Blythe is a city in Riverside County, California, United States, in the Palo Verde Valley, an agricultural area along the Colorado River. Blythe was named after Thomas Blythe, a gold prospector who established primary water rights to Colorado River in the region in 1877. The city was incorporated on July 21, 1916, and has a population of approximately 21,500 as of 2003.
Blythe is located at GR1, near the California/Arizona border, in the Sonoran Desert, at the junction of Interstate 10 and US-95. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 64.8 km² (25.0 mi²). 62.8 km² (24.2 mi²) of it is land and 2.0 km² (0.8 mi²) of it (3.12%) is water.(33.617157, -114.589241)
Nearby communities include Lost Lake and Vidal to the north, Ripley to the south, and Ehrenberg, Arizona to the east. Major cities in the region include Yuma, AZ (85 miles), Palm Springs, CA (120 miles), Las Vegas, Nevada (200 miles), Phoenix, AZ (150 miles) and Los Angeles, CA (200 miles). Blythe is within 4 hours via car of 10% of the United State's population.
Also notable is the geological history of Blythe - despite California's reputation for earthquakes, according to geologists Blythe has not had an earthquake centered in the city for over 500,000 years.
Blythe is heavily impacted by tourism, serving as a stopover city with full services for travelers between any of the nearby regions, in particular the cities of Phoenix, AZ and Los Angeles, CA. The winter months bring visitors avoiding the colder climates of the north, when the population of the area within 50 miles (80 km) of Blythe has been said to triple.
Blythe Airport (FAA designator: BLH) is just west of town on Interstate 10 and has a 6,500 foot runway. Health facilities in Blythe include Palo Verde Hospital, a General Acute Care Hospital with 55 total beds and 24-hour standby emergency services, 23 physicians/surgeons, 6 dentists, 4 optometrists, 4 chiropractors, and 1 podiatrist.
Blythe is part of the Palo Verde Unified School District, which contains 3 elementary schools, 1 middle school, 1 high school, and Palo Verde Community College, a continuation/adult education school, and 2 two-year community colleges, Palo Verde Community College and Park College.
Blythe also contains 24 churches, one library, one newspaper, one museum, two radio stations, three banks, a two-screen movie theater, and an 18,500 sq ft (1,720 m²). recreation center. The area is popular with campers and hikers and has six parks, seven campgrounds, seven R.V. parks, 3 boat ramps onto the Colorado River, and an 18-hole public (city-owned) golf course.
State facilities in the town include the following.
Blythe has its own police department, but contracts out with Cal-Fire(California Department of Forestry and Fire Prevention).
As of the censusGR2 of 2000, there were 12,155 people, 4,103 households, and 2,974 families residing in the city. The population density was 193.6/km² (501.5/mi²). There were 4,891 housing units at an average density of 77.9/km² (201.8/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 55.41% White, 8.34% Black or African American, 1.43% Native American, 1.38% Asian, 0.20% Pacific Islander, 28.79% from other races, and 4.45% from two or more races. 45.83% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 4,103 households out of which 41.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.0% were married couples living together, 16.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.5% were non-families. 22.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.91 and the average family size was 3.45.
In the city the population was spread out with 33.9% under the age of 18, 8.7% from 18 to 24, 28.4% from 25 to 44, 19.0% from 45 to 64, and 9.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females there were 99.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.0 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $35,324, and the median income for a family was $40,783. Males had a median income of $32,342 versus $26,671 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,424. About 19.0% of families and 20.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.9% of those under age 18 and 21.6% of those age 65 or over.
The largest and second largest employers in the city are the Ironwood State Prison (a level III prison) and the Chuckawalla State Prison (a level II prison), respectively, which employ roughly 54%
In a 2005 agreement, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) negotiated with Palo Verde Irrigation District (PVID) in Blythe to fallow, or idle, farm land for 35 years. The deal will transfer water that would have been used for farming in the area of Blythe, Ripley and Palo Verde to MWD.
According to a 1990 pilot study, water diversions and fallowed farm land reduced farming employment. The MWD provided $6 million in a development fund to reimburse the community for losses caused by shifting water to urban areas. 
California currently uses more than its allotted share of water from the Colorado River. The transfer agreement also seeks to address over-use of river water. It is partly designed to reduce overall diversions from the river.
Con-Way freight has a large facility here. It is used mainly at night for cross dock operations, as there is seldom a need to make deliveries here.