Nipomo, California

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.[4]

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 the United States
Coordinates: 35°1′48″N 120°29′24″W
Country United States
State California
CountySan Luis Obispo
Named for"Place of the big house" [1] or "Village" [2]
  Total14.852 sq mi (38.467 km2)
  Land14.852 sq mi (38.466 km2)
  Water0 sq mi (0.001 km2)  0%
331 ft (101 m)
  Density1,100/sq mi (430/km2)
Time zoneUTC-8 (Pacific (PST))
  Summer (DST)UTC-7 (PDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s)805
FIPS code06-51476
GNIS feature ID1652759

The name is a transliteration of the Obispeño phrase nipumuʔ, meaning "Place of the big house" [1] or "Village".[2] Nipumuʔ was the name of a Chumash tribal site located in the present-day area of Nipomo.


Nipomo is located at 35°1′48″N 120°29′24″W (35.0300, -120.4900).[5]

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 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.[6]



The 2010 United States Census[7] 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[8] 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 75.9% White, 0.6% African American, 1.3% Native American, 1.4% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 16.0% from other races, and 4.7% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 34.6% 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 Jordan Cunningham.[9]

In the United States House of Representatives, Nipomo is in California's 24th congressional district, represented by Democrat Salud Carbajal.[10]

Parks and recreation

Nipomo Community Park is seventy-four acres (30 ha) and includes hiking and horseback riding.[11]


  • 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 girls' volleyball and boys' 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.
    • Central Coast New Tech High School (9th-12th). Is a public charter school opened in 2012 with a freshman class. The school added a freshman class each year, reaching all four classes in the 2015–2016 school year. The mission of CCNTH is- "Everything we do, we believe should empower and engage people to be resilient, adaptive, innovative, and self-directed."[12]
  • Colleges and universities
  • School district


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.[13] 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 Mesa is the location of one of the most famous photographs of the Great Depression, "Migrant Mother", by Dorothea Lange.

Notable people

See also


  1. "yakʔitʸutʸu resources - University Housing - Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo". Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo University Housing. Retrieved 2018-11-01.
  2. McCall, Lynne; Perry, Rosalind (1986). 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. ISBN 0936784156.
  3. "2010 Census U.S. Gazetteer Files – Places – California". United States Census Bureau.
  4. "Santa Maria grows 28.6%". 2011-03-09. Retrieved 2012-09-14.
  5. "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  6. Climate Summary for Nipomo, California
  7. "2010 Census Interactive Population Search: CA - Nipomo CDP". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
  8. "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  9. "Statewide Database". Regents of the University of California. Retrieved March 27, 2015.
  10. "California's 24th Congressional District - Representatives & District Map". Civic Impulse, LLC. Retrieved September 29, 2014.
  11. Alley, Dave (July 7, 2016). "Long Delayed Plans To Develop Nipomo Park Now Moving Forward". KEYT]]. Retrieved 10 July 2016.
  12. "Mission, Vision, and Why Statements – About Us – Central Coast New Tech High School". Retrieved 2018-04-23.
  13. "Dana Adobe Home". Dana Adobe Nipomo Amigos. Retrieved 8 July 2010.
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