Calaveras County, California
Mark Twain set his famous story, The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County in the county. Each year, the county hosts its County Fair and Jumping Frog Jubilee, featuring a frog jumping contest, to celebrate the association with Twain's story. The celebrated California red-legged frog, feared absent from the county by 1969, was rediscovered in 2003.
Table of contents
Calaveras County was one of the original counties of California, created in 1850 at the time of statehood. Parts of the county's territory were given to Amador County in 1854 and to Alpine County in 1864.
The meaning of the word calaveras is "skulls." This county takes its name from the Calaveras River which was reportedly so designated by an early explorer when he found, on the banks of the stream, many skulls of Native Americans who had either died of famine or had been killed in tribal conflicts over hunting and fishing grounds.
As of the census2 of 2000, there are 40,554 people, 16,469 households, and 11,742 families residing in the county. The population density is 15/km² (40/mi²). There are 22,946 housing units at an average density of 9/km² (22/mi²). The racial makeup of the county is 91.19% White, 0.75% Black or African American, 1.74% Native American, 0.85% Asian, 0.09% Pacific Islander, 2.07% from other races, and 3.31% from two or more races. 6.82% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 16,469 households out of which 26.70% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.90% are married couples living together, 8.60% have a female householder with no husband present, and 28.70% are non-families. 23.30% of all households are made up of individuals and 10.10% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.44 and the average family size is 2.85.
In the county the population is spread out with 22.80% under the age of 18, 5.50% from 18 to 24, 22.40% from 25 to 44, 31.10% from 45 to 64, and 18.20% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 45 years. For every 100 females there are 98.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 95.70 males.
The median income for a household in the county is $41,022, and the median income for a family is $47,379. Males have a median income of $41,827 versus $28,108 for females. The per capita income for the county is $21,420. 11.80% of the population and 8.70% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 15.60% of those under the age of 18 and 6.20% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.
Cities and towns
- Angels Camp
- Forest Meadows
- Mokelumne Hill
- Mountain Ranch
- Rail Road Flat
- Rancho Calaveras
- San Andreas
- Valley Springs
- West Point