Sacramento is the capital city of the U.S. state of California and the seat of Sacramento County. Located at the confluence of the Sacramento River and the American River in Northern California’s Sacramento Valley, Sacramento’s estimated 2018 population of 501,334 makes it the sixth-largest city in California and the 9th largest capital in the United States. Sacramento is the seat of the California Assembly, the Governor of California, and Supreme Court of California, making it the state’s political center and a hub for lobbying and think tanks. Sacramento is also the cultural and economic core of the Sacramento metropolitan area, which had 2010 population of 2,414,783, making it the 5th largest in California.
Sacramento is the fastest-growing major city in California, owing to its status as notable financial center on the West Coast and as a major educational hub, home of Sacramento State University and University of California, Davis. Similarly, Sacramento is a major center for the California healthcare industry, as the seat of Sutter Health, the world-renowned UC Davis Medical Center, and the UC Davis School of Medicine, and notable tourist destination in California, as the site of The California Museum, the Crocker Art Museum, California Hall of Fame, the California State Capitol Museum, and the Old Sacramento State Historic Park. Sacramento is known for its evolving contemporary culture, dubbed the most “hipster city” in California. In 2002, the Harvard University Civil Rights Project conducted for Time magazine named Sacramento “America’s Most Diverse City”.
Before the arrival of the Spanish, the area was inhabited by the Nisenan people indigenous peoples of California. Spanish cavalryman Gabriel Moraga named surveyed and named the Rio del Santísimo Sacramento (Sacramento River) in 1808, after the Blessed Sacrament, referring to the Eucharist in the Catholic Church. In 1839, Juan Bautista Alvarado, Mexican governor of Alta California granted the responsibility of colonizing the Sacramento Valley to Swiss-born, Mexican citizen John Augustus Sutter, who subsequently established Sutter’s Fort and the settlement at the Rancho Nueva Helvetia. Following the American Conquest of California and the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo, the waterfront developed by Sutter began to be developed and incorporated in 1850 as the City of Sacramento. As a result of the California Gold Rush, Sacramento became a major commercial center and distribution point for Northern California, serving as the terminus for the Pony Express and the First Transcontinental Railroad.
The 2010 United States Census reported that Sacramento had a population of 466,488. The population density was 4,660.0 people per square mile (1,799.2/km2). Hispanic or Latino of any race were 125,276 persons (26.9%); 22.6% of Sacramento’s population is of Mexican heritage, 0.7% Puerto Rican, 0.5% Salvadoran, 0.2% Guatemalan, and 0.2% Nicaraguan. Non-Hispanic Whites were 34.5% of the population in 2010, down from 71.4% in 1970.
The Census reported that 458,174 people (98.2% of the population) lived in households, 4,268 (0.9%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 4,046 (0.9%) were institutionalized. Also, with the recent housing crash there have been no changes to these numbers.
There were 174,624 households, out of which 57,870 (33.1%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 65,556 (37.5%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 27,640 (15.8%) had a female householder with no husband present, 10,534 (6.0%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 13,234 (7.6%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 2,498 (1.4%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 53,342 households (30.5%) were made up of individuals and 14,926 (8.5%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.62. There were 103,730 families (59.4% of all households); the average family size was 3.37.
Sacramento has one of the highest LGBT populations per capita, ranking seventh among major American cities, and third in California behind San Francisco and slightly behind Oakland, with roughly 10% of the city’s total population identifying themselves as gay, lesbian, or bisexual.
The age distribution of the city was follows: 116,121 people (24.9%) were under the age of 18, 52,438 people (11.2%) aged 18 to 24, 139,093 people (29.8%) aged 25 to 44, 109,416 people (23.5%) aged 45 to 64, and 49,420 people (10.6%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33.0 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.2 males.
There were 190,911 housing units at an average density of 1,907.1 per square mile (736.3/km2), of which 86,271 (49.4%) were owner-occupied, and 88,353 (50.6%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 2.8%; the rental vacancy rate was 8.3%. 231,593 people (49.6% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 226,581 people (48.6%) lived in rental housing units.