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Nipomo, California

census-designated place
The Capt. Dana Tree at the Dana Adobe.  Part of the town can be seen in the background.
The Capt. Dana Tree at the Dana Adobe. Part of the town can be seen in the background.
Location in San Luis Obispo County and the state of California
Location in San Luis Obispo County and the state of California
Nipomo is located in USA
Location in the United States
Country  United States
State  California
County San Luis Obispo
Named for (Chumash: Nipumu', "Village" [1])
 • Total 14.852 sq mi (38.467 km2)
 • Land 14.852 sq mi (38.466 km2)
 • Water 0 sq mi (0.001 km2)  0%
Elevation 331 ft (101 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 16,714
 • Density 1,100/sq mi (430/km2)
Time zone Pacific (PST) (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP code 93444
Area code(s) 805
FIPS code 06-51476
GNIS feature ID 1652759

Nipomo is a census-designated place (CDP) in San Luis Obispo County, California, United States. The population was 12,626 at the 2000 census, and grew to 16,714 for the 2010 census.[3]


  • Geography 1
    • Climate 1.1
  • Demographics 2
    • 2010 2.1
    • 2000 2.2
  • Government 3
  • Schools 4
  • History 5
  • Notable people 6
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9


Nipomo is located at (35.030027, -120.490032).[4]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 14.9 square miles (39 km2), virtually all of it 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, Nipomo has a warm-summer Mediterranean climate, abbreviated "Csb" on climate maps.[5]



The 2010 United States Census[6] reported that Nipomo had a population of 16,714. The population density was 1,125.4 people per square mile (434.5/km²). The racial makeup of Nipomo was 12,281 (73.5%) White, 177 (1.1%) African American, 200 (1.2%) Native American, 421 (2.5%) Asian, 33 (0.2%) Pacific Islander, 2,821 (16.9%) from other races, and 781 (4.7%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6,645 persons (39.8%).

The Census reported that 16,703 people (99.9% of the population) lived in households, 11 (0.1%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 0 (0%) were institutionalized.

There were 5,474 households, out of which 2,258 (41.2%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 3,353 (61.3%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 686 (12.5%) had a female householder with no husband present, 326 (6.0%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 338 (6.2%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 49 (0.9%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 807 households (14.7%) were made up of individuals and 346 (6.3%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.05. There were 4,365 families (79.7% of all households); the average family size was 3.35.

The population was spread out with 4,422 people (26.5%) under the age of 18, 1,531 people (9.2%) aged 18 to 24, 4,058 people (24.3%) aged 25 to 44, 4,593 people (27.5%) aged 45 to 64, and 2,110 people (12.6%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37.0 years. For every 100 females there were 97.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.9 males.

There were 5,759 housing units at an average density of 387.8 per square mile (149.7/km²), of which 3,898 (71.2%) were owner-occupied, and 1,576 (28.8%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 1.7%; the rental vacancy rate was 3.1%. 11,583 people (69.3% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 5,120 people (30.6%) lived in rental housing units.


As of the census[7] of 2000, there were 12,626 people, 4,035 households, and 3,316 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 1,106.1 people per square mile (427.3/km²). There were 4,146 housing units at an average density of 363.2 per square mile (140.3/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 75.89% White, 0.60% African American, 1.32% Native American, 1.44% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 16.01% from other races, and 4.68% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 34.55% of the population.

There were 4,035 households out of which 41.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 66.9% were married couples living together, 10.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 17.8% were non-families. 13.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.13 and the average family size was 3.42.

In the CDP the population was spread out with 30.7% under the age of 18, 7.5% from 18 to 24, 27.9% from 25 to 44, 21.7% from 45 to 64, and 12.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 97.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.2 males.

The median income for a household in the CDP was $49,852, and the median income for a family was $54,338. Males had a median income of $41,288 versus $25,509 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $18,824. About 5.6% of families and 7.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.5% of those under age 18 and 6.1% of those age 65 or over.


