Maricopa is a rural town in Kern County, California, United States. Maricopa is located 6.5 miles (10 km) south-southeast of Taft, at an elevation of 883 feet (269 m). The population was 1,111 at the 2000 census. Maricopa lies at the junction of Route 166 and Route 33. The Carrizo Plain is northwest of the town, and the enormous Midway-Sunset Oil Field, the third largest oil field in the United States, is adjacent to the town on the north and east.
With only one Shell gasoline station, Subway, Maricopa Inn, and a preschool-through-12th grade school, Maricopa is a fairly small town in the southwest San Joaquin Valley which retains its rural country flavor.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.5 square miles (3.9 km²), all of it land. Maricopa is in the extreme southwestern corner of the San Joaquin Valley, on the first rise of land into the foothills of the Coast Ranges, with the Temblor Mountains, following the San Andreas Fault, trending northwest of town, and the San Emigdio Mountains to the southeast. The climate of the area is hot and semi-arid, with summertime temperatures routinely exceeding 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Freezes occur in the winter, with the mean period without freezes being about 275 days. About six inches of rain falls annually in Maricopa.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,111 people, 404 households, and 302 families residing in the city. The population density was 739.7 people per square mile (286.0/km²). There were 460 housing units at an average density of 306.3/sq mi (118.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 85.87% White, 1.98% Native American, 0.45% Asian, 8.91% from other races, and 2.79% from two or more races. 13.50% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 404 households out of which 34.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.2% were married couples living together, 11.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.2% were non-families. 23.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.75 and the average family size was 3.22.
In the city the population was spread out with 29.8% under the age of 18, 7.0% from 18 to 24, 25.8% from 25 to 44, 26.1% from 45 to 64, and 11.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 111.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 105.3 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $27,917, and the median income for a family was $31,761. Males had a median income of $31,161 versus $23,333 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,692. About 15.6% of families and 21.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 27.2% of those under age 18 and 4.5% of those age 65 or over.
Maricopa Fire Department was established in 1910 with Chief F. W. Ball serving as the first Fire Chief. Maricopa Hospital opened on 22 April, 1911 and the city was incorporated on July 25, 1911. Gary Biggerstaff was the Chief of Police when budget problems forced the city to close its police department in 1998. The Kern County Sheriff's Department provided police services to the citizens of Maricopa from 1998 until 2006. The city reopened its police department in the old building in 2006.