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Facts about Santa Ana for Kids

Gathered by: John Henshaw

  • Santa Ana is the county seat and second most populous city in Orange County, California.
  • With a population of 329,427, as of the 2011 census, Santa Ana is the 57th most-populous city in the United States.
  • Founded in 1869, Santa Ana is located in Southern California adjacent to the Santa Ana River, 10 miles away from the California coast.
  • The city is part of the Greater Los Angeles Area which, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, is the second largest metropolitan area in the U.S., with almost eighteen million people.
  • According to the 2000 U.S. Census, of U.S. cities with more than 300,000 people, Santa Ana is the 4th-most densely populated behind only New York City, San Francisco, and Chicago, and slightly denser than Boston.
  • It also shares its name with the nearby Santa Ana Mountains, and the Santa Ana winds, which have historically fueled seasonal wildfires throughout Southern California.
  • The current Office of Management and Budget (OMB) metropolitan designation for the Orange County Area is “Santa Ana-Anaheim-Irvine, CA”.
  • On November 1, 1776, Mission San Juan Capistrano was established within this valley.
  • In 1810, year of the commencement of the war of Mexican Independence (1810–1821), Jose Antonio Yorba, a sergeant of the Spanish army, was granted land that he called Rancho Santiago de Santa Ana.
  • After the Mexican-American war ended in 1848, Alta California became part of the United States and American settlers arrived in this area.
  • By 1906 the Pacific Electric Railway from Los Angeles was extended to Santa Ana, running along Fourth Street downtown.
  • The closing coincided with the opening of the Santa Ana Freeway in 1953, increasing the ease of travel by automobile.
  • According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 27.5 square miles.
  • Running through the west end of the city is the mostly channelized Santa Ana River, which is also largely seasonal due to the construction of the Prado Dam and Seven Oaks Dam.
  • Near the intersection of the Santa Ana Freeway and the Costa Mesa Freeway is the newly-designated “Metro East” area, which the city council has envisioned as a secondary mixed-use development district.
  • The Census reported that 319,870 people lived in households, 1,415 lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 3,243 were institutionalized.
  • To compete with this, Santa Ana has approved commercial projects in the South Coast Metro area, as well as the “Metro East” development, located at the confluence of the Santa Ana Freeway and the Costa Mesa Freeway.
  • It extends from downtown Santa Ana southwards on Main Street to the South Coast Metro area.
  • Santa Ana is home to some of the most successful sports high school and collegiate sports teams in the nation.
  • The Dons of Santa Ana College are one of the most successful soccer teams in the state of California, and is a frequent top finisher, statewide. In 2008, the Dons clinched their fifteenth consecutive Orange Empire Conference title.
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