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Demographics of Los Angeles

Los Angeles is a city in the state of California with a population of 3,884,307 as of 2013. To understand and analyses the demographics of this city, we have used information from the American Community Survey and the United States Census.

Race and Origin

A 2000 United States census found that the Caucasian population was becoming less in the city. This segment of the population can also be described as non-Hispanic whites. The Hispanic community is probably the largest community in the city and make up 47 to 49% of the city’s population. This is approximately half the inhabitants of L.A. The white population stand at 29.4 % and African Americans at 9.8%. Some residents identify themselves as biracial or mixed race and account for 2.8% of the population. The indigenous communities including native Americans and Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islands made up for 0.5 and 0.2% of the population respectively.

More than half the people in the city are American-born. Most foreigners in the city are from Latin America and a large minority is Asian-born. A very small number of people from Europe are part of the city’s residents. People from Africa and Northern America make up for 1.5 to 0.9% of the population respectively.


There are 40% of people in the city who speak English while 59.8% of people speak languages other than English.  Spanish speakers are large in number and makeup for 43.6% of the population. Only 7% of people speak Indo-European languages, whereas Asian and Pacific Islander language speakers are 7.9%. Languages that don’t fall into any of the earlier mentioned categories are only 1.3%

Educational level and Household income

There are about 61.1% family households in the city. Out of these, those families who have children under the age of 18 years are about 19.6%. Married couples without children make up for 39.1% of the population. Unmarried males are 6.9% and those who have children but no wife present are 3%. Single or unmarried females account for 15% of the population and those who have children under 18 years old are 8.3%. Householders who live alone are about 30.2% whereas non-family households are 38.9%. The elderly population makes up 8 % of the city’s demographics. The average household size is 2.87 and the family size is 3.67.

In terms of educational level, 72.9% have passed High School and 29.2% have a bachelor’s or a higher degree.

Only 4.5% of the population above the age of 16 years is unemployed. The figures in labor and the civilian labor force are the same that is 65.8%. There are 61.3% people who are employed and 0.1% are part of the armed forces. Those who are not part of the labor force make up 34.2% of the employable residents of the city.

According to the American Community Survey of 2006-2008, the household median income in L.A is $48,610 and the mean household income is somewhere around $76,556. Median non-family income is around $38,227 whereas mean non-family income is $61,155.  The same survey reports that the poverty status of all families is 15.6% and 10.2% for those who are married. Families without the presence of husbands have a poverty status of 30.1% and for minors under the age of 18, the status is 27.8%.

Additional Information

Among the religions practiced in Los Angeles, Christianity is the most common (65%). The Christian community residing in the city is divided into followers of the Roman Catholic Church, Protestant denominations and other smaller sects. Catholic followers account for 32% whereas Protestants account for 30% of the Christian population. A considerable percentage of people do not affiliate themselves with any religion with 4% identifying as atheists and 4% as agnostics. The non-Christian population in the city that identifies with other religions accounts for 9% of the population while 1% report no religious affiliations. Non-Christian religions living in the city include followers of Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism.

According to the Saudi Embassy of the USA, Los Angeles houses the largest community of Saudi Arabian expatriates.  A considerable Druze population, which is a small Middle Eastern close-knit community has the largest population residing in the city outside of Lebanon and Syria.

In the 1980s and 1990s, a number of Bosnians had fled from the war-torn conditions of their home country and established themselves in the city. Yugoslavians had established themselves in the city long before the Bosnian War during the start of the 20th century.

As a neighboring country of the USA, El Salvador has seen a lot of its inhabitants migrate to Los Angeles. The Salvadorans account for the second-largest Hispanic community in the city and is the largest Salvadoran diaspora living outside of their country. This group of people includes refugees and other people who fled the Salvadoran Civil War I the 1990s.

Areas such as Silver Laker/Elysian Park and Loz Feliz/Hollywood are populated by Armenians.

50,000 out of a total population of 145,000 Puerto Rican’s in the state of California reside in Los Angeles alone. Their community is just as large in San Diego which makes it the largest diaspora outside of the East Coast.

The more popular neighborhoods of Los Angeles such as West Hollywood and Long Beach have a sizeable LGBT community inhabiting them. Other than that, members of Baha’I Faith, Seventh Day Adventists and the Mormons in the Latter Day Saints Churches also add to the diverse population of the city. The Church of Scientology is quite influential in Los Angeles and the southern part of California. The largest Roman Catholic Archdiocese is also located here.

Los Angeles in one of the cities with the highest number of Romani people living in it and the fourth-largest number of Muslims in the entire country. There are approximately 500,000 Muslims in Los Angeles.

Another interesting group of people that add to the fabric of the city are the members of the indigenous community. Tribes including Choctaw, Comanche, Hopi, Navajo, Shawnee, Zuni, Paiute, and Apache make this group the largest Indian population residing in an urban area.

Interestingly, L.A and Pasadena were known to be places where people would move to after retirement. This is because of the warmer climate of the city and an attempt to protect themselves from health problems due to the environment.