The Greater Sacramento region, which encompasses Sacramento, El Dorado, Placer, Sutter, Yolo and Yuba counties, supports a population of 2.1 million. Sacramento is the nation's 26th largest metropolitan area, equivalent in size to Cincinnati or Kansas City. Located in one of America's most productive agricultural regions, Sacramento is a short drive from San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, Yosemite National Park and the Napa Valley wine country.
The region's institutions of higher education include the world-renowned University of California, Davis (UC Davis), and California State University, Sacramento (CSU, Sacramento), as well as seven community colleges, numerous business schools, vocational schools and professional schools.
Economic stability has long been one of the major strengths of the Sacramento region. Job growth has been remarkably steady during the past several decades, insulating the regional economy from the sharp spikes and steep declines that plague other cities with more volatile economies. That's reflected in Sacramento's ranking as the "15th Best Economy in the U.S." in the 2004 Milken Survey.
The region has proven attractive because of another kind of stability as well. During the past two decades, numerous companies have established critical operations in the Sacramento region because of its seismic stability. The Sacramento region was unaffected by the Loma Prieta earthquake that caused heavy damage throughout the San Francisco Bay area in 1989.