- Total 3,771 sq mi (9,770 km2)
- Land 3,281 sq mi (8,500 km2)
- Water 491 sq mi (1,270 km2)
Highest elevation 5,865 ft (1,788 m)
Population (April 1, 2010)
- Total 415,057
- Estimate (2016) 435,232
- Density 110/sq mi (42/km2)
Monterey County was one of the original counties of California, created in 1850 at the time of statehood. Parts of the county were given to San Benito County in 1874. The area was originally populated by Ohlone, Salinan and Esselen tribes.
The county derives its name from Monterey Bay. The bay was named by Sebastián Vizcaíno in 1602 in honor of the Conde de Monterrey (or Count of Monterrey), then the Viceroy of New Spain. Monterrey is a variation of Monterrei, a municipality in the Galicia region of Spain where the Conde de Monterrey and his father (the Fourth Count of Monterrei) were from.