South Gate, California

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South Gate, California

Incorporated in 1923, South Gate is the 59th largest city in California, and the 16th largest city in Los Angeles County. South Gate is located in the southern part of the state, and borders the southeastern part of the City of Los Angeles.

South Gate straddles both the Los Angeles River and Interstate 710. It fits, with room to spare, in the triangle bounded by Interstate 110, on the west, Interstate 105 on the south, and Interstate 5 along the northeast. The Pacific Ocean is about 10 miles away whether you are traveling due west or due south. The southeast portion of the city is an area known as Hollydale, a community which was annexed by South Gate.

South Gate is served by four airports, which are all between 6 and 12 miles away. The Metropolitan Transit Authority provides bus service.

Much of South Gate was included in the grant of land from the King of Spain to Don Antonio Maria Lugo in 1810 as a result of his father's service in the Spanish Army. It was originally used for agricultural crops and for grazing cattle, horses, and sheep. The land, known as Rancho San Antonio, was divided into smaller units as it was passed down. By the 1870's much of it was 40 acre tracts.

Between 1910 and 1940 homes, factories, and a commercial district grew at the south gate of the rancho, providing the city with its name. An early housing development named "Southgate Gardens-Gateway to the Sea" began selling in 1917. It comprised 268 parcels of land, each roughly a half acre. By 1918 a total of 125 homes held an estimated 500 residents. The railroad, homes, and industry reinforced each other's growth. In the 1920's and 1930's several large companies constructed factories in South Gate including Firestone Tire and Rubber Company, A. R. Maas Chemical Company, the fore runner of U.S. Gypsum named Star Roofing Company, and General Motors. Since then, major changes have been the boon to industry which World War II brought, and the immigration of Latino and other groups which began in the 1970's.

The city maintains nine parks. South Gate Park, the largest, with 96 acres, offers:

  • 10 baseball diamonds
  • 6 tennis courts
  • Horseshoe pits
  • A shuffle board court
  • Basketball
  • Handball
  • A 9-hole Frisbee golf
  • An Olympic size swimming pool
  • 20 acres of picnic grounds with tables and barbeques
  • A par 3 golf course
  • A Municipal Auditorium
  • A Girls Clubhouse

One annual attraction is the South Gate Children's Christmas Lane Parade. Others are the Southern Avenue Bike Pedestrian Way and the Rio Hondo Bicycle Trail

In 1990 South Gate, along with nine other cities, received the "All-America City Award" given by the National Civic League. In 2006, Southgate Elementary School was given an "Honorable Mention Award" by the California School Recognition Program.

The famous aviator, Amelia Earhart, was taught to fly at an unpaved air strip in South Gate named Kinner Field. It was located on Century Boulevard at the intersection with Long Beach Boulevard. Glenn Seaborg, the 1951 co-winner of the "Nobel Prize", who also worked on the Manhattan Project lived in a neighborhood which later became part of South Gate.

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High Points

South Gate strengths, compared to Peers (similar size places nationally) or State (other places in California):

Category Trophy
Public Transportation Use
(vs. Peers)
Top 13% South Gate Public Transportation Use

Comparative Profile of South Gate, California

Comparing South Gate to similar size places nationwide (Peers) and to other places in California (State):

Ratings range from 1 (lowest) to 10 (highest).

The People

Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
Children Under 5 Years Old 10 10
Male Share of the Population 9 7
Racial Diversity 5 3
Female Share of the Population 3 4
Age of the Population 1 1
Senior Citizens 1 1
Well-Paid Single Men 1 1


Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
Average Household Size 10 10
Portion of People Married 8 8


Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
People Above Poverty 2 3
Median Family Income 1 2
People in Middle Class or Better 1 2
College Educated Adults 1 1

Commute & Sprawl

Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
Public Transportation Use 9 10
Walking and Biking to Work 7 5
Short Commute Times 2 3
Working at Home 2 1


Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
Studio & One-Bedroom Rentals 10 10
Seasonal and Vacation Housing 9 9
Affordability of Rents 6 8
Affordability of Property Taxes 6 6
Housing Recently Built 2 1
People Living Alone 1 1


Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
Low Property Crime 6 6
Low Violent Crime 3 3

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South Gate Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Large City 7 miles S of Los Angeles, California
County Los Angeles
Standard Zip Codes 90280
Phone Area Codes 323
Time Zone Pacific (-8 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 33.954
Longitude -118.211

South Gate Climate

Nearest Weather Stations

  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)
Distance 7.5 miles
Jan Temp 49 to 68 F
Apr Temp 54 to 73 F
Jul Temp 65 to 84 F
Oct Temp 60 to 79 F
Annual Precip 15.1 inches
Distance 10.2 miles
Jan Temp 46 to 68 F
Apr Temp 53 to 73 F
Jul Temp 65 to 83 F
Oct Temp 58 to 79 F
Annual Precip 12.9 inches
Distance 11.9 miles
Jan Temp 43 to 70 F
Apr Temp 50 to 77 F
Jul Temp 62 to 89 F
Oct Temp 55 to 83 F
Annual Precip 18.5 inches
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South Gate Population (2000)

Category Count Percent
Total Population 96,375 100%
Male 47,767 49.6%
Female 48,608 50.4%
Under 18 34,278 35.6%
18+ 62,097 64.4%
65+ 5,249 5.4%
Median Age 26
Average Family Size 4.37
White 40,136 41.6%
African-American 923 1%
Asian 804 0.8%
American Indian & Alaskan 901 0.9%
Other 49,112 51%
Mixed Race 4,385 4.5%
Hispanic (included in categories above) 88,669 92%

Estimated South Gate Population Growth 2000-2005

Category Value
Est. 2005 Population 98,897
Growth 2,522
Growth % 2.6%

South Gate Ancestry

(From 2000 Census, as reported by individuals)

Note: This is national, not racial, ancestry, so, e.g., the Census doesn't have categories for Hispanic and African-American people. CityTownInfo is currently gathering additional ancestry data for this site.
Ancestry Percent
Other (often includes Hispanic and African American) 93.6%
US/American 1.8%
German 0.8%
English 0.7%
Irish 0.5%
Italian 0.4%
Scotch-Irish 0.2%
French (except Basque) 0.2%
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Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Pop. Median Family
Income (2000)
South Gate 96,375 $35,789
Bell 36,664 $30,504
Bell Gardens 44,054 $30,419
Cudahy 24,208 $28,833
Huntington Park 61,348 $29,844
Lynwood 69,845 $35,808
Maywood 28,083 $30,361

Starbucks in South Gate

(As of 2005)
Firestone & Garfield
8620 Garfield Ave
Firestone & Long Beach
8924 Long Beach Blvd.
Tweedy & Otis, Southgate (UCO)
4181 Tweedy Blvd
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South Gate High Schools (2004)

(Sorted by Number of Students)

A Title I School.
Serves 5,020 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 26.8

A Non-traditional School
Title I eligible, not participating.
Serves 162 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 27

South Gate Colleges

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Advanced College

(List of California Colleges)

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City, State Similarity   1 Person Houses 65+ College Grads Commute Minutes Family Income Kids 0-4 Non White Pop. Poverty Prop. Crime Seasonal Housing Viol. Crime
      loose loose loose loose loose loose loose loose loose loose loose loose
1. Imperial Beach, California 89.3   21.4% 7.5% 11.7% 29 $37,352 8.4% 37.7% 26,992 18.8% 33.2 1.8% 7
2. Greenfield, California 88.1   8.4% 5% 3.7% 32 $35,520 10.5% 60.4% 12,583 21.6% 40.6 1.2% 6
3. Perris, California 85.7   12% 6.2% 6.6% 37 $36,063 10.8% 58.8% 36,189 20.4% 48.9 1% 8.3
4. King City, California 85.5   13.6% 6.2% 8% 27 $33,750 9.8% 57.9% 11,094 20.8% 49.8 0.5% 3.3
5. Adelanto, California 84.2   14.9% 5.1% 5.9% 38 $35,254 10.7% 49.5% 18,130 24.5% 28.9 0.6% 4.5
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