Riverside County, located in Southern California, is a region with a rich history and a diverse population. It was first inhabited by the Serranos and the Cahuillas, and later officially founded in 1869. The mild climate and other conditions were found to be favorable for orange cultivation, leading to a thriving citrus industry. The county covers 7,208 square miles (18,670 km) and is mostly desert in the central and eastern parts, but has a Mediterranean climate in the western part. It is included in the Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario Metropolitan Statistical Area, also known as the Inland Empire.
The indigenous peoples of what is now Riverside County are the Luiseño, Cupeño and Cahuilla Indians. The Luiseño territory includes the Aguanga and Temecula basins, the Elsinore Depression and the eastern Santa Ana Mountains and south to San Diego County. The territory of Cahuilla is located east and north of Luiseño, in the interior valleys, in the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto mountains and the Salton Sink Desert. The first European settlement in the county was a ranch or farm of the Saint Louis King Mission of France in the Luiseño village of Temescal.
Riverside County was formed in 1893, named after the city of Riverside, which was founded in 1870. It was created out of parts of San Bernardino County and San Diego County. In 1873, seventy percent of voters approved the formation of Riverside County. The county seat was chosen to be Riverside by a wide margin.
Riverside County was an important focal point of civil rights movements in the United States, especially for African-Americans living in Riverside and Mexican-Americans living in the Coachella Valley. There is a diversity of flora and fauna within Riverside County, including California's endemic blue oak, Quercus douglasii. In terms of population demographics, roughly 30.3 percent of people living in Riverside County are under 18 years old, 9.2 percent are between 18 and 24 years old, 28.9 percent are between 25 and 44 years old, 18.9 percent are between 45 and 64 years old, and 12.7 percent are 65 years old or older. The median age is 33 years old. The municipal departments within Riverside County include Banning, Beaumont, Blythe, Calimesa, Cathedral City, Corona, Desert Hot Springs, Hemet, Indio, Menifee, Murrieta, Palm Springs, Riverside and Riverside Community College. When it comes to racial demographics in Riverside County, according to data from the U.
S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates from 2018-2019, 4.2 percent of people living in Riverside County are black or African American.