Needles (Mojave ʼAha Kuloh) is a city located on the western banks of the Colorado River in San Bernardino County, California. It is located in Mojave Valley, which straddles the California-Arizona border. The city is accessible via Interstate 40 and U.S. Route 95. The population was 4,830 at the 2000 census. Needles was named after "The Needles," a group of pointed rocks on the Arizona side of the river. There is a relatively large Mohave community, although they are not the majority.
|San Bernardino County and the state of California|
|- City||30.2 sq mi (78.2 km²)|
|- Land||29.8 sq mi (77.1 km²)|
|- Water||0.4 sq mi (1.1 km²)|
|- Density||159.9/sq mi (61.8/km²)|
Mohave people had been living in the area for hundreds, if not thousands, of years prior to the European exploration of the area. In 1859, Fort Mojave was built to protect immigrants to California and other travelers from the Mohave.
Historic Route 66 passes through the city, lined with motels and other shops from that era. Needles is a tourism and recreation center, a tradition going back for decades.
Needles, like Death Valley, is known for extreme heat during the summers. Temperatures in Needles routinely reach 120°F (49 °C) in late July and early August, and Needles occasionally sets national or world daily high temperature records.
On July 17, 2005, the high temperature at Needles was 125 degrees Fahrenheit (51.6 degrees celsius), the warmest temperature ever recorded since record keeping began in 1940, breaking the previous all-time record high of 123 degrees four days earlier (which prior to that, broke the all-time high of 122 which was set on July 2, 1967).
On July 22, 2006, about one year later, the low temperature in Needles had experienced a record high low temperature, with a temperature to be recorded to be 98 degrees at 5 AM with a high temperature exceeding 120 degrees.
As of the censusGR2 of 2000, there were 4,830 people, 1,940 households, and 1,268 families residing in the city. The population density was 62.6/km² (162.3/mi²). There were 2,551 housing units at an average density of 33.1/km² (85.7/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 77.87% White, 1.61% African American, 7.00% Native American, 1.43% Asian, 0.12% Pacific Islander, 6.38% from other races, and 5.59% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 18.36% of the population.
There were 1,940 households out of which 31.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.5% were married couples living together, 16.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.6% were non-families. 29.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.48 and the average family size was 3.03.
In the city the population was spread out with 27.6% under the age of 18, 7.5% from 18 to 24, 23.6% from 25 to 44, 25.6% from 45 to 64, and 15.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 96.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.2 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $26,108, and the median income for a family was $33,264. Males had a median income of $39,688 versus $19,483 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,156. About 21.2% of families and 26.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 38.2% of those under age 18 and 11.3% of those age 65 or over.
Major employment in the city is supported by the Santa Fe Railroad. The depot has been a terminal (crew change point) for the railway since the late 1800s. The railroad company has been the city's main employment source for decades.
"Well I never been to England, but I kinda like the Beatles. Well, I headed out for Las Vegas, only made it out to Needles. Can you feel it? Must be real. It feels so good!"