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Wasco, California facts for kids

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City of Wasco
Water tower in Wasco
Water tower in Wasco
Motto(s): 
"Grow With Us"
Location in Kern County and the state of California
Location in Kern County and the state of California
Wasco, California is located in the United States
Wasco, California
Wasco, California
Location in the United States
Country  United States
State  California
County Kern
Incorporated December 22, 1945
Area
 • Total 9.39 sq mi (24.32 km2)
 • Land 9.39 sq mi (24.32 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)  0%
Elevation
328 ft (100 m)
Population
 (2010)
 • Total 25,545
 • Estimate 
(2019)
28,710
 • Density 3,058.16/sq mi (1,180.73/km2)
Time zone UTC-8 (PST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-7 (PDT)
ZIP code
93280
Area code 661
FIPS code 06-83542
GNIS feature ID 1661652

Wasco (formerly, Dewey and Deweyville) is a city in the San Joaquin Valley, in Kern County, California, United States. Wasco is located 24 miles (39 km) northwest of Bakersfield, at an elevation of 328 feet (100 m). The population was 25,545 at the 2010 census, up from 21,263 at the 2000 census.

Wasco is the headquarters of the Tejon Indian Tribe of California, a federally recognized tribe of Kitanemuk, Yokuts, and Chumash indigenous people of California.

History

The name Dewey was in honor of Admiral George Dewey, a hero of the Spanish–American War. The Deweyville post office opened in 1899, and changed its name to Wasco in 1900.

The origin of the name Wasco is subject of two different theories: (1) That it was coined from Western American Sugar Company; and (2) that a resident from Wasco County, Oregon named it for that.

Wasco is the site of the Fourth Home Extension Colony, founded in 1907 by the American Home Extension Association.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 9.4 square miles (24 km2), all of it land. At the 2000 census, according to the United States Census Bureau, the city had a total area of 7.6 square miles (20 km2), all of it land. Wasco is located on the floor of the San Joaquin Valley, at the intersection of California State Routes 43, which runs north–south, and 46, which runs east–west.

Climate

According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Wasco has a semi-arid climate, abbreviated "BSk" on climate maps.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1950 5,592
1960 6,841 22.3%
1970 8,269 20.9%
1980 9,613 16.3%
1990 12,412 29.1%
2000 21,263 71.3%
2010 25,545 20.1%
2019 (est.) 28,710 12.4%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010

At the 2010 census Wasco had a population of 25,545. The population density was 2,710.1 people per square mile (1,046.4/km2). The racial makeup of Wasco was 12,579 (49.2%) White, 1,951 (7.6%) African American, 283 (1.1%) Native American, 180 (0.7%) Asian, 12 (0.0%) Pacific Islander, 9,714 (38.0%) from other races, and 826 (3.2%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 19,585 persons (76.7%).

The census reported that 19,825 people (77.6% of the population) lived in households, 10 (0%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 5,710 (22.4%) were institutionalized.

There were 5,131 households, 3,143 (61.3%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 2,894 (56.4%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 992 (19.3%) had a female householder with no husband present, 484 (9.4%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 478 (9.3%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 27 (0.5%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 575 households (11.2%) were one person and 243 (4.7%) had someone living alone who was 65 or older. The average household size was 3.86. There were 4,370 families (85.2% of households); the average family size was 4.11.

The age distribution was 7,351 people (28.8%) under the age of 18, 3,687 people (14.4%) aged 18 to 24, 8,621 people (33.7%) aged 25 to 44, 4,593 people (18.0%) aged 45 to 64, and 1,293 people (5.1%) who were 65 or older. The median age was 28.3 years. For every 100 females, there were 160.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 192.5 males.

There were 5,477 housing units at an average density of 581.1 per square mile, of the occupied units 2,680 (52.2%) were owner-occupied and 2,451 (47.8%) were rented. The homeowner vacancy rate was 5.1%; the rental vacancy rate was 4.0%. 10,486 people (41.0% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 9,339 people (36.6%) lived in rental housing units.

2000

At the 2000 census there were 21,263 people in 3,971 households, including 3,403 families, in the city. The population density was 2,795.7 people per square mile (1,078.8/km2). There were 4,256 housing units at an average density of 559.6 per square mile (215.9/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 34.64% White, 10.27% Black or African American, 1.02% Native American, 0.67% Asian, 0.15% Pacific Islander, 50.46% from other races, and 2.78% from two or more races. 66.72% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. Of the 3,971 households 55.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 62.3% were married couples living together, 16.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 14.3% were non-families. 11.6% of households were one person and 5.7% were one person aged 65 or older. The average household size was 3.79 and the average family size was 4.07.

The age distribution was 27.4% under the age of 18, 13.9% from 18 to 24, 39.4% from 25 to 44, 13.8% from 45 to 64, and 5.4% 65 or older. The median age was 29 years. For every 100 females, there were 183.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 230.6 males.

The median income for a householder in the city was $28,997, and the median family income was $30,506. Males had a median income of $48,105 versus $18,697 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,228. About 24.3% of families and 27.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 35.3% of those under age 18 and 10.1% of those age 65 or over.

People in group quarters

Source:

  • 7,975 people in Wasco State Prison
  • 1,226 people in other types of correctional institutions
  • 10 people in homes for the mentally ill
  • 8 people in other non-institutional group quarters

Economy

WascoOilFieldLocationMap
Wasco Oil Field Location Map

One of Wasco's major economic activities is agriculture, specifically the growing of roses. Fifty-five percent of all roses grown in the United States are grown in or around Wasco.

In addition to agriculture, oil and gas extraction is a significant part of the local economy. The large Semitropic Oil Field is along State Route 46 about 7 miles (11 km) west of town. Formerly a gas field, the region now mainly produces oil. Vintage Production, an arm of Occidental Petroleum, is the primary operator as of 2010.

The Wasco Oil Field was discovered in April 1938, by Continental Oil Company.

Sports

The Wasco Reserve are a professional baseball team competing in the independent Pecos League which is not affiliated with Major League Baseball or Minor League Baseball. Their home games are played at Wasco Athletic Park.

Transportation

The Amtrak service, the San Joaquin, stops at the train station in the city. Being on the route of the high speed rail project but without a stop, Wasco city officials have expressed concerns that the Amtrak service might be discontinued. As of August 2020, no decision has been announced. The construction has impacted the city and the costs for asbestos removal are in dispute in a labor housing complex that had to be abandoned and demolished. While paid relocation costs, the city can’t afford to demolish the camp and wants the rail authority to pay. Chief Executive Brian Kelly came to the city to discuss the issue in 2021.

Notable people

  • Pablo Garza, American mixed martial artist
  • Suzanne Lacy, artist and educator
  • Aaron Merz, former American football offensive lineman
  • Jim Napier, former minor league baseball catcher and manager
  • Manuel Quezada, professional boxer
  • Carl Smith, American football coach
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