Once called California's New Frontier, Fresno sits in the Central Valley, the heart of California. This #1 farm county in the nation is only a 1.5 hour drive to three National Parks: Yosemite, Sequoia, and Kings Canyon. Inc. magazine ranked the City of Fresno as the fourth best medium-sized U.S. metro area in which to do business. The Central Valley's largest city, Fresno has a population of 427,652 in the city proper and 1,002,284 in the larger metropolitan area. Fresno is the sixth-largest city in California. The top three are Los Angeles (3,976,071), San Diego (1,305,736), and San Jose (945,000).
According to the U.S. Department of Commerce's Bureau of Economic Analysis, the average income for a Fresno resident is $25,573, which is 77% of the national average. The Fresno resident's average income has grown by 7% since 1969.
The major employers of Fresno are the Community Medical Centers, Foster Farms, Saint Agnes Medical Center, and Kaiser Permanente Medical Center. All of these companies employ more than 2,000 people. The public sector also provides many local job opportunities with over 20,000 employees. Health-care professionals are particularly in need.
After the 1990's recession, Californian industry experienced decline in a few sectors:
- Finance and insurance
- Real estate
Despite the setbacks faced by other industrial sectors in California, many sectors have continued growing, including:
- Wholesale and retail trade
- Transportation and public utilities
- Total government
For more information on colleges and universities in California, explore our California state page.