Cottonwood is a census-designated place (CDP) in Shasta County, California, United States. The population was 2,960 at the 2000 census. Cottonwood is a stagecoach town founded in 1882. Cottonwood is equidistant between Redding and Red Bluff, 15 miles (24 km) in both directions. It is 4 miles (6.4 km) south of Anderson.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 2.4 square miles (6.2 km²), all of it land.
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,960 people, 1,068 households, and 776 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 1,237.2 people per square mile (478.2/km²). There were 1,131 housing units at an average density of 472.7/sq mi (182.7/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 86.32% White, 0.24% African American, 3.21% Native American, 3.04% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 3.34% from other races, and 3.82% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 9.39% of the population.
There were 1,068 households out of which 42.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.5% were married couples living together, 16.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.3% were non-families. 22.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.77 and the average family size was 3.22.
In the CDP the population was spread out with 32.1% under the age of 18, 8.7% from 18 to 24, 29.0% from 25 to 44, 19.4% from 45 to 64, and 10.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 89.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.2 males.
The median income for a household in the CDP was $30,191, and the median income for a family was $31,808. Males had a median income of $31,161 versus $20,755 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $11,778. About 12.0% of families and 18.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.3% of those under age 18 and 3.8% of those age 65 or over.
In the state legislature Cottonwood is located in the 4th Senate District, represented by Republican Sam Aanestad, and in the 2nd Assembly District, represented by Republican Doug LaMalfa. Federally, Cottonwood is located in California's 2nd congressional district, which has a Cook PVI of R +13 and is represented by Republican Wally Herger.
A number of residents in Cottonwood have expressed interest in incorporation. Not only would it allow the town to have stricter building codes, but it would stop the City of Anderson from further annexation of the surrounding areas.
Cottonwood is one of five CDPs in Shasta County that have expressed interest in incorporating. The other towns are Burney, Shingletown, McArthur, and Fall River Mills. McArthur and Fall River Mills would incorporate as one city together.
Cottonwood could incorporate into Tehama County as well. Many residents live on either the Shasta County or Tehama County side and with new subdivisions called Sunset Hills and Sun City Tehama coming so close to the border, Cottonwood could officially become a Tehama county city with only 1/3 of the city incorporated into Shasta County. Another option could be a new city in Tehama County that comprises those subdivisions.
Cottonwood has one high school, one junior high school, two elementary schools.
West Valley High School (9-12) West Cottonwood Junior High School (6-8) North Cottonwood (4-5) East Cottonwood (Kdg-3)
There are three elementary schools, East Cottonwood Elementary for K-2 and North Cottonwood Elementary for 3-5 on the Shasta side, and Evergreen Elementary on the Tehama side.
There are two public middle schools, West Cottonwood Jr High on the Shasta side and Evergreen Middle on the Tehama side.