Fresno is a city in central California, United States, the county seat of Fresno County. As of the 2010 census, the city's population was 510,365, making it the fifth largest city in California, the largest inland city in California and the 34th largest in the nation. Fresno is located in the center of the San Joaquin Valley of Central California, approximately 200 miles north of Los Angeles, and 170 miles south of the state capital, Sacramento. Metropolitan Fresno has a population of 1,107,416. The name Fresno is the Spanish language word for the ash tree, and an ash leaf is featured on the city's flag.
The original inhabitants of the San Joaquin Valley region were the Yokut people, who engaged in trading with other California tribes of Native Americans including coastal peoples such as the Chumash of the Central California coast, with whom they are thought to have traded plant and animal products. The County of Fresno was formed in 1856 after the California Gold Rush. It was named for the abundant mountain ash trees lining the San Joaquin River. Fresno is the Spanish word for white ash trees. The county was much larger than it is today as part of Tulare County, comprising its current area plus all of what became Madera County and parts of what are now San Benito, Kings, Inyo, and Mono counties.