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Acton, California facts for kids

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View from CA 14 of Acton and the surrounding valley.
View from CA 14 of Acton and the surrounding valley.
Location of Acton in Los Angeles County, California.
Location of Acton in Los Angeles County, California.
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Coordinates: 34°28′22″N 118°11′1″W / 34.47278°N 118.18361°W / 34.47278; -118.18361Coordinates: 34°28′22″N 118°11′1″W / 34.47278°N 118.18361°W / 34.47278; -118.18361
Country  United States
State  California
County Los Angeles
 • Total 39.279 sq mi (101.734 km2)
 • Land 39.256 sq mi (101.673 km2)
 • Water 0.023 sq mi (0.06 km2)  0.06%
2,710 ft (826 m)
 • Total 7,596
 • Density 193.386/sq mi (74.665/km2)
Time zone UTC−8 (Pacific)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−7 (PDT)
ZIP code
Area code 661
FIPS code 06-00212
GNIS feature IDs 1660228, 2407697

Acton is an unincorporated census-designated place in Los Angeles County, California, near the Antelope Valley. According to the 2010 census, Acton had a population of 7,596.

Acton is a small residential community located in the Sierra Pelona Mountains. It is off the Antelope Valley Freeway (Highway 14) near Palmdale. Acton is roughly 20 miles (32 km) northeast of the San Fernando Valley and 47 miles (76 km) north of downtown Los Angeles. The town has a rural western theme which can be seen in its homes, commercial buildings, and historical buildings (some of which date back to the late 1800s). The homes in the mountains around Acton have great views of the valley below. In the valley are ranch style homes, often with equestrian facilities. While Acton is not a part of the Antelope Valley, it is grouped together with the "AV" in the General Plan. Acton has a Metrolink commuter rail station, on its border with Palmdale that is themed in an "old western" style and has been seen in various movies and commercials.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1990 1,471
2000 2,390 62.5%
2010 7,596 217.8%

Acton was founded in 1887 by gold miners who were working in the Red Rover Mine. It was named after Acton, Massachusetts by one of the miners. Two of the best-known gold mines located in Acton were the Red Rover mine and the Governor mine. Mining of gold, copper, and titanium ore continued into the early 1900s. The town originally had served as a railroad camp from 1873 to 1876 when the Saugus-Mojave section of the Southern Pacific Railroad was under construction. Acton was once considered for the State capital of California. California Governor Henry T. Gage (1899–1903) owned the Governor Mine, hence the name, and sought to relocate the capital to Acton. This effort ultimately failed and the capital was not moved from Sacramento. In the late 1880s, Acton started to become more of a ranching and farming community. In 1889, Acton's first hotel and its first saloon, the 49er was opened, and it is still open for business today. You can tie off your horse on a side rail while you visit the saloon. The bank in the same shopping center was seen in the Clint Eastwood movie Blood Work.


Acton is located at 34°28′22″N 118°11′1″W / 34.47278°N 118.18361°W / 34.47278; -118.18361 (34.472777, -118.183696). According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 39.3 square miles (102 km2), over 99% of it land. At the 2000 census, the CDP had a total area of 4.6 square miles (12 km2), all land.


This region experiences warm (but not hot) and dry summers, with no average monthly temperatures above 71.6 °F. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Acton has a warm-summer Mediterranean climate, abbreviated "Csb" on climate maps.


The 2010 United States Census reported that Acton had a population of 7,596. The population density was 193.4 people per square mile (74.7/km²). The racial makeup of Acton was 6,564 (86.4%) White (76.1% Non-Hispanic White), 57 (0.8%) African American, 70 (0.9%) Native American, 155 (2.0%) Asian, 5 (0.1%) Pacific Islander, 451 (5.9%) from other races, and 294 (3.9%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1,373 persons (18.1%).

The Census reported that 7,596 people (100% of the population) lived in households, 0 (0%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 0 (0%) were institutionalized.

There were 2,660 households, out of which 901 (33.9%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 1,771 (66.6%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 194 (7.3%) had a female householder with no husband present, 116 (4.4%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 108 (4.1%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 30 (1.1%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 436 households (16.4%) were made up of individuals and 143 (5.4%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.86. There were 2,081 families (78.2% of all households); the average family size was 3.21.

The population was spread out with 1,672 people (22.0%) under the age of 18, 660 people (8.7%) aged 18 to 24, 1,394 people (18.4%) aged 25 to 44, 3,037 people (40.0%) aged 45 to 64, and 833 people (11.0%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 45.5 years. For every 100 females there were 100.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.7 males.

There were 2,814 housing units at an average density of 71.6 per square mile (27.7/km²), of which 2,386 (89.7%) were owner-occupied, and 274 (10.3%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 1.7%; the rental vacancy rate was 7.4%. 6,852 people (90.2% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 744 people (9.8%) lived in rental housing units.

Parks and recreation

Shambala Preserve

The Shambala Preserve, a wild animal nature park run by actress Tippi Hedren, is located near Acton. Ventures on Tippi Hedren's 80-acre (320,000 m2) wild animal compound include a Safari at the authentic African-style haven for more than 70 African lions, Royal Bengal and Siberian tigers, spotted and black leopards, cougars, and African elephants. Riders on the Metrolink trains between Palmdale and Santa Clarita often see the animals grazing in the fields of the preserve as the train passes through.

Parker Mountain

Acton is home to Parker Mountain, the mecca for a style of radio-controlled aircraft flying called "dynamic soaring" and where at one time the world speed record of 302 mph (486 km/h) was achieved.

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