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Vacaville is a city located in Solano County in Northern California. The city is nearly half way between Sacramento and San Francisco on I-80. It sits approximately 35 miles (56 km) from Sacramento, and 45 miles (72 km) from San Francisco. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 92,428, making it the third largest city in Solano County.
The city was founded on December 13, 1851 by William McDaniel, on a part of the 1843 Mexican land grant Rancho Los Putos purchased from Manuel Cabeza Vaca.
The city was a Pony Express stop and was home to many large produce companies and local farms which flourished due to the Vaca Valley’s rich soil, including The Nut Tree.
There are a number of rare and endangered species in the Vacaville area. Endangered plants which have historically occurred in the vernal pool areas in and around Vacaville include Legenre limosa, Plagiobothrys hystriculus, Downingia humilis, Contra Costa Goldfields (Lasthenia conjugens), and Showy Indian clover (Trifolium amoenum). To this day Trifolium amoenum can still be found in Lagoon Valley Regional Park.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 28.6 square miles (74 km2). 99.26% of the area is land and 0.74% is water. Excluding the Putah South Canal and minor local creeks, the only significant body of water within the city is the 105-acre (0.42 km2) Lagoon Valley Lake.
The unincorporated communities of Allendale and Elmira are generally considered to be part of “greater” Vacaville.
Vacaville has a typical Mediterranean climate with hot, dry summers and cool, wet winters. Characteristic of inland California, summers can get quite hot. Autumns are warm in the early part but quickly cool down as the wet season approaches. Winters can be cold, and often foggy, but are mild compared to other regions. Spring is a rather pleasant season with fairly mild temperatures and not so much rain. The greater majority of precipitation falls in the autumn, winter, and spring months with little to none in summer.
According to National Weather Service records, average January temperatures in Vacaville are a maximum of 55.4 °F (13.0 °C) and a minimum of 36.7 °F (2.6 °C). Average July temperatures are a maximum of 95.2 °F (35.1 °C) and a minimum of 56.1 °F (13.4 °C). There are an average of 87.7 days with highs of 90 °F (32 °C) or higher. There are an average of 30.7 days with lows of 32 °F (0 °C) or lower. The record high temperature was 116 °F (47 °C) on July 23, 2006. The record low temperature was 14 °F (−10 °C) on December 26, 1924.
Average annual precipitation is 24.55 inches (624 mm). There are an average of 57 days with measurable precipitation. The wettest year was 1983 with 48.90 inches (1,242 mm) and the driest year was 2012 with 5 inches. The most precipitation in one-month was 19.83 inches (504 mm) in January 1916. The most precipitation in 24 hours was 6.10 inches (155 mm) on February 27, 1940. Snowfall is rare in Vacaville, but light measurable amounts have occurred, including 2.2 inches (56 mm) in January 1907 and 2.0 inches (51 mm) in December 1988.
The 2010 United States Census reported that Vacaville had a population of 92,428. The population density was 3,233.5 people per square mile (1,248.5/km²). The racial makeup of Vacaville was 61,301 (66.3%) White, 9,510 (10.3%) African American, 846 (0.9%) Native American, 5,606 (6.1%) Asian (3.3% Filipino, 0.7% Chinese, 0.6% Indian, 0.5% Japanese, 0.3% Vietnamese, 0.3% Korean), 532 (0.6%) Pacific Islander, 8,136 (8.8%) from other races, and 6,497 (7.0%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 21,121 persons (22.9%); 17.0% of Vacaville is Mexican, 0.9% Puerto Rican, 0.5% Salvadoran, 0.3% Nicaraguan, 0.2% Guatemalan, and 0.2% Peruvian.
The Census reported that 91.3% of the population lived in households and 8.6% were institutionalized.
There were 31,092 households, out of which 11,747 (37.8%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 16,347 (52.6%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 4,068 (13.1%) had a female householder with no husband present, 1,686 (5.4%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 1,892 (6.1%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 208 (0.7%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 7,053 households (22.7%) were made up of individuals and 2,689 (8.6%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.71. There were 22,101 families (71.1% of all households); the average family size was 3.19.
The population was spread out with 21,511 people (23.3%) under the age of 18, 8,963 people (9.7%) aged 18 to 24, 26,269 people (28.4%) aged 25 to 44, 26,016 people (28.1%) aged 45 to 64, and 9,669 people (10.5%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37.2 years. For every 100 females there were 112.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 115.1 males.
There were 32,814 housing units at an average density of 1,148.0 per square mile (443.2/km²), of which 63.4% were owner-occupied and 36.6% were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 2.1%; the rental vacancy rate was 6.8%. 59.0% of the population lived in owner-occupied housing units and 32.3% lived in rental housing units.