Del Mar, California

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Del Mar, California
City of Del Mar
The Del Mar racetrack
Official seal of Del Mar, California
Location of Del Mar within San Diego County, California.
Location of Del Mar within San Diego County, California.
Del Mar, California is located in USA
Del Mar, California
Del Mar, California
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 32°57′18″N 117°15′50″W / 32.95500°N 117.26389°W / 32.95500; -117.26389Coordinates: 32°57′18″N 117°15′50″W / 32.95500°N 117.26389°W / 32.95500; -117.26389
Country  United States
State  California
County San Diego
Incorporated July 15, 1959[1]
 • Mayor Sherryl Parks[2]
 • City 1.777 sq mi (4.602 km2)
 • Land 1.707 sq mi (4.421 km2)
 • Water 0.070 sq mi (0.181 km2)  3.94%
Elevation[4] 112 ft (34 m)
Population (2010)
 • City 4,161
 • Density 2,300/sq mi (900/km2)
 • Metro SD-TJ: 5,105,768
Time zone PST (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP code 92014
Area code(s) 858
FIPS code 06-18506
GNIS feature ID 1656480

Del Mar is an affluent beach city in San Diego County, California. The population was estimated at 4,311 in 2014, up from 4,161 at the 2010 census.[5] The Del Mar Horse Races are hosted on the Del Mar racetrack every summer. Del Mar is Spanish for "of the sea" or "by the sea", because it is located on the Pacific Ocean. Colonel Jacob Taylor purchased 338 acres (1.37 km2) from Enoch Talbert in 1885, with visions of building a seaside resort for the rich and famous.[6] The United States Navy operated a Naval Auxiliary Air Facility for blimps at Del Mar during World War II.[7]

Geography and climate[edit]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.8 square miles (4.7 km2). 1.7 square miles (4.4 km2) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) of it (3.94%) is water. At the southern edge of Del Mar is the Los Peñasquitos Lagoon.

Del Mar's climate is considered sub-tropical / Mediterranean with warm, dry summers and mild winters, and is considered one of the most desirable climates world-wide. Temperatures exceed 85 °F (29 °C) only on a few occasions throughout the year and rarely drop below 62 °F (17 °C). The average daily temperature in Del Mar is approximately 71 °F (22 °C).

Del Mar is also one of few locations in which the Torrey Pine tree grows. The Torrey Pine is the rarest pine in the United States and only two populations of this endangered species exist.[8] The Soledad Valley at the south of Del Mar severs two colony segments of the Pinus torreyana.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1960 3,124
1970 3,956 26.6%
1980 5,017 26.8%
1990 4,860 −3.1%
2000 4,389 −9.7%
2010 4,161 −5.2%
Est. 2014 4,311 [5] 3.6%
U.S. Decennial Census[9]


The 2010 United States Census[10] reported that Del Mar had a population of 4,161. The population density was 2,341.9 people per square mile (904.2/km²). The racial makeup of Del Mar was 3,912 (94.0%) White, 10 (0.2%) African American, eight (0.2%) Native American, 118 (2.8%) Asian, three (0.1%) Pacific Islander, 25 (0.6%) from other races, and 85 (2.0%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 175 people (4.2%).

The Census reported that 4,161 people (100% of the population) lived in households, zero (0%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and zero (0%) were institutionalized.

There were 2,064 households, out of which 340 (16.5%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 927 (44.9%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 114 (5.5%) had a female householder with no husband present, 57 (2.8%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 124 (6.0%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 19 (0.9%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. Seven hundred seven households (34.3%) were made up of individuals and 209 (10.1%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.02. There were 1,098 families (53.2% of all households); the average family size was 2.57.

The population was spread out with 564 people (13.6%) under the age of 18, 205 people (4.9%) aged 18 to 24, 1,071 people (25.7%) aged 25 to 44, 1,455 people (35.0%) aged 45 to 64, and 866 people (20.8%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 48.6 years. For every 100 females there were 102.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 101.1 males.

There were 2,596 housing units at an average density of 1,461.1 per square mile (564.1/km²), of which 1,113 (53.9%) were owner-occupied, and 951 (46.1%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 2.6%; the rental vacancy rate was 7.9%. Of the population, 2,398 people (57.6% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 1,763 people (42.4%) lived in rental housing units.


As of the 2000 census,[11] there were 4,389 people, 2,178 households, and 1,083 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,559.7 inhabitants per square mile (991.0/km²). There were 2,557 housing units at an average density of 1,491.3 per square mile (577.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 94.1% White, 0.3% African American, 0.3% Native American, 2.9% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 0.6% from other races, and 1.71% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.9% of the population.

Del Mar, looking at Torrey Pines State Reserve.
The Plaza Shopping Center in Del Mar at 15th Street

There were 2,178 households out of which 15.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.8% were married couples living together, 4.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 50.3% were non-families. 36.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.01 and the average family size was 2.61.

