San Bernardino County
Sprawled out over 20,105 square miles, San Bernardino County holds the distinction of being the largest county in the contiguous United States by area. In fact, it is larger than any of the nine smallest states. All things considered, there are many places to live in San Bernardino County, with varying geographical features and even slightly different climates. To illustrate, the deserts and mountains of this county lie at either end from where the highest concentration of the population resides. This “stretch” is roughly 480 square miles south of the San Bernardino Mountains in San Bernardino Valley, to the Nevada border and the Colorado River.
The San Bernardino County name is derived from the county seat, the city of San Bernardino. Located apx. 55 miles east of Los Angeles, San Bernardino is the 99th largest city in the United States. Although traditionally regarded as the anchor of the Inland Empire region and home to a few distinct historic sites (including the first McDonald’s restaurant), it has become better known in recent years for its financial woes, including a filing of Chapter 9 bankruptcy in July 2012.
Regardless of the city of San Bernardino’s problems, the county that bears its name offers a great many opportunities for those who would make it their home. Cities such as Ontario, Rancho Cucamonga and Fontana have undergone merited population booms during the 2000s, and are becoming known for offering family-friendly lifestyles to residents of all backgrounds. Likewise, so-called East Valley cities such as Redlands and Yucaipa offer a high quality lifestyle with historic and/or upscale neighborhoods.
As of the 2010 census, the population of San Bernardino County was 2,035,210, an increase from the previous census count of 1,709,434 in the 2000 census. As with the remainder of the Inland Empire region (which includes Riverside County), the San Bernardino County population has risen dramatically over the past decade because of the inland surge that occurred during the housing boom. Although the economic conditions of the nation have not escaped the area, the employment landscape is generally promising in San Bernardino County. Employment opportunities exist in many fields, in addition to frequent openings in government and civic positions.
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