The fragmentation of the 80 wealthiest Los Angeles neighborhoods has it’s own unique pattern that is primarily influenced by the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Monica Mountains. The core area is generally referred to as “West Los Angeles” and extends from the West Hollywood Hills to Castellammare, located adjacent to Malibu on the western city limits of Los Angeles.
Map of West Los Angeles Core Area (West Hollywood Hills to Castellammare)
View Larger Map of Higley 1000 Neighborhoods in West Los Angeles
Familiar to many Americans entranced by celebrity, West Los Angeles is centered on the so-called “Platinum Triangle” (Beverly Hills, Bel Air, and Holmby Hills). The small neighborhood of Holmby Hills was ranked number one in the nation and may have the world’s largest collection of nouveau riche uber-mansions this side of Saudi Arabia. Two of its more infamous monuments to excess are the Playboy mansion and the 60,000 square foot Spelling mansion that reportedly recently sold for $130 million. The West Los Angeles core dominates the metro area’s geography of wealth with 42.1% of all Higley 1000 households in greater Los Angeles and 53.3% of all households if you include the five adjacent neighborhoods in the San Fernando Valley.
Orange County accounts for an additional 22.2% of the Higley 1000 neighborhood households found in the metro area. The wealth of Orange County is particularly fragmented although one could say it is centered on Newport Beach as this town has almost 40% of the Higley 1000 households in the county. The larger “satellites” of Newport are Laguna Beach, Coto de Caza, the Tustin Foothills, and Laguna Hills.
There are no Higley 1000 neighborhoods found in the “Inland Empire” counties of Riverside and San Bernardino and only two neighborhoods found in Ventura County (Bell Canyon & North Ranch). One may be surprised that the Palm Springs area has no representation in the Higley 1000, however the statistical answer lies in the large number of retirees and second homes found in the area. This phenomenon is not unusual as the Hamptons are also absent from the Higley 1000.
Racial Patterns in Los Angeles’ Wealthiest Neighborhoods
As is true across the country, the wealthiest neighborhoods of Los Angeles are not representative of the racial make up of the metro area. It is particularly striking that area’s huge Latino population is so poorly represented in the 80 Higley 1000 Los Angeles neighborhoods. In 2000 Latinos made up 28.6% of the households in the metro area, but a mere 2.7% of the households in the Los Angeles Higley 1000 neighborhoods. Once one takes into to account live-in servants that have separately tallied households, this figure is undoubtedly even less than this small percentage.
Summary Table of Los Angeles Racial Statistics: Table 1
Summary Table of Los Angeles Racial Statistics
|2000 Census||Households||% Black||% Asian||% Latino||% White|
|Los Angeles Metro Area||5,347,101||8.0||9.7||28.6||50.7|
|Los Angeles County||3,133,774||10.7||11.5||32.3||42.3|
|Los Angeles City||1,275,358||12.6||10.3||32.9||40.9|
|Los Angeles Higley 1000||65,727||0.9||6.6||2.7||88.0|
|All Higley 1000 Places||674,328||1.0||4.8||2.2||91.0|
In 2000, Asian-Americans made up 9.7% of Los Angeles’ households and 6.6% of the households in the Higley 1000 neighborhoods. The distribution of Asians in the Higley 1000 neighborhoods varies immensely: from a high of 17.2% of households in the Pasadena-San Marino area to a mere 0.8 % in Laguna Beach.
Repeating a pattern seen elsewhere in the country, African-Americans are poorly represented in the Higley 1000 neighborhoods of Los Angeles (0.9%). The Los Angeles area has a noticeably smaller number of Black households than found in other large areas. African-Americans made up only 8% of all households found in the metro area in 2000.
Clusters of Higley 1000 Neighborhoods by Race: Table 2
Clusters of Higley 1000 Neighborhoods by Race
|Region||# Neigh||HH||% Black||% Asian||% Latino||% White|
|West Los Angeles||23||27,684||1.0||4.3||2.1||90.6|
|San Fernando Valley||5||7,381||1.2||3.5||2.1||91.1|
|Palos Verdes Peninsula||5||3,288||1.5||16.4||2.9||78.0|
|Hancock Park-Windsor Square||4||957||1.4||16.0||4.2||76.8|
|Los Angeles County||51||49,882||1.1||6.5||2.5||88.0|
|Coto de Caza||3||1,612||0.8||4.8||2.6||90.3|
Note that the core area of West Los Angeles has a racial distribution that is almost identical to the pattern found in all Higley 1000 neighborhoods. It is quite amazing that in spite of the high concentrations of Asian and Hispanic households in the LA metro area, there are so few households of those minority groups found in the what is the heart of Los Angeles’ geography of wealth.