Carson, California

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Carson, California
City of Carson
Flag of Carson, California
Official seal of Carson, California
Motto: Future Unlimited
Location of Carson in Los Angeles County, California
Location of Carson in Los Angeles County, California
Coordinates: 33°50′23″N 118°15′35″W / 33.83972°N 118.25972°W / 33.83972; -118.25972Coordinates: 33°50′23″N 118°15′35″W / 33.83972°N 118.25972°W / 33.83972; -118.25972
Country  United States of America
State  California
County Los Angeles
Incorporated February 20, 1968[1]
 • Type Council-Manager
 • City council[2] Mayor Jim Dear
Mayor Pro Tem Elito M. Santarina
Lula Davis-Holmes
Albert Robles
 • City Treasurer Karen Avilla, CCMT
 • Total 18.968 sq mi (49.127 km2)
 • Land 18.724 sq mi (48.495 km2)
 • Water 0.244 sq mi (0.631 km2)  1.29%
Elevation[4] 39 ft (12 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 91,714
 • Density 4,800/sq mi (1,900/km2)
Time zone Pacific (UTC−8)
 • Summer (DST) PDT (UTC−7)
ZIP codes 90745–90747, 90749, 90810, 90895[5]
Area code(s) 310/424[6]
FIPS code 06-11530[7]
GNIS feature IDs 1660441,[8] 2409399

Carson is a city in Los Angeles County, California. As of the 2010 census, Carson had a total population of 91,714. Located 13 miles (21 km) south of downtown Los Angeles[9] and approximately 14 miles away from the Los Angeles International Airport[10] Incorporated on February 20, 1968, Carson is the youngest municipality in the South Bay region of Metropolitan Los Angeles.


According to the United States Census Bureau, Carson has a total area of 19.0 square miles (49 km2). 18.7 square miles (48 km2) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.52 km2) of it (1.29%) is water.

Carson is bordered by West Compton on the north, Compton on the northeast, Long Beach on the east, Wilmington on the south, and West Carson and Harbor Gateway on the west.


Carson experiences a warm-summer Mediterranean climate (Köppen climate classification Csb), similar to that of the Los Angeles Basin with noticeably cooler temperatures during the summer due to the close proximity of the Pacific Ocean (~6–8 miles). Rainfall is very scarce during the summer in Carson but receives just enough rainfall throughout the year to avoid Köppen's BSh (semi-arid climate). Carson, like much of the Southern California coastal areas, is subject to a late spring/early summer weather phenomenon called "June Gloom." This involves overcast or foggy skies in the morning which yield to sun by early afternoon.

Carson, California
Climate chart (explanation)
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation totals in inches



The 2010 United States Census[11] reported that Carson had a population of 91,714. The population density was 4,835.2 people per square mile (1,866.9/km²). The racial makeup of Carson was 21,864 (23.8%) White (7.7% Non-Hispanic White),[12] 21,856 (23.8%) African American, 518 (0.6%) Native American, 23,522 (25.6%) Asian (20.9% Filipino, 0.8% Japanese, 0.8% Korean, 0.5% Chinese, 0.4% Vietnamese, 0.4% Asian Indian, 0.2% Cambodian, 0.1% Pakistani, 0.1% Thai), 2,386 (2.6%) Pacific Islander (2.2% Samoan, 0.2% Guamanian, 0.1% Native Hawaiian), 17,151 (18.7%) from other races, and 4,417 (4.8%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 35,417 persons (38.6%; 32.6% Mexican, 1.1% Salvadoran, 1.0% Guatemalan, 0.6% Puerto Rican, 0.3% Cuban, 0.2% Honduran, 0.2% Peruvian, 0.2% Ecuadorian).

The Census reported that 90,411 people (98.6% of the population) lived in households, 1,170 (1.3%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 133 (0.1%) were institutionalized.

There were 25,432 households, out of which 10,980 (43.2%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 14,178 (55.7%) were married couples living together, 4,787 (18.8%) had a female householder with no husband present, 1,761 (6.9%) had a male householder with no wife present. 3,776 households (14.8%) were made up of individuals and 1,790 (7.0%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.56. There were 20,726 families (81.5% of all households); the average family size was 3.90.

