Fontana is a city located in San Bernardino County, California. With a 2020 population of 218,573, it is the 18th largest city in California and the 102nd largest city in the United States. Fontana is currently growing at a rate of 1.12% annually and its population has increased by 11.48% since the most recent census, which recorded a population of 196,069 in 2010. Spanning over 43 miles, Fontana has a population density of 5,075 people per square mile.
The average household income in Fontana is $84,716 with a poverty rate of 13.87%. The median rental costs in recent years comes to $1,288 per month, and the median house value is $351,700. The median age in Fontana is 30.8 years, 29.5 years for males, and 32.3 years for females. For every 100 females there are 97.9 males.
Fontana is located in San Bernardino County, California along the San Bernardino Mountains. “Fontana” is Italian for “water source,” a nod to the nearby Santa Ana River. Fontana is currently the second largest city in San Bernardino County after San Bernardino, although the cities are close in population. It’s part of the Inland Empire, which comprises San Bernardino and Riverside Counties as well as the Greater Los Angeles area, the second largest metropolitan area in the United States.
Like other cities in the Inland Empire, Fontana is enjoying significant population growth driven by higher-paying professional jobs in the region and the high cost of living in Orange and Los Angeles Counties. Fontana was recently named as the Most Prosperous City in California thans to its stable home values, average income, low unemployment and poverty rates, and population growth. In 2016, Fontana led San Bernardino County in population growth with an increase of 1.4%, adding nearly 3,000 people in just one year. Since 1990, Fontana’s population has nearly doubled.
Fontana is a fairly young city with a history going back to its founding in 1919. It quickly became an agricultural community with chicken ranches, vineyards, and citrus orchards along Route 66. During World War II, one of just two steel mills in the West was built in Fontana. The mill’s owner, Henry J. Kaiser, then built the Fontana Kaiser Permanente medical facility to provide health care for mill workers. It’s now the country’s largest managed care organization.
Fontana’s economy has largely moved away from agriculture, intead focusing on industry, especially trucking industries. It’s home to many product distribution centers for major companies like Home Shoppig Network, Mercedes-Benz, and Toyota. Kaiser Permanente is Fontana’s largest employer.
By 2000, Fontana had a population of 129,000. Today, it’s estimated at more than 211,000, in large part due to large residential developments in the north part of the city and a successful campaign to annex developed, unincorporated areas in 2006 and 2007.