Tuolumne County Profile - Community Indicators Project
Tuolumne County Profile Executive Summary Tuolumne County Profile Introduction Health and Safety Education and the Arts Natural Resources and Recreation Economy and Infrastructure Acknowledgements Conclusion

What is an indicator?

An indicator is a slice of information that focuses on a small, manageable, and significant piece of a system to give people a sense of the bigger picture. In other words, indicators are statistics and trends that display the direction in which a particular condition is heading. Indicators measure whether a community is changing in relation to providing all its members with a productive, enjoyable life. The Indicator Project Committee members spent considerable time using the guidance from the phone survey to gather and present indicators that are available, understandable, valid, and clear.

What happens next?

Every three years, this information will be measured again, compared to the previous reports, and presented to the community. We will also evaluate the use of this document and use the findings from this evaluation to refine our work.

What did the indicators show?

This report presents valid, reproducible information on the indicators that the residents deemed important. To give a sense of perspective, when possible, we compared the indicators to previous years and to nearby counties and/or the state. A synopsis of what we found follows.


Most people consider rural communities to be safer and healthier than urban areas. In general, that is true for Tuolumne County. However, we still struggle with many of the same issues of more populated areas, such as domestic violence, abuse, and illness. Additionally, as with many rural tourist areas, we have a problem with motor vehicle accidents and theft.


Education and the arts are very important to the quality of life for most county residents. We face challenges and celebrate successes in meeting needs and expectations for early childhood opportunities and for K-12 performance and aspirations. A wide variety of opportunities exist for adults to pursue additional education and training, ranging from the local community college to a number of public and private providers, including major universities within reasonable commuting distance. Capacity, variety, and attendance among local performing arts venues are unique for a rural region, although financial support is very challenging. While residents desire a wide variety of visual arts exhibitions, funding and local venues and available galleries are limited, especially in proportion to the number of resident artists and craftspersons.


Our vast natural resources provide a sense of identity and pride. Yosemite National Park, in the southeastern area of the county, attracts millions of visitors annually and offers a wide variety of recreational activities, as do our state parks, numerous reservoirs, and federal forest. Our timberlands remain constant in size. We are reducing wildland fire danger and expanding our recreational opportunities.


Historically, mining and timber industries dominated Tuolumne County’s economy, although tourism was very important from the early 1850s. In recent years, emphasis on mining decreased, while logging has remained steady. Government is the largest employer, accounting for about 1/3 of all the jobs. This includes city, county, state and federal and the two Me-Wuk Indian tribes. Other employment is found in education, services, trade, and tourism. We are also a community of commuters—both electronically and physically.

Community Indicators Project
Tuolumne County - Central Sierra Mountains