Alameda County, California
means either "a grove of poplars...or a tree lined street." The name was originally used to describe the Arroyo de la Alameda
. The willow
trees along the banks of the river reminded the early Spanish explorers of a road lined with trees.
Although a strict translation to English might be "Poplar Grove Creek," the name of the principal stream that flows through the county is now simply "Alameda Creek
Alameda County is part of the San Francisco–Oakland–Berkeley, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area, and the San Jose–San Francisco–Oakland, CA Combined Statistical Area.
The county seat at the time of the county's formation was located at Alvarado
, now part of Union City
. In 1856, it was moved to San Leandro
, where the county courthouse was destroyed by the devastating 1868 quake on the Hayward Fault
. The county seat was then re-established in the town of Brooklyn
from 1872 to 1875. Brooklyn is now part of Oakland
, which has been the county seat since 1873.
Much of what is now an intensively urban
region was initially developed as a trolley car suburb
of San Francisco
in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The historical progression from Native American tribal lands to Spanish then Mexican ranches, then to farms, ranches, and orchards, then to multiple city centers and suburbs, is shared with the adjacent and closely associated Contra Costa County
The annual county fair is held at the Alameda County Fairgrounds
. The fair runs for four weekends from June to July. Attractions include horse racing, carnival rides, 4-H
exhibits, and live bands.
Geography and climate
View of Berkeley and the San Francisco Bay at nightfall
According to the U.S. Census Bureau
, the county has a total area of 821 square miles (2,130 km2
), of which 739 square miles (1,910 km2
) is land and 82 square miles (210 km2
) (10%) is water.
The San Francisco Bay
borders the county on the west.
The crest of the Berkeley Hills
form part of the northeastern boundary and reach into the center of the county. A coastal plain several miles wide lines the bay; and is Oakland's most populous region. Livermore Valley lies in the eastern part of the county. Amador Valley abuts the western edge of Livermore Valley and continues west to the Pleasanton Ridge.
The Hayward Fault
, a major branch of the San Andreas Fault to the west, runs through the most populated parts of Alameda County, while the Calaveras Fault
runs through the southeastern part of the county.
The area near the Bay itself have a maritime mediterranean climate
whereas behind the mountains, summers are a lot warmer. The climate charts below are for Oakland
and inland Livermore
borders the county on the easternmost end of its southern boundary for 250 feet (76 m).
National protected area
Places by population, race, and income
The 2010 United States Census
reported that Alameda County had a population of 1,510,271. The population density
was 2,047.6 people per square mile (790.6/km2
). The racial makeup of Alameda County was 649,122 (43.0%) White
, 190,451 (12.6%) African American
, 9,799 (0.6%) Native American
, 394,560 (26.1%) Asian
(9.7% Chinese, 5.5% Filipino, 4.8% Indian, 2.0% Vietnamese, 1.2% Korean, 0.8% Japanese, 2.2% Other Asian), 12,802 (0.8%) Pacific Islander
, 162,540 (10.8%) from other races
, and 90,997 (6.0%) from two or more races. Hispanic
of any race were 339,889 persons (22.5%): 16.4% Mexican, 0.8% Puerto Rican, 0.2% Cuban, 5.1% Other Hispanic.
As of the census
of 2000, there were 1,443,741 people, 523,366 households, out of which 32.6% had children under the age of 18 living within them, 47.0% married couples
living together, 13.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.2% were non-families. 26.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 7.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.71 and the average family size was 3.31.
In the county, the population was spread out, with 24.6% under the age of 18, 9.6% from 18 to 24, 33.9% from 25 to 44, 21.7% from 45 to 64, and 10.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 96.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.00 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $55,946, and the median income for a family was $65,857 (these figures had risen to $66,430 and $81,341 respectively as of a 2007 estimate
). Males had a median income of $47,425 versus $36,921 for females. The per capita income
for the county was $26,680. About 7.7% of families and 11.0% of the population were below the poverty line
, including 13.5% of those under age 18 and 8.1% of those age 65 or over.
In 2000, the largest denominational group was the Catholics
(with 306,437 adherents) .
The largest religious bodies were the Catholic Church
(with 306,437 members) and Judaism
(with 32,500 members).
2019 United States Census American Community Survey estimates
Racial Makeup of Alameda County (2019) Racial Makeup of Alameda County excluding Hispanics from racial categories (2019)NH=Non-Hispanic
The White population continues to remain the largest racial category in Alameda County and includes the 37.7% of Hispanics who self-identify as White. The remainder of Hispanics self-identify as Some Other Race (49.2%), Multiracial (11.0%), American Indian and Alaskan Native (1.9%), Black (1.5%), Asian (0.9%), and Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (0.2%).
The Black population continues to decline and at 10.7% (including Black Hispanics
is below the national average of 12.8% (including Black Hispanics).
The Black population peaked in the 1980 Census at 18.4%.
Alameda county has the 2nd highest percentage of Black residents in California after Solano County
Asian Americans are now the largest largest racial/ethnic group at 30.9% (excluding Asian Hispanics).
White Non-Hispanic Americans are the largest minority group at 30.4% of the population.
By ethnicity, 22.3% of the total population is Hispanic-Latino
(of any race) and 77.7% is Non-Hispanic (of any race). If treated as a category separate from race, Hispanics are the third largest minority group in Alameda County.
The largest ancestry group of Hispanics in Alameda County (2018) are of Mexican
descent (72.9% of Hispanics) followed by Salvadoran
descent (5.5% of Hispanics), Guatemalan
descent (3.9%), Puerto Rican
descent (3.4%), Spaniard
descent (2.0%), Nicaraguan
descent (1.7%), Peruvian
descent (1.4%), Cuban
descent (1.2%), Colombian
descent (1.1%), and those of other Hispanic ethnicity or of mixed Hispanic ethnicity (6.9%).
Law, government and politics
The Government of Alameda County
is defined and authorized under the California Constitution
, California law
, and the Charter of the County of Alameda.
Much of the Government of California
is in practice the responsibility of county governments such as the Government of Alameda County, while municipalities such as the city of Oakland
and the city of Berkeley
provide additional, often non-essential services. The County government provides countywide services such as elections and voter registration, law enforcement, jails, vital records, property records, tax collection, and public health. In addition it is the local government for all unincorporated areas, and provides services such as law enforcement to some incorporated cities under a contract arrangement.
The current supervisors are:
- Scott Haggerty, district 1,
- Richard Valle, district 2,
- Wilma Chan, district 3,
- Nate Miley, district 4, and
The Board elects a president who presides at all meetings of the Board and appoints committees to handle work involving the major programs of the county. If the president is absent for a meeting, the vice president shall be responsible. A Board election occurs every two years for these positions. Supervisor Miley is serving currently as president; Supervisor Carson is vice president.
The county's law enforcement is overseen by an elected Sheriff/Coroner and an elected District Attorney. The Sheriff supervises the deputies of the Alameda County Sheriff's Office
, whose primary responsibilities include policing unincorporated areas of the county and cities within the county which contract with the Sheriff's Office for police services; providing security and law enforcement for county buildings including courthouses, the county jail and other county properties; providing support resources, such as a forensics laboratory and search and rescue capabilities, to other law enforcement agencies throughout the county; and serving the process of the county's Superior Court system. The District Attorney's office is responsible for prosecuting all criminal violations of the laws of the state of California, the county, or its constituent municipalities, in the Alameda County Superior Court. The current Sheriff is Gregory J. Ahern
, who was elected in 2006, succeeding Charles Plummer
, who had served in the post for 20 years. The Interim District Attorney is Nancy E. O'Malley
, who was appointed to fill the position of retiring District Attorney Tom Orloff
in September 2009. The Sheriff's Office operates two jails: Santa Rita Jail
, and Glenn E. Dyer Detention Facility
in downtown Oakland
The Alameda County Water District
is a special district within Alameda County created to distribute water, but it is not operated by Alameda County administrators. It is operated by an elected board of directors.
State and federal representation
Since 1932, Alameda County has been a stronghold of the Democratic Party, with Dwight Eisenhower
being the only Republican presidential nominee to have carried the county since. Prior to 1932, the county had been a Republican stronghold. Piedmont
resident William F. Knowland
was the Republican U.S. Senate Leader from 1953 to 1959. Even when Ronald Reagan
won the national popular vote by an 18.3% margin in 1984
, Walter Mondale
won Alameda County by a slightly larger margin. In 2004
it voted for John Kerry
, who won over 75% of the vote. Every city and town voted Democratic.
George W Bush in 2004 was the last Republican to break 20% of the county's vote, his father (George H.W. Bush) in 1988 was the last to break 30% of the vote, and Ronald Reagan in 1984 was the last to break 40% of the vote (carrying 40.01%).
United States presidential election results for Alameda County, California
The California Secretary of State, as of February 2019, reports that there are 883,942 registered voters in Alameda County. 489,759 (55.4%) are registered Democrats, 95,587 (10.8%) are registered Republicans, 36,649 (4.1%) are registered to minor political parties, and 261,947 (29.6%) declined to answer. Every city, town, and unincorporated area in Alameda County has more registered Democrats than Republicans.
On November 4, 2008 Alameda County voted 61.92% against Proposition 8
, which won statewide, and which amended the California Constitution
to ban same-sex marriage
. The county garnered the sixth highest "no" vote, by percentage, of all California counties, and was the second largest county, by total voter turnout, to vote against it.
Voter registration statistics
Cities by population and voter registration
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
The Alameda County Office of Education
oversees seventeen K–12 school districts and one K–8 district in Alameda County. In all, there are approximately 10,000 teachers serving 225,000 students. The ACOE also services three community college districts with a total enrollment of approximately 55,000 students.
Colleges and universities
Other colleges and universities located within Alameda county include:
- Berkeley City College
- California State University, East Bay, one of the campuses of the California State University system
- Chabot College, a two-year community college, part of the Chabot-Las Positas Community College District
- College of Alameda, a two-year community college, part of the Peralta Community College District of northern Alameda County
- Ex'pression College for Digital Arts
- Graduate Theological Union, a consortium of several Bay Area seminaries, affiliated with the University of California, Berkeley.
- Holy Names University
- Laney College, a two-year community college, part of the Peralta Community College system
- Las Positas College
- Merritt College, a two-year community college, part of the Peralta Community College system
- Mills College, a private 4 year women's college and coeducational graduate school
- Ohlone College, part of the Ohlone Community College District
- Samuel Merritt University
The following sports teams play in Alameda County:
Parks and recreation
- ACE train – commuter rail using existing railroad tracks; primarily brings commuters from San Joaquin County to Santa Clara County
- AC Transit – local bus system in western Alameda County and west Contra Costa County, with additional service across the three bridges from Alameda County to downtown San Francisco, San Mateo, and Palo Alto
- BART – commuter rail centered on northwest Oakland, primarily serving commuters to downtown San Francisco and downtown Oakland
- Capitol Corridor – commuter rail using existing railroad tracks, extending from San Jose to Sacramento, running through western Alameda County
- WHEELS – bus system in the cities of southeastern Alameda County
- Union City Transit – local city bus service within Union City in addition to AC Transit
- Emery-Go-Round – free bus service in Emeryville.
- Alameda / Oakland Ferry and Harbor Bay Ferry – connect Oakland, Alameda, and Bay Farm Island with downtown San Francisco
- San Joaquin – Amtrak route between Oakland and Bakersfield through Fresno and the Central Valley
- VTA – commuter service between southern Alameda county and job centers in the Silicon Valley
- Dumbarton Express – additional service across the Dumbarton Bridge between Fremont and Palo Alto
Alameda County has eight National Historic Landmarks
: The Abbey, Joaquin Miller House
, First Church of Christ, Scientist
, USS Hornet (CVS-12) (aircraft carrier)
, Lake Merritt Wild Duck Refuge
, Lightship WAL-605, Relief
, Paramount Theatre
, Potomac (Presidential yacht)
, and Room 307, Gilman Hall, University of California
. The county has a large number of National Historic Places
, as well as a number of California Historical Landmarks
Map of Alameda County, 1878 (Six Townships)
- Oakland Township – the northern portion subsequently became the cities of Berkeley and Albany.
- Alameda Township – now essentially coterminous with the City of Alameda.
- Brooklyn Township – mostly contained within Oakland and Piedmont.
- Eden Township – partly incorporated into San Leandro and Hayward, the rest contains the communities of Castro Valley, San Lorenzo, and other unincorporated areas.
- Washington Township – contains Union City, Newark, Fremont, and small unincorporated areas nearby.
- Murray Township — Contains cities of Dublin, Pleasanton, and Livermore, and substantial unincorporated areas including Sunol.
The population ranking of the following table is based on the 2010 census
of Alameda County.
† county seat
- ^ Other = Some other race + Two or more races
- ^ Native American = Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander + American Indian or Alaska Native
- ^ a b Percentage of registered voters with respect to total population. Percentages of party members with respect to registered voters follow.
- ^ Only larceny-theft cases involving property over $400 in value are reported as property crimes.
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Last edited on 4 May 2021, at 19:45
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