Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Santa Barbara County, California

Santa Barbara County is a county located on the Pacific coast of Southern California, in the state of California, just west of Ventura County. There is a movement afoot to divide the northern part of the county from the south. As of 2000 the county had a population of 399,347. The county seat is Santa Barbara.

Table of contents
1 History
2 Geography
3 Demographics
4 Cities and towns
5 External links


Mission Santa Barbara was founded on December 4, 1786 in what is now Santa Barbara.

Santa Barbara County was one of the original counties of California, formed in 1850 at the time of statehood. Parts of the county's territory were given to Ventura County in 1872.

In recent years, residents of the northern half of the county have agitated for the county to be split in half, claiming that the southern half of the county ignores their needs. A proposed "Mission County" would be formed from the northern half.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 9,814 km² (3,789 mi²). 7,089 km² (2,737 mi²) of it is land and 2,725 km² (1,052 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 27.77% water.


As of the census2 of 2000, there are 399,347 people, 136,622 households, and 89,487 families residing in the county. The population density is 56/km² (146/mi²). There are 142,901 housing units at an average density of 20/km² (52/mi²). The racial makeup of the county is 72.72% White, 2.30% Black or African American, 1.20% Native American, 4.09% Asian, 0.18% Pacific Islander, 15.20% from other races, and 4.31% from two or more races. 34.22% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 136,622 households out of which 32.40% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.40% are married couples living together, 10.00% have a female householder with no husband present, and 34.50% are non-families. 24.30% of all households are made up of individuals and 9.40% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.80 and the average family size is 3.33.

In the county the population is spread out with 24.90% under the age of 18, 13.30% from 18 to 24, 29.00% from 25 to 44, 20.10% 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 100.10 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 98.10 males.

The median income for a household in the county is $46,677, and the median income for a family is $54,042. Males have a median income of $37,997 versus $29,593 for females. The per capita income for the county is $23,059. 14.30% of the population and 8.50% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 16.30% are under the age of 18 and 6.20% are 65 or older.

Cities and towns

External links