Sacramento is the capital of the U.S. state of California, and the county seat of Sacramento County. It is located at the confluence of the Sacramento River and the American River in the northern portion of California's expansive Central Valley. With a 2010 estimated population of 486,200, it is the seventh-largest city in California.[3] Sacramento is the core cultural and economic center of the Sacramento Metropolitan Area which includes El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento, and Yolo counties and has a combined population of approximately 2,136,604. That makes the area the fourth largest metro area in California (after the Greater Los Angeles Area, San Francisco Bay Area & San Diego Metropolitan Area). The city was cited by Time magazine as America's most ethnically and racially integrated in 2002.[4]
Sacramento became a city through the efforts of John Sutter, a Swiss immigrant, and James W. Marshall. Sacramento grew quickly thanks to the protection of Sutter's Fort, which was established by Sutter in 1839. During the California Gold Rush, Sacramento was a major distribution point, a commercial and agricultural center, and a terminus for wagon trains, stagecoaches, riverboats, the telegraph, the Pony Express, and the First Transcontinental Railroad. West Sacramento is across the river from Sacramento. California State University, Sacramento, more commonly known as Sacramento State or Sac State, is the major local university. It is one of the twenty-three campuses of the California State University system. In addition, the University of California, Davis, is located in nearby Davis, 15 miles (24 km) west of the capital. The UC Davis Medical Center, a world-renowned research hospital, is located in the city of Sacramento.
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