Barstow is a city located in San Bernardino County, California. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 21,119.
Route 66 ran through Barstow and the town's name is mentioned in the lyrics to the song, "Route 66". Barstow is also mentioned in Hunter S. Thompson's masterpiece novel Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. The city is a major regional transportation center. Several highways, including Interstate 15 and Interstate 40, converge on the city, and it is the site of two large rail classification yards, belonging to the Union Pacific Railroad and BNSF Railway.
Barstow is located at 34°52'35" North, 117°2'5" West (34.876259, -117.034818).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 87.0 km2 (33.6 mi2). 87.0 km2 (33.6 mi2) of it is land and none of it is covered by water.
As of the census of 2000, there are 21,119 people, 7,647 households, and 5,253 families residing in the city. The population density is 242.8/km2 (628.8/mi2). There are 9,153 housing units at an average density of 105.2/km2 (272.5/mi2).
The racial makeup of the city is 57.10% White, 36.50% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race, 11.60% African American, 2.41% Native American, 3.08% Asian, 0.95% Pacific Islander, 18.40% from other races, and 6.46% from two or more races.
There are 7,647 households out of which 36.7% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.4% are married couples living together, 17.7% have a female householder with no husband present, and 31.3% are non-families. 25.9% of all households are made up of individuals and 8.5% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.71 and the average family size is 3.27.
In the city the population is spread out with 30.8% under the age of 18, 10.4% from 18 to 24, 27.4% from 25 to 44, 19.3% from 45 to 64, and 12.1% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 32 years. For every 100 females there are 99.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 97.1 males.
The median income for a household in the city is $35,069, and the median income for a family is $40,160. Males have a median income of $37,425 versus $25,380 for females. The per capita income for the city is $16,132. 20.3% of the population and 15.6% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 30.8% of those under the age of 18 and 4.3% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.
The climate is very hot in the summertime, and it normally has above average winds.
Barstow's roots come from the rich mining history of the Mojave Desert. Because of the influx of miners coming into Calico and Daggett because of the discovery of Silver in the 1860s, new railroads were being constructed to transport the goods.
The Santa Fe Railroad was built in 1888 and it ran through what is now Barstow. Railroad magnate William Barstow Strong who owned the Sante Fe is the eponym of the city.
Barstow's history was further cemented with the paving of the major highways and interstates through the city. It can be said that much of Barstow's economy depends on transportation.