Mojave is a census-designated place (CDP) in Kern County, California, United States. The population was 3,836 at the 2000 census. The town is located at the northwest corner of the Mojave Desert, below the Oak Creek Pass. Telephone numbers in Mojave follow the format (661) 824-xxxx and the area includes three postal ZIP Codes.
The city of Mojave began in 1876 as a construction camp on the Southern Pacific Railroad. From 1884 to 1889, the town was the western terminus of the , twenty-mule-team borax wagon route originating at Harmony Borax Works in Death Valley. It later served as headquarters for construction of the Los Angeles Aqueduct.
Today, the town of Mojave offers numerous restaurants, motels, and gas stations for motorists.
The name Mojave comes from the name of the Indian nation occupying the area before the arrival of European settlers. Geographic features using the word Mojave are spelled differently from state to state. The convention is to spell it Mojave in California and Mohave in Arizona according to David Darlington's book on the Mojave Desert.
After winning the Ansari X Prize, Burt Rutan quipped that the isolation of the Mojave Desert fosters invention. "Innovation is what we do here," he said, "because there's not much else to do in Mojave."
There were 1,408 households out of which 37.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.7% were married couples living together, 16.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.2% were non-families. 27.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.71 and the average family size was 3.31.
In the town .5% under the age of 18, 8.8% from 18 to 24, 27.7% from 25 to 44, 20.2% from 45 to 64, and 10.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 103.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 99.2 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $24,761, and the median income for a family was $28,496. Males had a median income of $35,476 versus $19,250 for females. The per capita income for the town was $12,477. About 31.7% of families and 36.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 48.8% of those under age 18 and 11.7% of those age 65 or over.