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City of Calipatria
—  City  —
Location in Imperial County and the state of California
Coordinates: 33°07′32″N 115°30′51″W / 33.12556°N 115.51417°W / 33.12556; -115.51417Coordinates: 33°07′32″N 115°30′51″W / 33.12556°N 115.51417°W / 33.12556; -115.51417
Country United States
State California
County Imperial
 - Total 3.7 sq mi (9.6 km2)
 - Land 3.7 sq mi (9.6 km2)
 - Water 0 sq mi (0 km2)
Elevation -177 ft (-54 m)
Population (2000)
 - Total 7,289
 Density 1,970/sq mi (759.3/km2)
Time zone Pacific (PST) (UTC-8)
 - Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP code 92233
Area code(s) 760
FIPS code 06-09878
GNIS feature ID 1652681
184-foot flagpole
plaque at base of 184-foot (56 m) flagpole

Calipatria (formerly, Date City)[1] is a city in Imperial County, California, United States. Calipatria is located 23 miles (37 km) north of El Centro,[1] It is part of the El Centro Metropolitan Area. The population was 7,289 at the 2000 census, including 4000 inmates at Calipatria State Prison. The community is located along State Route 111.



Calipatria is located at 33°07′32″N 115°30′51″W / 33.12556°N 115.51417°W / 33.12556; -115.51417.[2]

At elevation of 184 feet (56 m) below sea level, Calipatria is the lowest city in the western hemisphere. The city claims to have the "world's tallest flagpole" at 184 feet (56 m), so their American flag will always fly above sea level.[3] However, this flagpole, in front of the local Chamber of Commerce, is far shorter than the 525 feet (160 m) in Kijŏng-dong, North Korea, the 430 feet (130 m) pole in Aqaba, Jordan, the 338 feet (103 m) pole in Sheboygan, Wisconsin or even the 200 feet (61 m) pole in Dorris, California, but it is probably the tallest flagpole in the Imperial Valley.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.7 square miles (9.6 km²), all of it land.


The Imperial Valley Farm Lands Association founded the town as Date City in 1914.[1] The first post office at Calipatria opened in 1914.[1] Calipatria incorporated in 1919.[1]


Calipatria Post Office.

As of the census[4] of 2000, there were 7,289 people, 899 households, and 756 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,965.8 people per square mile (758.6/km²). There were 961 housing units at an average density of 259.2/sq mi (100.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 32.39% White, 21.32% Black or African American, 0.73% Native American, 0.63% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 42.65% from other races, and 2.25% from two or more races. 57.35% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 899 households out of which 50.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.2% were married couples living together, 17.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 15.8% were non-families. 14.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.55 and the average family size was 3.90.

In the city the population was spread out with 16.3% under the age of 18, 12.3% from 18 to 24, 52.6% from 25 to 44, 15.0% from 45 to 64, and 3.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 363.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 497.5 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $30,962, and the median income for a family was $31,302. Males had a median income of $31,350 versus $20,063 for females. The per capita income for the city was $13,970. About 20.4% of families and 24.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 28.9% of those under age 18 and 17.8% of those age 65 or over.

Calipatria is one of the state's poorest cities in income per capita due to agricultural paychecks and a declined economy in the 1990s. Hispanics mostly of Mexican descent are three-fourths of the people (excluding the multiracial body of state prison convicts). The city was first called Sante Patria (as in "Saint of the Motherland") is founded by Irish American and Irish Mexican soldiers, who deserted both in the Mexican-American War (1850's) and from the Union and/or Confederate armies after the American Civil War (1860's) but Calipatria also has a large Arab population from Jordan, Lebanon and Syria, descendants of agriculture laborers in the 1920s.[citation needed]


In the state legislature Calipatria is located in the 40th Senate District, represented by Democrat Denise Moreno Ducheny, and in the 80th Assembly District, represented by Republican Bonnie Garcia. Federally, Calipatria is located in California's 51st congressional district, which has a Cook PVI of D +7[5] and is represented by Democrat Bob Filner.


Salvation Mountain is the notable tourist attraction in the north of Calipatria, near Slab City. Salvation Mountain is a small hill which is entirely covered in thousands of gallons of acrylic paint, straw, concrete, adobe. It was created by Leonard Knight to convey the message that "God Loves Everyone". Salvation Mountain was featured in the book Into the Wild and also in the 2007 movie of the same name. The video for Fourth of July by Shooter Jennings, is partially set at Salvation Mountain.

Sister cities

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e Durham, David L. (1998). California's Geographic Names: A Gazetteer of Historic and Modern Names of the State. Quill Driver Books. p. 1401. ISBN 9781884995149. 
  2. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographical Names Information System: Calipatria, California
  3. ^ History of Calipatria
  4. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  5. ^ "Will Gerrymandered Districts Stem the Wave of Voter Unrest?". Campaign Legal Center Blog. Retrieved 2007-10-20. 

External links



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