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Santa Barbara

City of Santa Barbara

  •   State: 
    Santa Barbara County
    Santa Barbara
      County FIPS: 
    34°25′N 119°42′W
      Area total: 
    42.00 sq mi
      Area land: 
    19.50 sq mi (50.51 km²)
      Area water: 
    22.50 sq mi (58.27 km²)
    49 ft (15 m)
    Incorporated April 9, 1850
  •   Latitude: 
      Dman name cbsa: 
    Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA
    Pacific Standard Time (PST) UTC-8:00; Pacific Daylight Time (PDT) UTC-7:00
      ZIP codes: 

    Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara County, California, United States

  •   Population: 
      Population density: 
    4,546.92 residents per square mile of area (1,755.58/km²)
      Household income: 
      Unemployment rate: 
  •   Sales taxes: 
      Income taxes: 

Santa Barbara (Spanish: Santa Bárbara, meaning "Saint Barbara") is a coastal city in Santa Barbara County, California, of which it is also the county seat. The city lies between the steeply rising Santa Ynez Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. Santa Barbara's climate is often described as Mediterranean, and the city has been dubbed "The American Riviera" According to the 2020 U.S. Census, the city's population was 88,665. At least 25,000 Chumash natives lived in the region prior to Spanish contact. The Santa Barbara Mission was established on the Feast of Saint Barbara, December 4, 1786. It was the tenth of the California Missions to be founded by the Spanish Franciscans. The most dramatic event of the Spanish period was the powerful 18.12 earthquake, with an estimated magnitude of 7.1, which destroyed the Mission and as well as the rest of the town. After the earthquake, the Mission fathers chose to rebuild in a secular manner, and it is still functioning as an active church to the present day. In 2004, the service sector accounted for 35% of local employment. The City is served by Santa Barbara Airport and train service is provided by Amtrak, which operates the Pacific Surfliner, which runs from San Diego to San Luis Obispo. Channel Islands National Park and Channel Islands national Marine Sanctuary are located approximately 20 miles (30 km) offshore. The area is connected via U.S. Highway 101 to Los Angeles 100 mi (160 km) to the southeast and San Francisco 325 mi (525 km)to the northwest.


Santa Barbara is the primary city name, but also Goleta are acceptable city names or spellings. The official name is City of Santa Barbara. At least 25,000 Chumash natives lived in the region prior to Spanish contact. The first permanent European residents were Spanish missionaries and soldiers under Felipe de Neve, who arrived in 1782. The Santa Barbara Mission was established on the Feast of Saint Barbara, December 4, 1786. The most dramatic event of the Spanish period was the powerful 1812 earthquake, and tsunami, with an estimated magnitude of 7.1. After the Mexican government secularized the missions in the 1830s, the baptismal, marriage, and burial records of other missions were transferred to Santa Barbara. Santa Barbara became the part of the United States in 1848 after the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. It was during this period that Richard Henry, Jr. wrote about the Santa Barbara culture and people in his book Two Years of Santa Barbara, published in 1846. The name "Santa Barbara" was given by Sebastián Vizcaíno in 1602 to the channel and also to one of the Channel Islands. The town is named after the Guerra and Carrillo families of California, who were instrumental in building up the town, so they were honored by having streets named after them. It is also known as "Rancho Santa Barbara" because of the various land grants it received to reward Native Americans who led the fight against the Argentinian pirates in the 1800s. The city's name is derived from the Spanish word for "ranch" or "ranch," which means "land" in Spanish.


Santa Barbara is located about 90 miles (145 km) west-northwest of Los Angeles, along the Pacific coast. This stretch of coast along southern Santa Barbara County is sometimes referred to as "The American Riviera" The Santa Ynez Mountains, an eastwest trending range, rise dramatically behind the city, with several peaks exceeding 4,000 feet (1,200 m) They make a scenic backdrop to the town. Nearer to town, directly east and adjacent to Mission Santa Barbara, is an east west ridge known locally as "the Riviera," traversed by a road called "Alameda Padre Serra" (shortened APS, which translates to "Father Serra's pathway"). According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 42.0 square miles (108.8 km²), of which 19.5 sq miles (51 km²) of it is land and 22.5sq miles (58 km²] of it (53.61%) is water. The high official figures for water is due to the extension of the city limit into the ocean, including a strip of city reaching out into the sea and inland again to keep the Santa Barbara Airport (SBA) within the city boundary. Sometimes, perhaps once every three years, snow falls on the mountains, but it rarely stays for more than a few days. The city has an average temperature of °C (°F) of 8.5°F (8.7°C).


