City of Chico, California
Kendall Hall at California State University, Chico
Official seal of City of Chico, California
City of Roses, City of Trees
Location of Chico in California
Location of Chico in California


United States


Founded byJohn Bidwell
 • City CouncilMayor Scott Greundl

Maureen Kirk
Andrew Holcombe
Ann Schwab
Larry Wahl
Steve Bertagna

Dan Herbert
75 m (245 ft)
 (most recent annexations)
 • City79,091
 • Urban
 • Metro
Time zoneUTC-8 (PST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-7 (PDT)

Chico is a city in Butte County, California, United States. As of the most recent annexations, the city has a total population of 79,091. 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. Chico is home to California State University, Chico. Other major cities in the Chico Metropolitan Area include Paradise and Oroville.


The original inhabitants of Chico were the Mechoopda tribe.

Chico is the shortened name of John Bidwell's ranch Rancho del Arroyo Chico.

Chico was founded in 1860 by General John Bidwell, and became incorporated in 1872.

Chico was the northern terminus of the Sacramento Northern Railroad, an electrified railway which extended south to Sacramento and Oakland in the San Francisco Bay Area.



Chico is located at 39°44′24″N 121°50′8″W / 39.74000°N 121.83556°W / 39.74000; -121.83556Invalid arguments have been passed to the ((#coordinates:)) function (39.739983, -121.835460)Template:GR.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 71.9 km² (27.8 mi²). 71.8 km² (27.7 mi²) of it is land and 0.04% is water.

Chico is located at the north-east edge of the Sacramento Valley, one of the richest agricultural areas in the world. The Sierra Nevada Mountains lie to the East, with Chico's city limits venturing several miles into the foothills.

To the west, the Sacramento River sits 5 miles from the city limits.

The city is bisected by Bidwell Park, which runs five miles from the city center to the eastern foothills.

The city is also bisected by two creeks and a flood channel which feeds the Sacramento River. They are named Big Chico Creek, Little Chico Creek, and Lindo Channel.


Chico and the Sacramento Valley have a typically Mediterranean climate. Temperatures often rise past the 100-degree mark in the summer. Winters are fairly mild, with the most rainfall coming in January. The average annual rainfall is 26.04 inches. [1]

Climate data for Chico, California
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Source: Weatherbase [2]


As of the censusTemplate:GR of 2000, there were 59,954 people, 23,476 households, and 11,644 families residing in the city. The population density was 834.5/km² (2,161.0/mi²). There were 24,386 housing units at an average density of 339.4/km² (879.0/mi²). 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.

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.

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.

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.

Special Population Note: Although the Census Bureau states the 2000 population as 59,954, a large portion of the city population is unaccounted for due to local and county zoning irregularities. 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 73,558 and the population of the adjacent urbanized unincorporated area to be 28,562.

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


Much of the local economy is driven by the presence of Chico State University. California State University, Chico is the largest employer. The medical industry as a whole is the next largest employer.


The City of Chico is a charter city. The City of Chico's administration offices are located at 411 Main Street immediately adjacent to the City Council Chambers. Chico's city council consists of seven councilmembers. Each member serves 4 years. The mayor is chosen by and from among the councilmembers and serves for two years. City council meetings are on the first and third Tuesday of each month. The councilmembers are:

The citizens of Chico are represented in the Butte County Board of Supervisors by the District Two Supervisor Jane Dolan and the District Three Supervisor Mary Anne Houx.

The citizens of Chico are represented by Rick Keene in the California State Assembly and by Sam Aanestad in the California State Senate.

The citizens of Chico, as members of California's 2nd congressional district, are represented by Wally Herger in the United States House of Representatives.


Higher Education



Points of interest

File:100 0395.JPG
Chico, CA is home to Bidwell Park, one of the largest municipal parks in the United States.

Chico is the site of Bidwell Park, the seventh-largest municipal park in the United States, Bidwell Mansion State Historic Park, the Chico University Arboretum.

Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, the second-largest craft brewer in the country, is based in Chico. Butte Creek Brewing Company, maker of hand-crafted organic ales, is also located in Chico.

Chico is home to several large new urbanist neighborhoods, either planned or under construction, including Doe Mill Neighborhood, Barber Yard, Meriam Park, and Westside Place.

Chico has the tallest building north of Sacramento in California: Whitney Hall, a nine-story dormitory on the Chico State college campus.

The State of California, Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development defines Enloe Medical Center as a General Acute Care Hospital in Chico with a Level II Trauma Center and Basic emergency care as of 08/22/2006. The facility is located on The Esplanade at (NAD83) latitude/longitude 39°44′33″N 121°51′00″W / 39.74250°N 121.85000°W / 39.74250; -121.85000.

The Hooker Oak formerly the largest Valley Oak in the world was located at Hooker Oak Park in Chico.

Located in urban Chico, the Mechoopda Maidu Indian Tribe of Chico Rancheria is at latitude and longitude 39°43′55″N 121°51′10″W / 39.73194°N 121.85278°W / 39.73194; -121.85278.


Notable Chicoans


Chico is bordered on the west by thousands of acres of almond trees. Almonds are a major crop in the area. The trees bloom with a pink/white flower in late February or early March. Millions of bees are brought in for the pollination. The nuts are harvested in late August.

Walnuts are also a major agricultural production in the area north and west of town. Unlike the almond crops of the area, walnuts do not have the same appeal as they do not bloom but they grow much larger and live much longer than almonds, but similar to the almond crops, walnuts are harvested in early September.


California State Highway 99 and California State Highway 32 intersect in Chico.

Chico Municipal Airport is the major airport facility serving this area and is north of downtown. The airport is home to Aero Union, a company that refits surplus military aircraft as firefighting aircraft. (The company's name sounds similar to Auto Union, the English translation for car-maker Audi's full name.) Ranchaero Airport, a general aviation field with an FAA identifier of O23, is surrounded by orchards on the west edge of town at 39°43′14″N 121°43′14″W / 39.72056°N 121.72056°W / 39.72056; -121.72056.

The Amtrak train and Greyhound bus station is located at Fifth and Orange Streets.

Chico is served by the BLine Butte County Transit bus service. The transit center in Chico is located at Second and Salem Streets. Butte County Transit

There are at least nine Taxi companies in Chico: American Taxi, Yellow Cab of Chico, Liberty Cab, AAA Taxi, Chico Independent Taxi, Checkers Cab, AbraCabdabra, Cabs for Kids, and Taxi Dave.





Sister Cities

United States - Pascagoula, Mississippi (USA) [3]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Weatherbase: Historical Weather for Chico, California, United States of America". ((cite web)): Unknown parameter |accessmonthday= ignored (help); Unknown parameter |accessyear= ignored (|access-date= suggested) (help)
  3. ^ Chico gets a Southern sister


See Also