Historical population
Census Pop.
1960 38,059
1970 71,150 86.9%
1980 81,221 14.2%
1990 83,995 3.4%
2000 89,730 6.8%
2010 91,714 2.2%

The population was spread out with 21,992 people (24.0%) under the age of 18, 9,964 people (10.9%) aged 18 to 24, 23,105 people (25.2%) aged 25 to 44, 24,013 people (26.2%) aged 45 to 64, and 12,640 people (13.8%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37.6 years. For every 100 females there were 91.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.5 males.

There were 26,226 housing units at an average density of 1,382.6 per square mile (533.8/km²), of which 19,529 (76.8%) were owner-occupied, and 5,903 (23.2%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 1.3%; the rental vacancy rate was 3.7%. 68,924 people (75.2% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 21,487 people (23.4%) lived in rental housing units.

According to the 2010 United States Census, Carson had a median household income of $71,653, with 8.5% of the population living below the federal poverty line.[15]


As of the census[7] of 2000, there were 89,730 people, 24,648 households, and 20,236 families residing in the city. The population density was 4,762.2 inhabitants per square mile (1,838.9/km²). There were 25,337 housing units at an average density of 1,344.7 per square mile (519.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 25.69% White, 25.41% Black or African American, 0.56% Native American, 22.27% Asian, 2.99% Pacific Islander, 17.98% from other races, and 5.09% from two or more races. 34.92% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 24,648 households out of which 39.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.7% were married couples living together, 17.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 17.9% were non-families. 14.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.59 and the average family size was 3.92.

Age ranges of residents were 28.4% under the age of 18, 9.9% from 18 to 24, 28.5% from 25 to 44, 22.5% from 45 to 64, and 10.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 93.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.4 males.

According to a 2006 estimate, the median income for a household in the city was $60,457, and the median income for a family was $66,468.[16] Males had a median income of $33,579 versus $31,110 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,107. About 7.2% of families and 9.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.9% of those under age 18 and 8.6% of those age 65 or over. Carson has the distinction of being the only incorporated city in the United States where the black population has a higher median income than the white population.[17]


Municipal government[edit]

According to the city’s most recent Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the city’s various funds had $96.3 million in Revenues, $81.8 million in expenditures, $611.4 million in total assets, $129.2 million in total liabilities, and $187.2 million in cash and investments.[18]

State and federal representation[edit]

In the California State Legislature, Carson is in the 35th Senate District, represented by Democrat Isadore Hall, III, and in the 64th Assembly District, represented by Democrat Mike Gipson.[19]

In the United States House of Representatives, Carson is in California's 44th congressional district, represented by Democrat Janice Hahn.[20]


Primary and secondary schools[edit]

Public schools are part of the Los Angeles Unified School District. They are:

  • Carson High School
  • 232nd Place Elementary School,
  • Catskill Elementary School
  • Carson Street Elementary School
  • Caroldale Learning Community
  • Del Amo Elementary School
  • Dolores Elementary School
  • Dominguez Elementary School
  • Andrew Carnegie Middle School
  • Stephen M. White Middle School
  • Broadacres Elementary
  • Leapwood Avenue Elementary School
  • Annalee Avenue Elementary School
  • Curtiss Middle School
  • Ambler Avenue Elementary School
  • Towne Avenue Elementary School
  • New Millennium Secondary School

High schools serving portions of Carson include Carson High School in Carson, Rancho Dominguez Preparatory School in Long Beach, and Banning High School in the Wilmington area of Los Angeles.[21] The area is within Board District 8.[22] As of 2008 Dr. Richard Vladovic represents the district.[23]

Some portions of Carson are in the Compton Unified School District.

Although the California Academy of Mathematics and Science is located in Carson, it is actually a part of the Long Beach Unified School District. The school accepts residents of LBUSD, Compton USD, portions of LAUSD (including sections serving Carson), and other districts.


County of Los Angeles Public Library operates the Carson Regional Library and the Dr. Martin Luther King Library. Both libraries are in Carson.


Fire protection in Carson is provided by the Los Angeles County Fire Department which operates out of Fire Stations 10, 36, 116, 127, and 105.[24] Ambulance transportation is provided by McCormick Ambulance Service Station 17.[25] The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department (LASD) operates the Carson Station in Carson.[26]

The Los Angeles County Department of Health Services operates the Torrance Health Center in Harbor Gateway, Los Angeles, near Torrance and serving Carson.[27]

The United States Postal Service operates the Carson Post Office at 21350 Avalon Boulevard and the South Bay Pavilion Station in Suite 116 at 20700 Avalon Boulevard.[28][29]


Current Carson Circuit Bus

The city operates the Carson Circuit[30] bus that serves the local community and connects to other bus services and the Del Amo Station, as well as the North-South Shuttle[31] which connects Carson to the Harbor Gateway Transit Center.


