Oakland, Calif.

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Updated July 10, 2020 | Infoplease Staff

Mayor: Elizabeth Schaaf (to Jan. 2018)

2010 census population (rank): 390,724 (47); Male: 189,519 (48.5%); Female: 201,205 (51.5%); White: 134,925 (34.5%); Black: 109,471 (28.0%); American Indian and Alaska Native: 3,040 (0.8%); Asian: 65,811 (16.8%); Other race: 53,378 (13.7%); Two or more races: 21,877 (5.6%); Hispanic/Latino: 99,068 (25.4%). 2010 percent population 18 and over: 78.7%; 65 and over: 11.1%; Median age: 36.2.

2014 population estimate (rank): 413,755 (45)

See additional census data

Land area: 56 sq mi. (145 sq km);

Alt.: Highest, 1,700 ft.; lowest, sea level

Avg. daily temp.: Jan., 49.9° F; July, 62.1° F

Churches: 374, representing over 78 denominations in the city; over 500 churches in Alameda County;

City-owned parks: 2,196 ac.;

Radio stations: AM, 1;

Television stations: 1 commercial; 1 government access; 2 education access; 1 local

Civilian Labor Force (2013): 223,995;

Percent unemployed (2013): 12.5;

Per capita personal income (2013): $31,966

Chamber of Commerce: Oakland Chamber of Commerce, 475 Fourteenth St., Oakland, CA 94612

Oakland is located in the west-central part of California on the east side of San Francisco Bay. It is the seat of Alameda County.

Don Luis Peralta first settled the site of Oakland in 1820 when he established the Rancho San Antonio. The gold rush of 1849 attracted more people to the area, and the city's population continued to grow after a ferry service to San Francisco was started in 1851. Oakland was incorporated as a town in 1852 and as a city in 1854. It was named after the numerous oak trees found in the area. Oakland became the western terminus of the Central Pacific Railroad in 1869 and the seat of Alameda County in 1873.

In the latter part of the 19th century and also in 1910, additional territory was annexed to Oakland and the city assumed its present size. In 1906, thousands of people fled to Oakland in the aftermath of the San Francisco earthquake and settled there permanently, furthering the city's growth. Oakland's economic development continued to rise with the opening of the San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge in 1936.

Oakland is a major center of culture and commerce. It is an important container shipping port and the terminus of three transcontinental railroads. Oakland's industries include food processing, transportation, software, telecommunications, pharmaceuticals, and electrical and high technology manufacturing. The city is the headquarters of many national and international corporations.

See also Encyclopedia: Oakland .

Selected famous natives and residents:

  • Buster Crabbe actor;
  • Frederick Cottrell inventor;
  • Clint Eastwood actor and director;
  • Dennis Eckersley athlete;
  • Mark Hamill singer, dancer, and songwriter;
  • Hammer actor;
  • Tom Hanks actor;
  • Rod McKuen singer and composer;
  • Russ Meyer producer and director;
  • Eddie (Anderson) Rochester actor;
  • George Stevens director;
  • Amy Tan writer;
  • Jo Van Fleet actress.

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