kids encyclopedia robot

Banning, California facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
City of Banning
Official seal of City of Banning
"Endless Opportunity"
Location of Banning in Riverside County, California.
Location of Banning in Riverside County, California.
Banning, California is located in the United States
Banning, California
Banning, California
Location in the United States
Country United States
State California
County Riverside
Incorporated February 6, 1913
 • Type Council-Manager
 • Body Banning City Council
 • Total 23.24 sq mi (60.18 km2)
 • Land 23.24 sq mi (60.18 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)  0%
2,349 ft (716 m)
 • Total 29,505
 • Density 1,269.74/sq mi (490.25/km2)
Time zone UTC-8 (Pacific)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-7 (PDT)
ZIP code
Area code 951
FIPS code 06-03820
GNIS feature IDs 1660306, 2409785

Banning is a city in Riverside County, California, United States. The population was 29,603 at the 2010 census. It is situated in the San Gorgonio Pass, also known as Banning Pass. It is named for Phineas Banning, stagecoach line owner and the "Father of the Port of Los Angeles."

Banning shares geographic and regional features with its western neighbor, the city of Beaumont. Banning and Beaumont have been rapidly growing in size and population since the 1990s. Both cities are about 80 miles east of downtown Los Angeles and 30 miles west of Palm Springs, each connected by freeway and railroad.


Early history

The area, up to the mid-19th century, was inhabited by the Cahuilla people, though the region around Banning was originally Maringayam (Serrano), and the Cahuilla expanded into the pass only in historic times. In 1824 it became part of the Mission San Gabriel Arcangel, and then the Rancho San Gorgonio. The first Anglo to settle in the area was Dr. Isaac Smith in 1853. In 1863 a smallpox epidemic further diminished the Cahuilla. The government created Indian reservations for the Cahuilla in 1877.

The development of the settlement that was to become Banning coincided with the start of the Colorado River Gold Rush. The Bradshaw Trail was a wagon road to the gold boomtowns of Arizona Territory that passed through the area in 1862. Gilman's Ranch north of downtown served as a station for the stagecoach lines on this road. The railroad followed passing through the town in 1876. The Southern Pacific (later purchased by Union Pacific) railroad, was a major contributor to the area's growth. U.S. Route 99 was built in 1923, followed by U.S. Route 60/70 in 1936, and subsequently Interstate 10.

Banning borders the Morongo Indian Reservation, home to the Morongo Band of Cahuilla (Mission) Indians. Relations with reservation residents have been stressed by such actions as disputes over water rights. See Dorothy Ramon's book (published 2000) "Always Believe" for a Maringayam's views on Banning and reservation life.

Prior to the name Banning, the settlement was called Moore City. Ransom B. Moore operated a large cattle ranch and was a member of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, settling in the area and nearby San Gorgonio mountains in the early 1860s. Moore sold his holdings and relocated to central Arizona in 1883, establishing a large cattle ranch on the site of the former Camp Reno army outpost and later served in the Arizona Territorial Legislature.

The town of Banning was incorporated on February 6, 1913. Between the years 1880 and 1980, it was the largest city in year-round population between Redlands and the Colorado River.

Indian School and cemetery

The St. Boniface Indian Industrial School was opened in 1890, providing vocational education to Cahuilla, Serrano, Luiseño, Kumeyaay, and other American Indians. Bishop Francisco Mora y Borrell authorized the school and Mother Katharine Drexel provided funding to the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions for purchase of the land, construction, and operations. Over its history, about 8,000 students attended the school which was demolished in 1974. A small abandoned cemetery remains.

World War II

During World War II, Banning was the site of the 1,000-bed Banning General Hospital. It supported training at the Desert Training Center and was later used as a naval convalescent hospital. The facilities were dismantled in 1948.

Art of Banning
City of Banning, public art
City of Banning Ring of Honor

In 1942 the citizens of Banning raised funds for the purchase of an M3 Stuart tank to support the war effort. After the war the tank was given to the South African defense force; in turn, the tank was donated to a Memorable Order of Tin Hats Shellhole in Richmond, Natal Province, South Africa. The tank, named "City of Johannesburg", is now preserved at a local museum at Richmond.


