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Corcoran is a town in Kings Countymarker, Californiamarker, United Statesmarker. Corcoran is located south-southeast of Hanfordmarker, at an elevation of 207 feet (63 m). It is part of the Hanfordmarker–Corcoran, Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 14,458 at the 2000 census. However, the California Department of Finance estimates that the population had grown to 25,893 as of January 1, 2009.Corcoran is most famous as the site of the California State Prison, Corcoranmarker, home to a number of notable inmates such as Charles Manson, and Juan Corona. The California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison, Corcoranmarker is a separate facility that is also located in the city. As of September 2007, the two prisons held a combined total of 13,144 inmates. Inmates are counted as city residents by both the United States Census and the California Department of Finance. Thus, the incarcerated persons in the two prisons comprise approximately 50% of the total population of Corcoran.


Corcoran is located at .

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.4 square miles (16.6 km²), all of it land.


As of the census of 2000, there were 14,458 people, 2,769 households, and 2,229 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,260.2 people per square mile (872.2/km²). There were 3,016 housing units at an average density of 471.5/sq mi (182.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 34.08% White, 14.21% Black or African American, 1.42% Native American, 0.71% Asian, 0.08% Pacific Islander, 46.42% from other races, and 3.08% from two or more races. 59.61% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 2,769 households out of which 49.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.5% were married couples living together, 17.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 19.5% were non-families. 16.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.44 and the average family size was 3.83.

In the city the population was spread out with 24.4% under the age of 18, 13.0% from 18 to 24, 42.0% from 25 to 44, 15.3% from 45 to 64, and 5.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females there were 207.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 264.9 males. However, the statistics relating to the disparity between the male and female population in Corcoran is due to the prison's male only population.

The median income for a household in the city was $30,783, and the median income for a family was $32,852. Males had a median income of $30,787 versus $21,792 for females. The per capita income for the city was only $13,458. It is noteworthy that about 23.4% of families and 26.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 36.4% of those under age 18 and 10.6% of those age 65 or over.

The unemployment rate was 13.9% in September 2009.


In the state legislature Corcoran is located in the 16th Senate District, represented by Democrat Dean Florez, and in the 30th Assembly District, represented by Republican Danny Gilmore. Federally, Corcoran is located in California's 20th congressional district, which has a Cook PVI of D +5 and is represented by Democrat Jim Costa.

Corcoran is represented on the Kings County Board of Supervisors by Richard Valle of Corcoran.


Corcoran was founded by Hobart Johnstone Whitley a prominent land developer from southern California, took the lead in building Corcoran (the main street of the community is named in his honor). Liking what he saw during a visit to the area in 1905 (a blacksmith shop, small store, scattered homes and a lush, untapped vista with herds of grazing wild hogs, horses and steers) Whitley purchased 32,000 acres to start development and moved a member of his real estate firm, J. W. Guiberson, to the area. Guiberson became one of the many pioneers of the community, building the first home and business structure in Corcoran. His family also helped establish the first church in the community, an event which helped lead to the town’s incorporation on August 14, 1914. The basis of Corcoran’s economy then and now is agriculture. Initially, the most successful crops were grains, alfalfa and sugar beets.

The J. G. Boswell Company was established in Corcoran in 1921 and remains a major employer in the city.

The first post office opened in 1901.


Corcoran Unified School District is the public organization responsible for education in the town of Corcoran. The school district has seven schools.
  • Bret Harte
  • John C. Fremont
  • Mark Twain
  • John Muir Middle School
  • Corcoran High School
  • Corcoran Academy
  • Kings Lake Educational Center


Corcoran is served by the BNSF Railway, which is the successor to the Santa Fe Railway. The mainline track through Corcoran was part of a route connecting the San Francisco Bay Areamarker to Bakersfield, Californiamarker. The track was constructed by the San Francisco and San Joaquin Valley Railway about 1898.

Today, Amtrak California's San Joaquin stops at Corcoran stationmarker.

From 1910-1934, the Kings Lake Shore Railroad operated a line that ran southwest from Corcoran to what is the now-extinct Tulare Lakemarker.


  1. Hanford-Corcoran Metropolitan Statistical Area, Industry Employment & Labor Force, California Employment Development Department, Labor Market Information Division, October 16, 2009

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