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Delano, California
City of Delano
Main Street in downtown Delano
Main Street in downtown Delano
Official seal of Delano, California
Location of Delano in Kern County, California.
Location of Delano in Kern County, California.
Delano, California is located in California
Delano, California
Delano, California
Location in California
Delano, California is located in the United States
Delano, California
Delano, California
Location in the United States
Country  United States
State  California
County Kern
Founded 1873
Incorporated April 13, 1915
 • Total 14.77 sq mi (38.25 km2)
 • Land 14.72 sq mi (38.11 km2)
 • Water 0.05 sq mi (0.14 km2)  0.35%
315 ft (96 m)
 • Total 51,428
 • Density 3,494.70/sq mi (1,349.29/km2)
Time zone UTC-8 (PST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-7 (PDT)
ZIP codes
93215, 93216
Area code(s) 661
FIPS code 06-18394
GNIS feature IDs 1652697, 2410317

Delano ( də-LAY-noh) is a city in Kern County, California, United States. Delano is located 31 miles (50 km) north-northwest of Bakersfield at an elevation of 315 feet (96 m). The population was 53,041 in 2010, up from 38,824 in 2000. It is Kern County's second-largest city after Bakersfield.

Agriculture is Delano's major industry. The area is particularly well known as a center for the growing of table grapes. Delano is also home to two California state prisons, North Kern State Prison and Kern Valley State Prison. The Voice of America once operated one of its largest, most powerful shortwave broadcast facilities at a station outside Delano at 35°45′15″N 119°17′7″W / 35.75417°N 119.28528°W / 35.75417; -119.28528. The Voice of America ceased broadcasts in October 2007, citing a changing political mission, reduced budgets, and changes in technology.

Delano's two school districts currently operate eight elementary schools, three middle schools, three comprehensive high schools and two alternative high schools. The city has its own police department and contracts with the Kern County Fire Department for fire services, EMS services are privately provided by local company, Delano Ambulance Service.


Delano was founded on July 14, 1869 as a railroad town, not because the railroad passed through the town but because the railroad coming down from San Francisco and parts north terminated at Delano. The name was officially given by the Southern Pacific Railroad in honor of Columbus Delano, at the time the Secretary of the Interior for the United States. The first post office opened in 1874. Delano incorporated in 1913.

The town naturally started with a boom. With Delano the terminus of the railroad to the south, it became the headquarters for literally hundreds of workmen who were building the railroad into town, and who, eventually, the following year built the railroad into Bakersfield. Meantime, all the merchandise that formerly was trucked south from Visalia to Bakersfield and thence to Walker Pass, or maybe Tejon Pass, en route to Los Angeles, now coming freight from the south, east and west, was likewise trucked in by ox or mule team. Great loads of bullion were delivered here from the mines in the mountains. Delano became the northern terminus for the passenger stages that ran south to Bakersfield and Los Angeles. The fare from Bakersfield to Delano was $7.00 a trip.

Cesar chavez crop2
César Chávez at a United Farmworkers rally in Delano, 1974

Delano was a major hub of farmworker organization efforts and Chicano movement politics. Filipino immigrants Philip Vera Cruz and Larry Dulay Itliong were instrumental in shaping the direction of farm worker movement in the 1950s. On September 8, 1965, Larry Itliong and other Filipino leaders led the predominantly Filipino Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee (AWOC) in a "walk off" from table grape farms, now known as the Delano grape strike. The strikers' goal was to improve farmworkers' wages and working conditions. The National Farm Workers' Association (NFWA), a largely Hispanic union led by Cesar Chavez, joined the strike within a week. During the strike, the two groups joined forces and formed the United Farm Workers of America (UFW). By 1970, the UFW won a contract with major grape growers across California.

Delano is also known as "The Town" because of the many towns folk that roam there.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 14.4 square miles (37 km2); over 99% of which is land.


Weather chart for Delano, California
temperatures in °F
precipitation totals in inches
source: (temperature), Western Regional Climate Center (precipitation)

Delano's climate is characteristic of the San Joaquin Valley. The weather is hot and dry during the summer and cool and damp in winter. Frequent winter ground fog known regionally as tule fog can obscure vision. Record temperatures range between 115 °F (46 °C) (2006) and 14 °F (−10 °C) (1990). of rainfall annually.



At the 2010 census Delano had a population of 53,041. The population density was 3,694.9 people per square mile (1,426.6/km2). The racial makeup of Delano was 19,304 (36.4%) White, 4,191 (7.9%) African American, 501 (0.9%) Native American, 6,757 (12.7%) Asian, 30 (0.1%) Pacific Islander, 20,307 (38.3%) from other races, and 1,951 (3.7%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 37,913 persons (71.5%).

The census reported that 42,144 people (79.5% of the population) lived in households, 178 (0.3%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 10,719 (20.2%) were institutionalized.

There were 10,260 households, 6,535 (63.7%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 5,968 (58.2%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 2,089 (20.4%) had a female householder with no husband present, 894 (8.7%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 833 (8.1%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 61 (0.6%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 990 households (9.6%) were one person and 424 (4.1%) had someone living alone who was 65 or older. The average household size was 4.11. There were 8,951 families (87.2% of households); the average family size was 4.31.

