Placer County was created in 1851, just two years after the discovery of gold brought thousands of 49ers across the Sierra in search of fortune. The county took its name from the Spanish word for sand and gravel deposits that contain gold. Today, Placer County has more than 380,000 residents, and a county government with more than 20 departments and approximately 2,700 employees. County government touches the lives of residents in many ways, whether they live in local cities or unincorporated areas.
Placer County has an incorporated town, Loomis, and five incorporated cities:
Each city is responsible for providing municipal services that typically include:
The county provides many of these same municipal services for residents who live in unincorporated areas as diverse as Granite Bay, the foothills beyond Auburn, and the high Sierra communities in North Lake Tahoe.
The county also offers many services that cities do not and makes them available to everyone in the county, including people who live within cities. Many health services fall into that category, as do restaurant inspections, aid to needy families, support for veterans, child-support services, child protective services and child abuse prevention.