Riverside County, California

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County of Riverside
—  County  —
Flag of County of Riverside
Official seal of County of Riverside
Map of California highlighting Riverside County.svg
Location in the state of California
Map of USA CA.svg
California's location in the United States
Country United States
State California
Region/Metro area Inland Empire
Incorporated 1893
Named for Riverside
County seat Riverside
Largest city Riverside
 • Board of Supervisors
 • Total 7,303.13 sq mi (18,915.0 km2)
 • Land 7,207.37 sq mi (18,667.0 km2)
 • Water 95.76 sq mi (248.0 km2)
Population (2010 Census) 2,189,641
Time zone Pacific Standard Time (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST) Pacific Daylight Time (UTC-7)

Riverside County is a county in the U.S. state of California. One of 58 California counties, it covers 7,208 sq mi (18,669 km2) in the southern part of the state, and stretches from Orange County to the Colorado River, which forms the state border with Arizona. The county derives its name from the city of Riverside, which is the county seat. Along with neighboring San Bernardino County, the two counties have been dubbed the 'Inland Empire'.

The population of Riverside County was 2,189,641 in 2010.

Geographically, the county is mostly desert in the central and eastern portions of the county, and is a Mediterranean climate in the western portion of the county. Most of Joshua Tree National Park is located in the county. Riverside County lies inland of Los Angeles County and is bordered by Orange County to the west, San Bernardino County to the north, and San Diego County and Imperial County to the south. Large numbers of Los Angeles area workers have moved to the county in recent years to take advantage of relatively affordable housing. Alongside neighboring San Bernardino County, it was one of the fastest growing regions in the state prior to the recent changes in the regional economy. In addition, smaller, but significant, numbers of people have been moving into Southwest Riverside County from the San Diego metropolitan area. The cities of Temecula and Murrieta account for 20% of increase in population of Riverside County between 2000 and 2007.

The famous resort cities of the Coachella Valley such as Indian Wells, La Quinta, Rancho Mirage, Palm Springs and Palm Desert are located in Riverside County. Indio is the center of an important date growing region.


The indigenous peoples of what is now Riverside County are the Luiseño, Cupeño and Cahuilla Indians.[1] When the initial 27 California counties were established in 1850 the area today known as Riverside County was divided between Los Angeles County and San Diego County. In 1853 the eastern part of Los Angeles County was used to create San Bernardino County. Between 1891 and 1893 several proposals, and legislative attempts, were put forth to form new counties in Southern California. These proposals included one for a Pomona County and one for a San Jacinto County. None of the proposals were adopted until a measure to create Riverside County was signed by Governor Henry H. Markham on March 11, 1893.[2]

The new county was created from parts of San Bernardino County and San Diego County. On May 2, 1893, seventy percent of voters approved the formation of Riverside County. Voters chose the city of Riverside as the county seat, also by a large margin. Riverside County was officially formed on May 9, 1893, when the Board of Commissioners filed the final canvass of the votes.[2]

Riverside County is the birthplace of lane markings, thanks to Dr. June McCarroll, as well as modern Native American gaming enterprises. In the early 1980s, the county government attempted to shut down small bingo halls operated by the Morongo Band of Cahuilla Mission Indians and the Cabazon Band of Mission Indians. The tribes joined forces and fought the county all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled in the tribes' favor on February 25, 1987.[3] In turn, Congress enacted the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act in 1988 to establish a legal framework for the relationship between Indian gaming and state governments. Naturally, both tribes now operate large casinos in the county: the Morongo Casino, Resort & Spa and the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino.

The county's population surpassed one million people in 1980 when the current trend of high population growth as a major real estate destination began in the 1970s.


According to the 2000 census, the county has a total area of 7,303.13 square miles (18,915.0 km2), of which 7,207.37 square miles (18,667.0 km2) (or 98.69%) is land and 95.76 square miles (248.0 km2) (or 1.31%) is water.[4] At roughly 180 miles (290 km) wide in the east-west dimension, the area of the county is massive. Riverside County, California is roughly the size of the State of New Jersey in total area. County government documents frequently cite the Colorado River town of Blythe as being a "three-hour drive" from the county seat, Riverside. Some view the areas west of San Gorgonio Pass as the Inland Empire portion of the county and the eastern part as either the Mojave Desert or Colorado Desert portion. There are probably at least three geomorphic provinces: the Inland Empire western portion, the Santa Rosa Mountains communities such as Reinhardt Canyon and the desert region. Other possible subdivisions include tribal lands, the Colorado River communities, and the Salton Sea.

