Profile and demographics:
Elk Grove is a city in northern California only 15 miles south of the state capital, Sacramento. It officially incorporated on July 1, 2000. As of 2014, the population in Elk Grove is approximately 161,000 people, which makes it the second-largest city in Sacramento County. Elk Grove encompasses 42.19 square miles, mostly of suburban residential developments, retail and shopping plazas, and farm and ranch land. Elk Grove grew precipitously during the real estate boom, climbing 85.96% in population since 2000. Gary Davis has been the mayor of Elk Grove since 2012, supplanting Jim Cooper, the city’s first mayor.
The area of present-day Elk Grove was first established in 1850 as a stagecoach station for travelers and Gold Rush hopefuls traveling between Sacramento and San Francisco. The budding community was named Elk Grove after a local businessman named James Hall opened the Elk Grove Hotel and Stage Shop. The town was emboldened in 1968 when the Central Pacific Railroad routed through Elk Grove.
The area was settled by farmers and ranchers through the 1900s until the 1980s, when suburban residential projects sprung up, offering plenty of land and small town living but still an easy commute to Sacramento and closer to the Bay Area. Elk Grove incorporated as a city on July 1, 2000.
Real estate and housing:
The median home value in Elk Grove is now $366,400. Homeowners have enjoyed 7.4% value appreciation over the last year, with a steady 5.8% in home prices anticipated over the next year. There are approximately 50,634 housing units in the city. Due to its rapid growth, skyrocketing home prices, and frequency of subprime loans, Elk Grove suffered acutely during the recent mortgage crisis and recession. In 2009, homeownership rates were 73.1% in Elk Grove, a number that is down to 55.3% as of 2013. But at the same time, home prices in Elk Grove haven rebounded nicely, vaulting from $263,400 in 2009 to current levels. Homes for sale in Elk Grove are in high demand and sell quickly because the community is known for good schools, strong leadership and public services, great parks and recreation, and close proximity to commute to Sacramento or the Bay Area.
Economy and employment:
Elk Grove enjoys a diverse and robust economic climate, with plenty of companies and national businesses choosing to situate themselves in the city. There are 12,520 firms doing business in the city, with top employers:
1 Elk Grove Unified School District (5,000 employees)
2 Apple Computers (1,800 employees)
3 Kaiser Permanente (1,468 employees)
4 Methodist Hospital of Sacramento (550 employees)
5 Alldata (400 employees)
The per capita income in Elk Grove is $29,527 and the average household income $61,094. The unemployment rate is only 5.7%, which is significantly lower than both the U.S. and greater Sacramento averages. Positive job growth was 1.32% in Elk Grove over the last year. The cost of living in Elk Grove is 30.5% higher than the U.S. average, though not considered out of the norm for California.
Old Elk Grove
A small section of eastern Elk Grove remains the historical jewel of the community, with buildings dating back to the 1800s. The city has put a yeomen’s effort into revitalizing the area with plenty of shops, pedestrian areas, and open-air Old Town plaza that preserve its antiquated origins.
Elk Grove is known as a strong school system, with Elizabeth Pinkerton Middle School, Elliott Ranch Elementary School, Pleasant Grove High School, and Katherine L. Albiani Middle School regularly rated high in state school rankings. The Elk Grove Unified School District is the fifth largest educational district in all of California, serving more than 66,000 students this year. 81.2% of the population over 25 years old are high school graduates or higher, and 30.7% have earned their Bachelor’s degree or higher.
Elk Grove is home to several institutions of higher learning, including community college Cosumnes River College, private religious college Quest Seminary, and California Northstate University’s Doctor of Pharmacy degree program.
Jim Cooper, former Captain in the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department, first mayor of Elk Grove, and now Californian state assemblymen
Scott Boras Baseball sports agent. Named "Most Powerful Sports Agent" in 2013 by Forbes Magazine
Ami Bera, United States Representative, 7th district, California
James Iha, Composer, songwriter, musician, and music producer
Buck Martinez, former baseball player, manager, and sports commentator
Kyle Larson, NASCAR driver.
Lance Briggs Linebacker for the Chicago Bears
Bill Cartwright Former player and coach for the Chicago Bulls
Arik Armstead Linebacker for the San Francisco 49ers
Elk Grove trivia:
Elk Grove was the fastest growing city in the entire United States between July 1, 2004, and July 1, 2005, the height of the real estate boom.
Elk Grove calls the city of Concepción de Ataco, El Salvador its official sister city.
Real estate sales in Elk Grove hit their zenith in the winter of 2005-6, when median home prices reached $467,000.
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