Santa Barbara's weather was ranked number 1 in the United States in 2018 by U.S. News & World Report. Because the city lies along the ocean and parallel to the predominant westerly winds, sideshore and light onshore breezes moderate temperatures. Diurnal temperature variation reaches a maximum in winter due to lower humidity and the absence of summer fog. Snow sometimes covers higher elevations of the Santa Ynez Mountains but is extremely rare in the city itself. In exceptional years like 1940-1941 and 1997-1998 over 40 inches (1.0 m) of rain have fallen in a year, but in dry seasons less than 6 inches (150 mm) is not unheard of. In the fall, afternoon or evening downslope winds, locally called "Sundowners", can raise temperatures into the high 90s °F (high 30s °C) and drop humidities into the single digits. The most recent accumulating snow to fall near sea level was in January 1949, when approximately 2 inches (5.1 cm) fell in theCity's climate is a warm-summer Mediterranean climate (Köppen: Csb) characteristic of coastal California. In winter, storms reach California, some of which bring heavy rainfall, but the rainshadow effect of the coastal mountains can at times moderate or enhance the rainfall depending on local storm wind flows. On average, only 1.7 nights have freezing lows. In summer, the city experiences mostly rainless summers due to the presence of a high-pressure area over the eastern Pacific.

Geology and soils

The city of Santa Barbara is situated on a coastal plain between the Santa Ynez Mountains and the sea. This coastal plain consists of a complex array of Holocene and Pleistocene alluvial and colluvial deposits, marine terraces, debris flows, and estuarine deposits. Rapid geologic uplift is characteristic of the entire region, as evidenced by the coastal bluffs and narrow beaches that are present along most of the coastline. Three major sedimentary bedrock units underlie the coastal plain: the Monterey Formation, the Sisquoc Formation, and the Santa Barbara Formation. The Santa Barbara formation is one of the main units in the aquifer underlying the city. Its coarse-grained freshwater-bearing portion, much of which is below sea level, is protected from seawater intrusion by the More Ranch Fault, which has shielded it by uplifting less-permeable rocks between it and theSea. The Mission Ridge Fault Zone runs along the range of hills known locally as the "Riviera", and the Mesa Fault defines the northern boundary of the band of hills called the "Mesa" These two faults converge near the Five Points Shopping Center at Los Positas and State Streets. Neither is well-exposed, with their locations being inferred from topography, springs, seeps, and well logs. The Mesa Fault continues southeast offshore into theSanta Barbara Channel; the portion of the fault offshore is believed to have been responsible for the destructive earthquake of 1925.


The dominant architectural themes of Santa Barbara are the Mediterranean Revival, Spanish Colonial Revival and the related Mission Revival style. Residential architectural styles in Santa Barbara reflect the era of their construction. Many late-1800s Victorian homes remain downtown and in the "Upper East" neighborhood. California bungalows are common, built in the early decades of the 20th century. Notable modernist and contemporary homes can be found as well. The first Monterey-style adobe in California was built on State Street of Santa Barbara by the wealthy merchant Alpheus Thompson. The city's first post-earthquake hotel was built in 1875 on the banks of the Santa Barbara River. The Santa Barbara Opera House opened in 1881. The town's first theater was opened in 1886. The original Santa Barbara High School opened in 1888. The current Santa Barbara City Hall was opened on December 1, 1891. It is located in the heart of the city's historic downtown area, on the corner of State and Figueroa streets. It has been the site of many architectural exhibitions, including the California State Museum and the California Museum of Fine Arts. Santa Barbara is home to the California Institute of the Arts, which was founded in 1894. The California State Library, which opened in 1903, is located on the Santa Barrillo County Register. It was the first public library in the state to open in 1891, and has since become a tourist attraction.


The Mesa stretches 2.5 miles (4.0 km) from Santa Barbara City College on the east to Arroyo Burro County Beach (or "Hendry's/The Pit" to locals) on the west. Bel Air and Alta Mesa comprise most of the coastal highlands of Santa Barbara, north (landward) of the Mesa. Mission Canyon contains the wooded hilly area beginning at the Old Mission and extending along Foothill Road, north and east into Mission Canyon Road and Las Canoas Road. San Roque is said to be a constant 5 degrees warmer than the coastal areas, due to its distance from the ocean and being separated from a low range of hills to the south. Samarkand was first applied to a Persian-style hotel that was converted from a boys' school in 1920. The name comes from an word meaning "the heart of the desire." It is located between Las Positas and Santa Barbara and currently has approximately 630 homes on 184 acres (0.2 km) with a population of about 2,000 people. The area is considered by locals as the most temperate of all Santa Barbara Cities areas and is home to the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History and the Santa Ynez Valley Museum of History and Science. It is one of the most rustically beautiful, yet fire-prone areas of Santa Barbara due to heavy natural vegetation. The Riviera encompasses an ocean-facing hillside and back hillside extending for approximately two miles, with the north side extending from Foothil Road to Sycamore Canyon Road, and the south side from theSanta Barbara Mission to North Salinas Street.


