Southland cities are becoming increasingly diverse, according to a report released last week from USC.
“Right now, we’re at a sweet spot for racial balance in Southern California,” USC professor Dowell Myers, an author of the report, said in a press release. “Decline in the white population and growth among Latinos or Asians only increases racial balance up to a point. Some cities have already started to lose their balance.”
Amongst the cities trending in the direction of one minority dominating are Alhambra, San Gabriel, and Monterey Park.
Twenty years ago, Alhambra qualified, according to the study, as a city with three significant ethnic groups, when its white population was 24%, Latinos 36% and Asian 38%. Today, Alhambra is classified as a city with only two significant ethnic groups: In 2010, whites were 11%, Latinos 34% and Asians 54%. The shifts have been even stronger in San Gabriel and Monterey Park, where the Asian population is about two thirds of the population and Latino about one quarter.
The report makes the argument that a racially balanced or multiracial city is beneficial to residents: "Our democratic society benefits from greater contact among all groups of residents. Further, it is assumed that spatial intermixing of the population leads to more equal sharing of public resources."
Cities highlited in yellow are what the report defines as two-way cities, where there is a significant (20%+) population of two groups. Those highlighted in green are three-way cities, with two groups with 20%+ and one with 15%+. The cities not highlighted have one dominant ethnic group.