Banning is located at 33°55′54″N 116°53′51″W / 33.93167°N 116.89750°W / 33.93167; -116.89750 (33.931729, -116.897557).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 23.1 square miles (60 km2), all of it land.

Banning's elevation is approximately 2,300 feet (700 m) above sea level, which gives it a cooler climate in contrast to the county seat Riverside at 800 feet (240 m) above sea level and the Coachella Valley of the Colorado Desert to the east.

Banning is traversed by the San Andreas Fault which is responsible for the creation of the pass in which the city is situated.

Banning is 25 miles (40 km) west of Palm Springs and 100 miles (160 km) east of Los Angeles.


According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Banning has a warm-summer Mediterranean climate, abbreviated "Csa" on climate maps.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1930 2,752
1940 3,874 40.8%
1950 7,034 81.6%
1960 10,250 45.7%
1970 12,034 17.4%
1980 14,020 16.5%
1990 20,570 46.7%
2000 23,562 14.5%
2010 29,603 25.6%
U.S. Decennial Census


The 2010 United States Census reported that Banning had a population of 29,603. The population density was 1,281.6 people per square mile (494.8/km2). The racial makeup of Banning was 19,164 (64.7%) White (43.4% Non-Hispanic White), 2,165 (7.3%) African American, 641 (2.2%) Native American, 1,549 (5.2%) Asian, 39 (0.1%) Pacific Islander, 4,604 (15.6%) from other races, and 1,441 (4.9%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 12,181 persons (41.1%).

The Census reported that 28,238 people (95.4% of the population) lived in households, 254 (0.9%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 1,111 (3.8%) were institutionalized.

There were 10,838 households, out of which 3,083 (28.4%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 5,106 (47.1%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 1,488 (13.7%) had a female householder with no husband present, 592 (5.5%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 700 (6.5%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 75 (0.7%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 3,092 households (28.5%) were made up of individuals, and 2,085 (19.2%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.61. There were 7,186 families (66.3% of all households); the average family size was 3.19.

The population was spread out, with 6,777 people (22.9%) under the age of 18, 2,730 people (9.2%) aged 18 to 24, 6,048 people (20.4%) aged 25 to 44, 6,387 people (21.6%) aged 45 to 64, and 7,661 people (25.9%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42.3 years. For every 100 females, there were 93.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.7 males.

There were 12,144 housing units at an average density of 525.7 per square mile (203.0/km2), of which 7,412 (68.4%) were owner-occupied, and 3,426 (31.6%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 4.1%; the rental vacancy rate was 10.9%. 17,552 people (59.3% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 10,686 people (36.1%) lived in rental housing units.

According to the 2010 United States Census, Banning had a median household income of $38,919, with 19.4% of the population living below the federal poverty line.


As of the census of 2000, there were 23,562 people, 8,923 households, and 6,237 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,022 people per square mile (395/km2). There were 9,761 housing units at an average density of 423/sq mi (164/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 64.2% White, 8.6% Black or African American, 2.5% Native American, 5.4% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 14.9% from other races, and 4.9% from two or more races. 30.2% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 8,923 households, out of which 26.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.2% were married couples living together, 12.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.1% were non-families. 25.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 16.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.60 and the average family size was 3.11.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 26.4% under the age of 18, 7.4% from 18 to 24, 20.9% from 25 to 44, 18.4% from 45 to 64, and 26.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females, there were 90.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.7 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $32,076, and the median income for a family was $38,995. Males had a median income of $31,300 versus $20,794 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,231. About 14.8% of families and 19.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 31.8% of those under age 18 and 6.5% of those age 65 or over.

In popular culture

  • The protagonist in the 1950 film noir D.O.A., played by Edmond O'Brien, is an accountant and notary from Banning.
  • Location shooting for the films Buckshot John (1915), Fatherhood (1915), Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here (1969), Sky Below, Crowd Above: The Art Scholl Story (1984), How to Make an American Quilt (1995), Follow Me Home (1996) and Evil on Queen Street (2002) took place in Banning.
  • The Christmas song White Christmas was written here by Irving Berlin.
  • In the novel The Passage by Justin Cronin, the city is mentioned as being near the First Colony which is home to the protagonist, Peter.
  • In the novel Vineland by Thomas Pynchon, one of the characters drives through this city (p. 133).

Notable residents

kids search engine
Banning, California Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.