San Luis Obispo County, California

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San Luis Obispo County
County
County of San Luis Obispo
Cerro San Luis.JPGJustin vineyard.jpg
Pismo.jpgMissionSanMiguelArches.JPG
Hearst Castle pool.jpgMorro 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 San Luis Obispo County
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
RegionCalifornia Central Coast
IncorporatedFebruary 18, 1850[1]
County seatSan Luis Obispo
Area
 • Total9,370 km2 (3,616 sq mi)
 • Land8,540 km2 (3,299 sq mi)
 • Water820 km2 (317 sq mi)
Population (2010)
 • Total269,637
 • Density29/km2 (75/sq mi)
Time zonePacific Standard Time (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST)Pacific Daylight Time (UTC-7)
Websitewww.slocounty.ca.gov
 
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San Luis Obispo County
County
County of San Luis Obispo
Cerro San Luis.JPGJustin vineyard.jpg
Pismo.jpgMissionSanMiguelArches.JPG
Hearst Castle pool.jpgMorro 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 San Luis Obispo County
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
RegionCalifornia Central Coast
IncorporatedFebruary 18, 1850[1]
County seatSan Luis Obispo
Area
 • Total9,370 km2 (3,616 sq mi)
 • Land8,540 km2 (3,299 sq mi)
 • Water820 km2 (317 sq mi)
Population (2010)
 • Total269,637
 • Density29/km2 (75/sq mi)
Time zonePacific Standard Time (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST)Pacific Daylight Time (UTC-7)
Websitewww.slocounty.ca.gov

San Luis Obispo County, officially the County of San Luis Obispo, is a county located in the U.S. state of California. As of the 2010 census, the population was 269,637.[2] The county seat is San Luis Obispo.[3]

San Luis Obispo County comprises the San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area. The county is located along the Pacific Ocean in the Central Coast, between Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area.

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),[4] 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.[5][6]

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]

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

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 3,616 square miles (9,370 km2), of which 3,299 square miles (8,540 km2) is land and 317 square miles (820 km2) (8.8%) is water.[7]

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
YearGOPDEMOthers
201248.0% 59,96749.0% 61,2583.0% 3,741
200846.1% 61,05551.4% 68,1762.0% 3,924
200452.7% 67,99545.5% 58,7421.8% 2,313
200052.2% 56,85940.9% 44,5266.9% 7,501
199646.5% 46,73340.2% 40,39513.3% 13,372
199234.7% 36,38438.4% 40,13626.9% 28,099
198855.9% 46,61342.7% 35,6671.4% 1,187
198463.7% 49,03535.0% 26,9461.3% 969
198055.6% 38,63129.5% 20,50814.9% 10,388
197651.2% 27,78545.9% 24,9262.9% 1,587
197256.0% 28,56640.7% 20,7793.3% 1,688
196851.3% 19,42041.8% 15,8287.0% 2,633
196440.1% 14,90659.8% 22,2520.1% 28
196054.0% 17,86245.3% 14,9750.7% 218
195658.5% 16,22341.1% 11,4070.4% 118
195265.4% 17,71633.9% 9,1740.8% 213
194853.5% 10,32542.1% 8,1354.4% 844
194448.9% 7,79350.6% 8,0680.5% 75
194045.3% 7,20453.4% 8,4991.4% 217
193637.3% 4,81261.1% 7,8891.6% 205
193228.6% 3,44965.8% 7,9335.6% 680
192860.8% 5,42537.4% 3,3361.8% 159
192449.0% 3,8049.4% 73141.6% 3,226
192061.3% 4,12323.9% 1,60614.8% 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.[12] 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[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]

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.[19]

2000[edit]

Historical population
CensusPop.
1850336
18601,782430.4%
18704,772167.8%
18809,14291.6%
189016,07275.8%
190016,6373.5%
191019,38316.5%
192021,89312.9%
193029,61335.3%
194033,24612.3%
195051,41754.7%
196081,04457.6%
1970105,69030.4%
1980155,43547.1%
1990217,16239.7%
2000246,68113.6%
2010269,6379.3%
Est. 2013276,4432.5%
U.S. Decennial Census[20]
1790-1960[21] 1900-1990[22]
1990-2000[23] 2010-2013[2]

As of the census[24] 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.

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.

Communities[edit]

Cities[edit]

Census-designated places[edit]

Unincorporated communities[edit]

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. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 30, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  4. ^ Settevendemie, Marty. "2012 Crop Report". San Luis Obispo County Department of Agriculture. 
  5. ^ Terry L. Jones and Kathryn Klar (2007) California Prehistory: Colonization, Culture, and Complexity, Published by Rowman Altamira ISBN 0-7591-0872-2, 408 pages
  6. ^ C.Michael Hogan (2008) Morro Creek, ed. by A. Burnham
  7. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  8. ^ 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.
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ 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.
  12. ^ Map of Election Results, County-by-County: The New York Times
  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. ^ "2010 Census P.L. 94-171 Summary File Data". United States Census Bureau. 
  20. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 30, 2014. 
  21. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved May 30, 2014. 
  22. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 30, 2014. 
  23. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 30, 2014. 
  24. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-05-14. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

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