Esparto (formerly Esperanza) is a census-designated place (CDP) in Yolo County, California, United States. It is part of the Sacramento–Arden-Arcade–Roseville Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 1,858 at the 2000 census.
Vaca Valley Railroad officials gave the name Esperanza ("hope" in Spanish) to their station in 1875, but when the post office was established in 1890 the name had to be changed because there was already an Esperanza in Tulare County. The name Esparto was chosen as the new name, and it means "feather grass" in Spanish. In 1888 Esparto was laid with track from the Vaca Valley Railroad (later consolidated into the Southern Pacific Railroad) that trailed to Rumsey. In 1893, Yolo County's second high school was established in the town of Esparto, it is name is Esparto High School, but a building for it was not built until 1918.
The Vaca Valley Railroad began in 1937 to remove track from Rumsey to Esparto, stopping train service northwest of Esparto in 1941. The passenger service from Esparto to Elmira was officially discontinued in 1957. Voters approved the formation of a school district in 1959-60 that encompass the Capay Valley. Another major win for the community was the successful fundraising for the Esparto Regional Library Branch of the Yolo County Library in 1999.
Esparto currently has 3 schools, Esparto Elementary School, Esparto Middle School(wildcats), and Esparto High School(Spartans).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 0.8 square miles (2.1 km²), all of it land.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,858 people, 589 households, and 447 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 2,252.0 people per square mile (864.3/km²). There were 612 housing units at an average density of 741.8/sq mi (284.7/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 62.33% White, 0.59% African American, 1.51% Native American, 1.83% Asian, 29.06% from other races, and 4.68% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 42.09% of the population.
There were 589 households out of which 42.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.9% were married couples living together, 9.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.1% were non-families. 20.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.15 and the average family size was 3.68.
In the CDP the population was spread out with 33.2% under the age of 18, 8.5% from 18 to 24, 27.9% from 25 to 44, 19.3% from 45 to 64, and 11.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 102.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 101.3 males.
The median income for a household in the CDP was $41,389, and the median income for a family was $41,037. Males had a median income of $29,737 versus $26,150 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $13,407. About 12.3% of families and 14.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.1% of those under age 18 and 12.7% of those age 65 or over.