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Valley Center, California

Valley Center
census-designated place
A scene in Valley Center.
A scene in Valley Center.
Location in San Diego County and the state of California
Location in San Diego County and the state of California
Valley Center is located in USA
Valley Center
Location in the United States
Country  United States
State  California
County San Diego
 • Total 27.426 sq mi (71.033 km2)
 • Land 27.426 sq mi (71.033 km2)
 • Water 0 sq mi (0 km2)  0%
Elevation[2] 1,312 ft (400 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 9,277
 • Density 340/sq mi (130/km2)
Time zone PST (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP code 92082
Area code(s) 442/760
FIPS code 06-81736
GNIS feature IDs 1661616, 2409396

Valley Center is a census-designated place (CDP) in San Diego County, California. The population was 3,277 at the 2010 census, up from 1,865 at the 2000 census.


  • Geography 1
    • Climate 1.1
  • Demographics 2
    • 2010 2.1
    • 2000 2.2
  • Government 3
  • Community character and culture 4
  • Agriculture 5
  • History 6
  • Western Days 7
  • Notable residents 8
  • References 9
  • External links 10


Valley Center is located at .[3]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 27.4 square miles (71 km2), all land.

Valley Center is home to the Hellhole Canyon Preserve[4] which is a 1,907 acre preserve that offers 13.5 miles of moderate to advanced trail opportunities.


According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Valley Center has a warm-summer Mediterranean climate, abbreviated "Csa" on climate maps.[5]



The 2010 United States Census[6] reported that Valley Center had a population of 3,277. The population density was 178.3 people per square mile (130.6/km²). The racial makeup of Valley Center was 2,285 (73.1%) White, 58 (0.9%) African American, 188 (2.0%) Native American, 295 (3.2%) Asian, 16 (0.2%) Pacific Islander, 584 (16.0%) from other races, and 425 (4.6%) from two or more races. The Census reported that 9,243 people (99.6% of the population) lived in households, 27 (0.3%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 7 (0.1%) were institutionalized.

There were 1,000 households, out of which 1,120 (37.3%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 1,035 (67.8%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 43 (7.1%) had a female householder with no husband present, 142 (4.7%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 127 (4.2%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 21 (0.7%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 239 households (15.4%) were made up of individuals and 193 (6.4%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.08. There were 2,389 families (79.6% of all households); the average family size was 3.38.

The population was spread out with 1,250 people (24.3%) under the age of 18, 414 people (8.9%) aged 18 to 24, 694 people (20.9%) aged 25 to 44, 1,003 people (33.4%) aged 45 to 64, and 539 people (12.5%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42.1 years. For every 100 females there were 100 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 99.4 males.

There were 2,228 housing units at an average density of 117.7 per square mile (45.4/km²), of which 1,739 (80.6%) were owner-occupied, and 581 (19.4%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 1.7%; the rental vacancy rate was 2.8%. 2,364 people (79.4% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 1,879 people (20.3%) lived in rental housing units.


As of the census[7] of 2000, there were 1,323 people, 415 households, and 719 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 59.1 inhabitants per square mile (96.6/km²). There were 415 housing units at an average density of 66.0 per square mile (33.2/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 85.69% White, 0.52% African American, 2.84% Native American, 1.35% Asian, 0.19% Pacific Islander, 6.45% from other races, and 2.96% from two or more races.

There were 415 households out of which 38.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 68.4% were married couples living together, 6.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 20.5% were non-families. 15.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.01 and the average family size was 3.33.

In the CDP the population was spread out with 29.6% under the age of 18, 6.5% from 18 to 24, 25.2% from 25 to 44, 27.4% from 45 to 64, and 11.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 102.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 101.1 males.

The median income for a household in the CDP was $64,649, and the median income for a family was $68,388. Males had a median income of $50,440 versus $35,199 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $24,071. About 5.8% of families and 3.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.7% of those under age 18 and 10.6% of those age 65 or over.


