Rialto is home to four major regional distribution centers: Staples Inc., which serves stores across the entire West Coast of the United States, Toys "R" Us, Under Armour and Target in the northern region of the city, in the Las Colinas community. One of the United States' largest fireworks companies, Pyro Spectaculars, is also headquartered in Rialto.
Rialto also known as "Bridge City" features a somewhat cooler version of a Mediterranean climate which may be characterized as a Continental Mediterranean climate, which is known for wet, cool to chilly winters with hot, dry summers.
The particularly arid climate during the summer prevents tropospheric clouds from forming, meaning temperatures rise to what is considered Class Orange by NOAA. Rialto gets an average of 16 inches (410 mm) of rain, and maybe hail most of this rainfall precipitates in winter. During winter, Rialto's northern-most neighborhood gets snow, heavily at times as a result of its elevation of about 3,000 feet (910 m) above sea level. However, most of the city is out of snowfall's path.
The seasonal Santa Ana winds are felt particularly strongly in not only Rialto but the greater San Bernardino area as warm and dry air is channeled through nearby Cajon Pass at times during the autumn months. This phenomenon markedly increases the wildfire danger in the foothill, canyon, and mountain communities that the cycle of cold, wet winters and dry summers helps create.
Rialto is located at 34°6′41″N 117°22′57″W (34.111360, −117.382403).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 22.4 square miles (58 km2). 22.4 square miles (58 km2) of it is land and 0.06% is water.
As of the census of 2000, there are 91,873 people, 24,659 households, and 20,516 families residing in the city. The population density is 1,622.0/km² (4,200.7/mi²). There are 26,045 housing units at an average density of 459.8/km² (1,190.9/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 39.37% White, 22.27% African American, 1.05% Native American, 2.47% Asian, 0.43% Pacific Islander, 29.20% from other races, and 5.21% from two or more races. 51.21% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 24,659 households out of which 52.8% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.6% are married couples living together, 18.6% have a female householder with no husband present, and 16.8% are non-families. 13.4% of all households are made up of individuals and 5.4% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 3.69 and the average family size is 4.01.
In the city, the population is spread out with 37.7% under the age of 18, 10.4% from 18 to 24, 29.1% from 25 to 44, 16.4% from 45 to 64, and 6.4% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 26 years. For every 100 females there are 95.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 90.7 males.
The median income for a household in the city is $41,254, and the median income for a family is $42,638. Males have a median income of $34,110 versus $26,640 for females. The per capita income for the city is $13,375. 17.4% of the population and 13.8% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 21.7% of those under the age of 18 and 9.7% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.
The 2010 United States Census reported that Rialto had a population of 99,171. The population density was 4,434.1 people per square mile (1,712.0/km²). The racial makeup of Rialto was 43,592 (44.0%) White (12.6% Non-Hispanic White), 16,236 (16.4%) African American, 1,062 (1.1%) Native American, 2,258 (2.3%) Asian, 361 (0.4%) Pacific Islander, 30,993 (31.3%) from other races, and 4,669 (4.7%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 67,038 persons (67.6%).
The Census reported that 98,724 people (99.5% of the population) lived in households, 254 (0.3%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 193 (0.2%) were institutionalized.
There were 25,202 households, out of which 14,384 (57.1%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 13,811 (54.8%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 5,175 (20.5%) had a female householder with no husband present, 2,191 (8.7%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 1,780 (7.1%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 150 (0.6%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 3,141 households (12.5%) were made up of individuals and 1,283 (5.1%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.92. There were 21,177 families (84.0% of all households); the average family size was 4.20.
The population was spread out with 32,604 people (32.9%) under the age of 18, 12,204 people (12.3%) aged 18 to 24, 26,802 people (27.0%) aged 25 to 44, 20,655 people (20.8%) aged 45 to 64, and 6,906 people (7.0%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 28.3 years. For every 100 females there were 94.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.1 males.
There were 27,203 housing units at an average density of 1,216.3 per square mile (469.6/km²), of which 16,294 (64.7%) were owner-occupied, and 8,908 (35.3%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 3.1%; the rental vacancy rate was 9.7%. 64,148 people (64.7% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 34,576 people (34.9%) lived in rental housing units.
According to the 2010 U.S. Census, Rialto had a median household income of $49,428, with 19.2% of the population living below the federal poverty line.
Rialto's crime rate was slightly above the national average every year from 1999 to 2007. From 2008 to 2010, the crime rate in Rialto was below the national average. In 2006, Rialto fielded 0.89 police officers per 1,000 residents, less than one-third the national average. Rialto was the first city in the United States to require that all police officers wear body cameras.
