The area is known for a history of logging operations. Remnants of logging railroads are still present in the area. In the 1970s, there was a plan to open a park which was centered on narrow gauge live steam equipment. It was to feature restored locomotives from the logging operation here.
Unlike the rest of Tuolumne County, Tuolumne City was not in the Bell System/SBC service area. Tuolumne Telephone Company provided service to this area. Wired telephone numbers in the Tuolumne City Central Office follow the pattern (209) 928-xxxx.
There are three schools: Summerville Elementary with grades K-8, Mother Christian School with grades K-12, and Summerville High School with grades 9-12. Summerville High School also hosts Toulumne County's Connections Arts School for grades 7-12.
A logging company town, Tuolumne City experienced an economic down-turn when the Westside Lumber Mill closed. For many years the community has struggled to create a new economic base. In recent years the Tuolumne Band of MiWuk Indians has contributed new growth in this hamlet with revenues from nearby Black Oak Casino, which is owned and operated by the tribe. A new medical clinic and a new library are a few recent improvements. Another addition has been the renovation of the Tuolumne City Museum on Carter St. Once known as "Somersville," Tuolumne City has a loyal citizen base, who work diligently to revive its community life. A new municipal advisory council has been established to help with this revival.
Tuolumne is the also the birthplace of the Vaudevillian performer and hipster comedian Lord Buckley, born Richard Myrle Buckley, April 5, 1906.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 2.3 square miles (6.1 km²), of which, 2.3 square miles (6.0 km²) of it is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km²) of it (0.85%) is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,865 people, 736 households, and 474 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 801.4 people per square mile (309.0/km²). There were 797 housing units at an average density of 342.5/sq mi (132.1/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 89.01% White, 0.38% African American, 4.29% Native American, 0.21% Asian, 0.54% Pacific Islander, 1.82% from other races, and 3.75% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.97% of the population.
There were 736 households out of which 31.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.7% were married couples living together, 15.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.5% were non-families. 29.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.51 and the average family size was 3.10.
In the CDP the population was spread out with 28.3% under the age of 18, 8.1% from 18 to 24, 26.5% from 25 to 44, 23.5% from 45 to 64, and 13.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 93.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.5 males.
The median income for a household in the CDP was $32,361, and the median income for a family was $41,007. Males had a median income of $35,524 versus $22,593 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $16,567. About 13.0% of families and 14.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.3% of those under age 18 and 13.4% of those age 65 or over.
In the state legislature Tuolumne City is located in the 14th Senate District, represented by Republican Dave Cogdill, and in the 25th Assembly District, represented by Republican Tom Berryhill. Federally, Tuolumne City is located in California's 19th congressional district, which has a Cook PVI of R +10 and is represented by Republican George Radanovich.