Covina is a city located in Los Angeles County, California about 22 miles east of downtown Los Angeles. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 46,837.
The city of West Covina, which is actually larger in both area and population, lies to the south and west, Irwindale to the west, Azusa and Glendora are to the north, the unincorporated community of Charter Oak to the northeast, San Dimas to the east, and Walnut to the southeast.
It has been a sister city of Jalapa, Mexico since 1964. A replica of a giant stone Olmec head, located in front of the city police station, was given to the city in 1989 by the state of Veracruz, Mexico.
Covina is located at 34°5'30" North, 117°52'45" West (34.091609, -117.879193).
No freeways pass through the city limits, although it is centered in the midst of Interstate 210 (Foothill Freeway) to the north, Interstate 10 (San Bernadino Freeway) to the south, Interstate 605 (San Gabriel River Freeway) to the west, and the California State Route 57 (Santa Ana Freeway) to the east. The Southern Pacific Railroad, which reached Covina in 1884, and Metrorail public transit lines pass just north of the downtown area. The town is located at the foot of the San Gabriel Mountains in the San Gabriel Valley.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 18.1 km2 (7.0 mi2). 18.1 km2 (7.0 mi2) of it is land and 0.14% of it is water.
As of the census of 2000, there are 46,837 people, 15,971 households, and 11,754 families residing in the city. The population density is 2,594.5/km2 (6,723.7/mi2). There are 16,364 housing units at an average density of 906.5/km2 (2,349.1/mi2). The racial makeup of the city is 62.10% White, 5.03% Black or African American, 0.90% Native American, 9.82% Asian, 0.21% Pacific Islander, 17.18% from other races, and 4.78% from two or more races. 40.29% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 15,971 households out of which 38.4% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.6% are married couples living together, 16.3% have a female householder with no husband present, and 26.4% are non-families. 20.8% of all households are made up of individuals and 7.7% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.89 and the average family size is 3.36.
In the city the population is spread out with 28.1% under the age of 18, 9.5% from 18 to 24, 31.1% from 25 to 44, 20.4% from 45 to 64, and 10.9% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 34 years. For every 100 females there are 92.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 87.0 males.
The median income for a household in the city is $48,474, and the median income for a family is $55,111. Males have a median income of $40,687 versus $32,329 for females. The per capita income for the city is $20,231. 11.6% of the population and 8.9% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 15.4% of those under the age of 18 and 6.9% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.
The city was founded in 1882 by Joseph Swift Phillips, and traditions have it that it was named by either he, his wife Mrs. Cornelia (Hunt) Phillips, or his surveyor Frederick Eaton, in 1885 when the survey was finished. One of them supposedly noticed the many vineyards nestled in the San Gabriel Valley and devised the name "Covina" from "cove of vineyards".
The city was incorporated in 1901. However, it would be orange and grapefruit trees, not vineyards, that would soon blanket the area and make it famous. By 1909, the city was the third largest orange producer in the world, and it still claimed to have "the best oranges in the world" as late as the 1950's. Since World War II, however, the orange groves have been largely replaced by single family and multiple family dwellings.
The city's slogan, "One Mile Square and All There" was coined by Mrs F. E Wolfarth, the winner of a 1922 slogan contest sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce, when the incorporated area of the city was only (some say slightly less than) one square mile, making it the smallest city in area in the country.
Today, it claims to have the largest movie theater multiplex in Los Angeles County, the AMC 30.
The Covina Valley Historical Society maintains an extensive archive illustrating the city's history in the 1911-built Firehouse Jail Museum, Covina's first municipal building, located immediately behind City Hall in Covina's Old Town.