San Juan Capistrano Station
Veterans monument at San Juan Capistrano
San Juan Capistrano is a city in southern Orange County, California, located approximately 23 miles (37 km) southeast of Downtown Santa Ana. The current OMB metropolitan designation for San Juan Capistrano and the Orange County Area is "Santa Ana-Anaheim-Irvine, CA." The population was 34,593 at the 2010 census, up from 33,826 at the 2000 census. The city was created around Mission San Juan Capistrano, and many of the homes and strip malls resemble the Spanish architecture that composes the building. It is home to the widest variety of homes in Orange County, including those built prior to 1900 in its central district (some being adobes from the 18th century), a number of 10-million-dollar homes in the gated communities of the hills, and working ranches in its foothills. San Juan Capistrano formerly hosted a population of cliff swallows that reputedly migrate each year from Argentina to the Mission San Juan Capistrano.
The 2010 United States Census reported that San Juan Capistrano had a population of 34,593. The population density was 2,419.9 people per square mile (934.3/km%uFFFD). The racial makeup of San Juan Capistrano was 26,664 (77.1%) White (55.8% Non-Hispanic White), 193 (0.6%) African American, 286 (0.8%) Native American, 975 (2.8%) Asian, 33 (0.1%) Pacific Islander, 5,234 (15.1%) from other races, and 1,208 (3.5%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 13,388 persons (38.7%).
The Census reported that 34,506 people (99.7% of the population) lived in households, and 87 (0.3%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters.
There were 11,394 households, out of which 4,030 (35.4%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 6,706 (58.9%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 1,089 (9.6%) had a female householder with no husband present, 526 (4.6%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 456 (4.0%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 87 (0.8%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 2,381 households (20.9%) were made up of individuals and 1,407 (12.3%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.03. There were 8,321 families (73.0% of all households); the average family size was 3.44.
The population was spread out with 8,518 people (24.6%) under the age of 18, 3,066 people (8.9%) aged 18 to 24, 7,804 people (22.6%) aged 25 to 44, 9,792 people (28.3%) aged 45 to 64, and 5,413 people (15.6%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40.2 years. For every 100 females there were 98.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.7 males.
There were 11,940 housing units at an average density of 835.2 per square mile (322.5/km%uFFFD), of which 8,462 (74.3%) were owner-occupied, and 2,932 (25.7%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 1.3%; the rental vacancy rate was 4.7%. 24,052 people (69.5% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 10,454 people (30.2%) lived in rental housing units.
According to the 2010 United States Census, San Juan Capistrano had a median household income of $75,356, with 12.7% of the population living below the federal poverty line.
As of the census of 2000, there were 33,826 people, 10,930 households, and 8,196 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,381.2 inhabitants per square mile (919.1/km%uFFFD). There were 11,320 housing units at an average density of 307.6 persons/km%uFFFD (796.9 persons/mi%uFFFD). The racial makeup of the city was 78.47% White, 0.78% African American, 1.07% Native American, 1.92% Asian, 0.11% Pacific Islander, 14.21% from other races, and 3.43% from two or more races. 33.13% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Of the 10,930 households, 39.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 62.7% were married couples living together, 8.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.0% were non-families. 19.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.06 and the average family size was 3.45.
In the city the population was spread out with 28.1% under the age of 18, 7.8% from 18 to 24, 27.3% from 25 to 44, 23.7% from 45 to 64, and 13.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 96.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.0 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $62,392, and the median income for a family was $69,481. Males had a median income of $47,574 versus $34,821 for females. The per capita income for the city was $29,926. About 10.7% of the population and 6.6% of families were below the poverty line, including 14.8% of those under age 18 and 4.2% of those age 65 or over.
As of 2015, the city council members are: Derek Reeve (Mayor), Pam Patterson (Mayor Pro Tem), Sam Allevato, Kerry K. Ferguson, and John Perry.
In the California State Legislature, San Juan Capistrano is in the 36th Senate District, represented by Republican Patricia Bates, and in the 73rd Assembly District, represented by Republican Bill Brough.
In the United States House of Representatives, San Juan Capistrano is in California's 49th congressional district, represented by Republican Darrell Issa.
