Fullerton is a city located in Orange County California. Fullerton has a 2023 population of 139,311. Fullerton is currently declining at a rate of -0.91% annually and its population has decreased by -2.7% since the most recent census, which recorded a population of 143,173 in 2020.
The average household income in Fullerton is $126,334 with a poverty rate of 12.51%. The median rental costs in recent years comes to - per month, and the median house value is -. The median age in Fullerton is 35.4 years, 34.4 years for males, and 36.6 years for females.
Fullerton is located in northern Orange County, California about 26 miles southeast of Los Angeles and 3 miles north of Anaheim. Fullerton is the 6th or 7th largest city in Orange County, nearly tied with Orange and behind Anaheim, Santa Ana, Irvine, Huntington Beach, and Garden Grove.
Like the rest of Orange County, Fullerton has a large Asian American population. Asian Americans now account for one-fifth of the population of the entire county with a great deal of diversity. Of the estimated 600,000 Asian Americans in Orange County, Vietnamese and Koreans are the two largest ethnic subgroups with 200,000 Vietnamese and 94,000 Korean Americans in the county. While Westminster and Garden Grove have large Vietnamese populations, Fullerton is home to a large community of Korean Americans. There are also about 89,000 Filipino Americans in the county. Asian Americans in the area include recent immigrants as well as families who first immigrated to the U.S. five generations ago.
A recent survey also found that there are more than 310,000 unauthorized immigrants in Orange County accounting for 10% of the county's total population. While most unauthorized immigrants in the area are from Latin America, especially Mexico (75%), about 15% are from Asia. This includes 4% from Korea, 3% from Vietnam, and 3% from the Philippines.
About 30% of people in Fullerton are foreign-born.
Fullerton's population isn't growing like it once was. This trend can be seen throughout Orange County where annual growth of residents dropped by half in 2018 compared to the last five years. This trend is attributed to slowing foreign immigration and a surge of people moving elsewhere in the state or out of California.
The area of Fullerton was first explored by Europeans in the late 1760s during a Spanish expedition to Montery. By 1771, Mission San Gabriel Arcangel was established and the Spaniards dubbed the native Tongva people "Gabrieliños." Modern-day Fullerton then became part of the Rancho San Juan Cajón de Santa Ana in the 1830s after it was granted to a Spanish soldier named Juan Pacifico Ontiveros.
Ontiveros sold parcels of the land to Americans who were developing California after the California Gold Rush. In 1886, the Amerige brothers heard that the California Central Railroad was searching for land and they bought 430 acres of land just north of Anaheim. The two negotiated with the president of the Pacific Land and Improvement Company, offering free right-of-way plus half interest in the land for the railroad if the survey of Fullerton was revised for a town site. Within ten years, Fullerton was on its way toward being a thriving agricultural community when a new Valencia orange orchard caught on. Fullerton was incorporated in 1904 and recognized in 1907.
After World War II, the population of Fullerton grew rapidly as veterans moved to California and created large housing developments. Orange County State College was founded in 1959 to serve the booming population and many instutitions followed to earn Fullerton its nickname as the "Education City."
According to the most recent ACS, the racial composition of Fullerton was:
Two or more races
Black or African American
Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
Average Family Size
Average Household Size
Rate of Home Ownership
Less Than 9th Grade
9th to 12th Grade
High School Graduate
High School Graduation Rate
The highest rate of high school graduation is among islander people with a rate of 97.83%.
The highest rate of bachelors degrees is among asian people with a rate of 58.44%.
Other Indo-European Languages
Asian and Pacific Island Languages
55.23% of Fullerton residents speak only English, while 44.77% speak other languages. The non-English language spoken by the largest group is Spanish, which is spoken by 23.95% of the population.
Overall Poverty Rate
Male Poverty Rate
Female Poverty Rate
The race most likely to be in poverty in Fullerton is Other, with 27.36% below the poverty level.
The race least likely to be in poverty in Fullerton is White, with 7.74% below the poverty level.
The poverty rate among those that worked full-time for the past 12 months was 2.32%. Among those working part-time, it was 16.73%, and for those that did not work, the poverty rate was 19.28%.
Overall Marriage Rate
Male Marriage Rate
Female Marriage Rate
The age group where males are most likely to be married is Over 65, while the female age group most likely to be married is 45-54.
Second Gulf War
First Gulf War
World War II
Less Than 9th Grade
High School Graduate
Bachelors or Greater
Veteran Poverty Rate
Veteran Disability Rate
Labor Force Participation
Non citizens include legal permanent residents (green card holders), international students, temporary workers, humanitarian migrants, and illegal immigrants.
Born in Fullerton
73.24% of Fullerton residents were born in the United States, with 59.09% having been born in California. 11.76% of residents are not US citizens. Of those not born in the United States, the largest percentage are from Asia.