El Centro, CA

Population: 43,699 livability score shield

Key findings

  • El Centro has a Livability Score of 60/100, which is considered below average
  • El Centro crime rates are 2% higher than the California average
  • Cost of living in El Centro is 29% lower than the California average
  • El Centro real estate prices are 60% lower than the California average
  • Rental prices in El Centro are 42% lower than the California average

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      Top Rated Schools in El Centro

      Name Grades Students Proficiency
      Imperial Pathways Charter9 - 1293n/a
      De Anza MagnetKG - 8460n/a
      Central Union High9 - 121,869n/a
      Imperial Valley Home School AcademyKG - 883n/a
      Mckinley Elementary SchoolKG - 6439n/a
      Southwest High9 - 122,161n/a
      Valley AcademyKG - 12191n/a
      Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary SchoolKG - 6452n/a
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      El Centro Reviews

      Write a review about El Centro Tell people what you like or don't like about El Centro…
      AV0ID THIS TOWN
      Attractions2/10
      Community2/10
      Nightlife2/10
      Dining2/10
      Shopping2/10
      Very unAmerican and if you are not of Mexican descent they will treat you poorly. They love to discriminate here and act like they are the only ones in the country. They will deny your service and receiving services even if you are willing to pay. Many here refuse to speak Rnglish. They really defile America.
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      El Centro of the Desert
      Attractions1/10
      Community5/10
      Nightlife3/10
      Dining3/10
      Shopping3/10
      I moved from El Centro, CA to San Diego three years ago and never looked back. This town is well named, because it is in the middle of the desert. We are closer to Arizona than the populated coasts of California. The biggest town near us is actually across the border, called Mexicali, Mexico. Like most people in El Centro I have family on both sides of the border. Many people live on one side and work on the other, which is neat in its own way. As a consequence though, many of us who live here and only have American citizenship find it difficult to find good work.

      The first thing that one should know about El Centro is that it is hot! Temperatures regularly climb above 100 degrees in the summer months. There is not much for a young person in El Centro. Jobs here tend to be either seasonal agricultural work or for the government (there are a few prisons nearby, and an airfield). The past several years of drought have been particularly harsh for the overall economy. So many fields are dry now, which affects everything else in the economy.

      If you're moving to El Centro, it will be very useful to have at least some knowledge of the Spanish language. Like I said before, most people around here have their roots just across the border in Mexico. Due to agriculture and migration the city population actually changes seasonally, but less people work there now. As much as I miss my family that remain there, I could not stay in El Centro.
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      Source: The El Centro, CA data and statistics displayed above are derived from the 2016 United States Census Bureau American Community Survey (ACS).