Geographically, the county is mostly desert. Most of Joshua Tree National Park is located in the county. Because of its proximity to Los Angeles and generally less expensive housing costs, workers in the Los Angeles area have been moving to Riverside County in large numbers in recent years. This spawned a wave of toll road construction in the area in the 1990s, starting with the addition of toll commuter lanes to the 91 freeway, the main traffic artery to the western metropolis.
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3 Adjacent Counties
5 Cities and towns
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 18,915 km² (7,303 mi²). 18,667 km² (7,207 mi²) of it is land and 248 km² (96 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 1.31% water.
As of the census2 of 2000, there are 1,545,387 people, 506,218 households, and 372,576 families residing in the county. The population density is 83/km² (214/mi²). There are 584,674 housing units at an average density of 31/km² (81/mi²). The racial makeup of the county is 65.58% White, 6.24% Black or African American, 1.18% Native American, 3.69% Asian, 0.25% Pacific Islander, 18.69% from other races, and 4.37% from two or more races. 36.21% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 506,218 households out of which 38.90% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.50% are married couples living together, 12.00% have a female householder with no husband present, and 26.40% are non-families. 20.70% of all households are made up of individuals and 9.30% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.98 and the average family size is 3.47.
In the county the population is spread out with 30.30% under the age of 18, 9.20% from 18 to 24, 28.90% from 25 to 44, 18.90% from 45 to 64, and 12.70% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 33 years. For every 100 females there are 99.10 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 96.80 males.
The median income for a household in the county is $42,887, and the median income for a family is $48,409. Males have a median income of $38,639 versus $28,032 for females. The per capita income for the county is $18,689. 14.20% of the population and 10.70% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 18.50% are under the age of 18 and 7.60% are 65 or older.
Cities and towns