In August 2005, the town was overrun by a forest fire which destroyed several homes and forced the evacuation of the entire town. There were no injuries.
The town is also the home, as of June 2006, of the St. John of San Francisco Monastery, an Orthodox Christian men's monastery belonging to the Diocese of the West of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA).
As of the census of 2000, there were 372 people, 159 households, and 114 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 21.0 people per square mile (8.1/km²). There were 205 housing units at an average density of 11.6/sq mi (4.5/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 90.32% White, 0.27% African American, 1.34% Native American, 0.27% Asian, 1.34% Pacific Islander, 1.88% from other races, and 4.57% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 8.33% of the population.
There were 159 households out of which 17.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 62.9% were married couples living together, 6.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.3% were non-families. 21.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.30 and the average family size was 2.64.
In the CDP the population was spread out with 18.0% under the age of 18, 3.5% from 18 to 24, 19.9% from 25 to 44, 37.1% from 45 to 64, and 21.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 51 years. For every 100 females there were 104.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 113.3 males.
The median income for a household in the CDP was $28,333, and the median income for a family was $34,375. Males had a median income of $30,000 versus $21,094 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $19,127. About 9.4% of families and 18.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 43.1% of those under age 18 and 8.2% of those age 65 or over.
In the state legislature Manton is located in the 4th Senate District, represented by Republican Sam Aanestad, and in the 2nd Assembly District, represented by Republican Doug LaMalfa. Federally, Manton is located in California's 2nd congressional district, which has a Cook PVI of R +13 and is represented by Republican Wally Herger.