Feeling Overcrowded? You Probably Live in SoCal

Los Angeles and Orange counties are home to some of the highest concentrations of overcrowding in the U.S. How does your neighborhood rate?

With skyrocketing rents and plunging incomes, Southern Californians have little choice but to crowd into apartments and houses. Los Angeles and Orange counties are home to more than half of the country’s most crowded neighborhoods, says the Los Angeles Times.

From the outside looking in, it is a largely invisible phenomenon. Places such as Maywood and Huntington Park, south of Los Angeles, look little like the high-rises of Chicago or Boston. Yet behind the closed doors of small bungalows or squat apartment buildings, they are home to thousands more people per square mile than those large cities.

The Times analyzed federal statistics to rank the country’s top 1 percent of crowded homes. It found the following:

  • 1 in 10 homes is crowded in Los Angeles and Orange counties, compared with 3 percent nationally. “Crowded” means housing more than one person per room.
  • 42 percent of the homes in southeast LA’s 90011 ZIP code are crowded, making it the most jampacked neighborhood in the country.
  • Southern California is the epicenter for crowded housing, with Los Angeles and Orange counties holding more than half of the country’s most heavily crowded census tracts.

It’s an epidemic of sorts that the Times says has far-reaching implications.

UCLA and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill researchers have found that children in crowded homes have poorer health, worse scores on math and reading tests and more behavioral and emotional problems — such as tantrums and depression — even when poverty is taken into account.

Think your neighborhood is overcrowded? Click on the Times’ interactive map here to see where the country’s top 1 percent of crowded homes are located.

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

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  • 3rdjerseyman

    Well, duh. Prop 187 was California’s last stand. When the courts overruled the people- and common sense- the development of Mexifornia accelerated and the end of the Golden State was ensured. White flight is enriching Texas and the other western states, but California is done. Any honest appraisal of the statistics for crime, education, dependency and illegitimacy proves the disaster that mass immigration has been for California, and, as was so truly said, “as California goes, so goes the country.”

  • John Hughes

    Here is a little information for non Californians:
    America thinks that California is in a financial crisis due to mismanagement of money and that could not be further from the truth. The fact is in the early seventies there was a proposition passed labeled PROP 13. It freezes property taxes for the homeowner at the value of when they purchased the house. So if the house goes up in value the taxes do not go up. Now here is where it ties into this article. The houses that are crowded are mainly rentals. The rentals are so old that the owners are paying taxes at a 1970 rate. So an average 3 bedroom house in 1970 would have Mom and Dad and up to 4 children. Now there is Grandma and Grandpa in one room, one child’s family in one bedroom, another child’s family in the other bedroom and maybe a converted garage. So 15 people could be living in a house that is paying taxes on 1970 values that might of had 6 in the house. In 1970 there was 4 children going to school on those tax dollars, now there could be 9.

    • Proposition 13, adopted by California voters in 1978, mandates a property tax rate of one percent, requires that properties be assessed at market value at the time of sale, and allows assessments to rise by no more than 2 percent per year until the next sale.

    • I.Popoff

      What does the state not having any money have to do with high housing costs or people choosing to live with several generations and extended relatives all in one small home? If taxes were higher the landlords would be charging even more. The connection with illegal immigration was not mentioned but the map tells the story.

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