What are our communities like?
The rural environment of the Sierra foothills is characterized by a population generally dispersed throughout small-town communities of mixed use surrounded by large areas of open expanses consisting of agriculture, native vegetation, and low-density development. It is a policy of the county’s general plan to avoid having communities grow together, and this results in open areas between towns that allow distinct and individually-identified communities. Tuolumne County is made up of 19 defined communities: Strawberry, Long Barn, Sierra Village, Sugar Pine/Mi-Wuk Village, Twain Harte, Tuolumne, Soulsbyville, Crystal Falls/Mono Vista, Cedar Ridge, Standard, East Sonora, Sonora, Columbia, Jamestown, Chinese Camp, Moccasin, Lake Don Pedro, Big Oak Flat, and Groveland/Pine Mountain Lake.
Historic roads, highways and trails traverse areas of great scenic beauty within the county, offering enjoyable experiences for motorists, cyclists, and hikers. The visual separation of the county benefits from the conservation of open areas, especially along the road corridors connecting the communities. The relatively low density and scenic routes between communities and at entrances to the county give it much of its rural and natural character. Native vegetation and tree cover, geological wonders such as Table Mountain or volcanic "gargoyles," along with agricultural landscapes add scenic value to our separated communities.
What is our population like?
Almost 56,500 people live in Tuolumne County, with the number of births being fairly stable at approximately 400 annually. Almost 10% of our population is in institutions such as assisted living, and long term care; the largest portion of the institutionalized population, more than 4,000 men, are in the state prison outside of Jamestown.
Our income is significantly less than the state, with per capita income ($25,044) 24.0% less than that of California ($32,989). Many of our residents live below the poverty line (11.4%), 16.2% of those under the age of 18 and 4.0% of those 65 and older.