The 2020 United States Census reported that Santa Barbara had a population of 88,665. The racial makeup of Santa Barbara was 66,411 (75.1%) White; 1,420 (1.6%) African American; 892 (1.0%) Native American; 3,062 (3.5%) Asian. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 33,591 persons (38.0%). Non-Hispanic Whites were 45,852 persons (52.2%) The population was spread out, with 16,468 people under the age of 18, 10,823 people (12.2) aged 18 to 24, 26,241 people (29.7%) aged 25 to 44, 22,305 people (25.2!) aged 45 to 64, and 12,573 people (14.2%). The median age was 36.8 years. The population density was 4,865.3 inhabitants per square mile (1,878.5/km²). There were 37,076 housing units at an average density of 1,953.8 per squaremile (754.4/ km²) The city was 74.0% White, 1.8% African American, 1,1% Native American, 2.8%. Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 16.4% from other races, and 3.9% from two or more races. People of Hispanic or Latino background, of anyrace, were 35.0%.


Aerospace and defense companies such as Alliant Techsystems, Channel Technologies Group, FLIR Systems, and Raytheon have major operations in the area. As a tourist destination, the hospitality industry has a significant presence in the regional economy. Motel 6 was started in Santa Barbara in 1962. The Egg McMuffin was invented by Herb Peterson at the upper State Street McDonald's. The Habit Burger Grill restaurant chain began in Old Town Goleta. Kinko's (now owned by FedEx and known as FedEx Office) was founded by Paul Orfalea Isla Vista, near UC Santa Barbara, in 1970. As of June 2021, southern Santa Barbara County employed more than half the county's total workers. The County's largest employers are: Mission Linen Supply, Jordano's, Marborg Industries, the Santa Barbara Biltmore and San Ysidro Ranch, Westmont College, Mentor, CJ Affiliate, Beachfront Hilton Resort, Belmond El Encanto and QAD.Retail centers include the traditional downtown area along lower State Street, where the Paseo Nuevo shopping center is located, and La Cumbre Plaza on upper state Street. The county's largest employer is Mission Linens Supply, with more than 1,000 employees. The largest employer in the county is Westmont college, with over 1,100 employees. Santa Barbara's largest city is Santa Barbara. The city's largest suburb is Santa Maria, with about 1,200 employees.

Arts and culture

Santa Barbara is a year-round tourist destination renowned for its fair weather, downtown beaches, and Spanish architecture. Tourism brings more than one billion dollars per year into the local economy, including $80 million in tax revenue. Mission Santa Barbara, "The Queen of the Missions," is located on a rise about two miles (3 km) inland from the harbor, and is an active Franciscan mission and place of worship, sightseeing stop, and national historic landmark. The Santa Barbara Arts and Crafts Show has been held on Cabrillo Boulevard, east of Stearns Wharf and along the beach, for over 40 years. The annual Santa Barbara French Festival takes place on Bastille Day weekend in July and is the largest French Festival in the western United States. The late Bruce Brown's cult classic documentary, The Endless Summer, put surfing on the map and often seen around his son Patren, who was seen around the town prior to his passing in December 2017. The Summer Solstice Parade draws up to 10,000 people and follows a colorful themed parade along State Street for approximately one mile, ending at Alameda Park. Curren Surfing legend Patren Surren is a part of Santa Barbara culture and is a surfer and surfer legend. The city is considered a haven for classical music lovers with a symphony orchestra, a professional opera company, and many non-profit classical music groups (such as CAMA). The Music Academy of the West, located in Montecito, hosts an annual music festival in the summer.

