Kerman (formerly, Collis) is a city at the intersection of State Route 180 and State Route 145 in Fresno County, California, USA. The population was 12,191 at the 2006 census. Kerman is located 15 miles (24 km) west of Fresno, at an elevation of 220 feet (67 m).
Around 1891, the Southern Pacific Railroad Company constructed a new line between Tracy and Fresno. A watering tank and pump on that line was the beginning of Kerman, which was christened Collis in honor of the President of the road, Collis Potter Huntington. The first inhabitant, the caretaker of the pump and tank, kept the tank full of water for the thirsty engines with their long and lumbering trains. After some months, he resigned his job, not because of the work, he said, but because it was too lonesome and he was tired of being a hermit. He said he never saw anyone but the train crews and they were always in too big a hurry to carry on a conversation.
As a speculative venture, the old and very rich Bank of California purchased a huge tract of land in every County of California. The arid, barren land around Kerman seemed to be a good venture, so that happened to be the allotment for Fresno County.
After the death of its promoter, the bank became insolvent and its property was liquidated. The property here attracted the attention of two Los Angeles capitalists, William G. Kerckoff and Jacob Mansar, who saw a chance to purchase a plentiful water supply from the newly constructed Enterprise Canal, which had its source in the Kings River. The men combined the first three letters of each of their names and christined the area "Kerman." They pitched the property to Scandinavians and Germans settled in the Midwest.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.2 square miles (5.6 km²), all of it land.
As of the census of 2006, there were 12,191 people, 2,389 households, and 1,994 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,951.2 people per square mile (1,528.5/km²). There were 2,462 housing units at an average density of 1,137.6/sq mi (440.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 42.50% White, 0.36% Black or African American, 1.95% Native American, 8.29% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 42.38% from other races, and 4.49% from two or more races. 64.93% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. However, since the census, the percentage of Hispanic and Latino ethnicity have risen greatly.
There were 2,389 households out of which 51.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.4% were married couples living together, 15.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 16.5% were non-families. 13.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.57 and the average family size was 4.5
In the city the population was spread out with 35.3% under the age of 18, 11.4% from 18 to 24, 28.7% from 25 to 44, 16.5% from 45 to 64, and 8.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 27 years. For every 100 females there were 97.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.9 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $31,188, and the median income for a family was $34,120. Males had a median income of $29,120 versus $21,906 for females. The per capita income for the city was $11,495. About 19.1% of families and 20.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 25.1% of those under age 18 and 6.3% of those age 65 or over.
Events in Kerman include the Harvest Festival in September, the Fireworks Show at Kerman High School in July, and the Christmas Parade in December.