Club League Venue Established Championships
Los Angeles Galaxy Major League Soccer StubHub Center 1995 5


Birds perched on a tree in Carson, California

Carson is the site of California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH). CSUDH is a major commuter school, particularly for African-American students from the surrounding cities of Long Beach, Gardena, and Compton. It was established in the wake of the 1965 Watts riots, as a response to community outcry over the lack of higher education opportunities in the largely black south suburbs of Los Angeles. Today it is among the most racially diverse campuses in the United States. Prior to expansion in the mid 1960s, the university was located in nearby Palos Verdes. In 1965, Carson was chosen as the home for the relocating university over the communities of Friendship Park, Fort MacArthur and Torrance.[citation needed]

Carson is also the location of StubHub Center, a sports complex including a soccer-specific stadium used by the Los Angeles Galaxy, the Los Angeles Sol, and from 2005-2014, C.D. Chivas USA, a tennis stadium which hosts the yearly JP Morgan/Chase tennis tournament, and a track and field facility. It is also the training headquarters for the United States men's national soccer team. It opened in 2003, adjacent to CSUDH. The ADT Event Center is the only permanent indoor velodrome in the U.S. In July 2007, the Galaxy signed international soccer superstar David Beckham to the team. In 2011 International Boxing Hall of Fame Promoter, Bob Arum of Top Rank began publicizing professional boxing events that are being seen worldwide.

The Goodyear Blimp also has a landing pad in Carson, a fitting tribute to the 1st and 2nd U.S. and International Aviation Meets held at the Dominguez Hill Rancho in 1910 and 1911, which featured many blimps and zeppelins. The International Printing Museum, which has one of the largest collections of antique printing presses in the United States, is located in Carson.

Carson Mall, now SouthBay Pavilion, opened in 1973.


Oil history[edit]

1921 marked the first drilling for oil at Dominguez Hill, on the northwest side of the Dominguez Rancho, site of the famous battle during the Mexican–American War called the Battle of Dominguez Rancho in 1846. The mineral rights to this property were owned by Carson Estate Company, the Hellman Family, the Dominguez Estate Company, and the Burnham Exploration Company of Frederick Russell Burnham. On September 7, 1923, Burnham Exploration partnering with Union Oil brought in the first producer on the site: Callender No. 1-A well at a depth of 4,068 feet (1,240 m) and 1,193 barrels per day (189.7 m3/d).[32] Before long a number of refineries were up and running, with over 350 oil derricks, tank farms, and sprawling industrial complexes becoming a familiar part of the scenery. The principal leases were with Shell Oil Company and Union Oil of California and the first two wells were located west of Central Avenue and north of Victoria Street. Oil led to an increase in jobs in the community and a subsequent post-war population surge. An average of 300 barrels per day (48 m3/d) was produced from each of these wells through 1960.

In 2011, Shell was ordered by the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board to clean up the Carousel neighborhood after benzene and methane gas contamination was discovered, as well as soil and groundwater contamination.[33]

Top employers[edit]

As of 2013, the top ten employers in the city were:[34]

# Employer # of Employees
1 Prime Wheel Corporation 417
2 See's Candy Shops Inc. 404
3 Huck International Inc. 385
4 Mag Aerospace Industries 377
5 Cedarlane Natural Foods Inc. 302
6 Sourcecorp Bps Inc. 301
7 General Mills Operations LLC 287
8 Xerox Education Services Inc. 278
9 The Pepsi Bottling Group 276
10 Pacific Bell 273

Other companies based in Carson include Bristol Farms and Ducommun.[citation needed]

Former companies[edit]

Nissan previously had its North American headquarters in Carson. The 42-acre (17 ha) property consisted of 13 buildings, with a total of 700,000 square feet (65,000 m2) of office and light industrial area. One of the buildings, a nine story tower, had the Nissan logo on it. Vincent Roger of the Los Angeles Times wrote that "was a familiar sight to drivers passing the intersection of the Harbor and San Diego freeways."[35] In 2005 a leak revealed that the Nissan offices planned to move to Tennessee. In the summer of 2006 the Nissan headquarters moved to Tennessee.[35]

That year, Kearny Real Estate Co. had purchased the property with over $75 million. The campus was divided so it could house many companies. The cafeteria and fitness center building became an office building. The pedestrian bridges, referred to as "hamster runs" by Nissan employees, were removed because the buildings were to be owned by different entities. By 2010 the complex housed 11 businesses with a total of 1,400 employees. The count of combined employees exceeded the number Nissan employed when it occupied the buildings. By that year Kearny expected to make $100 million from development and property sales.[35]


Carson is home to the Pavilion at South Bay shopping mall, located at the Avalon Boulevard exit off the San Diego Freeway (Interstate 405). Tenant stores include Sears, IKEA, Target, and 24 Hour Fitness.

