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Banning is a city in Riverside Countymarker, Californiamarker, United Statesmarker. The population was 23,562 at the 2000 census. It is situated in the San Gorgonio Passmarker, also known as Banning Pass. It is named for Phineas Banning, stagecoach line owner and the "Father of the Port of Los Angelesmarker."

Banning has a western neighbor, the city of Beaumontmarker, which shares geographic and regional features. Beaumont has been rapidly growing in size and population since the 1980s. Both cities are about 100 miles east of downtown Los Angeles and 25 miles west of Palm Springsmarker, each connected by freeway and railroad.

City-owned Banning Municipal Airportmarker, (FAA designator: BNG), has a runway. San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital is a General Acute Care Hospital in Banning with Basic Emergency Services as of 2005.


The area, up to the mid-19th century, was inhabited by the Cahuilla people, though the region around Banning was originally Maringayam (Serrano), and the Cahuilla expanded into the pass only in historic times. In 1824 it became part of the Mission San Gabriel Arcangelmarker, and then the Rancho San Gorgonio. The first Anglo to settle in the area was Dr. Isaac Smith in 1853. In 1863 a smallpox epidemic further diminished the Cahuilla. The government created Indian reservations for the Cahuilla in 1877.

The first stagecoach line came through in 1862, and the railroad followed in 1876. U.S. Route 99 was built in 1923, followed by U.S. Route 60/70 in 1936, and subsequently Interstate 10. The Southern Pacific (later purchased by Union Pacific) railroad, laid down in 1881, was a major contributor to the area's growth.

Banning borders the Morongo Indian Reservation, home to the Morongo Band of Cahuilla (Mission) Indians. Relations with reservation residents have been stressed by such actions as disputes over water rights. See Dorothy Ramon's book (published 2000) "Always Believe" for a Maringayam's views on Banning and reservation life.

Banning is named after famed L.A. entrepreneur Phinneas Banning, yet he never set foot in the city, nor anywhere in the San Gorgonio Pass area. Between the years 1880 and 1980, it was the largest city in year-round population between Redlandsmarker and the Colorado River.

The early western poet and author Henry Herbert Knibbs lived his last years in Banning.


Banning is located at (33.931729, -116.897557) .

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 23.0 square miles (59.7 km²), all of it land.

The city's elevation is approximately above sea level, which gives it a cooler climate in contrast to the county seat Riversidemarker at above sea level and definitely the Coachella Valley of the Colorado Desert to the east.

Public Safety

Banning has had its own police force since shortly after its 1912 incorporation, and for many years also had a regional station of the Riverside County Sheriff's Department (which has moved eastward to neighboring Cabazon). The Beaumontmarker, Palm Springsmarker, Cathedral City, and Desert Hot Springsmarker Police Departments also provide assistance in a major emergency, as well as the California Highway Patrol out of the Beaumont regional station.

Like its western neighbor, Beaumont, Banning disbanded its fire department in 2000 and now contracts for fire protection and emergency medical services (EMS) with the Riverside County Fire Department through a cooperative agreement with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire).


As of the census of 2000, there were 23,562 people, 8,923 households, and 6,237 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,022 people per square mile (395/km²). There were 9,761 housing units at an average density of 423/sq mi (164/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 64.19% White, 8.55% Black or African American, 2.52% Native American, 5.38% Asian, 0.13% Pacific Islander, 14.88% from other races, and 4.36% from two or more races. 30.21% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 8,923 households out of which 26.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.2% were married couples living together, 12.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.1% were non-families. 25.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.60 and the average family size was 3.11.

In the city the population was spread out with 26.4% under the age of 18, 7.4% from 18 to 24, 20.9% from 25 to 44, 18.4% from 45 to 64, and 26.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 90.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.7 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $32,076, and the median income for a family was $38,995. Males had a median income of $31,300 versus $20,794 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,231. About 14.8% of families and 19.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 31.8% of those under age 18 and 6.5% of those age 65 or over.


In the state legislature Banning is located in the 37th Senate District, represented by Republican John J. Benoit, and in the 65th Assembly District, represented by Republican Paul Cook. Federally, Banning is located in California's 41st congressional district, which has a Cook PVI of R +9 and is represented by Republican Jerry Lewis.

City of Banning is proposing [15991] to raise funds to offset the deficit. Measure L would double the Transient Occupancy Tax from 6% to 12%.


The city is served by the Banning Unified School District and nearby Beaumont has the Beaumont Unified School District, both districts serve the area.

Schools in the Banning USD:
  • Banning High School
  • Cabazon Elementary
  • Central Elementary
  • Coombs Intermediate
  • Hemmerling Elementary
  • Hoffer Elementary
  • New Horizons High (Independent Studies)
  • Nicolet Middle


  1. California Department of Health Services

External links

  • [15992] The City of Banning's official website
  • [15993] The Banning Police Department's website
  • [15994] The Banning Library District's website
  • [15995] The Banning Unified School District's website
  • Banning Chamber of Commerce The Banning Chamber of Commerce's website
  • [15996] The Malki Museum—art, artifacts, and historical materials of the Indians of the San Gorgonio Pass area
  • [15997] The San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital—opened in 1951, an independent non-profit hospital
  • [15998] The Banning Cultural Alliance—a volunteer organization providing education and support for art and culture in Banning
  • [15999] The Record Gazette—the leader in local news for the San Gorgonio Pass Area since 1908.
  • Los Angeles Times article on Banning

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