Santa Maria, city (1990 pop. 61,284), Santa Barbara co., S Calif., near San Luis Obispo Bay; founded 1874 as Central City, renamed 1882, inc. 1905. A growing city, it has an economy based largely on agriculture (vegetables, grain, avocados, fruit, and cattle) and oil. Manufacturing plants produce machinery, electronic components, and telephone apparatus. Vandenberg Air Force Base is nearby.