Imperial County, California

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Imperial County is a county located in the Imperial Valley, in the far southeast of the U.S. state of California, bordering both Arizona and Mexico. It is part of the El Centro, California Metropolitan Statistical Area which encompasses all of Imperial County. The population as of 2000 was 142,361. The county seat is the city of El Centro. Established in 1907, it was the last county to be established in California. Imperial County is also part of the Southern California border region, also referred to as San Diego-Imperial, the smallest but most economically diverse region in the state.[1]

Although this region is a desert, with high temperatures and low average rainfall of three inches (seventy-five mm) per year, the economy is heavily based on agriculture due to irrigation, supplied wholly from the Colorado River via the All-American Canal.

The Imperial Valley is a melting pot of European American and Hispanic cultures. On the American side, the majority of residents are of Mexican American heritage, while the Mexican side was greatly influenced by American culture for many decades. The entire valley is a multi-racial mixture of African Americans, European Americans, East Asian Americans, South Asian Americans, and Native Americans.

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