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About Chico

Population
As of the most recent annexations, the city has a total population of 84,396 (according to city estimates). Chico is the 19th largest Metropolitan Statistical area in California and the 194th largest in the United States with a metro population of 212,968.

Special Population Note: Although the Census Bureau states the 2000 population as 59,954, a large portion of the Chico urban area is unincorporated territory. Additionally, the local growth rate in Chico (and the surrounding area) in recent years has been close to 2.5%, increasing the population steadily. As of January 2006, the city government estimates the population of the city to be 84,396 and the population of the urban area (including adjacent unincorporated areas) to be 105,080.

Owing to the influence of California State University, Chico and Butte College, the population of Chico is highly transient.

Households
As of the census[13] of 2000, there were 59,954 people, 23,476 households, and 11,644 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,161.0 people per square mile (834.5/kmē). There were 24,386 housing units at an average density of 879.0/sq mi (339.4/kmē).

There were 23,476 households out of which 27.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 34.4% were married couples living together, 11.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 50.4% were non-families. 29.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.42 and the average family size was 3.03.

Race and Religion
The racial makeup of the city was 82.36% White, 2.03% Black or African American, 1.30% Native American, 4.21% Asian, 0.19% Pacific Islander, 5.65% from other races, and 4.25% from two or more races. 12.26% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

Part of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Sacramento Part of the Episcopal Diocese of Northern California Part of the Chico Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Part of the Sacramento presbytery of the Synod of the Pacific of the Presbyterian Church (USA)

Age and Sex
In the city the population was spread out with 21.1% under the age of 18, 27.0% from 18 to 24, 26.8% from 25 to 44, 15.2% from 45 to 64, and 9.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 26 years. For every 100 females there were 96.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.9 males.

Economy
The median income for a household in the city was $29,359, and the median income for a family was $43,077. Males had a median income of $35,548 versus $26,173 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,970. About 12.7% of families and 26.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.2% of those under age 18 and 8.2% of those age 65 or over.

Much of the local economy is driven by the presence of California State University, Chico. Industries providing employment: Educational, health and social services (30.3%), Retail trade (14.9%), Arts, entertainment, recreation, accommodation and food services (12.6%). [14]

Top 10 Non-Manufacturing Employers [15] (by Employee Size) *
  • Enloe Medical Center (2268 employees)
  • County of Butte (2032)
  • California State University, Chico (1823 employees)
  • Chico Unified School District (1400 employees)
  • TriCounties Bank (700)
  • Butte-Glenn Community College District (602 employees)
  • Lifetouch National School Studios, Inc. (500)
  • Feather Falls Casino (400)
  • City of Chico (374)
  • Employment Development Department (350)


  • Top 10 Manufacturing Employers [16] (by Employee Size) *
  • Sierra Nevada Brewery (325)
  • Koret of California (250 employees)
  • SunGard Bi-Tech (link) (240)
  • Aero Union Corporation (link)(185 employees)
  • Sunset Moulding Company (145 employees)
  • Smucker Quality Beverages, Inc. (130 employees)
  • Lundberg Family Farms (110)
  • Norfield Industries (110 employees)
  • JG Brattan (100)
  • Wrex Products, Inc. of Chico (93 employees)


  • In the last two decades, Chico has emerged as a regional retail shopping destination. Chico's largest retail district is centered around the Chico Mall on East 20th Street. In the two decades since the Chico Mall was constructed, many national retailers have located nearby, including Target, Kohl's, Best Buy, and Wal-Mart. In January, 2008, plans were unveiled to remodel the Chico Mall by demolishing the westernmost portion of the mall (previously home to Troutman's) and constructing an open air "lifestyle" shopping center that will connect the mall with the Kohl's shopping center nearby.

    Chico is also home to the North Valley Plaza Mall, which was the city's first enclosed shopping center. This mall was constructed in the late 1960s and was the city's largest shopping center until the Chico Mall was built in the late 1980s. For a few years the "old" mall and the "new" mall competed against one another. The North Valley Plaza Mall was dealt a blow when JCPenny's, one of the old mall's anchors, moved to the Chico Mall in 1993. The "old" mall slowly declined with increasing vacancies. In 2002, after several failed attempts at revitalization, the North Valley Plaza Mall was overhauled, with the center of the mall demolished. Although several large retailers, such as Mervyn's, Trader Joe's, and Tinseltown Theater, are still operating, there has been an effort to make the North Valley Plaza more of a neighborhood shopping center, rather than a regional one.

    Walmart has announced plans to build two supercenters in Chico. One would be in south Chico and would be an expansion of the existing Walmart on Forest Avenue. The second would be built on the north side of town, on Garner Lane, between the Esplanade and Highway 99.


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