Bombay Beach, California
Sign for Bombay Beach
|Coordinates: Coordinates: |
|• Total||0.94 sq mi (2.44 km2)|
|• Land||0.94 sq mi (2.44 km2)|
|• Water||0 sq mi (0 km2) 0%|
|Elevation||-223 ft (−68 m)|
|Time zone||UTC−8 (Pacific)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−7 (PDT)|
|GNIS feature IDs||1667823, 2407878|
Bombay Beach is a census-designated place (CDP) in Imperial County, California, United States. It is located on the Salton Sea 4 miles (6.4 km) west-southwest of Frink and is the lowest community in the United States, located 223 feet (68 m) below sea level. The population was 295 at the 2010 census, down from 366 in 2000. It is part of the El Centro, California Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Bombay Beach is located at .
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 0.9 square miles (2.3 km2), all land.
Bombay Beach is located on the east shore of the Salton Sea and like many communities along its shores, has had to contend with fluctuating water levels. A berm now protects the west end of the town, but a portion of the town beyond the berm is either submerged or is half-buried in mud. The town of Bombay Beach is located in Southern California's Sonoran Desert.
The 2010 United States Census reported that Bombay Beach had a population of 295. The population density was 313.5 people per square mile (121.0/km²). The racial makeup of Bombay Beach was 223 (76%) White, 37 (13%) African American, 8 (3%) Native American, 1 (0%) Asian, 0 (0%) Pacific Islander, 22 (8%) from other races, and 4 (1%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 59 persons (20%).
The Census reported that 295 people (100% of the population) lived in households, 0 (0%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 0 (0%) were institutionalized.
There were 175 households, out of which 19 (11%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 51 (29%) were married couples living together, 13 (7%) had a female householder with no husband present, 4 (2%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 7 (4%) unmarried partnerships, and 1 (1%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 97 households (55%) were made up of individuals and 51 (29%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 1.69. There were 68 families (39% of all households); the average family size was 2.54.
The population was spread out with 30 people (10%) under the age of 18, 16 people (5%) aged 18 to 24, 36 people (12%) aged 25 to 44, 98 people (33%) aged 45 to 64, and 115 people (39%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 58.5 years. For every 100 females, there were 113.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 108.6 males.
There were 449 housing units at an average density of 477.1 per square mile (184.2/km²), of which 175 were occupied, of which 115 (66%) were owner-occupied, and 60 (34%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 15%; the rental vacancy rate was 16%. 198 people (67% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 97 people (33%) lived in rental housing units.
As of the census of 2000, there were 366 people, 178 households, and 93 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 363.8 people per square mile (139.9/km²). There were 440 housing units at an average density of 437.4 per square mile (168.2/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 71% White, 19% Black or African American, 1% Native American, 0% Asian, 4% from other races, and 5% from two or more races. 19% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 178 households out of which 18% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39% were married couples living together, 11% had a female householder with no husband present, and 47% were non-families. 40% of all households were made up of individuals and 26% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2 and the average family size was 2.8.
In the CDP, the population was spread out with 18% under the age of 18, 3% from 18 to 24, 20% from 25 to 44, 26% from 45 to 64, and 33% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 53 years. For every 100 females, there were 92.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 99.3 males.
The median income for a household in the CDP was $17,708, and the median income for a family was $19,511. Males had a median income of $31,250 versus $14,213 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $10,535. About 12% of families and 28% of the population were below the poverty line, including 40% of those under age 18 and 14% of those age 65 or over.
In the California State Legislature, Bombay Beach is in the 40th Senate District, represented by Democrat Ben Hueso, and the 56th Assembly District, represented by Democrat Eduardo Garcia. In the United States House of Representatives, Bombay Beach is in California's 51st congressional district, represented by Democrat Juan Vargas.
Most residents use golf carts to get around, since the nearest gas station is 20 miles (32 km) away in Niland.
The ruins of Bombay Beach attract many photographers and visitors. The town, as well as others on the shores of the Salton Sea, is one of the lowest settlements in elevation in North America. Besides the local American Legion, the Ski Inn is the only drinking establishment or bar in the town.
In popular media
Florian-Ayala Fauna of the music duo uncertain grew up in Bombay Beach, California. Fauna credits the place as an inspiration to her music. According to Paris-based art community Artchipel, Fauna said the place had a "big impact on her childhood and becomes a major influence in her life." In an interview with Buffalo, New York alternative newspaper The Public's Cory Perla, she described it as "a very kind of post-apocalyptic-looking town."
American football safety Cedric Thompson for the Minnesota Vikings of the National Football League (NFL) also grew up in Bombay Beach, California. He became one of the primary subjects of the 2011 documentary Bombay Beach directed by Alma Har'el. He later cited boredom in Bombay Beach as his inspiration for pro football.
- Bombay Beach is a film about some residents of the community, made by Israeli-born filmmaker Alma Har’el, and described by The New York Times as a "surreal documentary". The film won first prize in the documentary section of the Tribeca Film Festival in 2011.
- A 2013 promotional video for the fifth season of Animal Planet's River Monsters was filmed at Bombay Beach.
- Austrian singer Christina Stürmer used Bombay Beach as one of the settings for her video of the song Millionen Lichter (a million lights).
