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The city is named for Pomona, the ancient Roman goddess of fruit. For Horticulturist Solomon Gates, “Pomona” was the winning entry in a contest to name the city in 1875, before anyone had ever planted a fruit tree The city was first settled by Ricardo Vejar and Ygnacio Palomares in the 1830s, when California and much of the now-American Southwest were part of Mexico. The first Anglo-Americans arrived in prior to 1848 when the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo resulted in California becoming part of the United States. By the 1880s, the arrival of railroads and Coachella Valley water had made it the western anchor of the citrus-growing region. Pomona was officially incorporated on January 6, 1888.
In the 1920s Pomona was known as the “Queen of the Citrus Belt”, with one of the highest per-capita levels of income in the United States. In the 1940s it was used as a movie-previewing location for major motion picture studios to see how their films would play to modally middle class audiences around the country (for which Pomona was at that time viewed as an idealized example).
Religious institutions are deeply embedded in the history of Pomona. There are now more than 120 churches, representing most religions in today’s society. The historical architecture of these churches provide glimpses of the European church design and architecture from other eras.
In 2005, Pomona citizens elected Norma Torres, the first woman of Guatemalan heritage to be elected to a mayoral post outside of Guatemala.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 22.964 square miles (59.48 km2), over 99% of it land.
Pomona is approximately 27 miles (43 km) east of downtown Los Angeles, 25 miles (40 km) north of Santa Ana, 31 miles (50 km) west of Riverside, and 37 miles (60 km) west of San Bernardino.
Pomona is bordered by the cities of San Dimas on the northwest, La Verne and Claremont on the north, Montclair and Chino on the east, Chino Hills and Diamond Bar on the south, and Walnut, South San Jose Hills, and Industry on the southwest. The Los Angeles/San Bernardino county line forms most of the city’s southern and eastern boundaries.
The Census reported that 144,920 people (97.2% of the population) lived in households, 2,782 (1.9%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 1,356 (0.9%) were institutionalized.
There were 38,477 households, out of which 19,690 (51.2%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 19,986 (51.9%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 6,960 (18.1%) had a female householder with no husband present, 3,313 (8.6%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 2,823 (7.3%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 299 (0.8%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 5,810 households (15.1%) were made up of individuals and 2,010 (5.2%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.77. There were 30,259 families (78.6% of all households); the average family size was 4.15.
The population was spread out with 43,853 people (29.4%) under the age of 18, 20,155 people (13.5%) aged 18 to 24, 42,311 people (28.4%) aged 25 to 44, 31,369 people (21.0%) aged 45 to 64, and 11,370 people (7.6%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 29.5 years. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 98.4 males.
There were 39,620 housing units at an average density of 1,771.8 per square mile (684.1/km²), of which 21,197 (55.1%) were owner-occupied, and 17,280 (44.9%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 2.0%; the rental vacancy rate was 5.9%. 80,968 people (54.3% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 63,952 people (42.9%) lived in rental housing units
During 2009–2013, Pomona had a median household income of $49,474, with 21.6% of the population living below the federal poverty line.
There are three parochial schools located in Pomona: St. Madeleine’s School (K-5th), St. Joseph Catholic Elementary School (K–8), and Pomona Catholic Middle School and High School.
Colleges and universities
California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (Cal Poly Pomona) is located southwest of the junction of the 10 and 57 freeways. The university was established on the site of breakfast cereal magnate W.K. Kellogg’s ranch located on the city’s western corner. The university has over 21,000 students and covers an area of over 1,437 acres (5.82 km2). The university is known for its agricultural, engineering and architectural programs.
Western University of Health Sciences, (formerly known as College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific) is located south of Highway 10 off Towne Avenue. It is one of the largest health sciences universities in California.[vague] DeVry University has a campus in Pomona.