Incorporated citiesEdit

Riverside County
Median household income,
Banning 1913 28,272 $41,268
Beaumont 1912 28,250 $39,553
Blythe 1916 22,178 $45,302
Calimesa 1990 7,415 $47,406
Canyon Lake 1990 10,939 $70,106
Cathedral City 1981 51,081 $50,654
Coachella 1946 35,207 $33,402
Corona 1896 144,661 $72,162
Desert Hot Springs 1963 22,011 $33,263
Eastvale 2010 -- --
Hemet 1910 69,544 $31,749
Indian Wells 1967 4,865 $120,074
Indio 1930 71,654 $45,143
Jurupa Valley 2011 88,000
Lake Elsinore 1888 40,985 $54,595
La Quinta 1982 38,340 $71,127
Menifee 2008 60,000 --
Moreno Valley 1984 174,565 $52,426
Murrieta 1991 103,466 $75,102
Norco 1964 27,262 $62,652
Palm Desert 1973 49,539 $61,789
Palm Springs 1938 46,437 $46,399
Perris 1911 47,139 $35,338
Rancho Mirage 1973 16,672 $78,434
Riverside 1883 287,820 $52,023
San Jacinto 1888 31,066 $39,235
Temecula 1989 93,923 $71,754
Wildomar 2008 14,064 $49,081

Unincorporated communities and neighborhoodsEdit

Indian reservationsEdit

Riverside County has 12 federally-recognized Indian reservations, which ties it with Sandoval County, New Mexico for second most of any county in the United States. (Sandoval County, however, has two additional joint-use areas, shared between reservations. San Diego County, California has the most, with 18 reservations.)

Adjacent countiesEdit

National protected areasEdit

Flora and faunaEdit

There is a diversity of flora and fauna within Riverside County. Vegetative plant associations feature many desert flora, but there are also forested areas within the county. The California endemic Blue oak, Quercus douglasii is at the southernmost part of it its range in Riverside County.[6]

Transportation infrastructureEdit

Major highwaysEdit

Public transportationEdit

Riverside County is also served by Greyhound buses. Amtrak trains stop in Riverside and Palm Springs, and Amtrak California provides bus connections to the San Joaquins in Riverside, Beaumont, Palm Springs, Thousand Palms, Indio, Moreno Valley, Perris, Sun City and Hemet. Metrolink trains serve five stations in Riverside County: Riverside-Downtown, Riverside-La Sierra, North Main-Corona, West Corona, and Pedley Station (in unincorporated Pedley, California). These trains provide service to Orange, San Bernardino and Los Angeles counties seven days a week, with a primarily commuter-oriented schedule.


Commercial airportsEdit

General aviation airportsEdit

Government, law, and politicsEdit


Riverside County is organized as a General Law County under the provision of the California Government Code. The county has five supervisorial districts, and one supervisor is elected from each district every four years.[9]

A General Plan was prepared for the county by the firm of Earth Metrics in the year 1994;[10] in 2003 the County Supervisors authorized updating the plan with respect to certain unincorporated areas.


Riverside County Courthouse, 1903

Riverside County Historic Courthouse

The Riverside Superior Court is the state trial court for Riverside County with 14 courthouses: Riverside Historic Courthouse, Riverside Hall of Justice, Riverside Family Law Court, Riverside Juvenile Court, Southwest Justice Center - Murrieta, Moreno Valley Court, Banning Court, Hemet Court, Corona Court, Temecula Court, Larson Justice Center - Indio, Indio Juvenile Court, Palm Springs Court and Blythe Court.[11]

The main courthouse is the Riverside Historic Courthouse. This landmark, erected in 1903, was modeled after the Grand and Petit Palais in Paris, France. The courthouse, designed by Los Angeles architects Burnham and Bliesner, has a classical design— including a great hall that connects all the departments (courtrooms).[12] In 1994, the courthouse was closed for seismic retrofits due to the 1992 Landers and 1994 Northridge earthquakes. The courthouse was reopened and rededicated in September 1998.[13]


