San Bernardino, California Population 2020
San Bernardino is a city located in the state of California. It is the county seat of San Bernardino County. By population, it is the 17th largest city in the state, with recent estimates putting the population at 215,941. It is also the 100th most populous city in the United States. This city plays a vital role within the diplomatic missions of the Inland Empire. It also has numerous attractions that draw in visitors and residents.
San Bernardino History
The city of San Bernardino was incorporated as a city in 1857. Before this, however, a Spanish settlement by the name of Politana was established in 1810. However, it was destroyed by local tribesmen following earthquakes that struck the San Bernardino Valley. Politana was rebuilt, and in 1819, missionaries returned to establish San Bernardino de Sena Estancia.
The present location of the city was mostly settled during the 1850s after California was designated as a state. It is considered to be one of the oldest cities in California. The town of San Bernardino was established in 1851, with the county being developed just two years later. It was incorporated as a city in 1857.
It was during the 1860s when San Bernardino saw a surge in its population. A gold rush began nearby when gold was discovered. The city was also a hub for trade in the southern region of the state. The city continued to grow throughout the century after a hotel was built along a spring that was believed to have healing properties. Water from the springs was bottled and shipped to Los Angeles, further boosting the city’s economy.
During the 20th century, many events occurred, including the development of Norton Air Force Base during World War II, the founding of McDonald’s chain of restaurants, and the Panorama Fire that destroyed hundreds of San Bernardino homes. The air force base was closed during the 1990s and later became the San Bernardino International Airport.
The 2000s brought another wildfire that destroyed more than 1,000 homes in the city. Some additional hardships also occurred, including the city’s filing of bankruptcy in 2012, with the city bouncing back after five years, as well as the 2015 terrorist attack. Today, the city has many attractions including the largest outdoor amphitheater in the nation, a baseball team, and the ADU Fox Theatre. The city’s economy is reliant on the government, retail and service industries.
San Bernardino Population Statistics
Estimates put San Bernardino's city population at 216,239. The city’s total area is almost 62 square miles, giving it a population density of over 3,500 inhabitants per square mile. It is the most populous city in the county, and it is also the 100th most populous in the country.
Breaking down the population by age group shows that 32% of inhabitants are under the age of 18, making this the largest age group. The next largest group – 25 to 44 – makes up 26.8% of the population. Almost 8% of the population is 65 years of age or older. In the city, over 30% of the population falls below the federal poverty line. The city’s top employer according to its annual financial report taken in 2010 is California State University at San Bernardino, which employs over 2,500 residents. Other top employers include the City of San Bernardino and the Community Hospital of San Bernardino.
San Bernardino Population Growth
The city of San Bernardino, despite suffering from hardships such as bankruptcy and terrorist attacks, has seen continuous population growth since the census taken in 1880. At times, it has even seen a percentage growth of over 100%. The city surpassed 100,000 inhabitants by the time of the 1970 census. In 2010, it saw another milestone, exceeding over 200,000 people. Today, its population has grown about 3% since the last poll taken in 2010. While comparing this to previous census data shows that some slowdown has occurred, the city is continuing to become more populous.
San Bernardino Demographics
According to the most recent ACS, the racial composition of San Bernardino was:
- White: 58.12%
- Other race: 18.04%
- Black or African American: 13.84%
- Two or more races: 4.63%
- Asian: 4.28%
- Native American: 0.81%
- Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: 0.29%