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Perris is a town in Riverside County, Californiamarker. As of the 2000 census, the city population was 46,600. The city is named in honor of Fred T. Perris, chief engineer of the California Southern Railroad; the California Southern was built through the future town site in 1882 to build a rail connection between the present day cities of Barstowmarker and San Diegomarker. Due to a land title dispute at Pinacate, most of its citizens moved two miles north on the railroad and established Perris in 1885. The city was incorporated in 1911.

Perris now incorporates Pinacate Station which is the home of the Orange Empire Railway Museummarker (OERM, a.k.a "the trolley museum") - the largest operating museum of its kind on the West Coast.

On March 20, 2007, Perris was featured on ABC's Nightline news show during its "Realty Check" segment. The story dealt with the rising trend of home foreclosures in Riverside County, and Perris was referred to as the "epicenter". The story then dealt primarily with the city of Perris.

The "Farmer Boys" restaurant chain was started in Perris in 1981.

Perris is also known for the Rock Castle house set on a hill above town.


Perris is located at .

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 31.5 square miles (81.6 km²), of which, 31.4 square miles (81.2 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.3 km²) of it (0.41%) is water.


As of the census of 2006, there were 46,600 people, 9,652 households, and 8,117 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,153.5 people per square mile (445.4/km²). There were 10,553 housing units at an average density of 336.4/sq mi (129.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 41.20% White, 15.88% African American, 1.46% Native American, 2.75% Asian, 0.33% Pacific Islander, 32.55% from other races, and 5.82% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 56.16% of the population.

There were 9,652 households out of which 56.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.2% were married couples living together, 18.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 15.9% were non-families. 12.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.73 and the average family size was 4.00.

In the city the population was spread out with 39.6% under the age of 18, 9.9% from 18 to 24, 30.8% from 25 to 44, 13.5% from 45 to 64, and 6.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 25 years. Perris' large youthful demographics is a result of families moved into the city's new housing tracts. For every 100 females there were 96.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $35,522, and the median income for a family was $36,063. Males had a median income of $31,891 versus $24,634 for females. The per capita income for the city was $11,425. About 18.1% of families and 20.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 25.3% of those under age 18 and 14.2% of those age 65 or over.


In the state legislature Perris 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, Perris is located in California's 49th congressional district, which has a Cook PVI of R +10 and is represented by Republican Darrell Issa.



The nearby, privately owned, Perris Valley Airport (FAA designator: L65) has a runway. Perris has drawn a crowd of skydivers, amateur and professional, to Perris Valley Skydiving. The area's sudden fame gave Perris the nickname: "the skydiving capital of America." . On April 22, 1992, a de Havilland Twin Otter crashed during takeoff at Perris Valley, California after an engine lost power. The Safety Board determined that the accident was caused by contaminated fuel obtained from the improper handling of the air field’s fuel tanks and the pilot's improper actions after the power loss, as well as other factors. Although the aircraft never rose above 50 feet, 14 parachutists and the two pilots were killed.


Valley Plaza Doctors Hospital was a General Acute Care Hospital in Perris with Basic Emergency Services as of 2006.. However, this hospital is now closed down.


Perris is located along the U.S.marker Interstate 215 Highway ( I-215 )


The city is served by three school districts: the Perris Elementary School District[16019], Perris Union High School District, and the Val Verde Unified School District, which also serves the southern part of Moreno Valleymarker. Perris High School of the Perris district is the city's first public (grades 9-12) school. Established in 1887, the current school remains at the site that it was relocated to in 1961, and the school's western annex on I-215 and Nuevo Road became a Continuation High School in 1993. Now, there are more high schools in the area including Rancho Verde of the Val Verde district. Also middle schools including Lakeside, Perris, and Tomas Rivera, and ten elementary (grades K-6) schools (two are expected to open in 2007).

Public safety

The Riverside County Sheriff's Department provides police services to the entire Perris Valley area (including the nearby towns/areas of Mead Valley, Quail Valley and Glen Valley, and the Cities of Canyon Lake and newly-incorporated Menifee) from its regional station on 4th Street (in the former headquarters of the now-disbanded Perris Police Department). The City also contracts for fire services with the Riverside County Fire Department through a cooperative agreement with Cal Fire (California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection). The Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Department headquarters is located in Perris.

Community directory and attractions

See also

Perris Valley Historical and Museum Association


The train station scenes in the film Calendar Girl were filmed in Perris. The film starred Jason Priestley, Gabriel Olds, and Jerry O'Connell.The skydiving scenes in the movie The Bucket List starring Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson were filmed near Perris. Scenes from Eagle Eye starring Billy Bob Thornton and Shia Leboeuf were filmed in Perris. "Five the Hard Way" (also known as "Sidehackers") filmed many of its racing scenes in the western hills of Perris. A banner can even be seen in the movie with the city's name on it.


  1. California Department of Health Services

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