Riverside County vote
by party in presidential elections
Year GOP DEM Others
2008 48.7% 293,349 49.7% 299,380 1.6% 10,530
2004 57.8% 322,473 41.0% 228,806 1.1% 6,300
2000 51.4% 231,955 44.9% 202,576 3.7% 16,596
1996 45.6% 178,611 43.1% 168,579 11.3% 44,423
1992 37.1% 159,457 38.6% 166,241 24.3% 104,577
1988 59.5% 199,979 39.6% 133,122 1.0% 3,247
1984 63.5% 182,324 35.5% 102,043 1.0% 2,835
1980 59.9% 145,642 31.5% 76,650 8.6% 20,986
1976 49.2% 97,774 48.5% 96,228 2.3% 4,556
1972 58.0% 108,120 38.4% 71,591 3.6% 6,693
1968 52.9% 83,414 38.8% 61,146 8.3% 13,110
1964 43.1% 61,165 56.8% 80,528 0.1% 95
1960 56.2% 65,855 43.4% 50,877 0.5% 544
1956 62.2% 56,766 37.3% 34,098 0.5% 465
1952 65.1% 51,692 33.9% 26,948 1.0% 788
1948 55.7% 32,209 40.3% 23,305 4.1% 2,350
1944 53.9% 23,168 45.3% 19,439 0.8% 346
1940 51.4% 21,779 47.2% 20,003 1.4% 598
1936 48.9% 16,674 49.9% 17,011 1.2% 422
1932 50.2% 14,112 45.4% 12,755 4.4% 1,245
1928 77.9% 17,600 21.1% 4,769 0.9% 212
1924 62.0% 9,619 8.5% 1,318 29.5% 4,579
1920 69.6% 9,124 21.3% 2,798 9.1% 1,196

Riverside has historically been regarded as a Republican county in presidential and congressional elections. In 1932, it was one of only two counties (the other being Benton County, Oregon) on the entire Pacific coast of the United States to vote for Hoover over Roosevelt.[14] In recent years, however, Democratic registration numbers have been increasing, and Democrats have made inroads in historically Republican strongholds. In 2008, Barack Obama narrowly carried the county, becoming the first Democrat to do so since Bill Clinton in 1992.

In the House of Representatives, a substantial portion of Riverside County lies in California's 45th congressional district, with parts in the 41st, 44th, and 49th districts. All four districts are held by Republicans, the 41st by Jerry Lewis, the 44th by Ken Calvert, the 45th by Mary Bono Mack, and the 49th by Darrell Issa.

In the State Assembly all of the 64th district and parts of the 63rd, 65th, 66th, 71st, and 80th districts lie in the county. The 63rd is currently vacant, the 64th is represented by Republican Brian Nestande, the 65th by Republican Paul Cook, the 71st by Republican Jeff Miller, and the 80th by Democrat Manuel Perez. In the 80th Assembly District, which has a significant Democratic voter registration edge, Democrats were able to take back the district after 14 years of Republican representation with Perez's victory.

In the State Senate all of the 37th district and parts of the 31st, 36th, and 40th districts are located in the county. The 31st, 36th, and 37th districts are held by Republicans, Robert Dutton, Dennis Hollingsworth, and Bill Emmerson respectively, and the 40th is held by Democrat Denise Moreno Ducheny.

Riverside County voted 64.8% in favor of Proposition 8 which amended the California Constitution to ban same-sex marriages.


Historical populations
Census Pop.
1900 17,897
1910 34,696 93.9%
1920 50,297 45.0%
1930 81,024 61.1%
1940 105,524 30.2%
1950 170,046 61.1%
1960 306,191 80.1%
1970 459,074 49.9%
1980 663,166 44.5%
1990 1,170,413 76.5%
2000 1,545,387 32.0%
2010 2,189,641 41.7%


The 2010 United States Census reported that Riverside County had a population of 2,189,641. The racial makeup of Riverside County was 1,335,147 (61.0%) White, 140,543 (6.4%) African American, 23,710 (1.1%) Native American, 130,468 (6.0%) Asian (2.3% Filipino, 0.8% Chinese, 0.7% Vietnamese, 0.6% Korean, 0.5% Indian, 0.2% Japanese, 0.1% Cambodian, 0.1% Laotian, 0.1% Pakistani), 6,874 (0.3%) Pacific Islander, 448,235 (20.5%) from other races, and 104,664 (4.8%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 995,257 persons (45.5%); 39.5% of Riverside County is Mexican, 0.8% Salvadoran, 0.7% Honduran, 0.6% Puerto Rican, 0.3% Cuban, and 0.2% Nicaraguan.[15]

