New Cuyama, California
|— census-designated place —|
|County||Santa Barbara County|
|• Total||0.706 sq mi (1.827 km2)|
|• Land||0.706 sq mi (1.827 km2)|
|• Water||0 sq mi (0 km2) 0%|
|Elevation||2,150 ft (660 m)|
|• Density||730/sq mi ( 280/km2)|
|Time zone||PST (UTC-8)|
|• Summer (DST)||PDT (UTC-7)|
New Cuyama is a census-designated place in the Cuyama Valley, in Santa Barbara County, California, in the United States. It was named after the Chumash Indian word for "clams", most likely due to the millions of petrified prehistoric clamshell fossils that are found in the surrounding areas. The town is home to the majority of the utility infrastructure for its residents, including nearby neighbor Cuyama, California. New Cuyama is located very close to the intersection points for Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Ventura and Kern counties. The town is served by Highway 166 (connecting U.S. Route 101 and Interstate 5) and the public-use New Cuyama Airport. The population was 517 at the 2010 census.
The area was considered territory of the Yokuts people, but Chumash Indians from the Pacific Coast are also known to have frequented the area. The imprint of an old Indian trail can still be seen leading over the hills of present day Ventura County to the headwaters of Piru Creek. The name "Cuyama" comes from an Indian village named for the Chumash word kuyam, meaning "clam" or "freshwater mollusk".
The area's recorded history dates to 1822 when Mexico won independence from Spain and took over the Spanish colony of Alta California. Two Mexican land grants, the Rancho Cuyama (Lataillade) and Rancho Cuyama (Rojo), were granted in the 1840s by Governors Manuel Micheltorena and Pío Pico in the lower Cuyama Valley along the Cuyama River, where current New Cuyama is, privatizing ownership of the land.
Following the 1949 discovery of oil at the South Cuyama Oil Field, in 1952 the Atlantic Richfield Company (ARCO) settled and developed the town of New Cuyama, building housing and associated commercial business – including the New Cuyama Airport (L88) which bears the distinction of being the only public-use paved airport within easy flying range of Los Angeles for more than 50 miles (80 km). Much of the infrastructure from ARCO's settling of the town still exists today and is used by town residents. The original ARCO-built gas processing plant is still in use and easily seen due south of New Cuyama, though ARCO has since sold off interest in the facility.
The town of New Cuyama, when founded, was considered the pearl of eastern Santa Barbara County, due to the flow of oil that was coming out of the region. During this time Richfield Oil Company built the town funded schools and provided all the important utilities other than electricity. Now that oil and gas production have declined, the principal industry is once again agriculture.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP covers an area of 0.7 square miles (1.8 km²), all of it land.
The 2010 United States Census reported that New Cuyama had a population of 517. The population density was 732.7 people per square mile (282.9/km²). The racial makeup of New Cuyama was 418 (80.9%) White, 3 (0.6%) African American, 14 (2.7%) Native American, 3 (0.6%) Asian, 0 (0.0%) Pacific Islander, 53 (10.3%) from other races, and 26 (5.0%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 234 persons (45.3%).
The Census reported that 517 people (100% of the population) lived in households, 0 (0%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 0 (0%) were institutionalized.
There were 177 households, out of which 69 (39.0%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 95 (53.7%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 15 (8.5%) had a female householder with no husband present, 12 (6.8%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 15 (8.5%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 1 (0.6%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 45 households (25.4%) were made up of individuals and 20 (11.3%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.92. There were 122 families (68.9% of all households); the average family size was 3.54.
The population was spread out with 160 people (30.9%) under the age of 18, 43 people (8.3%) aged 18 to 24, 125 people (24.2%) aged 25 to 44, 126 people (24.4%) aged 45 to 64, and 63 people (12.2%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35.1 years. For every 100 females there were 105.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.2 males.
There were 215 housing units at an average density of 304.7 per square mile (117.7/km²), of which 119 (67.2%) were owner-occupied, and 58 (32.8%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 1.7%; the rental vacancy rate was 9.2%. 313 people (60.5% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 204 people (39.5%) lived in rental housing units.
See also 
- U.S. Census
- Bright, William; Erwin G. Gudde (1998). 1500 California Place Names: Their Origin and Meaning. University of California Press. p. 46. ISBN 0-520-21271-1.
- San Luis Obispo County High Point Trip Report
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- All data are derived from the United States Census Bureau reports from the 2010 United States Census, and are accessible on-line here. The data on unmarried partnerships and same-sex married couples are from the Census report DEC_10_SF1_PCT15. All other housing and population data are from Census report DEC_10_DP_DPDP1. Both reports are viewable online or downloadable in a zip file containing a comma-delimited data file. The area data, from which densities are calculated, are available on-line here. Percentage totals may not add to 100% due to rounding. The Census Bureau defines families as a household containing one or more people related to the householder by birth, opposite-sex marriage, or adoption. People living in group quarters are tabulated by the Census Bureau as neither owners nor renters. For further details, see the text files accompanying the data files containing the Census reports mentioned above.
- Cuyama Joint Unified School District
- Wandering Lizard Cuyama Valley Photographs
- Ranchos of Santa Barbara County Map