Why Is Sacramento The Capital Of California? City Of Trees

Why Is Sacramento The Capital Of California

People will keep asking, “Why is Sacramento the capital of California?” This question is relevant, especially considering that Sacramento isn’t the oldest city in the state. 

Called “the farm-to-fork” or “Tree city,” Sacramento has developed into one of California’s finest places. The lush green spaces, California food, and friendly locals make it one of the great destinations in the country. 

So, why is Sacramento named California’s capital? Here is how it came about. 

Why Is Sacramento The Capital Of California

The California State Capitol Museum states that Sacramento became a capital in 1854. But why was the capital moved to Sacramento, leaving other possible cities behind?

Several reasons have been provided as the contributing factor to the capital moving to California. One is the difficulties experienced when looking for a place to establish a permanent center of government. San Jose, Vallejo and even Benicia were considered but weren’t made the permanent capital. They were once California’s capital. 

Sacramento made it possible for the state to consider it worthy of being a capital. It offered its courthouse to the state, allowing it to be used as a capitol. 

The decision to make Sacramento the capital of California wasn’t easy. It came with a fight. Places like San Jose, Monterey, Oakland, and even San Jose all tried, but they were unsuccessful in their attempts to become the capital of California.  

Unfortunately, Sacramento had all it took to be the capital of these cities. And three key factors played a role. These include its people, gold rush and location. 

A Handy Tip: The courthouse Sacramento offered the State Legislatures, brought the city into the frame for consideration as the state capital. The legislatures liked the location of the courthouse and agreed for it to function as Capitol from 1852 to 1854. 

The California State Library stated that the legislatures had no reason to relocate to another city. They were comfortable with the courthouse Sacramento offered. Even when the wooden courthouse was destroyed by fire, a new one was constructed.  

 What Was The Original Capital Of California?

The lawmakers didn’t make Sacramento the state capital at once. Instead, they made several cities the capital but finally settled for Sacramento. Here are the cities and dates they were California’s capital. 

  • Monterey – 1774 to 1849
  • San Jose – 1849 to 1851
  • Vallejo – 1852 to 1853
  • Benicia – 1853 to 1854
  • Sacramento – 1854 to present. 

So these are places that served as California’s capital before Sacramento. There was no reason to move the capital away from the city. 

The first name is Monterey. The state made it the capital when California was still part of Mexico. The legislatures encountered massive challenges when establishing a permanent government center in cities like San Jose, Vallejo, and Benicia.  

However, flooding in Sacramento around 1862 forced the state government to relocate the capital to San Francisco. The legislatures used the Merchants’ Exchange Building in the city while waiting for the flood to clear. 

When Did Sacramento Become The Capital Of California?

Sacramento was chosen as the capital in 1854 after much fighting. The California State Legislature left Benicia and moved to Sacramento in 1854. 

In 1879, there was a Constitutional Convention. Sacramento was officially recognized in that Convention and named “the permanent State Capital.”

Since the recognition, the city has not remained the same. The new status and its strategic location and arable lands caused the city to prosper quickly. 

Is Sacramento Important to California?

Yes, Sacramento is very important to California and the country in general. In addition to its god rush, Sacramento is known for its prosperous “Farm-to-fork” food culture, history and vibrant art. 

Its growing metropolitan region isn’t much talked about. Sacramento boasts the seventh-largest economy in the world. Plus, it’s the largest city in a six-county region. It serves around 500,000 people and around 2.5 million in the area.  

Most history buffs will tell you that the gold rush made California important. In reality, the gold rush began in 1848, following the discovery of gold nuggets in the Sacramento Valley. 

The gold alerted many people and gave them a reason to relocate to California to try and make a fortune. Many people moved to Sacramento, causing the population to rise massively. 

Despite the population, Sacramento came out strong. However, the Sacramento River moved people and goods with ease.  

Everything about this city is well-planned. In addition, its people are also a great asset. They are friendly and hospitable. The city also has several historical sites and places to explore. So there’s a lot of fun in Sacramento, California. 

A Handy Tip: Why is Sacramento the “Farm-to-Fork” capital? The city has held this prestigious title since 2012. It boasts over 1.5 million acres of farmland and a year-round growing season. 

Furthermore, Sacramento doesn’t experience a shortage of any locally-produced food. And it has in abundance a rich supply of locally sourced foods. 

So, if you care about what you consume and fancy eating fresh foods, you’ll cherish your stay in Sacramento.  

What Is Sacramento Popular For? 

This city is popular for many things. These include historic sites like the Capitol Park, State Capitol, Railroad Museum, Sutter’s Fort, and Old Town.

This city boasts some amazing home-grown breweries; you’ll find fresh-farm restaurants on almost every corner. Farmers’ markets are also in abundance. The colorful street murals make the city a lovely sight to behold.  

You’ll find a myriad of job opportunities here. These include real-estate, government-owned industries, and thriving agricultural, healthcare, education and clean technology companies.  

A Handy Tip: Sacramento means different things to different people. It’s called different names. These include the City of Trees, The Big Tomato, The Camellia Capital, The River City, and Sactown or Sac. 

Sacramento also boasts different things to do and one of the best weather in the country. Again, it boasts a welcoming population which is a huge asset. 

What Is The Population of Sacramento?  

Sacramento is California’s sixth-largest city and the 35th-largest city in the country. It boasts a population of around 500,000. 

Sacramento remains the core economic and cultural center of the Sacramento metropolitan area, comprising seven counties with a population of over 2.5 million people.  

Is Sacramento An Expensive Place To Live?

California is generally expensive to live in. The cost of living in this state is 39% higher than the national average. Here is a clearer picture: housing is around 102% higher than the national average. 

What about utilities and other basic necessities? In California, these are higher. Utilities are 22% higher than the national average, while basic necessities such as clothing, groceries and food are around 10% higher than the national average.  

So the cost of living in California is quite high. So, if you’re moving to Sacramento, the state capital, you must be extremely ready for the hefty bills. 

The cost of living in Sacramento is 15% lower than the state average. This indicates that other parts of California are more expensive than the capital. However, the cost of living in Sacramento is 19% higher than the national average. 

For example, housing is 43% higher or more costly than the national average. Utilities are only 6% higher than the national average. Food, groceries and clothing are around 8% more. Clothing costs around 8% more than the national average.   

Healthcare services in Sacramento are also on the high side. For instance, doctor check-ups, including dentistry, cost around 14% more than the national average. Entertainment and even grooming services cost over 8% more. So, things are quite expensive down here. 


Why is Sacramento the capital of California? The city assumed this status for several reasons. However, most people believe the gold rush played a key role, including the location and people. 

Sacramento was made the state capital in 1854. But before then, other states like Monterey, San Jose, Vallejo and Benicia were already named state capitals at different times in the state’s history. 

The state government found establishing a permanent center in San Jose, Vallejo and Benicia challenging. Instead, it picked Sacramento, though it didn’t happen without a fight. Sacramento provided a courthouse, which the state legislatures used as a capitol. It served as Capitol for several years until the government made it the state capital. 

Sacramento is popular for its gold rush, vibrant art, farm-to-fork culture and thriving economy. However, remember that the cost of living here is higher than the national average. 

Linda Foster

Linda Foster is a news blogger with an insatiable appetite for current events. She is constantly digging for the latest scoop, and her readers can always rely on her to get the story first. Linda has a sharp eye for detail, and she isn't afraid to ask the tough questions. When she's not blogging, Linda enjoys spending time with her family and friends.

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