Population reported at 2010 United States Census
The County
two or
more races
or Latino
(of any race)
Riverside County 2,189,6411,335,147140,54323,710130,4686,874448,235104,664995,257
two or
more races
or Latino
(of any race)
Banning 29,60319,1642,1656411,549394,6041,44112,181
Beaumont 36,87723,1632,2765442,845836,0581,90814,864
Blythe 20,81712,3963,126243319324,04565611,068
Calimesa 7,8796,7778899100105652401,762
Canyon Lake 10,5619,49512861190363163351,303
Cathedral City 51,20032,5371,3445402,5625512,0082,15430,085
Coachella 40,70419,5763202902663419,1541,06439,254
Corona 152,37490,9258,9341,15315,04855228,0037,75966,447
Desert Hot Springs 25,93815,0532,133357675846,3431,29313,646
Eastvale 53,66822,9985,19029013,0031989,1722,81721,445
Hemet 78,65753,2595,0491,2232,35228412,3714,11928,150
Indian Wells 4,9584,72129208325251209
Indio 76,03646,7351,8057411,6935522,3942,61351,540
La Quinta 37,46729,4897132301,176414,5951,22311,339
Lake Elsinore 51,82131,0672,7384832,99617411,1743,18925,073
Menifee 77,51955,4443,8586553,7882959,6423,83725,551
Moreno Valley 193,36580,96934,8891,72111,8671,11751,74111,061105,169
Murrieta 103,46672,1375,6017419,5563918,6956,34526,792
Norco 27,06320,6411,893248844592,5148648,405
Palm Desert 48,44539,9578752491,647554,4271,23511,038
Palm Springs 44,55233,7201,9824671,971714,9491,39211,286
Perris 68,38628,9378,3075892,46128624,3453,46149,079
Rancho Mirage 17,21815,26725694651145983381,964
Riverside 303,871171,66921,4213,46722,5661,21968,11115,418148,953
San Jacinto 44,19925,2722,9288121,34112411,2082,51423,109
Temecula 100,09770,8804,1321,0799,7653687,9285,94524,727
Wildomar 32,17622,3721,0653761,454695,1241,71611,363
two or
more races
or Latino
(of any race)
Aguanga 1,128929112024010935274
Anza 3,0142,4113457363347126791
Bermuda Dunes 7,2825,43318063241111,1262282,371
Cabazon 2,5351,7511359038143581491,135
Cherry Valley 6,3625,450631028744512051,347
Coronita 2,6081,649383110812688821,349
Crestmore Heights 384229226013312263
Desert Center 204164132025938
Desert Edge 3,8223,0511434281624701,220
Desert Palms 6,9576,72859169551539177
East Hemet 17,41812,257679323275292,9978586,778
El Cerrito 5,1003,542915495111,1221852,657
El Sobrante 12,7237,4351,010732,240361,3126173,626
French Valley 23,06714,8271,8282292,6721341,8891,4886,318
Garnet 7,5434,2472039662102,6362895,580
Glen Avon 20,19910,272805216462347,56784313,766
Good Hope 9,1924,156669986443,8853167,319
Green Acres 1,8051,1923441252396115856
Highgrove 3,9882,10416241113131,3881672,604
Home Gardens 11,5705,275364126667514,5005878,524
Homeland 5,9693,7271308549151,6732903,110
Idyllwild-Pine Cove 3,8743,4343230135688149479
Indio Hills 9725426155139112657
Lake Mathews 5,8904,2392535919338912521,808
Lake Riverside 1,1731,0422116284638186
Lakeland Village 11,5417,764285131168212,5755975,114
Lakeview 2,1041,117154872842731,350
March ARB 1,159811171103529337172
Mead Valley 18,5108,3831,515179259177,48467313,395
Meadowbrook 3,1852,034130195147981491,765
Mecca 8,5772,68640471775,5432378,462
Mesa Verde 1,023589894137339715
Mira Loma 21,93012,577383240465437,25097214,846
Mountain Center 636001100115
North Shore 3,4771,39433261851,8841173,313
Nuevo 6,4474,0111139182161,8103243,514
Oasis 6,8901,69322964204,9271106,731
Pedley 12,6727,509381119554483,5205416,773
Ripley 69239310321416524537
Romoland 1,684958658351251492865
Rubidoux 34,28016,9351,85039185513612,4691,64423,322
Sky Valley 2,4061,961353421328270682
Sunnyslope 5,1533,017965576101,6962033,630
Temescal Valley 22,53514,7851,5071312,157742,5651,3166,753
Thermal 2,8651,03428303211,685552,730
Thousand Palms 7,7155,76310575129101,4222114,051
Valle Vista 14,57811,542440252283411,3516694,027
Vista Santa Rosa 2,9261,6998140609421312,487
Warm Springs 2,6761,67311924102146061381,232
Whitewater 85963637312109737267
Winchester 2,5341,57738174627281261,233
Woodcrest 14,34710,41871669715411,7166724,113
two or
more races
or Latino
(of any race)
All others not CDPs (combined) 73,11751,4222,2312,1023,79420610,1053,25724,128


