Santa Monica is a city located in Los Angeles County, California. With a 2020 population of 90,555, it is the 89th largest city in California and the 374th largest city in the United States. Santa Monica is currently declining at a rate of -0.47% annually but its population has increased by 0.91% since the most recent census, which recorded a population of 89,736 in 2010. Santa Monica reached it's highest population of 92,545 in 2015. Spanning over 16 miles, Santa Monica has a population density of 10,761 people per square mile.
The average household income in Santa Monica is $142,957 with a poverty rate of 10.39%. The median rental costs in recent years comes to $1,734 per month, and the median house value is $1.24 Mn. The median age in Santa Monica is 39.9 years, 38.8 years for males, and 41.3 years for females. For every 100 females there are 96.2 males.
Santa Monica Population Statistics
Santa Monica’s top employer is the City of Santa Monica, which employs over 2,500 people. Santa Monica – UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica College, Saint John’s Health Center and the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District are also top employers in the area. Santa Monica is also the site for many game development studios, including Activision Blizzard.
Santa Monica Population Growth
Santa Monica’s population in its earliest years reflected significant growth. This growth slowed in 1940 after topping 50,000. In the 1980s, growth halted before declining during the 1990s and early 2000s. However, the last census in 2010 showed that the population was once again on the rise. Current estimates show that the community is up over 3% since the previous census, indicating that this city is well on its way to hitting 100,000 residents.
The original inhabitants of what is now Santa Monica were the Tongva people. At the time, the region was known as Kecheek. The first explorer in the region was Gaspar de Portola who arrived in the area in 1769. After the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed, the U.S. government took sovereignty over the state of California and with it, Santa Monica. This occurred in 1848.
Santa Monica started growing during the 1870s with the arrival of the Los Angeles and Independence Railroad that linked the city with Los Angeles. In 1873 a town hall was constructed, and in 1885, Santa Monica had its first hotel.
Growth continued through the 20th century as the Pacific Electric Railroad was connected to the city, also attracting more visitors to the local beaches and the Santa Monica Pier. In the early 20th century, a community of Asian Americans populated the city, living primarily in a fishing village set up near Long Wharf.
During the 1920s, industrialization came to the city. A plant for the Douglas Aircraft Company was constructed and continued business in Santa Monica through the 1960s. However, it was shortly after that the city was hit with economic troubles due to the Great Depression. A report showed that just 1,000 people were employed, while many business owners went bankrupt. However, in the years that followed, the city bounced back.
During World War II, Douglas Aircraft employed tens of thousands of people and led to the establishment of the RAND Corporation. The city continued to grow post-war with the construction of the Santa Monica Freeway. In the 1980s, the city experienced a population boom with the revitalization of its downtown area and job growth. Today, the city remains a popular tourist destination, boasting hotels, shopping centers, museums, music venues, a renovated downtown area, and events like the Santa Monica Film Festival.