In the California State Legislature, Valley Center is in the 38th Senate District, represented by Republican Joel Anderson, and in the 75th Assembly District, represented by Republican Marie Waldron.[8]

In the United States House of Representatives, Valley Center is in California's 50th congressional district, represented by Republican Duncan D. Hunter.[9]

Community character and culture

Valley Center

Valley Center is a community in a small rural town. The community is largely based on agriculture and farming with a few gated communities. A close knit community, Valley Center is known for it's "Western Days Parade" and annual Fourth of July fireworks display in the community park. Historically, the growth of Valley Center has been slowed by lower densities including a minimum of 2 acres (8,100 m2) being required for most parcels.

Some changes in the community can be attributed to the expansion of Indian casinos in the area. There are currently two major casinos in the vicinity of Valley Center - Harrah's Rincon and Valley View; both were opened in 2001-02, bringing traffic and jobs to what used to be an out-of-the-way agricultural town. High traffic necessitated highway improvements, partially paid by casino contributions.

Despite these changes, there are still no chain department stores in the community; residents do their shopping in smaller "mom and pop" stores, and drive either to Escondido or to Temecula.


Traditionally, the town and the surrounding areas have largely been dedicated to agricultural uses. Various commercial crops include oranges, lemons, and avocados. More recently farmers have taken up other crops, including ornamental floral products such as lavender. Additionally, there is a thriving animal farming industry including egg-producing hens and llamas.


Valley Center was the site of the capture of the largest California Grizzly Bear in history.[10] In 1866, a grizzly weighing 2,200 pounds was killed in the area. Although the town had been settled in 1845 and homesteaded in 1862, it had no formal name until the famous 1866 bear incident. The notoriety surrounding the event gave Valley Center its original name of Bear Valley. The name was subsequently changed to Valley in 1874, to Valley Centre in 1878 and, finally, to Valley Center in 1887. An exhibit of the bear is on display at the Valley Center History Museum.

Valley Center Historical Society celebrated 150 Years of Valley Center in 2012. Valley Center, was settled shortly after President Lincoln signed the Homestead Act on May 20, 1862. Celebrations were held throughout the year of 2012, with the main event during the annual Western Days weekend.

Western Days

Once a year, parts of the town are closed down for an event known as Valley Center Western Days. This event is traditionally held over the Memorial Day weekend and consists of a community parade, a festival at the Valley Center Community Center and the Valley Center Stampede Rodeo. For the weeks leading up to the event, local organizations put on western-themed events and fundraisers.

Notable residents


  1. ^ "2010 Census U.S. Gazetteer Files – Places – California".  
  2. ^ "Valley Center".  
  3. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990".  
  4. ^
  5. ^ Climate Summary for Valley Center, California
  6. ^ "2010 Census Interactive Population Search: CA - Valley Center CDP". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved July 12, 2014. 
  7. ^ "American FactFinder".  
  8. ^ "Statewide Database". UC Regents. Retrieved January 8, 2015. 
  9. ^ "California's 50th Congressional District - Representatives & District Map". Civic Impulse, LLC. 
  10. ^
  11. ^ Varga, George (September 4, 2005). "Who's happy now?". The San Diego Union-Tribune. A key beneficiary has been J.J. Cale, the Valley Center-based musician who wrote two songs that were later popularized by Clapton, 'After Midnight' and 'Cocaine.' 
  12. ^  
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Sky King' star landed in Valley Center".  

External links

  • Valley Center Historical Society and Valley Center History Museum
  • Valley Center Chamber of Commerce
  • Valley Center Happenings Valley Center's Community Website
  • [2] Valley Roadrunner Weekly newspaper published for the Valley Center, Pala and Pauma Valley California areas.
  • Valley Center Western Days
  • Valley Center Stampede Rodeo Official site of the Valley Center Stampede Rodeo.
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