Tulare County is a county located in U.S. state of California's Central Valley, south of Fresno. Sequoia National Park is located in the county. As of 2000 the population was 368,021. Its county seat is Visalia.
Tulare County was formed from parts of Mariposa County in 1852. Parts of the county's territory were given to Fresno County in 1856, to Kern County in 1866, to Inyo County in 1866 and to Kings County in 1893.
Commandante Pedro Fages, while hunting for deserters in 1772, discovered a great lake surrounded by marshes and filled with rushes which he named Los Tules (the tules). It is from this lake that the county derives its name. The root of the name Tulare is found in the Mexican word tullin, designating cattail or similar reeds.
Tulare County bears the unfortunate distinction of being the one of the most impoverished counties in California, despite its proximity to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.
The local tax base is in such poor shape that most branches of the county public library system are open only two days per week (in contrast, most California public libraries are open at least five).
In 2001 Tulare County surpassed Fresno County as being the most productive county in California in terms of agricultural revenues, US$3.5 billion to US$3.2 billion. This also makes it the most agriculturally-productive county in the U.S. (Fresno reverting to number two for the first time in decades), and further cements its place among the most agriculturally-productive regions in the world.
Due to the primary business of agriculture, Tulare County is the home of the annual World Ag Expo, the world's largest agricultural exposition, always the second week of February.
In 2003, Milk was the commodity bringing in the most revenue, at slightly over one billion dollars. Oranges were next, at $442 million, with Grapes and Cattle & Calves competing for third and fourth place, with $378 and $372 million in revenue, respectively.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 12,533 km˛ (4,839 mi˛). 12,494 km˛ (4,824 mi˛) of it is land and 39 km˛ (15 mi˛) of it is water. The total area is 0.31% water.
As of the census2 of 2000, there are 368,021 people, 110,385 households, and 87,093 families residing in the county. The population density is 29/km˛ (76/mi˛). There are 119,639 housing units at an average density of 10/km˛ (25/mi˛). The racial makeup of the county is 58.08% White, 1.59% Black or African American, 1.56% Native American, 3.27% Asian, 0.11% Pacific Islander, 30.79% from other races, and 4.60% from two or more races. 50.77% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 110,385 households out of which 44.90% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.10% are married couples living together, 14.50% have a female householder with no husband present, and 21.10% are non-families. 17.10% of all households are made up of individuals and 7.70% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 3.28 and the average family size is 3.67.
In the county the population is spread out with 33.80% under the age of 18, 10.60% from 18 to 24, 27.60% from 25 to 44, 18.20% from 45 to 64, and 9.80% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 29 years. For every 100 females there are 100.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 97.70 males.
The median income for a household in the county is $33,983, and the median income for a family is $36,297. Males have a median income of $30,892 versus $24,589 for females. The per capita income for the county is $14,006. 23.90% of the population and 18.80% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 32.60% of those under the age of 18 and 10.50% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.
Cities and towns
- East Orosi
- East Porterville
- Lemon Cove
- Poplar-Cotton Center
- Terra Bella
- Three Rivers
- Tulare County official website (http://www.co.tulare.ca.us/)
- World Ag Expo official website (http://www.worldagexpo.com/)
- Tulare County Agricultural Commissioner/Sealer official website (with Annual Crop and Livestock Reports) (http://agcomm.co.tulare.ca.us/)
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