In the California State Legislature, Nipomo is in the 17th Senate District, represented by Democrat Bill Monning, and the 35th Assembly District, represented by Republican Katcho Achadjian.[8]

In the United States House of Representatives, Nipomo is in California's 24th congressional district, represented by Democrat Lois Capps.[9]


The entrance to Nipomo High School
  • Elementary
    • Nipomo Elementary (K-6) 190 E Price, Nipomo. Attended primarily by students living east of US 101.
    • Dana Elementary (K-6) 920 W. Tefft St., Nipomo. For students west of US 101 living nearby.
    • Dorothea Lange Elementary (K-6) 1661 Via Alta Mesa, Nipomo. Attended by other Nipomo area students living west of US 101.
  • Middle school
    • Mesa Middle School (7th-8th) 2555 Halcyon Road, Arroyo Grande. Located within original Rancho Nipomo boundaries. Stresses character education, and competes in basketball, volleyball, wrestling, track, and soccer. Also known for drama and music programs.
  • High school
    • Nipomo High School (9th-12th) 525 N. Thompson Road, Nipomo. It was opened in 2002. Before that students attended Arroyo Grande High School. NHS has become known for high scholastic standards, outstanding drama and musical productions, strong girl's volleyball and boy's wrestling teams, golf and swim teams, and its agriculture department. The enthusiastic boosters organization promotes both academics and athletics simultaneously. The community has created scholarships for college-bound graduates.


Dorothea Lange's Migrant Mother depicts destitute pea pickers in California, centering on a mother, age 32, of seven children in Nipomo, California, March 1936.

The original settlers of Nipomo were the Chumash Indians, who have lived in the area for over 9,000 years. Rancho Nipomo (the Indian word ne-po-mah meant "foot of the hill") was one of the first and largest of the Mexican land grants in San Luis Obispo County.

The founder of present day Nipomo, William G. Dana of Boston, was a sea captain. Dana's travels led him to California where he married Maria Josefa Carrillo of Santa Barbara. In 1837, the 38,000-acre (150 km2) Rancho Nipomo was granted to Captain Dana by the Mexican governor. The Dana Adobe, created in 1839, served as an important stop for travelers on El Camino Real between Mission San Luis Obispo and Mission Santa Barbara. The adobe was a stage coach stop and became the exchange point for mail going between north and south in the first regular mail route in California.[10] The Danas had children, of which 13 reached adulthood. They learned both English and Spanish, as well as the language of the Chumash natives.

In 1846, U.S. Army Captain John C. Fremont and his soldiers stopped at the rancho on their way south to Santa Barbara and Los Angeles. Captain Dana hosted a barbecue and gave Fremont’s men 30 fresh horses. By the 1880s the Dana descendants had built homes on the rancho and formed a town. Streets were laid out and lots were sold to the general public. The Pacific Coast Railway (narrow gauge) came to town in 1882, and trains ran through Nipomo until The Great Depression in the 1930s. By the end of 1942, the tracks had been removed for the World War II war effort.

Thousands of Blue Gum Eucalyptus trees were planted on the Nipomo Mesa in 1908 by two men who formed the Los Berros Forest Company with the idea of selling the trees as hardwood. Groves of these non-native trees still exist, even in rows as they were originally planted. These tall trees are often removed as needed for space, but also since they present a falling hazard during high winds and can suppress native flora.

Nipomo is the location of one of the most famous photographs of the Great Depression, "Migrant Mother", by Dorothea Lange. Thompson Road was originally US Highway 101, on which Lange no doubt traveled. The current US 101 freeway was constructed in the late 1950s.

Notable people

See also


  1. ^ McCall, Lynne; Perry, Rosalind (2002). California’s Chumash Indians : a project of the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Education Center (Revised ed.). San Luis Obispo, Calif: EZ Nature Books.  
  2. ^ "2010 Census U.S. Gazetteer Files – Places – California".  
  3. ^ "Santa Maria grows 28.6%". 2011-03-09. Retrieved 2012-09-14. 
  4. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990".  
  5. ^ Climate Summary for Nipomo, California
  6. ^ "2010 Census Interactive Population Search: CA - Nipomo CDP". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved July 12, 2014. 
  7. ^ "American FactFinder".  
  8. ^ "Statewide Database".  
  9. ^ "California's 24th Congressional District - Representatives & District Map". Civic Impulse, LLC. Retrieved September 29, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Dana Adobe Home". Dana Adobe Nipomo Amigos. Retrieved 8 July 2010. 

External links

  • Official website
  • Nipomo Chamber of Commerce
  • My Nipomo
  • Nipomo News
  • Nipomo Incorporation Website
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