About Butte County, California

Butte County
Image courtesy of Wikipedia

Butte County is a county located in the northern part of California, USA with an estimated population of 208,284 as of the 2024 census. It has a total area of 1,677 square miles, and its county seat is Oroville, while its largest city is Chico. The county is named after the nearby Sutter Buttes, and it is drained by the Feather River and the Sacramento River. Butte Creek and Big Chico Creek are additional perennial streams, both tributary to the Sacramento. Butte County is home to California State University, Chico and Butte College. The county’s economy is mainly based on agriculture, with lucrative crops including rice, almonds, walnuts, and peaches. Butte County is partnering with the incorporated communities of Biggs, Chico, Gridley, Oroville, and Paradise, along with the Butte County Office of Education.

Here are 10 facts about Butte County, CA:

1. Agricultural and Gold Mining History: Butte County is rich in agricultural lands and gold mining history. It was the site of the 1859 discovery of the largest nugget ever found in California, weighing 54 pounds.

2. Natural Beauty: Butte County is known as “The Land of Natural Wealth and Beauty” and is home to the Sutter Buttes, which is the world’s smallest mountain range.

3. Incorporation and Geography: Butte County was incorporated as one of California’s 27 original counties on February 18, 1850. It has a total area of 1,677 square miles and a population of 221,768.

4. Major Cities: The county seat is Oroville, and the largest city is Chico.

5. Wildfire: In November 2018, a major wildfire, the Camp Fire, destroyed most of the town of Paradise and a large area of rural, hilly country east of Chico.

6. Population Diversity: The 2010 United States Census reported that Butte County had a diverse population, with a majority of White residents and a significant Hispanic or Latino population.

7. Economic Development: The average cost of a new 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom home in Butte County is $280,000.

8. Outdoor Recreation: Butte County offers outstanding outdoor recreation, including the second largest reservoir in California, Lake Oroville, which is a hub for various activities such as boating, fishing, camping, biking, and hiking.

9. Cultural and Educational Significance: General John Bidwell founded the city of Chico and gave land for the development of Chico State University. The city is also home to the largest municipal park west of the Mississippi River, Bidwell Park.

10. Local Attractions: Butte County is home to various attractions, including the Bidwell Mansion State Historic Park in Chico, which offers tours of the historic mansion.