About Santa Cruz County, California

Santa Cruz County
Image courtesy of Wikipedia

Santa Cruz County, officially known as the County of Santa Cruz, is a county located on the Pacific coast of California, United States. As of the 2024 census, the county has an estimated population of 274,253 residents. It is situated on the northern side of Monterey Bay, approximately 65 miles south of San Francisco and 35 miles north of Monterey. The county can be divided roughly into four regions: the rugged “north coast,” the urban City of Santa Cruz, Soquel, Capitola, and Aptos, mountainous Bonny Doon, San Lorenzo River Valley, and the fertile “south county,” including Watsonville and Corralitos.

Santa Cruz County is known for its natural beauty, with pristine beaches, lush redwood forests, and rich farmland. It has an ideal Mediterranean climate with low humidity and sunshine for 300 days a year. The county is home to 14 state parks and beaches, dozens of local parks, beaches, and preserves, and a national marine sanctuary.

The county’s economy is anchored by technology, agriculture, and tourism. The largest city in the county is the City of Santa Cruz, with a population of 59,946. Other incorporated cities include Capitola, Scotts Valley, and Watsonville. The county’s workforce consists of 2,470 employees in 20 agencies and departments, with an annual budget of approximately $777 million.

Santa Cruz County is a diverse community, with 56% Caucasian, 34% Hispanic, 5% Asian, 4% multi-racial, 2% Native American, and 2% African American residents. The county’s strong local economy is supported by its school system, which includes Cabrillo Community College and the University of California, Santa Cruz, one of the nation’s best universities.