Ontario is a city located in San Bernardino County, California. With a 2020 population of 186,653, it is the 25th largest city in California and the 136th largest city in the United States. Ontario is currently growing at a rate of 1.51% annually and its population has increased by 13.87% since the most recent census, which recorded a population of 163,924 in 2010. Spanning over 50 miles, Ontario has a population density of 3,736 people per square mile.
The average household income in Ontario is $73,816 with a poverty rate of 14.80%. The median rental costs in recent years comes to $1,429 per month, and the median house value is $348,200. The median age in Ontario is 32.1 years, 30.9 years for males, and 33.4 years for females. For every 100 females there are 96.9 males.
Ontario is located in southwestern San Bernardino County, California about 35 miles east of Los Angeles. Ontario is part of Southern California's Inland Empire, which is made up of Riverside and San Bernardino counties. It's also part of the Greater Los Angeles metro area, the second largest metropolitan area in the U.S. with a population of 18.7 million.
About 27.5% of Ontario's population was born outside of the country. The city is one of many in the United States with a Hispanic majority: nearly three-quarters of Ontario's residents are Hispanic or Latino. This is in line with the rest of the Inland Empire which became majority Hispanic in 2016. The city continues to diversify with growing African-American and Asian communities as well.
Ontario has always attracted residents for its ideal climate, strong economy, and ideal location between San Bernardino and Los Angeles. Its population growth is expected to continue steadily at a rate of about 0.75% to 1% per year.
The area of Ontario was once an active American Indian settlement. In 1819, the San Bernardino Asistencia outpost of the San Gabriel mission was established in present-day Redlands, about 27 miles east of Ontario. The region then became part of an area called San Antonio.
It wasn't until the secularization of land holdings in California in 1834 that the area of Ontario was developed. In 1881, William and George Chaffey purchased the land along with current-day Upland. The brothers channeled water into the area to irrigate crops and prevent floods then created the main street of Euclid Avenue. The town was called a Model Colony because it balanced agriculture with urban amenities like churches and businesses but it was originally a dry town. The town was named Ontario in honor of Ontario province in Canada where the brothers were bor.
Ontario quickly attracted citrus farmers and Easterners who wanted a dry climate. By 1891, Ontario was incorporated. Fifteen years later, North Ontario broke away from the city and became Upland. Ontario quickly grew, increasing its population 10 times in the next 50 years the again in the next five decades, growing from 20,000 in the 1950s to 158,000 in 2000.