As of the census[16] of 2000, there were 1,545,387 people, 506,218 households, and 372,576 families residing in the county. The population density was 214 people per square mile (83/km²). There were 584,674 housing units at an average density of 81 per square mile (31/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 65.6% White, 6.2% Black or African American, 1.2% Native American, 3.7% Asian, 0.3% Pacific Islander, 18.7% from other races, and 4.4% from two or more races. 36.2% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 9.2% were of German, 6.9% English, 6.1% Irish and 5.0% American ancestry according to Census 2000. 67.2% spoke English and 27.7% Spanish as their first language.

In 2006 the county had a population of 2,026,803, up 31.2% since 2000. In 2005 45.8% of the population was non-Hispanic whites. The percentages of African Americans, Asians and Native Americans remained relatively similar to their 2000 figures. The percentage of Pacific Islanders had majorly risen to 0.4. Hispanics now constituted 41% of the population.

There were 506,218 households out of which 38.90% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.5% were married couples living together, 12.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.4% were non-families. 20.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.0 and the average family size was 3.5.

In the county the population was spread out with 30.3% under the age of 18, 9.2% from 18 to 24, 28.9% from 25 to 44, 18.9% from 45 to 64, and 12.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 99.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.8 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $42,887, and the median income for a family was $48,409. Males had a median income of $38,639 versus $28,032 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,689. About 10.7% of families and 14.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.5% of those under age 18 and 7.6% of those age 65 or over.


Universities and collegesEdit


The 161-foot, 48-bell, carillon tower at the University of California, Riverside.

Military installationsEdit

Places of interestEdit

2000 protester at Gold Base with sign

The Golden Era Productions entrance at Gold Base, with a protester

Gold Base, in an unincorporated area in the county, is the international headquarters of the Church of Scientology. The compound includes the studios of Golden Era Productions.[30][31][32][33] Other sites include:



  • Fitch, Robert J. Profile of a Century: Riverside County, California, 1893-1993. Riverside County Historical Commission Press, 1993.

References and notesEdit

  1. ^ Native American Indian Resources web site; Federally Recognized California Tribes.
  2. ^ a b Fitch, pages v-viii.
  3. ^ California v. Cabazon Band, 480 U.S. 202 (1987).
  4. ^ "Census 2000 U.S. Gazetteer Files: Counties". United States Census. Retrieved 2011-02-13. 
  5. ^ a b Husing, John (October 2007). "Inland Empire City Profile 2007" (PDF). Inland Empire Quarterly Economic Report 19 (4). Retrieved on 2007-12-01. 
  6. ^ C. Michael Hogan. 2008 Blue Oak: Quercus douglasii,, ed. N. Stromberg
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ Fitch, page 1.
  10. ^ General Plan for Riverside County, Earth Metrics Inc., Burlingame, Ca. (1994)
  11. ^ Locations
  12. ^ Rededication of the Historic Riverside County Courthouse
  13. ^ California Courts - Main Courthouse
  14. ^
  15. ^ "2010 Census P.L. 94-171 Summary File Data". United States Census Bureau. 
  16. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  17. ^ About Brandman University
  18. ^ California Baptist Univ. About
  19. ^ California Southern Law School
  20. ^ CSUSB Palm Desert Campus
  21. ^ About College of the Desert
  22. ^ La Sierra University
  23. ^ Mayfield College
  24. ^ Mt. San Jacinto College
  25. ^ Palo Verde College
  26. ^ Riverside Community College District
  27. ^ Santa Barbara Business College
  28. ^ University of California, Riverside
  29. ^ University of Phoenix locations
  30. ^ "Rural Studio is Scientology Headquarters." San Jose Mercury News. August 13, 1991. 6B California News. Retrieved on October 21, 2009.
  31. ^ Kelly, David. "Scientology foes blast new Riverside County law." Los Angeles Times. January 10, 2009. 1. Retrieved on October 21, 2009.
  32. ^ Glick, Julia. "County ordinance raises questions about Scientology." The Press-Enterprise. Tuesday January 6, 2009. Retrieved on October 21, 2009.
  33. ^ McGavin, Gregor. "Scientologists' presence in Inland area dates back to 1960s." The Press-Enterprise. Tuesday January 15, 2008. Retrieved on October 21, 2009.


External linksEdit

Template:Inland Empire

Coordinates: 33°44′N 115°59′W / 33.73, -115.98

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Riverside County, California. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.

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