p. 798. ISBN 1-884995-14-4. 
  7. ^ "Memorial for law agents," The Madera Tribune, May 13, 2014, Pages A1 and A3
  8. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved September 28, 2015. 
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ a b U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey, 2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, Table B03003. American FactFinder. Retrieved 2013-10-26.
  11. ^ a b U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey, 2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, Table B19301. American FactFinder. Retrieved 2013-10-21.
  12. ^ a b U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey, 2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, Table B19013. American FactFinder. Retrieved 2013-10-21.
  13. ^ a b U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey, 2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, Table B19113. American FactFinder. Retrieved 2013-10-21.
  14. ^ a b U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey, 2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates. American FactFinder. Retrieved 2013-10-21.
  15. ^ U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey, 2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, Table B01003. American FactFinder. Retrieved 2013-10-21.
  16. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 28, 2015. 
  17. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved September 28, 2015. 
  18. ^ Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 27, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 28, 2015. 
  19. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Retrieved September 28, 2015. 
  20. ^ "2010 Census P.L. 94-171 Summary File Data". United States Census Bureau. 
  21. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-05-14. 
  22. ^ 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.
  23. ^ "Counties by County and by District". California Citizens Redistricting Commission. Retrieved September 24, 2014. 
  24. ^ "California's 4th Congressional District - Representatives & District Map". Civic Impulse, LLC. Retrieved March 1, 2013. 
  25. ^ "Communities of Interest — County". California Citizens Redistricting Commission. Retrieved September 28, 2014. 
  26. ^ 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.
  27. ^ 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.
  28. ^ "About". Chowchilla/Madera County Fair and Event Center. Retrieved April 28, 2014. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 37°13′N 119°46′W / 37.22°N 119.77°W / 37.22; -119.77