Sutter County was one of the original counties of California, created in 1850 at the time of statehood. Parts of the county were given to Placer County in 1851.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,576 km² (609 mi²). 1,561 km² (603 mi²) of it is land and 16 km² (6 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 0.99% water.
As of the census2 of 2000, there are 78,930 people, 27,033 households, and 19,950 families residing in the county. The population density is 51/km² (131/mi²). There are 28,319 housing units at an average density of 18/km² (47/mi²). The racial makeup of the county is 67.52% White, 1.91% Black or African American, 1.55% Native American, 11.26% Asian, 0.20% Pacific Islander, 12.96% from other races, and 4.60% from two or more races. 22.21% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 27,033 households out of which 37.90% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.00% are married couples living together, 11.70% have a female householder with no husband present, and 26.20% are non-families. 21.20% of all households are made up of individuals and 8.60% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.87 and the average family size is 3.35.
In the county the population is spread out with 29.00% under the age of 18, 9.20% from 18 to 24, 28.20% from 25 to 44, 21.30% from 45 to 64, and 12.40% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 34 years. For every 100 females there are 98.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 94.30 males.
The median income for a household in the county is $38,375, and the median income for a family is $44,330. Males have a median income of $35,723 versus $25,778 for females. The per capita income for the county is $17,428. 15.50% of the population and 12.10% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 21.30% are under the age of 18 and 7.70% are 65 or older.