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Economy Overview

Gross Regional Product for the region was over $35 billion, with Sonoma contributing 87% and Mendocino contributing just 12 percent. Overall Sonoma County’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ranks 17th from the top of California’s 58 counties, while Mendocino's GDP ranks 38th. Since 2010, Gross Domestic Product has grown at an average annual rate of 2.59% in Sonoma (ranked 17) and only 0.78% in Mendocino (ranked 38 out of 58 counties). 

  • In 2020, Sonoma's real GDP fell 3.8 percent; the 2019-2020 state change was -2.8 percent. The 2010-2020 compound annual growth rate for Sonoma's real GDP was 1.9 percent.
  • In 2020, Mendocino real GDP fell 3.3 percent. The 2010-2020 compound annual growth rate for Mendocino's real GDP was -0.1 percent.
  • The compound annual growth rate for the state was 2.7 percent. Figure 2 Gross Domestic Product: Sonoma and Mendocino Counties 2000-2020

Local Government, Education, and Hospitals are the biggest economic sectors of the region in terms of GDP, which is not atypical, as these sectors serve the needs of existing communities. Other large regional economic sectors include Wineries, Crop Production, Instrument Manufacturing, Breweries, Tourism, Insurance, and Electric Power Distribution, while the state specializes in the tech sector, commercial banking, agriculture, and tourism.

Implications: Sonoma County has a much larger and faster-growing economy than Mendocino County, which is likely to lead to further divergence of the two counties in the future, as Sonoma’s economy will continue to grow at a faster rate on a larger base than Mendocino’s economy.


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