An outdoor power center/entertainment complex called Carson Marketplace has been planned but is not yet built. It is on a site once proposed for a stadium that could have played host to a National Football League team (see History of the National Football League in Los Angeles for details). Construction has been delayed by the need for an extensive environmental cleanup, as this was once a toxic waste dump.

Notable people[edit]

In popular culture[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "California Cities by Incorporation Date" (Word). California Association of Local Agency Formation Commissions. Retrieved August 25, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Elected Officials". City of Carson. Retrieved January 14, 2015. 
  3. ^ "2010 Census U.S. Gazetteer Files – Places – California". United States Census Bureau. 
  4. ^ "Carson". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved October 11, 2014. 
  5. ^ "USPS – ZIP Code Lookup – Find a ZIP+ 4 Code By City Results". Retrieved 2007-01-18. 
  6. ^ "Number Administration System – NPA and City/Town Search Results". Retrieved 2007-01-18. 
  7. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  8. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  9. ^
  10. ^ "Clarion Los Angeles, Carson, California". August 16, 2007. Retrieved 2012-02-09. 
  11. ^ "2010 Census Interactive Population Search: CA - Carson city". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved July 12, 2014. 
  12. ^
  13. ^ "CENSUS OF POPULATION AND HOUSING (1790–2000)". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 2010-07-30. 
  14. ^ Census figure enumerated in 1960 was prior to incorporation.
  15. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  16. ^ [1][dead link]
  17. ^ "Carson – Income". Retrieved 2007-05-07. 
  18. ^ City of Carson CAFR Retrieved 2009-08-18
  19. ^ "Statewide Database". UC Regents. Retrieved November 18, 2014. 
  20. ^ "California's 44th Congressional District - Representatives & District Map". Civic Impulse, LLC. 
  21. ^ "Proposed Changes to Rancho Dominguez Preparatory School Area Schools" (Archive). Los Angeles Unified School District. Retrieved on April 27, 2014.
  22. ^ Board District 7 Map. Los Angeles Unified School District. Retrieved on November 24, 2008.
  23. ^ "Board Members." Los Angeles Unified School District. Retrieved on November 24, 2008.
  24. ^ "Battalion 7". Hometown Fire Stations. Los Angeles County Fire Department. 
  25. ^ [2][dead link]
  26. ^ "Carson Station." Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. Retrieved on January 21, 2010.
  27. ^ "Torrance Health Center[dead link]." Los Angeles County Department of Health Services. Retrieved on March 18, 2010.
  28. ^ "Post Office Location – CARSON." United States Postal Service. Retrieved on December 6, 2008.
  29. ^ "Post Office Location – SOUTHBAY PAVILION STATION." United States Postal Service. Retrieved on December 6, 2008.
  30. ^ "Carson Circuit – City of Carson, CA". Retrieved 2012-02-09. 
  31. ^ "North-South Shuttle – City of Carson, CA". Retrieved 2012-02-09. 
  32. ^ Bruce A. Wells (September 16, 2010). "This Week in Petroleum History". The American Oil & Gas Historical Society. Retrieved October 6, 2010. 
  33. ^ Esquivel, Paloma (March 16, 2011). "Shell Oil ordered to clean up contaminated Carson neighborhood". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 16, 2011. 
  34. ^ "Comprehensive Annual Financial Report". Carson, California. Retrieved December 30, 2014. 
  35. ^ a b c Vincent, Roger. "Nissan's old campus in South Bay gets 'flipped'." Los Angeles Times. March 3, 2010. Retrieved on March 7, 2014.
  36. ^ "Filming locations for "Reno 911!". Retrieved 2012-11-12. 
  37. ^ "Film locations for Jackie Brown (1997)". Retrieved 2012-02-09. 

External links[edit]