Community Profile: Palm Desert
Community profiles provide insight and information to the nine cities and unincorporated places in the Coachella Valley. The profiles provide precise, relevant data at the community level in combination with interactive maps and visualizations to help community members learn about the most important issues facing their communities and to help policy makers make informed decisions for their constituents. Community profiles are updated annually with the latest data, with new profiles released on a regular basis.
Palm Desert is located between the cities of Palm Springs and Indio in Riverside County southeast of the San Bernardino Mountains. Originally incorporated in 1973, it is one of the largest cities in the Coachella Valley. Palm Desert is home to many resorts, golf courses, spas, and shops utilized by residents and a large annual population of tourists. Palm Desert is also home to the highest number of housing units, healthcare institutions, financial institutions and nonprofit organizations in the Coachella Valley. The median income in the city is $53,700, slightly higher than the average for other places in the Coachella Valley of $49,970.
The majority of the population in Palm Desert is White (65%) and almost half of the city's population is over the age of 55, much higher than the average age in California. The city has a low number of immigrants and non-English speaking households when compared to other Coachella Valley communities.
Explore the visualizations below to learn more about demography, housing and social connectedness in Palm Desert and how the city compares to the state, county and other places in the Coachella Valley.
Palm Desert is the third largest city in the Coachella Valley with a population of 51,045. The city stretches across 27.02 square miles.
The average household size in Palm Desert is 2.14 people, and 45% of the total 23,729 households in the city are made up of non-family households (individuals living alone or with non-relatives) - above average for the Coachella Valley.
Palm Desert has a median age of 51 years old, relatively old compared to the state median age of 36 years old and the county median age of 35 years old.
31.6% of the city is over the age of 64, which is high for both the Coachella Valley region, Riverside County and the state of California.
Race & Ethnicity
Palm Desert has the fifth largest White population in the Coachella Valley with White people making up 65% of the city's population. Compared to other Coachella Valley communities, Palm Desert also has a relatively large Asian population and a relatively small Hispanic Population.
Just under 21% of the Palm Desert population are immigrants, which is below average for the Coachella Valley, Riverside County and the state of California. Select a community to the right of the chart to see how the size of its immigrant population compares to Palm Desert.
45% of Palm Desert's immigrants are citizens, a relatively high rate compared to many other communities in the Coachella Valley.
There are 38,936 housing units in Palm Desert, making up 17.4% of the total housing units in Coachella Valley cities and places. Hover over each box to see how Palm Desert compares to other communities in the Coachella Valley.
Median Rent Price
Median gross rent in Palm Desert is $1,156, almost 20% above the average for the Coachella Valley.
Almost 50% of the population in Palm Desert was rent burdened in 2016, below the average rates in California and the County of Riverside.
Select a community to the right of the graph to see how rent burden rates compare to Palm Desert.
4.5% of households in Palm Desert have more than one person per one room of their housing unit, below average for the county's overcrowding rate of 7.3%.
84.4% of households in Palm Desert are living in the same housing unit as they were one year ago, just slightly below average for the county's stability rate of 85.7%.
Homeownership rates have steadily declined in Palm Springs over the most recent group of 5-year estimates. 60% of households are homeowners, above average for the state of California, but slightly below the national and Riverside County averages.
Select a community to the right of the graph to see how home-ownership rates compare to Palm Desert.
3.6% of the households in Palm Desert are non-English speaking households. This is relatively low compared to the average across other Coachella Valley places where 10.7% of households are non-English speaking.
Palm Desert has the highest number of healthcare institutions in the Coachella Valley. There are 292 healthcare institutions in Palm Desert.
Select a community to the right of the map, or hover over the map to see how the number of healthcare institutions vary by community.
Palm Desert has the highest number of financial institutions in the Coachella Valley. There are 30 financial institutions in Palm Desert.
Select a community to the right of the map, or hover over the map to see how the number of financial institutions vary by community.
Sources Notes: All data in this community profile come from the 2016 5-year estimates of the American Community Survey with the exception of Healthcare Institutions and Financial Institutions which come from the 2018 Reference USA Business Database.
Photo Credit: Noe Montes