Profile: Sacramento, California

Get the basics on Sacramento's demographics, economy, history, and more.
By: Kris Bordessa
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Population: 2.1 million (metro); 460,000 (city)

USDA Hardiness Zone: 9

Major Airport: Sacramento International Airport

Companies with a Major Presence: Intel, Hewlett-Packard, UC Davis Health System, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan/Hospital, AT&T, Raley’s, Kikkoman Foods, Sutter Medical Center, University of California, Los Rios Community College, and the Sacramento County Community School District.

Nestled in the confluence of the Sacramento and American Rivers, Sacramento -- affectionately called River City -- is home to nearly half a million residents. The four-county Greater Sacramento metropolitan area (El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento and Yolo counties) is the fourth largest in California, exceeding 2.1 million residents. The oldest incorporated city in the state, Sacramento sits within Sacramento County and is considered one of the most culturally diverse cities in the nation. Sacramento is the state capital and is home to both a celebrity governor and a newly elected celebrity mayor, former NBA star Kevin Johnson, bringing a bit of Hollywood to the area.

Once a nondescript “cow town,” today Sacramento has a small concentration of high-rise buildings. For the most part, though, the city sprawls out rather than up. Beyond the city proper, bustling bedroom communities blur the city limits, making Sacramento seem larger. Sacramento is no longer just the city halfway between San Francisco and the mountains, it’s growing up and coming into its own with an active arts scene and a revitalized downtown. When residents aren’t cruising the Second Saturday Art Walk or shopping for locally grown produce at the plentiful farmers markets, they can get a workout paddling at the Folsom Lake State Recreation Area, whitewater rafting on the region’s rivers, or biking along the 23-mile-long American River Parkway. Situated less than two hours from the Napa Valley wine country to the west, and Lake Tahoe to the east, Sacramento is ideal for city and nature lovers.

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