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Welcome to El Centro ...

The city of El Centro is located in Imperial County<1> and is the County Seat for Imperial County.

While we don't have a date for the founding of El Centro, you might consider that their post office opened  in 1905.

The city was incorporated April 16, 1908.

When the people of El Centro refer to themselves (known as a demonym), they frequently use El Centran<2>

From the  Census Estimates for 2019, El Centro has a population of 43,764 people<3> (see below for details).

El Centro is near sea level<4>.

Time Zone: El Centro lies in the Pacific Time Zone (PST/PDT) and observes daylight saving time

Note: If you travel east from El Centro (for example, toward Somerton (AZ)), you will leave Pacific Time and cross into the Mountain Standard Time Zone (MST). In addition, you will be moving from an area that observes daylight saving time to one that does not.

Telephone area codes for El Centro: (760) & (442)<5>

The ZIP codes for El Centro: 92243-92244<6>

Websites for El Centro ...

Official Website:

Chamber of Commerce:

Population Details ...

Taken from the 2019 Census Estimates, El Centro had an population of 43,764 people. This is an increase of 2.74% since the 2010 Census (or an increase of 15.67% since the 2000 Census).

At the time of the 2010 Census, El Centro had a population of 42,598 people (which is 24.41% of the total population of Imperial County). This makes El Centro the county's most populous community.

The population of El Centro represents 0.11% of the population of California (which has 37,253,956 people), making it the state's 187th most populous community.

With a 2010 count of 42,598 people, the population of El Centro increased 12.59% from the 2000 Census (which had a count of 37,835 people).

More information can be found on the Census Page for El Centro.

Communities Also Named El Centro ...

Using our Gazetteer, we found that there are 2 communities that are also named El Centro - they are located in Texas and West Virginia.

For more information, see our Tidbits & Trivia Page for El Centro.

Communities near El Centro ...

We have created a list of 10 communities that are near El Centro.

  • Calexico
    (8 miles [12.9 km] to the southeast)
  • Brawley
    (13 miles [20.9 km] to the north)
  • Holtville
    (10 miles [16.1 km] to the east)
  • Westmorland
    (17 miles [27.4 km] to the north)
  • Heber
    (4 miles [6.4 km] to the south)
  • Imperial
    (4 miles [6.4 km] to the north)
  • Watermans Corner
    (6 miles [9.7 km] to the east)
    • Jump to our Gazetteer entry for Watermans Corner
    • Watermans Corner is located in Imperial County
  • Seeley
    (7 miles [11.3 km] to the west)
  • Alamorio
    (14 miles [22.5 km] to the northeast)
    • Note: The GPS coordinates that we are using for Alamorio have been provided by the GNIS.<8> The coordinates still need to be verified.
    • Jump to our Gazetteer entry for Alamorio
    • Alamorio is located in Imperial County
  • Date City
    (14 miles [22.5 km] to the east)
    • Jump to our Gazetteer entry for Date City
    • Date City is located in Imperial County

To Help With Your Genealogy Research ...

We have a couple of sections for those tracing their genealogy.

We're compiling a list of cemeteries that are in the area around El Centro. Our list includes the location of those cemeteries and we provide an overhead view. See our Cemetery List for El Centro.

We have a detailed list of newspapers that have been published in the area around El Centro. Our list includes 17 papers. See our Newspapers Page for El Centro.

TripAdvisor Tourism Pages for El Centro ...

Looking for more information about El Centro? A wonderful source is the TripAdvisor website. We always start with the TripAdvisor Tourism page, where you can read an overview with links that will help you find lodging, restaurants and attractions.

In addition to the Tourism page for El Centro, there are neighboring communities that also have Tourism pages. More information about those communities can be found on our TripAdvisor Page for El Centro.

Adding El Centro to Our Gazetteer ...

We originally found mention of El Centro in both the FIPS-55 and the GNIS. For more information, see the FIPS and GNIS Codes sections on our Miscellaneous Page.

From our notes, the earliest published mention we've found for El Centro was in the document titled List of Post Offices from Cameron Blevins and Richard Helbock.<9>

From that list, the El Centro post office opened in 1905.

We also found El Centro mentioned on a train schedule titled Southern Pacific Railroad Time Tables (July 1929).

For more details, see References and Mentions for El Centro.

The official website for El Centro:

The official website for Imperial County:

The official website for State of California:

Footnotes ...

<1>If you're interested in how the shape of California's counties, including Imperial, have changed over time, we recommend the Atlas of Historical County Boundaries.
<2>A demonym is the name for a resident of a community which is usually derived from (or is related to) the name of that community. In other words, it's how the residents of El Centro refer to themselves. It's important to note that there aren't any rules for taking a city's name and turning it into a demonym. A demonym is informal and while the majority of El Centro may use one name, keep in mind that others may use something different.
<3>Population counts have been provided by the U.S. Census Bureau. For more detail, please visit our Census Page for El Centro.
<4>The elevation is an estimate for the area around El Centro - it will be higher in some places and lower in others.
<5>Area code (442) is an overlay for area code (760).
<6>ZIP Codes have been created by the United States Postal Service (USPS) as a way of grouping addresses to make delivery more efficient. The boundaries of the ZIP Code can be changed, re-assigned, eliminated or overlapped with other ZIP Codes. So keep in mind that any given ZIP Code is only 'loosely' associated with a city (such as El Centro). When looking for a ZIP Code, whether El Centro or elsewhere, it's always best to check the website of the United States Postal Service (USPS).

Our list of ZIP Codes for El Centro includes: 92243 & 92244.
<7>While we're fans and frequent users of TripAdvisor, you should know that we're also members of the TripAdvisor affiliate program.
<8>The location has been supplied by the Geographic Names Information System - which is maintained by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). While these values should be definitive, we found that accuracy can vary and you should double-check the location if accuracy is required.
<9>A copy of their list with background information can be found at:


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This page was last modified/updated: 21 Feb 2024