San Juan Capistrano is located in south Orange County and is bisected by Interstate 5. 33%uFFFD29'58?N 117%uFFFD39'42?W? / ?33.49944%uFFFDN 117.66167%uFFFDW (33.499493, -117.661614).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 14.3 square miles (37 km2). 14.1 square miles (37 km2) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) of it (1.26%) is water.
According to the City's 2009 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the top employers in the city are:
San Juan Capistrano is the site of a Catholic mission for which it is named, Mission San Juan Capistrano. When the Mission was founded in 1776, the region was populated by the Acjachemen band of Native Americans, called Juane%uFFFDos by the Spanish. The mission was named after Giovanni da Capistrano (1386-1456), the Franciscan saint from Capestrano, in the Italian region of Abruzzo.
The city is the site of California's oldest residential neighborhood, Los Rios. It is also the home of the oldest in use building in California, the Serra Chapel in the Mission. The area was the site of both the first vineyard and first winery in California.
In the 1830s Richard Henry Dana, Jr., author of the classic Two Years Before the Mast visited the area as a sailor engaged in the hide trade on board the ship Pilgrim. Describing the locale, which then included what is now the neighboring city of Dana Point, he gushed, "San Juan is the only romantic spot in California." The area was also the locale of Johnston McCulley's first Zorro novella, The Curse of Capistrano, published in 1919 (later renamed The Mark of Zorro after the success of the film of the same name).
The swallows of Capistrano
San Juan Capistrano is also famous for its cliff swallows. The protected birds are reputed to return from migration, traditionally originating in the town of Goya, Argentina, on St. Joseph's Day (March 19) each year, a day celebrated by the city's annual Swallows' Day Parade and other festive events and old west 1890s style Melodrama at the Camino Real Playhouse starring San Juan's Villain at Large Professor Mack played by Gary McCarver of The New Home for American Melodrama. The swallows are reputed to leave on October 23, the former feast day of St. John of Capistrano. The 1940 hit song "When the Swallows Come Back to Capistrano", written by Leon Ren%uFFFD, is a love song centering on these annual events.
Since 2009, the famous swallows have failed to return to San Juan Capistrano. They have instead begun migrating to and nesting in the Chino Hills of Southern California, north of San Juan Capistrano. They have built their mud nests in the eaves of the Vellano Country Club, situated around a golf course in the Chino Hills just north of the Chino Hills State Park. Mission San Juan Capistrano officials state it is because the mission is no longer the tallest building in the area due to urban sprawl and has thus stopped attracting the swallows for nesting.
The city is served by Capistrano Unified School District. In the 2007%uFFFD2008 academic year San Juan Hills High School opened with about 600 freshmen students. It is the city's only public high school. Ultimately, nearly all San Juan Capistrano's high school students will move to this campus as well as some students from Capistrano Beach, San Clemente High school, and southern Ladera Ranch. Residents from these other communities did not want to attend a school in San Juan on the basis that it was farther than the current schools they were attending and that the communities had too many differences. Many residents wanted to stay at the established high schools their communities had been attending for years. Much of the tension has died down, but there is still substantial resentment that children of residents in Capistrano Beach, who have historically attended San Clemente High School, should be compelled to take the long journey to the new high school. These residents contend the County of Orange should follow its original long range plan and complete La Pata Parkway through to San Clemente which would permit students in the Talega subdivision to attend the school which was built and intended for their use and redirect those students away from San Clemente High School.
This city also has four private, Christian, college prep schools named Capistrano Valley Christian Schools (Pre-K through 12th grade), Saddleback Valley Christian School (Pre-K through 12th grade), St. Margaret's Episcopal School (also Pre-K through 12th grade), and JSerra Catholic High School (9th through 12th grade).
The city also has two private kindergarten through eighth grade schools named Mission Parish School and Rancho Capistrano Christian School. Mission Parish School is located on the historic Mission grounds, utilizes some of the historic buildings as classrooms, and is situated next to Mission Basilica San Juan Capistrano. The other is Rancho Capistrano Christian School, located off Highway 5 on the Crystal Cathedral's south campus. The campus at Rancho Capistrano is also host to meetings and conventions, as well as summer camps.
Points of interest
Plaques that are used to identify historic sites of the city.