The western part of the county is defined by the course of several rivers and the irregular boundaries of adjoining counties. When the county was created, the founders wanted to include access to the transcontinental railroad, so a rectangular section was added that includes the railroad town of Truckee. What is remarkable about this is that the final shape of the county closely resembles the Deringer pocket pistol, a favorite at the time of the more urbane residents of this gold rush county.
There were 36,894 households out of which 28.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.6% were married couples living together, 8.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.7% were non-families. 22.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.47 and the average family size was 2.88.
In the county the population was spread out with 23.1% under the age of 18, 6.1% from 18 to 24, 24.1% from 25 to 44, 29.3% from 45 to 64, and 17.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43 years. For every 100 females there were 98.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.7 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $45,864, and the median income for a family was $52,697. Males had a median income of $40,742 versus $27,173 for females. The per capita income for the county was $24,007. About 5.5% of families and 8.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.5% of those under age 18 and 4.9% of those age 65 or over.
|2004||53.4% 28,790||44.9% 24,220||1.7% 910|
|2000||54.8% 25,998||37.2% 17,670||8.0% 3,811|
|1996||50.4% 22,784||35.6% 15,369||14.0% 6,066|
|1992||39.2% 17,343||34.9% 15,433||25.9% 11,425|
|1988||57.8% 21,383||40.5% 14,980||1.8% 660|
|1984||62.4% 19,809||35.2% 11,198||2.4% 761|
|1980||57.9% 15,207||29.0% 7,605||13.1% 3,449|
|1976||48.4% 8,170||46.9% 7,926||4.67 785|
|1972||54.7% 8,004||38.9% 5,693||6.4% 941|
|1968||51.4% 6,061||39.1% 4,607||9.5% 1,126|
|1964||43.3% 4,899||56.5% 6,397||0.2% 22|
|1960||53.4% 5,419||45.7% 4,633||0.9% 89|
Nevada is a Republican-leaning county in Presidential and congressional elections. The last Democrat to win a majority in the county was Lyndon Johnson in 1964. The margin for Republicans has been slipping away in recent years. Democrat John Kerry won 44% of the vote in 2004 the best showing by a Democrat in Nevada County in 28 years.
Nevada is part of California's 4th congressional district, which is held by Republican John Doolittle. In the state legislature Nevada is in the 3rd Assembly district, which is held by Republican Rick Keene, and the 1st Senate district, which is held by Republican Dave Cox.
The world's first long-distance telephone call was made from Nevada City, California to Washington, California.
The Pelton wheel, designed to power gold mines, still drives hydro-electric generators today.
Nevada City and Grass Valley were among the first California towns with electric lights.
Lyman Gilmore, a contemporary of the Wright Brothers, developed early powered aircraft and operated the world's first commercial air field in Grass Valley. There is also evidence he may have flown before the Wright brothers.
Charles Litton Sr., a resident and entrepreneur of Nevada County, assisted Raytheon in the development of the magnetron tube.
Atari developed its first home computer video games in Nevada County.
The Nevada County Narrow Gauge Railroad was built in 1876, and was the only railroad in the West that was never robbed, even though its primary freight was gold. (Builder-owner John Flint Kidder's reputation made it clear that he would personally hunt down and kill anyone who tried.) The rail line closed in 1942 and was torn up for scrap.
Electronic medical dosing equipment was first developed and manufactured in Nevada County.
The first commercially viable picture-phone was developed in Nevada City.
Over 50 high tech and applied tech companies, and more than 1,000 hardware and software design and development professionals call Nevada County home. The county is sometimes referred to as the "Silicon Valley of the Sierras".
Current home of controversial NFL star Ricky Williams.
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