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Is San Bernardino County the Largest County in the US by Area?

We recently prepared a comprehensive report of 20 Largest Counties in the US by Area that also includes San Bernardino. If you want to check out the full free list, please go to 20 Largest Counties in the US by Area.

In most US states, excluding Alaska and Louisiana, counties are the primary legal divisions with specified boundaries acting as governmental units. Alaska and Louisiana also have legal divisions or county-equivalents, known as Boroughs, Perishes, and Census Areas. In total, there are 3,143 counties and county-equivalents in the US.

Out of 58 counties in California, San Bernardino County, with a total land area of 20,068.20 miles, is the largest county in California by land area. When compared to neighboring counties, San Bernardino County is nearly three times bigger than Riverside County to its South and almost twice the size of Inyo County to its North. In fact, San Bernardino County is even bigger than some US states, including Maryland, Hawaii, and Massachusetts. Within the county, there are around 49 cities, with the list of cities featuring San Bernardino, Fontana, Rancho Cucamonga, Ontario, Victorville, and Hesperia, among others.

Aside from being one of the largest counties in the US by land area, San Bernardino is also known for its large population count. In fact, with a population of nearly 2.2 million, and a population density of 108.7 people per square mile, San Bernardino County is one of the largest counties in the US by population. While California experienced a population decline of 1.4% in 2023, San Bernardino County had a population growth of 0.6%. According to San Bernardino County community indicators, San Bernardino County’s population will experience a growth of 16%, from 2020 to 2045.

Is San Bernardino County the Largest County in the US by Area?
Is San Bernardino County the Largest County in the US by Area?

Steve Heap/Shutterstock.com

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Over the last decade, San Bernardino County experienced a slow and steady growth in its resident count. The population growth in San Bernardino County has led to increased demand for rental properties. In fact, according to Decennial Census data, the vacancy rate decreased by 3.85% from 2010 to 2020, signaling that there is a need to invest more in construction-related projects. Some of the key players in the construction and commercial real estate industry, including Fluor Corp (NYSE:FLR), AECOM (NYSE:ACM), and CBRE Group Inc (NYSE:CBRE) have been involved in projects in San Bernardino County.

Fluor Corp (NYSE:FLR), one of the leading American multinational engineering and construction firms, provided program management services for the highway improvement programs in San Bernardino County in November 2022. The program comprised 33 miles of new highway, commuter rail, and some major and local street improvement projects. Aside from San Bernardino County-specific projects, during the same year and month, Fluor Corp (NYSE:FLR), together with its joint venture company AECOM (NYSE:ACM), was awarded a 4-year contract for the California High-Speed Rail program by the California High-Speed Rail Authority.

Meanwhile, AECOM (NYSE:ACM), a multinational infrastructure consulting firm, assisted SES Solar One LLC, in preparing an Application for Certification (AFC) and Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for getting approval to construct a 663.5 megawatt capacity solar generating facility. California has some of the strictest environmental regulatory laws, such as the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). These laws act as a barrier for any sizable project and require lots of paperwork and legal implications before approval. AECOM (NYSE:ACM), within California, helped SES Solar One LLC, in clearing all legal implications and receiving approval for constructing the facility as well as a new 65-mile transmission line.

On the other hand, CBRE Group Inc (NYSE:CBRE), one of the leading American commercial real estate services and investment firms, facilitated the $26.75 million sale of a four-story building to the County of San Bernardino in January 2024. The 451 East Vanderbilt Way is a 115,520 sq. ft office building located at Tri-City Corporate Centre. Mr. Cemo, the first vice president at CBRE Group Inc (NYSE:CBRE), said, "This building will be essential for the County's growing office footprint within the Tri-City Corporate Centre."

Is San Bernardino County the Largest in the US by Area?

Finally, to our conclusion, San Bernardino country is not the biggest county in the US by area. It is the 10th biggest, with an area of 20,068 square miles.

To see the largest county in the US by area, along with 19 others, please visit our free list -- 20 Largest Counties in the US by Area.