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Focus: Changes In Ethnic Populations

April 01, 2001

Whites: In Several Cities, No Longer the Majority

Highest Percentage of Whites in Los Angeles County


Hidden Hills 89.0% Malibu 88.5% Westlake Village 86.6% Manhattan Beach 85.4% Hermosa Beach 85.2%


Highest Percentage of Whites Outside Los Angeles County


Laguna Woods (Orange County) 94.4% Indian Wells (Riverside County) 93.9% Del Mar (San Diego County) 90.9% Lake San Marcos (San Diego County) 90.9% Pine Valley (San Diego County) 90.6%


Notable Population Changes-Notes and Numbers

Los Angeles County's white population fell 18%, the largest drop in the state. White population statewide decreased 7%.

In the city of Los Angeles, whites are now 30% of the population, down from 37% in 1990.

Whites still hold a majority in 37% of all census tracts in Los Angeles County. But in one-third of county tracts, they constitute less than 20% of the population.

Whites slipped from majority status in Diamond Bar, Downey, Temple City, Arcadia, Whittier, Long Beach and Covina in the 1990s. Despite significant drops, they held onto bare majorities in Lancaster, Torrance and Lakewood.

In Riverside County, whites no longer were the majority in the city of Riverside. County-wide, the white share fell from 64% to 51%.

Older suburbs in the South Bay, San Gabriel Valley and in Orange County registered the biggest percentage decrease in the white population, mostly displaced by Latinos and Asians.

In Orange County, whites became minorities in Anaheim and Garden Grove. Overall, whites barely held onto a majority, falling from 65% to 51% of the total population.

Whites in Ventura County fell from 66% to 57% of the total population.

The biggest percentage increases in white populations in Los Angeles County occurred in the new suburbs of the Santa Clarita and Antelope valleys. Whites held significant majorities in Westlake Village, Hidden Hills, and Malibu.

White Percentage of Population in Southern California

For six-county area of Ventura, Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, San Bernardino and Riverside counties.

1990: 52.0%

2000: 41.4%

Multiple Races: 1.9% (In 2000, multiple races could be selected.)

Latinos: Four Counties See a Surge in Numbers

Highest Percentage of Latinos in Los Angeles County


East Los Angeles 91.3% Maywood 90.7% Walnut Park 90.3% Huntington Park 89.7% Commerce 87.5% Cudahy 87.5%


Highest Percentage of Latinos Outside Los Angeles County


Mecca (Riverside County) 93.9% Coachella (Riverside County) 93.6% El Rio (Ventura County) 71.4% Indio (Riverside County) 71.1% Santa Ana (Orange County) 70.9%


Notable Population Changes--Notes and Numbers

The rate of growth of Latino population was less robust in Los Angeles County (20.7%) than the statewide average (35%).

The Latino population surged by 71.8% in Riverside County, 66.2% in San Bernardino County, 46.1% in Orange County and 34.1% in Ventura County.

Orange County's Latino population (875,579) now exceeds that of San Antonio, Texas (671,394).

Latino populations rose by more than 40% in a number of rural counties -- for example, Yolo (43.7%), Yuba (46.7%), Madera (64.3%) and Nevada (42.4%).

The Latino population in the city of Los Angeles increased 18.4%. That was less than the rise in many other Southern California cities -- for instance, Ontario (60.2%), Long Beach (56%), Riverside (55.4%), San Bernardino (46.9%), and Santa Ana (27.7%).

San Francisco's Latino population increased only 2.8%, while its Asian-Pacific Islander numbers rose 17.5%.

The growth in the Latino population accounted for between 62.9% and 79.7% of the statewide population growth of 4.1 million.

In L.A. County, Latinos (20.7%) and Asians (26.4%) showed population growth while the populations of whites declined 18.2% and blacks dropped 3.6%.

Latino Percentage of Population in Southern California

For six-county area of Ventura, Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, San Bernardino and Riverside counties.

1990: 29.9%

2000: 35.1%

Multiple Races: 3.2% (In 2000, multiple races could be selected.)

Blacks: Dispersal, and Pockets of Dramatic Growth

Highest Percentage of Blacks in Los Angeles County


View Park-Windsor Hills 87.2% Ladera Heights 70.1% West Compton 61.4% Westmont 57.2% West Athens 55.5%


Highest Percentage of Blacks Outside Los Angeles County


Rialto (San Bernardino County) 21.7% Moreno Valley (Riverside County) 19.3% San Bernardino 16.0% Perris (Riverside County) 15.4% La Presa (San Diego County) 13.9%


Notable Population Changes -- Notes and Numbers

Los Angeles County lost roughly 300,000 blacks -- a 3.6% drop. Blacks in California grew by 4.3%, to as much as 2.5 million.

Blacks joined all other ethnic groups in moving to Palmdale. The city, now 14% black, registered the state's biggest jump of that group.

Riverside and San Bernardino counties showed the most dramatic growth of blacks of all counties in the state. More than 41,000 blacks moved into San Bernardino County in the 1990s. Nearly 110,000 whites moved out.

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