A Tale of
Two Cities: Highlights of the RAND Report
By Erica Williams
June 10 -- The 2000
U.S. Census paints a tale of two cities, with Santa Monicans living
North of Montana averaging more than four times the income of residents
in the Pico neighborhood just a couple dozen blocks away.
If the city is divided by
income, it is also divided by race. More than 85 percent of the residents
living North of Montana are white, while
Blacks and Latinos are concentrated in the Pico Neighborhood.
These are among the key findings
of a RAND analysis of the census that will help
City officials determine
how to target spending based on the needs and
makeup of Santa Monica's population of 84,084.
The report made the
following key findings:
- The median income of city
residents was $50,714 in 1999. That’s up 5 percent since 1989
while county and state residents saw their median
incomes decline by 10 percent and 4 percent respectively.
wealthiest Santa Monicans lived in the (90402) North
of Montana neighborhood and had a median income of $118,553 that
a family with children averaging two to three people per
household. The poorest Santa Monicans lived along the I-10 corridor
the Pico neighborhood (90404) and made between $17,500 and
number of households declined slightly since 1990, by 1 percent
to 44,503 in 2000. The majority, 62 percent (up slightly from 1990),
were “non-family” households composed of people, such as roommates,
aren’t related to each other. That’s twice as many as in Los Angeles
County and California. Just over half of those people lived alone,
and 11 percent were seniors.
percent of all family households were families with children younger
than 18 -- a jump of 6 percent since 1990. The number of single parent
families remained essentially unchanged throughout the nineties.
Santa Monicans are between the ages of 25 and 44, accounting for
40 percent of the city’s population, slightly higher than in the
county and state. Nearly two-thirds live in the 90403 and 90405 zip
codes. The population between the ages of 25 and 34 showed the
growing 6.9 percent during the 1990s to 20 percent in 2000.
kids (5 to 19 years old) accounted for more than 10 percent of
all city residents in 2000, half that of the county and state. Sixty-one
percent of them lived in Pico, Sunset Park and Ocean Park, which
also home to a third each of teens and young adults.
65 years and older, accounted for 14 percent of Santa Monicans
in 2000, a slight 3 percent decline since 1990. Santa Monica lost
percent of its female seniors during the 1990s, compared to the county
and state, where the numbers remained virtually unchanged.
than half of Santa Monica’s African Americans and 38 percent of
its Latinos live in the (90404) Pico neighborhood. Sunset Park and
Park (90405) “is the most racially and ethnically diverse area
in the city capturing
at least 25 percent of each group’s population.” The least diverse
area, according to the report, is the (90402) North of Montana
neighborhood where more than 85 percent of residents are white.
than two-thirds of Santa Monicans worked outside the city in the
greater Los Angeles area in 2000, a slight increase over 1990.
Meanwhile more residents were unemployed in 2000, with the unemployment
to 7.4 percent in 2000, a more than 50 percent increase over 1990.
The rate was about 1 percent less than in LA County and half-a-percent
Monica residents over 25 years old are more educated than their
counterparts statewide. In 2000, more than half (an increase of 25
since1990) have bachelors and graduate degrees compared to a quarter
of county and state residents. The growth in the higher levels of
education “is reflective of a nationwide trend,” the report states.
Monica’s poor, based on federal poverty thresholds, increased by
8 percent during the 1990s and were 10 percent of city residents
1999. Three-fourths were 18 to 64 years old, compared to just under
60 percent of that group in the county and the state. The numbers
under 5 living in poverty in Santa Monica declined significantly
by 32 percent to 266 in 1999. Meanwhile 18 percent of Asians living
Monica were considered poor, as were 20 percent of the city’s African
American population and 15 percent of Latinos.
the number of households in Santa Monica receiving public assistance
declined by 53 percent to just over 1,000 recipients in 2000, the
number of residents eligible to receive MediCal increased by almost
a phenomenon the report finds “inconsistent.” It seems to suggest,
the report said, “that either public assistance receipt was unreported
the 2000 Census or those who could benefit from public assistance
are not receiving it.”
2000, about 13,000 Santa Monicans older than five were living with
a physical, mental or emotional disability that was long-term. Most
residents between 16 and 64 years old lived Downtown and accounted for
26 percent of the disabled population.