Population, Race and Ethnicity
El Centro is a city in Imperial County, California, with a population of 43,898. According to the most recent estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau, 9.00% of residents identify as white, 1.30% as Black or African American, 0.10% as American Indian or Alaska Native, 2.10% as Asian, 0.30% as Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, 86.30% as Hispanic or Latino, and 0.80% as some other race or combination of races.
Nationally, some 61.1% of Americans identify as white, 12.3% as Black or African American, 0.7% as American Indian or Alaska Native, 5.4% as Asian, 0.2% as Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, 17.8% as Hispanic or Latino, and 2.6% as some other race or combination of races.
Native and foreign-born population
An estimated 68.80% of El Centro residents are native-born, meaning they were born in the United States, Puerto Rico, a U.S. Island Area, or abroad to a U.S. citizen. Of the 31.20% of the population that is foreign-born, 49.00% have become naturalized U.S. citizens. Nationwide, 86.5% of Americans are native-born. And of the 13.5% of Americans who are foreign-born, 48.5% have become naturalized U.S. citizens.
The population of El Centro is younger than the United States as a whole. The median age is 32.3 years, 5.6 years less than the national median age of 37.9 years. An estimated 13.20% of the population is 65 years and over, compared to 15.2% of the U.S. population.
Family and household composition
Family and household composition also varies heavily across the United States. In El Centro, 48.40% of households are occupied by married-couple families, compared to the 48.3% national figure. Some 6.60% of households are occupied by single male householders, 22.10% by single female householders, and 22.80% by non-family occupants. Nationwide, 4.9% of households are occupied by single male householders, 12.6% by single female householders, and 34.3% by non-family occupants. An estimated 49.90% of heads of household own their homes, compared to the national homeownership rate of 63.8%.
English is by far the most commonly spoken language in California and across the U.S. as a whole. Similarly, in El Centro, 71% of local residents aged 5 and up speak English exclusively, or, if they are multilingual, speak English very well. For context, 81.9% of the 5 and older population across California only speaks English, or speak it very well, and 91.5% of the same age group nationwide do.
Residents of El Centro are less likely than the typical American to be married. Of all local residents aged 15 and older, 43.1% are currently married, compared to 48.1% of Americans nationwide in the same age group. Across California as a whole, 46.8% of residents 15 and older are married.
Divorce is less common in El Centro than it is across the U.S. as a whole. According to Census estimates, 9.2% of residents 15 and older are divorced — compared to 10.8% of the U.S. population in the same age group. In California, 9.3% of the 15 and older population is divorced.
An estimated 36.9% of El Centro residents 15 and older have never married, compared to one-third of all Americans in the same age group.
In El Centro, 4.5% of the 18 and older civilian population are veterans — compared to 7.5% of adult civilians nationwide and 5.4% of the civilian population in all of California.
In El Centro, adults are less likely to have a high school education than the typical American adult, and are less likely to have a four-year college education. Among El Centro residents 25 and older, 71.00% have a high school diploma or equivalent, and 17.70% have a bachelor's degree or higher, compared to 87.7% and 31.5% of adults nationwide, respectively. Across California, 82.9% of adults have graduated high school, and 33.3 have a bachelor’s degree.
The typical household in El Centro earns $46,457 a year, about $13,800 less than the national median of $60,293 and $24,800 less than the median household income across the state of $71,228.
Serious financial hardship is more common in El Centro than it is nationwide. The local poverty rate stands at 24.60%, while the national poverty rate is 14.1%. Across the state as a whole, 14.3% of the population lives below the poverty line.
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