Palmdale is a city located in Los Angeles County, California. With a 2020 population of 156,299, it is the 34th largest city in California and the 165th largest city in the United States. Palmdale is currently declining at a rate of -0.12% annually but its population has increased by 2.32% since the most recent census, which recorded a population of 152,750 in 2010. Palmdale reached it's highest population of 157,196 in 2015. Spanning over 106 miles, Palmdale has a population density of 1,473 people per square mile.
The average household income in Palmdale is $76,096 with a poverty rate of 17.30%. The median rental costs in recent years comes to $1,281 per month, and the median house value is $254,800. The median age in Palmdale is 31.9 years, 30.1 years for males, and 33.5 years for females. For every 100 females there are 97.6 males.
The city of Palmdale sits in the north of Los Angeles County, California, separated from the city of Los Angeles to the south by the San Gabriel Mountains. It's the second largest city in Los Angeles County by land area and the 33rd most populous city in California.
About one-quarter of people in Palmdale were born outside the country. The city of Palmdale has a predominantly Hispanic/Latino demographic. Due to it being one of the last affordable areas for new single-family homes in Los Angeles County, many people of color on the lower end of the economic scale were able to purchase property, shifting the racial demographic.
Due to racial tensions in the area, minorities were redlined into the Sun Village commune, Antelope Valley’s first African-American commune, which was founded in 1938. Today, however, African-Americans are no longer the majority of Sun Village’s roughly 12,000 residents.
For the last 25 years, Palmdale has been rated as one of the top 25 fastest growing U.S. cities.
Affordable housing developments in the 1980s and 1990s caused dramatic spikes in the population, jumping from 12,227 in 1980 to 68,842 in 1990 (a rise of 18.82%) and then to 116,670 in 2000. This has stayed relatively level since 2010.
Europeans, mainly of German and Swiss descent, first descended upon the area in 1886, naming the village “Palmenthal.” A trade route in the Antelope Valley had already existed for an estimated 11,000 years for Native Americans traveling from New Mexico and Arizona to California’s coast. The village of Palmenthal was officially established in June of 1888.
After the settlers decided to relocate slightly due to the difficult desert climate and drought, the name Palmdale was adopted.
Until the start of WWII, agriculture was the predominant industry for Palmdale. In 1953, Lockheed opened a facility in the city. The aerospace industry became the city's top employment source and has remained as such ever since.
The township of Palmdale officially became the city of Palmdale in August of 1962, becoming the first in the Antelope Valley to incorporate. In 2009, Palmdale became a charter city.