Wednesday, December 10, 2008


On Monday the Orange County Register, as part of
their series "Changing face of O.C.", published statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau that were based on surveys done from 2005 through 2007 for Costa Mesa. I won't begin to attempt to provide all those interesting numbers. The link to the Register article is HERE, if you're interested in sifting through them yourselves.

I did want to tease you with a few of the numbers, though, to provoke you to seek out the report and dig deeper.


For example, according to the report, Costa Mesa now has 107,820 residents, of which 79,002 (73.30%) are "white". Hispanic or Latinos account for 35,551 (33.00.%). Now, before you go berserk and tell me the numbers don't add up, understand that "white" includes Hispanic and Latinos for the purposes of census reporting. Don't go all apoplectic on me.. more numbers to come. The important thing to know here is that nearly a third of our population is Hispanic or Latino (you can pick the your term of choice, I guess).

Among those Hispanic and Latinos, 29,759 (27.60%) are Mexican - no surprise there.

According to the report, 72,269 (67.00%) Costa Mesa residents are classified as "Not Hispanic or Latino", and 59,559 (55.20%) are classified as "White alone".

1,867 (1.70%) are "Black or African American".

Old Grumpy, Your Neighbor over in Mesa North, can begin to grouse about the fact that 2,105 (2.00%) of Costa Mesa residents are reportedly comprised of "Two or more races". Oh, no! There goes the gene pool, Marty!


Back to the report... Costa Mesa apparently has a total of 40,888 housing units, of which 38,665 (94.60%) are occupied. 15,588 (38.10%) of those housing units are detached homes. 9,655 (23.60%) have 20 or more units.

Of those 38,665 occupied housing units, 15,773 (40.80%) are "Owner-occupied", while 22,892 (59.20%) are "Renter-occupied" - including the one occupied by our young jailer/mayor.

More than half of the housing units - 51.60% - were built before 1970. 944 (2.30%) of the housing units are "Mobile Homes".

Of the 11,937 owner-occupied housing units with a mortgage, 7,688 (48.70%) pay $2,000 or more per month.

Of the 22,892 renter-occupied units, 10,723 (46.80%) pay between $1,000 and $1,499 per month and 7,749 (33.90%) pay $1,500 or more.

Most of the 38,665 occupied housing units, 27,263 (70.50%), are heated by utility gas. However, somewhere in town there apparently are 48 housing units heated by wood! 83 units lack complete plumbing facilities!

Of the 38,665 households in Costa Mesa, 23,074 (59.70%) were "family households" and 15,591 (40.30%) were "non-family households".

Of the 71,064 residents 25 years and older 83.7% are high school graduates or higher and 31.4% have bachelor's degrees or higher.

Of the 85,821 people described as "Population 16 years and over" - theoretically the "labor force" - 59,890 (69.80%) were actually "In labor force" and 25,931 (30.20%) were "Not in labor force". Of those "In the labor force", only 2,724 (3.20%) were unemployed at the time of this survey.

Of the 56,820 persons described as "Civilian employed population 16 years and over", 20,527 (36.10%) perform "Management, professional, and related occupations". 15,365 (27.00%) work in "Sales and office occupations".

Of the 54,967 commuting workers 16 years or over, 40,978 (74.60%) drove alone. Another 5,902 (10.70%) carpooled and only 2,111 (3.80%) used public transportation.

The median age of Costa Mesa residents is 33.7 years. 9,366 (8.70%) are 65 years or over - geezers, like me.


Of the 2,019 women 15 to 50 years old who had a birth in the past 12 months, 660 (32.70%) were described as "Unmarried women (widowed, divorced, and never married)

Of the 44,886 MALES 15 years and over, 19,908 (44.40%) have never been married; 19,697 (43.90%) are now married, except separated; 693 (1.50%) are separated; 535 (1.20%) are widowed and 4,053 (9.00%) are divorced.

Of the 42,124 FEMALES 15 years and over, 14,131 (33.50%) have never been married; 18,592 (44.10%) are now married, except separated; 1,301(3.10%) are separated; 2,278 (5.40%) are widowed and 5,822 (13.80%) are divorced.

In Costa Mesa the median household income was $61,075. The median family income was $67,947. The per capita income was $29,893. 12.9% of our population lived with an income below the poverty level.

75,740 (70.20%) Costa Mesa residents claim to be native born. Of the 32,080 residents who are "foreign-born", 21,505 (67.00%) are not a U.S. citizen. Of the foreign-born population, 20,063 (62.50%) come from Latin America and 7,333 (22.90%) from Asia.

One interesting number that jumped out at me was the fact that, of the 107,820 residents in our city, only 2,279 (2.10%) described their ancestry as "American". 9,836 (9.10%) claimed English ancestry. A similar number, 9,856 (9.10%) said Irish and 13,258 (12.30%) claimed German ancestry.


Well, I hope that has piqued your interest enough that you'll go back to that link I provided at the top and check out the rest of the numbers yourself. I think they provide you with a little better view of just who those people are that you rub shoulders with in this wonderful city.

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Blogger Unknown said...

One interesting tidbit is the percent of households paying more than 30% of their income for housing:

owners: 40%
renters: 50%

I think that is a bad sign for stability.

12/10/2008 06:50:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

alex, thanks. Digging through all that stuff for pearls is addicting, isn't it? :-)

12/10/2008 06:57:00 PM  

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