The age distribution was 15,089 people (28.4%) under the age of 18, 7,813 people (14.7%) aged 18 to 24, 17,248 people (32.5%) aged 25 to 44, 9,644 people (18.2%) aged 45 to 64, and 3,247 people (6.1%) who were 65 or older. The median age was 28.5 years. For every 100 females, there were 149.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 172.3 males.

There were 10,713 housing units at an average density of 746.3 per square mile, of the occupied units 5,764 (56.2%) were owner-occupied and 4,496 (43.8%) were rented. The homeowner vacancy rate was 1.6%; the rental vacancy rate was 3.5%. 24,363 people (45.9% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 17,781 people (33.5%) lived in rental housing units.


At the 2000 census there were 38,824 people in 8,409 households, including 7,248 families, in the city. The population density was 3,842.1 inhabitants per square mile (1,484.2/km2). There were 8,830 housing units at an average density of 873.8 per square mile (337.6/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 26.16% White, 5.45% Black or African American, 0.91% Native American, 15.88% Asian (primarily Filipino), 0.06% Pacific Islander, 47.07% from other races, and 4.47% from two or more races. 68.47% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. Of the 8,409 households 56.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.3% were married couples living together, 18.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 13.8% were non-families. 10.8% of households were one person and 5.4% were one person aged 65 or older. The average household size was 4.02 and the average family size was 4.27.

The age distribution was 32.5% under the age of 18, 12.4% from 18 to 24, 32.7% from 25 to 44, 14.9% from 45 to 64, and 7.5% 65 or older. The median age was 28 years. For every 100 females, there were 129.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 143.1 males.

Historical population
Census Pop.
1920 805
1930 2,632 227.0%
1940 4,573 73.7%
1950 8,717 90.6%
1960 11,913 36.7%
1970 14,559 22.2%
1980 16,491 13.3%
1990 22,762 38.0%
2000 38,824 70.6%
2010 53,041 36.6%
2020 51,428 −3.0%
U.S. Decennial Census

The median household income was $28,143 and the median family income was $29,026. Males had a median income of $38,511 versus $21,509 for females. The per capita income for the city was $11,068. About 25.7% of families and 28.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 35.3% of those under age 18 and 20.7% of those age 65 or over.


Delano is home to an active and substantial Filipino American community, and the Annual Philippine Weekend fair takes place in Delano every July.

Sister cities

Delano maintains a sister city relationship with the town of Arida, Wakayama, Japan.


Major farm employers in Delano include Wonderful Citrus, Columbine Vineyards, Munger Farms, Lucich Farms, and Hronis. Other major employers include Adventist Health Hospital Delano, Walmart, The Home Depot, Sears (distribution only; no retail), Vallarta Supermarkets, Delano Joint Union High School District, Delano Union Elementary School District, and the North Kern-South Tulare Hospital District.


The Delano Union School District operates eight elementary schools and three middle schools. The Delano Joint Union High School District provides three comprehensive high schools, a continuation high school, and an adult education center.

Elementary schools

  • Albany Park Elementary School
  • Del Vista Math and Science Academy
  • Fremont Elementary School
  • Harvest Elementary School
  • Morningside Elementary School
  • Nueva Vista Language Academy
  • Pioneer School
  • Princeton Street Elementary School
  • Terrace Elementary School

Middle schools

  • Almond Tree Middle School
  • Cecil Avenue Math and Science Academy
  • La Vina Middle School

High schools

  • Delano High School
  • Cesar E. Chavez High School
  • Robert F. Kennedy High School
  • Wonderful College Prep Academy
  • Valley High School
  • Delano Adult School


Bakersfield College, a community college, serves the community of Delano and the rural communities of northern Kern and southern Tulare counties with a satellite campus at the Delano Center, approximately 35 miles north of the main campus in Bakersfield, California.


Bus services

The Delano Area Rapid Transit (DART) provides fixed route bus service on four routes and demand responsive public transportation service (Dial-A- Ride) to the residents of Delano and the immediate county area surrounding the city within the boundaries of State Route 43 to the west, County Line Road to the north, Pond Road to the south, and Kyte Avenue to the east.


The Delano Municipal Airport is an uncontrolled airfield with a 5,651 foot runway and light aviation services, and is open to the public. There is no scheduled airline service, but the airport serves a variety of other significant users. Many military, air charter, air ambulance, and other flying services operate from the airport on a regular basis.

Notable people

  • Cesar Chavez, activist
  • Thomas Guerra, a nephew of Cesar Chavez who became the first person in the state of California to be convicted for intentionally infecting another individual with HIV
  • Larry Itliong, activist
  • Harold H. Kelley, UCLA Professor of Psychology
  • Leamon King, Olympic runner
  • Dack Rambo, actor
  • Lon Spurrier, Olympic runner
  • Luis Valdez, film director, known for La Bamba
  • Benita Valente, classical singer (soprano)
  • Racella, singer and songwriter

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Delano (California) para niños

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