- In the CBS police procedural series The Mentalist, the first episode of the sixth season "The Desert Rose" was filmed in Bombay Beach, California. The production team created a sign for the fictional "Borrego Gas Diner" to stand-in for the local bar and restaurant Ski Inn.
- In 2015, the film Sky opens with an unhappily married French couple on vacation in the deserts of Southern California. While visiting Bombay Beach, they mention its potential for a very large earthquake.
- "Bombay Beach". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey.
- "2016 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved Jul 19, 2017.
- Durham, David L. (1998). California's Geographic Names: A Gazetteer of Historic and Modern Names of the State. Clovis, Calif.: Word Dancer Press. p. 1397. ISBN 1-884995-14-4.
- "Wolfram Alpha: Lowest City in America". Retrieved 20 January 2015.
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- Polar Inertia
- Salton Sea - Ghost Town Lake in the Desert
- Interactive Map of the San Andreas Fault - Thule Scientific
- "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2016.
- "2010 Census Interactive Population Search: CA - Bombay Beach CDP". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2013-09-11. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "Senators". State of California. Retrieved April 8, 2013.
- "Members Assembly". State of California. Retrieved April 8, 2013.
- "California's 51st Congressional District - Representatives & District Map". Civic Impulse, LLC. Retrieved April 8, 2013.
- Stuart, Gwynedd (2019-03-26). "For One Weekend a Year, a Tiny Town on the Salton Sea Becomes a Mecca for Artists and Partiers". Los Angeles Magazine. Retrieved 2019-03-27.
- Killian, Chris (August 8, 2013). "The Dying Sea". WMUK. Western Michigan University. Retrieved August 13, 2016.
- Murphy, Tim (September 21, 2010). "The Salton Sea: Not for Everyone". Mother Jones. Mother Jones and the Foundation for National Progress. Retrieved August 13, 2016.
- "Toxic Pollution is Souring the Salton Sea's Economy" (Web page). San Diego State University. January 3–10, 1993. Retrieved 17 August 2016.
- Taete, Jamie Lee Curtis (September 26, 2013). "I Went to California's Post-Apocalyptic Beach Town". Vice. Vice Media. Retrieved August 13, 2016.
- Walker, Tim (March 13, 2015). "Postcard from... Bombay Beach". The Independent. Independent Print Limited. Retrieved August 13, 2016.
- Zimmerman, Janet (December 18, 2014). "Salton Sea struggles to survive". The Press-Enterprise. Digital First Media. Retrieved August 13, 2016.
- Artchipel staff (July 22, 2011). "Tumblr Artist Florian-Ayala Fauna". L'Artchipel. Tumblr. Retrieved March 30, 2017.
Grew up in California, Bombay Beach made a big impact on her childhood and becomes a major influence in her life.
- Perla, Cory (August 17, 2016). "Spotlight: Uncertain". The Public. Buffalo Public Media, LLC. Archived from the original on August 26, 2016. Retrieved August 17, 2016.
At the age of five, Fauna moved from Virginia to Bombay Beach in Southern California, near the Salton Sea, which she describes as a horrible place.
- Joe Christensen (October 20, 2014). "Out of nowhere: U football player comes from dusty California outpost". Star Tribune. Star Tribune Media Company LLC. Retrieved March 11, 2017.
- Thomas Galicia (May 2, 2015). "CEDRIC THOMPSON TO MIAMI DOLPHINS: FULL DRAFT-PICK BREAKDOWN". Bleacher Report. Turner Broadcasting System. Retrieved March 11, 2017.
- Hal Habib (May 22, 2015). "Bombay Beach to South Beach: Dolphins' Cedric Thompson a survivor". The Palm Beach Post. Cox Enterprises. Retrieved March 11, 2017.
- Chris Perkins (May 19, 2017). "Dolphins rookie Ced Thompson has overcome, overachieved". Sun-Sentinel. tronc. Retrieved March 11, 2017.
- Holden, Stephen (October 13, 2011). "Last Resort Remains an Oasis of Dreams". The New York Times. Retrieved January 27, 2012.
- "Awards for Bombay Beach". IMDb.com. January 11, 2012. Retrieved January 27, 2012.
- Alvarez, Celeste (January 29, 2013). "Local beach creates perfect atmosphere for 'River Monster' promo". Imperial Valley Press. Archived from the original on April 21, 2013. Retrieved April 3, 2013.
- ""Millionen Lichter" - Das Video ist da". Archived from the original on March 21, 2013. Retrieved September 15, 2013.
- Adami, Chelcey (July 27, 2013). "'The Mentalist' arrives in Bombay Beach". ivpressonline. Imperial Valley Press. Archived from the original on August 5, 2013. Retrieved August 13, 2016.
- "Sky (2015) - Filming Locations". IMDb. amazon.com. Retrieved 22 August 2016.
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Bombay Beach.|
- Bombai Beach in 2013 on Abandoned USA
- Polar Inertia's history of Bombay Beach
- Howser, Huell (October 3, 1999). "Salton Sea – Visiting (705)". California's Gold. Chapman University Huell Howser Archives.
- The 2006 documentary film Plagues and Pleasures on the Salton Sea (narrated by John Waters) documented the lives of the inhabitants of Bombay Beach, Niland, and Salton City, as well as the ecological issues associated with the Sea.