Taking a Closer Look at Pasadena’s Racial Diversity

“Diversity is not about how we differ. Diversity is about embracing one another’s uniqueness.” -Ola Joseph

Diversity is more than just a noble goal. It is a necessity. Diversity is an engine that powers a vibrant and dynamic economy and civic life. Of late, in the face of significant civil unrest that has pitted an aggrieved African American community against the police, and a presidential administration that has consistently painted immigrants—mostly those from predominantly black and brown countries, as responsible for all manner of societal ills—the idea of diversity as aspiration has taken it on the chin.

Fortunately, in Pasadena, we continue to embrace the concept, understand its value, and enjoy a truly diverse population that keeps us pointing toward the future rather than mired in a discordant past. While we cannot ignore the structural inequities that still erect economic and social barriers, with a City Council that mirrors the diversity of the city itself, and a commitment to promoting the advantages inherent in such a diverse population, we can be confident Pasadena remains focused on righting not just economic inequality but fostering educational and judicial equity as well. As James T. Ellison said, “The real death of America will come when everyone is alike.”

Ethnicity pie chart

source USA Census Data
The five largest ethnic groups in Pasadena, CA are White (Non-Hispanic) (35.4), White (Hispanic) (34.8), Asian (non-Hispanic) (17.2%), American Indian .3%, and Black or African American (non-Hispanic) (9.8%). 2.5% identify as Other.

Nationally, those groups are:
White (non-Hispanic): 60.1%
White (Hispanic): 18.5%
Asian (non-Hispanic): 5.9%
American Indian: 1.3%
African American (non-Hispanic): 13.4%
Other: .8%

In California, those groups are:
White (non-Hispanic): 36.5%
White (Hispanic): 39.4%
Asian (non-Hispanic): 15.2%
American Indian: 1.6%
African American: 6.5%

Population growth bar chart

source: USA Census
Population change since 2010 +6.3% USA
Population Change since 2010 +6.1% California
Population change since 2010 +2.9% Pasadena

Income and property value comparison

source: Data USA

Median HHI: $78,941
Median Property Value: $737,100
Poverty Rate: 15.7%

Median HHI: $75,277
Median Property Value: $546,800
Poverty Rate: 14.3%

Median HHI: $61,937
Property Value: $229,700
Poverty Rate: 13.1%

Birth Origins

source: Data USA

Pasadena – 30% foreign born 85.2% of residents are citizens
USA – 13.7% foreign born 93.2% of residents are citizens
California – 26.7% foreign born 87.2% of residents are citizens

Upper education by ethnicity

% of Advanced degrees earned
White – Pasadena 21% USA 57.2% CA – 32.7%
Hispanic – Pasadena 37% USA 16.3% CA – 34.3%
Asian – Pasadena 27.1 % USA 6.2% CA– 16.1%
Black – Pasadena 3.9% USA 11.9% CA – 6.02

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