Salton City, California facts for kids
Quick facts for kids
Location in Imperial County and the state of California
|• Total||21.431 sq mi (55.506 km2)|
|• Land||21.431 sq mi (55.506 km2)|
|• Water||0 sq mi (0 km2) 0%|
|Elevation||-125 ft (-38 m)|
|• Density||175.587/sq mi (67.794/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-8 (Pacific)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-7 (PDT)|
|GNIS feature IDs||1853413, 2409242|
Salton City is a census-designated place (CDP) in Imperial County, California. It is the largest Imperial County development on the Salton Sea coast. It is part of the El Centro, California Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 3,763 at the 2010 census, up from 978 in 2000. The population estimate for 2020 was 5,611.
Although planned and developed as a large resort community with an extensive road, water, sewer and power grid capable of supporting 40,000 residents on 12,000 residential lots, demand for property in Salton City fell drastically short of the planners' expectations. According to the 2010 census, 81% of the surveyed lots in Salton City remain undeveloped, and 38% of the habitable residences in Salton City are unoccupied. Despite Salton City's higher population compared to nearby Salton Sea communities such as Bombay Beach and Desert Shores, the eerie, mostly-abandoned appearance of the area has led some to call it a modern ghost town.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 21.1 square miles (55 km2), all land. This area makes Salton City the largest city or town in terms of land area in the Imperial Valley.
Salton City is located on relatively flat ground. Several washes flow from the mountains to the west creating small gorges where any flowing run-off will drain into the Salton Sea. The vegetation of the CDP consists of mostly sparse desert shrub; however, in developed areas a variety of palm trees as well as other deciduous trees survive. Salton City is positioned between the eastern slope of the Peninsular Ranges and the western coast of the Salton Sea.
To the north of the CDP are Salton Sea Beach and Desert Shores. Salton City is approximately 50 miles from the Imperial County seat of El Centro and 110 and 115 miles respectively from the coastal San Diego County cities of Oceanside and San Diego.
This area has a large amount of sunshine year round due to its stable descending air and high pressure. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Salton City has a mild desert climate, abbreviated BWn on climate maps. However, Salton City experiences its own microclimate due to the proximity of the warm lake waters. Humidity is significantly higher along the shore during the warmer months, from May through September. Its climate can mimic a Subtropical Climate at times, with exceptionally high dewpoints for an arid desert, but this typically happens for only a part of the day, or a few days in a row at the most. Once winds prevail from the northwest, the climate is similar to other areas in Imperial County, which are not along the sea.
Despite a long period of population decline, the population of Salton City has been increasing in recent years.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
The 2010 United States Census reported that Salton City had a population of 3,743. The population density was 175.6 people per square mile (67.8/km2). The racial makeup of Salton City was 2,260 (60.1%) White, 80 (2.1%) African American, 61 (1.6%) Native American, 61 (1.6%) Asian, 5 (0.1%) Pacific Islander, 1,159 (30.8%) from other races, and 137 (3.6%) from two or more races. There were 2,368 Hispanic or Latino people of any race (62.9%).
The Census reported that 3,763 people (100% of the population) lived in households, 0 (0%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 0 (0%) were institutionalized.
There were 1,204 households, out of which 513 (42.6%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 653 (54.2%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 134 (11.1%) had a female householder with no husband present, 91 (7.6%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 67 (5.6%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 12 (1.0%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 269 households (22.3%) were made up of individuals, and 133 (11.0%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.13. There were 878 families (72.9% of all households); the average family size was 3.73.
The population was spread out, with 1,247 people (33.1%) under the age of 18, 350 people (9.3%) aged 18 to 24, 890 people (23.7%) aged 25 to 44, 813 people (21.6%) aged 45 to 64, and 463 people (12.3%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31.3 years. For every 100 females, there were 101.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 103.1 males.
There were 2,026 housing units at an average density of 94.5 per square mile (36.5/km2), of which 1,204 were occupied, of which 833 (69.2%) were owner-occupied, and 371 (30.8%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 18.0%; the rental vacancy rate was 20.3%. 2,425 people (64.4% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 1,338 people (35.6%) lived in rental housing units.
According to the 2000 United States Census, 978 people, 416 households, and 267 families resided in the CDP. The population density was 45.2 people per square mile (17.5/km2). There were 730 housing units at an average density of 33.8 per square mile (13.0/km2). The racial makeup of the CDP was 73.6% White, 0.8% African American, 1.9% Native American, 0.6% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 17.4% from other races, and 5.5% from two or more races. 32.5% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 416 households, out of which 21.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.4% were married couples living together, 8.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.8% were non-families. 30.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 19.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.4 and the average family size was 2.9.
In the CDP, the population was spread out, with 20.9% under the age of 18, 5.7% from 18 to 24, 18.9% from 25 to 44, 24.1% from 45 to 64, and 30.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 49 years. For every 100 females, there were 91.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.5 males.
The median income for a household in the CDP was $21,563, and the median income for a family was $20,208. Males had a median income of $26,458 versus $4,886 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $14,106. About 26.3% of families and 29.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 71.8% of those under age 18 and 10.0% of those age 65 or over.
From 2004 to 2007, Salton City experienced a housing boom. Several hundred new houses were built.
Salton City is featured in the 2013 video game Grand Theft Auto V as Sandy Shores; Salton Sea is also featured as the Alamo Sea.
Salton City was featured in an episode of the television series Life After People.
Salton City was mentioned in the Los Angeles episode of the Travel Channel series Off Limits.
Salton City is a track on the Hot Snakes' 2000 album Automatic Midnight.
Salton City was featured in a 2011 episode of Forgotten Planet. (Season 1, Episode 4, "TALA/Salton City")
The 1996 book Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer mentions Salton City as a place where Chris McCandless stopped in his travels.
J. A. Jance's novel Trial by Fire is partly set in Salton City.
In Sue Grafton's 1982 novel, A is for Alibi, The main character, Kinsey Millhone, travels to "Salton Sea" (presumably Salton City) for an interview with Greg Fife who is living in a trailer by the sea. The area is described by the main character as being beautiful in its emptiness. A conversation between Kinsey and Greg ensues about whether or not the sea is made up of ocean water. This enables Greg to open up and give Kinsey some much needed answers.