The City of Rialto is situated between Interstate 10 and Interstate 210. According to statistics approximately 55% of the working class in the city of Rialto commute more than 10 miles (16 km) to get to work and almost 13% travel to and from Los Angeles and San Bernardino. Average commute times from Rialto are between 33.6 and 37.6 minutes
Rialto is served by the Metrolink regional rail service on the Metrolink San Bernardino Line. The San Bernardino Line takes approximately one hour and twenty minutes to commute each way to Los Angeles and to San Bernardino 10 minutes. The same trip via Interstate 10 or 210 takes between 45 minutes to 2 hours depending on traffic volume and driver speed to Los Angeles and San Bernardino.
Ancient artifacts discovered by archaeologists suggest that what is now the city of Rialto was settled prior to 1500. Such artifacts, now found at the Rialto Historical Society, indicate that the Serrano Indians lived in the Rialto area between 1500 and 1800 AD. There is no evidence to explain what happened to these Native Americans.
An adobe building from the early 19th century which was used for many purposes over the years, is the oldest building still standing in Rialto and stands restored in Bud Bender Park, formerly known as "Lilac Park". The City of Rialto leases the house and a small portion of park land to the Rialto Historical Society for $1 annually.
In 1842, the Lugo family was granted the Rancho San Bernardino-a holding of 37,700 acres-which encompassed Rialto. In 1851, the Mountain Family purchased part of the Lugo family's Rancho San Bernardino, and claimed several other portions of the bench which later became known as Rialto. This claim was later amended by the United States Government, permitting them a smaller fraction of the initial purchase.
In 1887 a railroad connector line was built between San Bernardino and Pasadena by the Santa Fe Railroad. Along the line, townsites were located every 2,600 yards (2,400 m) [mile and a half] and by the fall of that year over 25 new towns were being built. This same year the Semitropic Land and Water Company was formed to organize the purchase and selling of real estate, water, and water rights and privileges.
In the fall of 1888, the first school was built and Brooke School District was formed. Records show that up until 1920, the Brooke School District was in continuous operation, except for a very short time in 1888. The prominent Rialto Trapp family bought the first school house in 1921, remodeled the building, and members of the family resided in it until it was destroyed by fire. The Rialto School District (today Rialto Unified School District), was formed in 1891. The staff consisted of two teachers and a principal with separate play areas for the boys and girls.
In 1901 a cemetery was established in the township. It is administered by the City Treasurer.
The Chamber of Commerce was established in 1907. The Chamber incorporated in the spring of 1911. By 1911 the population had grown to 1,500 with 40 businesses and a local newspaper. The election results on October 31 of the same year were 135 for the incorporation of the city and 72 against.
Foothill Boulevard was repaired in 1913 and became U.S. Route 66 a section of the U.S. highway system. In 1914 Los Angeles' Pacific Electric Railway completed its San Bernardino Line through the City of Rialto, with a junction at Riverside Avenue for the Riverside Line. Today the Tracks above First Street are a part of the Union Pacific and the Pacific Electric depot on Riverside Avenue is Cuca's Restaurant.
A fire in the 1920s swept through and destroyed many of the buildings in the downtown area.
Rialto's population growth had increased to 3,156 by 1950. In 1956 the population soared to 15,359. By 1964 it showed increase to 23,290 and 33,500 in 1978. Rialto is 4 miles (6.4 km) wide and 8.5 miles (13.7 km) long. Rialto's population grew from 80,000 in 1994 to over 91,873 in 2000.
As of 2016, the department heads are:Mayor of the City - Deborah Robertson
City Administrator – Mike Story
Development Services Director/Assistant to the City Administrator – Robb Steel
Director of Administrative Services – George Harris
Director of Community Services – Perry Brents
Police Chief – Randy DeAnda
Fire Chief – Sean Grayson
Public Works Director – Robert Eisenbeisz
City Clerk/Management Services Director – Barbara McGee
City Treasurer – Edward Carrillo
City Attorney – Fred Galante
In the California State Legislature, Rialto is in the 20th Senate District, represented by Democrat Connie Leyva, and in the 47th Assembly District, represented by Democrat Eloise Reyes.
In the United States House of Representatives, Rialto is split between California's 31st congressional district, represented by Democrat Pete Aguilar, and California's 35th congressional district, represented by Democrat Norma Torres.