In the city the population was spread out with 13.6% under the age of 18, 5.4% from 18 to 24, 33.1% from 25 to 44, 33.8% from 45 to 64, and 14.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 44 years. For every 100 females there were 105.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 105.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $120,001, and the median income for a family was $130,270. Males had a median income of $81,250 versus $70,069 for females. The per capita income for the city was $92,425. About 7.8% of families and 8.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.6% of those under age 18 and 8.5% of those age 65 or over.

Current estimates[edit]

According to estimates by the San Diego Association of Governments, the median household income of Del Mar in 2005 was $169,348 (not adjusted for inflation). When adjusted for inflation (1999 dollars; comparable to Census data above), the median household income was $100,982.


The City of Del Mar is governed by a city council of five elected representatives. Each year a new mayor is chosen from among the councilmembers.[12]

In the California State Legislature, Del Mar is in the 39th Senate District, represented by Democrat Marty Block, and in the 78th Assembly District, represented by Democrat Toni Atkins.[13]

In the United States House of Representatives, Del Mar is in California's 49th congressional district, represented by Republican Darrell Issa.[14]


Del Mar is served by the Del Mar Union School District, which includes eight K-8 schools. High school education is provided by the San Dieguito Union High School District.


The historic Del Mar station was the only passenger stop between Oceanside and San Diego for many years and welcomed passengers from Los Angeles to the racetrack.[15] When the Coaster commuter rail was being planned, officials recognized the need for ample parking, accessible access for wheelchair users, and a sensible routing for bus and shuttle service, and nearby Solana Beach was selected for a new station.[16] The Del Mar City Council rejected any significant expansion of the facility, while still hoping to keep it in operation as an Amtrak-only station; but Amtrak moved their services to the new station also.[17]


Notable people[edit]

Cultural references[edit]

  • Del Mar is referenced in the Beach Boys hit "Surfin USA". The song mentions, "You’d catch ’em surfin’ at Del Mar."
  • Del Mar, known for its numerous and beautiful beaches, was mentioned in Time magazine's "100 Greatest Beaches in the World". Fifteenth Street Beach ranked in the top 10, ranking at 4, and although "Dog Beach" did not make it into the Top 100, it did receive an honorable mention.
  • Del Mar's beach at 15th Street was used as a backdrop for the opening credits for ABC's Cougar Town.
  • In the TV series Weeds, the Botwin family escapes to their relatives' home in the fictional town of Ren Mar (inspired by Del Mar but named after the studio where Weeds is shot) after Agrestic burns down.
  • The comedy Strange Wilderness features Del Mar's Torrey Pines State Beach in the background during the group's journey south into Mexico.


  1. ^ "California Cities by Incorporation Date" (Word). California Association of Local Agency Formation Commissions. Retrieved August 25, 2014. 
  2. ^ "City Council". Del Mar, CA. Retrieved April 9, 2015. 
  3. ^ "2010 Census U.S. Gazetteer Files – Places – California". United States Census Bureau. 
  4. ^ "Del Mar". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved April 9, 2015. 
  5. ^ a b "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  6. ^ "Del Mar city history". Retrieved February 8, 2012. 
  7. ^ "U.S. Naval Activities World War II by State". Patrick Clancey. Retrieved March 19, 2012. 
  8. ^ C. Michael Hogan (2008). Torrey Pine: Pinus torreyana, Globaltwitcher, ed. Nicklas Stromberg [1]
  9. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  10. ^ "2010 Census Interactive Population Search: CA - Del Mar city". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved July 12, 2014. 
  11. ^ "American FactFinder: Del Mar city, California". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 9, 2014. 
  12. ^ "City of Del Mar website". Retrieved February 8, 2012. 
  13. ^ "Statewide Database". Regents of the University of California. Retrieved April 9, 2015. 
  14. ^ "California's 49th Congressional District - Representatives & District Map". Civic Impulse, LLC. 
  15. ^ Rosen, Michael M. (February 8, 2013). "Del Mar rail station’s big ‘if’". U-T San Diego. 
  16. ^ Ray, Nancy (October 28, 1989). "Del Mar Depot Faces Closure, Demolition : Mass Transit: Panel's vote means the railroad station would be abandoned by both Amtrak trains and rail commuter trains when a Solana Beach station is built". Los Angeles Times. 
  17. ^ Perry, Tony (March 12, 1995). "When Turf No Longer Meets Surf : Del Mar is feeling the pain of change. First, Amtrak sidelined the town's historic station. Now, a long-ignored law banning access to the beach via railroad property is being enforced". Los Angeles Times. 
  18. ^
  19. ^ "Fashion designer crashes car into Calif. store". Associated Press. Retrieved July 1, 2008. 

External links[edit]