Air Quality, Water Quality, Superfund Sites & UV Index

The Air Quality index is in Santa Barbara, Los Angeles County, California = 78.5. These Air Quality index is based on annual reports from the EPA. Higher values are better (100=best). The number of ozone alert days is used as an indicator of air quality, as are the amounts of seven pollutants including particulates, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, lead, and volatile organic chemicals. The Water Quality Index is 43. A measure of the quality of an area’s water supply as rated by the EPA. Higher values are better (100=best). The EPA has a complex method of measuring the watershed quality, using 15 indicators such as pollutants, turbidity, sediments, and toxic discharges. The Superfund Sites Index is 20. Higher is better (100=best). Based upon the number and impact of EPA Superfund pollution sites in the county, including spending on the cleanup efforts. The UV Index in Santa Barbara = 5.7 and is a measure of an area's exposure to the sun's ultraviolet rays. This is most often a combination of sunny weather, altitude, and latitude. The UV Index has been defined by the WHO ( and is uniform worldwide.


The most recent city population of 88,665 individuals with a median age of 36.8 age the population dropped by -1.97% in Santa Barbara, Los Angeles County, California population since 2000 and are distributed over a density of 4,546.92 residents per square mile of area (1,755.58/km²). There are average 2.45 people per household in the 35,088 households with an average household income of $62,889 a year. The unemployment rate in Alabama is of the available work force and has dropped -3.62% over the most recent 12-month period and the projected change in job supply over the next decade based on migration patterns, economic growth, and other factors will increase by 26.56%. The number of physicians in Santa Barbara per 100,000 population = 237.1.


The annual rainfall in Santa Barbara = 17.6 inches and the annual snowfall = 0 inches. The annual number of days with measurable precipitation (over .01 inch) = 36. The average number of days per year that are predominantly sunny = 283. 76 degrees Fahrenheit is the average daily high temperature for the month of July and 42.6 degrees Fahrenheit is the average daily low temperature for the month of January. The Comfort Index (higher=better) is 66, where higher values mean a more pleasant climate. The Comfort Index measure recognizes that humidity by itself isn't the problem. (Have you noticed nobody ever complains about the weather being 'cold and humid?) It's in the summertime that we notice the humidity the most, when it's hot and muggy. Our Comfort Index uses a combination of afternoon summer temperature and humidity to closely predict the effect that the humidity will have on people.

Median Home Cost

The percentage of housing units in Santa Barbara, Los Angeles County, California which are owned by the occupant = 39.72%. A housing unit is a house, apartment, mobile home, or room occupied as separate living quarters. The average age of homes = 46 years with median home cost = $717,060 and home appreciation of -11.40%. This is the value of the years most recent home sales data. Its important to note that this is not the average (or arithmetic mean). The median home price is the middle value when you arrange all the sales prices of homes from lowest to highest. This is a better indicator than the average, because the median is not changed as much by a few unusually high or low values. The property tax rate of $5.62 shown here is the rate per $1,000 of home value. If for simplification for example the tax rate is $14.00 and the home value is $250,000, the property tax would be $14.00 x ($250,000/1000), or $3500. This is the 'effective' tax rate.


The local school district spends $7,348 per student. There are 17.5 students for each teacher in the school, 1896 students for each Librarian and 870 students for each Counselor. 6.75% of the area’s population over the age of 25 with an Associate Degree or other 2-year college degree, 24.00% with a master’s degree, Ph.D. or other advanced college degree and 15.48% with high school diplomas or high school equivalency degrees (GEDs).

  • Santa Barbara's population in Santa Barbara County, California of 6,587 residents in 1900 has increased 13,46-fold to 88,665 residents after 120 years, according to the official 2020 census.

    Approximately 50.47% female residents and 49.53% male residents live in Santa Barbara, Los Angeles County, California.

    As of 2020 in Santa Barbara, Los Angeles County, California are married and the remaining 51.04% are single population.

  • 18.5 minutes is the average time that residents in Santa Barbara require for a one-way commute to work. A long commute can have different effects on health. A Gallup poll in the US found that in terms of mental health, long haul commuters are up to 12 percent more likely to experience worry, and ten percent less likely to feel well rested. The Gallup poll also found that of people who commute 61­–90 minutes each day, a whopping one third complained of neck and back pain, compared to less than a quarter of people who only spend ten minutes getting to work.

    65.96% of the working population which commute to work alone in their car, 13.62% of the working population which commutes to work in a carpool, 4.54% of the population that commutes using mass transit, including bus, light rail, subway, and ferry. 5.56% of the population that has their home as their principal place of work.

  • Of the total residential buildings in Santa Barbara, Los Angeles County, California, 39.72% are owner-occupied homes, another 55.12% are rented apartments, and the remaining 5.15% are vacant.

  • The 54.50% of the population in Santa Barbara, Los Angeles County, California who identify themselves as belonging to a religion are distributed among the following most diverse religions.

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