Rialto is served by the Rialto Unified School District. It has a Christian School called Bloomington Christian School for junior high and high school. It also has preschool thru 8th grade hosted by Calvary Chapel Rialto. Rialto is also home to a private Catholic school (preschool thru 8th grade). St. Catherine of Siena Parish School is located on Sycamore Avenue. The western portion of Rialto is served by Fontana Unified School District while the southern portion of Rialto is served by Colton Joint Unified School District.
In 1994, the Rialto Western Little League hosted the Southern California Championship for the Major Division, in which the winner went on to participate in the Regional Tournament. The winner was Northridge City Little League who went on to play in the Little League World Series in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania. The Tournament was held at Lilac Park, now known as Bud Bender Park.
Rialto Network is a public, educational, and government access (PEG) cable television station based in Rialto, California. The station was created in 1991 as KRTO (KRiaTO) and in 2012 the station was renamed Rialto Network. Rialto Network is located in the Civic Center and the station is cablecast daily on Time Warner Cable cable system on Channels 3 and 98.214, and on AT&T U-verse PEG cable TV channel 99. It is also webcast.
In April 2014, the Rialto school district came under fire for homework assigned to about 2,000 8th graders a "critical thinking" writing assignment which asked them to take a position whether the Holocaust occurred, and to defend that position citing published arguments, including rebuttals to the selected arguments. Although the school system initially defended the December 2013 assignment, which had already been completed and graded by the time the media published the story, the board of the school district formally apologized for what its chairman called the "horribly inappropriate assignment".
In the late 1990s, local water officials discovered perchlorate contamination in the city's drinking water supply that contained as much as 800 times the recommended limit according to safety recommendations issued in other states.
The contaminant, which has seeped into several of the town's drinking water wells, is the subject of lawsuits by the city of Rialto against 42 parties, including Goodrich Corporation and Black & Decker, the US Department of Defense, and the San Bernardino County. Both companies, most likely under contract with the Department of Defense, operated weapons manufacturing facilities which used massive quantities of rocket fuel.
After many years of negotiations, Goodrich Corporation and Black & Decker still have not agreed to clean toxic waste from the environment in northern Rialto. Studies have shown that perchlorate consumption, at the levels measured in the affected wells, can lead to medical issues. Perchlorate exposure can harm iodine uptake into the thyroid.
With several other wells unusable due to contamination, the drought-prone city teeters on the brink of running out of water.
On September 13, 2005, the Rialto city council voted to dissolve the Rialto Police Department and replace it with a contract with the San Bernardino County sheriff's department. Soon after the vote, a San Bernardino County court issued an injunction on the change because the vote was done in secret. As a result, two city council members, Ed Scott and Winfred Lee Hansen, were up for recall. In March 2006, city leaders decided to keep the Police Department.
The local Interstate 210 between Alder Ave and Linden Ave has been filmed for movies and TV.
The movie Transformers, 2007 Fox television show, Drive, the freeway scenes in The Hangover, Due Date, and several commercials by UPS and car companies have been shot there.
The television show Fear Factor used a portion of the then uncompleted highway 210 in Rialto for a stunt.
City of Rialto's Inaugural Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony took place on November 17, 2007.
2008 inducteesJeff Conine retired professional baseball player for the Florida Marlins
Tom Hoak – Coach, 17 years Rialto Unified School District
2009 inducteesAlex Acker, professional basketball player (second round pick)
Nick Barnett, professional football player for the Green Bay Packers
Victor Butler, professional football player for the New Orleans Saints
Ryan Clady, professional football player for the Denver Broncos
Jeff Conine, retired professional baseball player for the Florida Marlins
George Connor (1906–2001), race car driver
Wilson Cruz, actor (My So Called Life, Party of Five)
Kirk Fogg, actor/singer
Clarence Gilyard Jr., actor (Matlock and Walker, Texas Ranger)
Marvelle Harris, professional basketball player for the Illawarra Hawks
J.J. Fad, hip hop artists
Rodney King, whose videotaped beating by police in 1991 started the 1992 Los Angeles Riots
Mélange Lavonne, singer
Ronnie Lott, Hall of Fame football player, primarily for the San Francisco 49ers, 1981–94
Vanessa Marquez, American R&B singer signed to Star Trak Entertainment
Ricky Nolasco, professional baseball player for the Los Angeles Angels
David Ray, poet
John Singleton, film director, screenwriter, producer
Twyla Tharp, choreographer and dancer, raised in Rialto
Randy Thomas, songwriter and guitarist for Sweet Comfort Band, co-founder of Allies
Lisa Marie Varon, professional wrestler
Jesse Wagner, lead vocalist and guitarist of The Aggrolites
Josh Whitesell, professional baseball player for the Arizona Diamondbacks