Alameda is the county that contains the well-known cities of Berkeley and Oakland – which is the county seat, although there are 12 others and several unincorporated communities. The population as of the last census was about 1,500,000. The name meant tree-lined street and was given by early Spanish explorers because its tree-lined river reminded them of one.
Although the region is now an extremely urban one, it was initially developed as a suburb of San Francisco that could be commutable by trolley car service. Alameda’s historical progression was very similar to Contra Costa County’s. It began as Native American tribal territory that progressed to Spanish, then ranches from Mexican land grants to agricultural properties, before transforming into suburbs and major metropolitan areas.
Today, the county is known for being incredibly diverse, with minorities accounting for over 40% of the population. The real estate market is very stable, and, for the last few years, the average price of single-family homes has hovered around the million-dollar mark. However, that is likely to be skewed at least slightly by Berkeley and Oakland home prices.
Alameda County is very involved with its citizenry and offers plentiful resources. Third-party organizations also provide essential assistance, such as interpretation resources, which is important for such a diverse community.