The metropolitan area experienced a growth of nearly 20% in the last decade. In the 2000 census, the Sacramento MSA had a population of 1,930,857 and it lies in the Central Valley and Sierra Nevada regions of California as well as a small region of Western Nevada. Greater Sacramento also contains sites of natural beauty including Lake Tahoe and it is also located in one of the worlds most important agricultural areas. The regions eastern counties are located in Gold Country, site of the California Gold Rush, the Greater Sacramento area is composed of eight counties, two metropolitan areas and two micropolitan areas. Sutter and Yuba counties comprise the Yuba City Metropolitan Statistical Area, Nevada County comprises the Truckee-Grass Valley Micropolitan Area, and Douglas County comprises the Gardnerville Ranchos micropolitan area. An increasing phenomenon taking shape in Greater Sacramento is growth of urban sprawl as Sacramento, local and state governments are trying to prevent destruction of forests and open land and curbing the spread before Sacramento faces an urban sprawl crisis as the Greater Los Angeles Area has. It is the only interstate MSA/CSA in California, Sacramento is the largest city in the metropolitan area, home to nearly 470,000, making it the sixth largest city in California and the 35th largest in the United States. It has been the capital of California since 1851 and has played an important role in the history of California. When gold was discovered in nearby Sutters Mill in Coloma, Sacramento became a boom town luring in migrants making their way from San Francisco to the fields of the Sierras. Sacramento today continues to be one of the largest rail hubs in North America, in 2002, Time Magazine featured an article recognizing Sacramento as the most diverse and integrated city in America. Government jobs are still the largest sector of employment in the city, the remainder of Sacramento County is suburban in general with most of the working population commuting to Downtown Sacramento and with a smaller proportion commuting all the way to the Bay Area. El Dorado and Placer Counties form the remainder of the core of Greater Sacramento and are composed of the Sierra foothills. Placer County has been an important mining area not only for gold, the Yuba-Sutter Area consists of Yuba and Sutter counties and is a primarily agricultural area, although the southern area is more suburban in character. It is home to Sunsweet Growers, which owns the worlds largest dried fruit plant in Yuba City. The Donner Memorial State Park is located in the county, where the ill-fated Donner Party was trapped in winter storms in 1846–47 while attempting to make it to California on an organized trip. Douglas County, is the county in Nevada in the Greater Sacramento area and is the only non-Californian county to be located in a California metropolitan region. The addition of Douglas County is recent, as Greater Sacramento continues to grow beyond its region, Western Nevada continues to be influenced by Sacramento and California. Douglas County is home of Tahoe resorts and casinos as well as suburban outskirts of Sacramento, the western half of Greater Sacramento is centered on the Central Valley, one of the most vital agricultural areas in the country
Image: Sacramento Skyline (cropped)
The California State Capitol Building
Squaw Valley, the site of the 1960 Winter Olympics
Stateline is an important Tahoe resort town on the shores of Lake Tahoe.