When inquiry by researchers from the Voices the California job where the nor Cal/So Cal splitting line was, occupants from varying communities in California had various answers mirroring that the really depends on social perspective.

"Where precisely is north California?" is a inquiry I’ve had since moving native Butte county to Santa Cruz. I remember living there thinking, “Is this still northern California?” What ns learned indigenous Santa Cruz locals was that they did think about themselves to be a part of nor Cal, yet they were fast to phone call me the they – unequal so many of the north Californians I thrived up with – did not use the word “hella.”


Since friend Asked is a series that answers your questions around the phibìc State. Send your concern by calling 530-433-4887 or emailing nsprsinceyouasked
Fast front a te later and also here ns am living ago in Butte County, but still unsure where precisely that Northern/Southern California heat is located. I figured this an initial episode of due to the fact that You Asked to be the perfect factor to finally find out.

The very first possible answer the popped increase in my net search results was the north California Wikipedia page. It insurance claims that north California is consisted of of the height 48 counties that sit north of the conspicuously right county lines of san Luis Obispo, Kern and also San Bernardino. Sounds straightforward enough, yet it’s not true. No are numerous of the other varying theory on the internet about where the north/south California division is located. I’ve review theories separating the state by physics features, voting history, watersheds, and also even by sports fans. Supposedly it’s a topic world love come debate. Ns realized an extremely quickly i wasn’t going to find simple answer come this question and also I required to reach out to some experts.

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Chico State location professor Dean Fairbanks stated he offered to questioning the inquiry “where is the north vs. South border in California?” every semester in few of his classes. Yearly he’d receive answers comparable to this compiled map, which that said includes 45 college student responses. The red line suggests the positional median of all of the student lines.
Dean Fairbanks is a professor in and also the chair that Chico State’s department of Geography and also Planning. He’s author of the book “California social Landscapes: An expedition of Spatial fads Over Time” and said even in the book’s second edition he wouldn’t touch this subject. Why not? Well, maybe that can much better be reply by Fairbanks’ students. Fairbanks claimed each semester he used to asking his college student this very question and have them draw their separating line on a map. While there were part outliers, most of Fairbanks" college student separated nor Cal from therefore Cal somewhere along the 300-mile stretch between Santa Cruz and Ventura.

“It might be students from southerly California, north California, what us think is North and South, seaside interior — the was always that kind of answer,” that said.

And technically all of his students were right. Despite every one of the disagreements out there, north California has no main boundary. The what’s recognized as a vernacular region, i beg your pardon Fairbanks stated are an extremely loosely defined and also based ~ above people’s perceptions.

“Like do you really recognize where eastern LA begins and also ends? What is eastern LA? What is the hood? Well, we call it South central LA. Whereby is the really? define for me whereby Silicon Valley really is,” that said.

When it involves regionalization, unless a border has actually been claimed a hard boundary it should instead really be assumed of as a shift zone, Fairbanks said.


“And this is a tough thing for the general public to know that every little thing that us do, when we one of two people crunch the census or permit you recognize what is the habitat border for the good spotted owl or for the California condor, boy it looks favor it’s a difficult boundary, no, it’s pretty fuzzy,” he said.

It gets even fuzzier when you start throwing in the idea that vernacular areas are all about perspective.

Ryan fearbut is a job manager at Chico State’s facility for Economic breakthrough and a research study specialist at its geographical Information Center. He’s additionally an instructor in Chico State’s department of Geography and Planning wherein he stated he provides Stanford University’s “Voices that California” project to explain this idea come his students.

“Because it really interestingly points come this type of social idea of northern California – quote, unquote – together this location that’s yes, really exclusive,” miller said.

What the researcher did, fearbut said, was walk to the areas of Merced, Red Bluff and Redding and ask them:

“Here’s a map that California. We want you come designate what is definitely Northern California and what is absolutely Southern California,’” the said.


What human being said depended upon where lock lived.

Residents in Merced rated themselves and everyone phibìc of them together being absolutely in north California. They said Southern California started at around Kern county or the Grapevine.

But in Red Bluff survey respondents said, “Northern California in reality ends at approximately Butte County,” fearbut said. “So Sacramento, they to be rated as certainly Southern California.”

Go north also farther to Redding and survey respondent rated Butte ar as perhaps being north California. Yet Yuba and also Sutter counties were both rated as being absolutely Southern California.

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“So ns think that so exciting we talk about this North and also South divide, you understand where that separating line is, is fully dependent upon sort of your social idea the what your area is,” fearbut said.

Define it as where human being say words “hella,” wherein you have to wear a wetsuit in the s in summer, whereby the palm tree meets the pine, as long as you have the right to argue that there’s some kind of common characteristic in ~ the locations where you’d attract your north California line you’re pretty much fine where you’d put it.