How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

What is a multiracial city? Southern California has a growing number of them

Photo by Leslie Berestein Rojas/KPCC

Outside a mini-mall in Alhambra, Calif., October 2010

What is a multiracial city? According to researchers at the University of Southern California, these are cities that "have significant populations of at least two and as many as four major racial groups." And Southern California has loads of them, many more than two decades ago.

A new report out today from USC finds that over the past 20 years throughout the region, the percentage of cities fitting this definition of multiracial has been steadily on the rise.

While just over half the cities in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties could be considered multiracial in 1990, more than 61 percent of the cities in the region are now home to two or more of the major racial groups identified in the study: white, black, Latino and Asian/Pacific Islander.

Some of the highlights:


Readers on Latinos buying 'grandma's house'

Photo by Irina Netchaev/Flickr (Creative Commons)

A post earlier this week highlighted a new USC report on the "housing swap" taking place in California between older white Americans as they sell off their homes in retirement, and the younger Latinos who are entering the market. According to the report, it's thanks in part to these new homeowners that while California residents 75 and older have been selling their homes in large numbers, the state has seen only a one percent net drop in home ownership rates.

The headline asked the question, "Who will buy grandma's house?" The reaction from some of the readers posting comments on KPCC's Facebook page has been interesting.

Marc Ramirez wrote:

Yeah, yeah... coming to your neighborhood!

Jeff Musa didn't seem to mind that, writing:
Today's Latinos aren't any different than yesterday's Germans or Italians. Families. Values. Upwards. Education. It's still happening and yeah, there were people scared of the 'bad' immigrants 100 years ago too, yelling at them to learn English already. It will be fine folks. Welcome to the neighborhood.


Who will buy grandma's house? Likely a Latino family

Photo by Todd Lappin/Flickr (Creative Commons)

Who is going to buy your parents' or grandparents' house when they retire and downsize, or move out of state? According to a new study from the University of Southern California, there's a good chance that the buyers will be Latino.

The report from the USC School of Policy, Planning, and Development breaks down who has been selling homes in California and who has been buying them, using census data to illustrate a housing swap that is taking place between older white Americans and younger Latinos.

According to the report, California residents 75 and older have been selling off their homes in large numbers. In spite of this, the state has only experienced a 1 percent net drop in home ownership rates. Why? Largely because of the number of young Latino homeowners entering the market. From the report: