The January 1999 population of Humboldt County was 128,100, according to the State Department of Finance. The county has 7 incorporated cities ranging in size from approximately 400 to 35,000 persons. Approximately half of the county’s residents live in incorporated communities, while 59% of the county lives in the area surrounding Humboldt Bay. This area includes the cities of Arcata, Ferndale, Fortuna, Eureka and the unincorporated community of McKinleyville.

Population by Location
According to the State Department of Finance, the cities of Eureka and Arcata together contain about 35 percent of the county’s population. Meanwhile 13 percent of the population is scattered among 5 other incorporated cities.
  • Blue Lake, 1,250
  • Ferndale, 1,300
  • Fortuna, 10,250
  • Rio Dell 2,960
  • Trinidad, 360
Approximately 67,700 of county residents reside in unincorporated communities.

Population Growth
In terms of regional population trends, the chief growth areas of the county are around the communities of McKinleyville and Garberville, and the cities of Arcata and Fortuna. Most of these regions have an adequate supply of land and necessary public facilities for urban use and can, therefore, be expected to remain as principal growth areas, respectively. The following chart details county population projections over the next 2 decades, including estimates for several of the incorporated areas.

Location 1998 Population 2010 Population 2020 Population
Eureka 27,750 28,870 29,830
Arcata 16,330 18,180 20,000
Fortuna 10,140 12,560 15,000
Humboldt County 124,000 131,600 140,000
Unincorporated 67,400 67,800 68,140