Community Profile: Palm Springs

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 Springs is a desert resort city known for its warm, year-round temperatures, golf courses, midcentury modern architecture and its palm tree-lined downtown streets. The city is located at the base of the San Jacinto Mountains in Riverside County.  During the 1930s, the Palm Springs area became a popular destination for tourists and Hollywood stars due to its close proximity to Los Angeles (107 miles). The city was officially incorporated in 1938. 
Today, Palm Springs is home to over 47,525 residents. The median age in Palm Springs is 55, almost 20 years older than the median age in Riverside County (35 years). The median income in the city is $50,361, slightly lower than the Coachella Valley average of $53,385. The majority of the population in the city of Palm Springs is White (61%), with the second largest population being Hispanic (28%).
Explore the visualizations below to learn more about demography, housing and social connectedness in the city of Palm Springs and how the city compares to the state, county and other places in the Coachella Valley. 

Demography


Palm Springs is the fourth largest city in the Coachella Valley with a population of 47,545. The city stretches across 94.1 square miles, making it the 10th-largest California city by land area.
The average household size in the city of Palm Springs is 1.98 people, and 57% of the 23,719 households in the city are made up of non-family households (individuals living alone or with non-relatives) - well above the Coachella Valley average

Age Distribution

Palm Springs has a median age of 55 years old, relatively older than the state median age of 36 years old and the national median age of 38 years old.
49.6% of the city is over the age of 55, which is very high compared to the nation and the state of California.

Race & Ethnicity

White residents in Palm Springs make up the largest portion of the population (61%), followed by Hispanic residents (27.8%). Compared to other Coachella Valley communities, Palm Springs also has a relatively large Asian population. 

Immigration

21% of the population in Palm Springs is immigrants, which is below average for the Coachella Valley 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 the city of Palm Springs.
43% of Palm Springs' immigrants are citizens, a relatively high rate compared to many other communities in the Coachella Valley. 

Housing/Real Estate

Housing Units

There are 37,434 housing units in the city of Palm Springs, making up 15.3% of the total housing units in Coachella Valley cities and places. Hover over each box to see how the city of Palm Springs compares to other communities in the Coachella Valley.

Median Rent Price

Median gross rent in Palm Springs is $1056, which is 7% below the average for the Coachella Valley.

Rent Burden

56.3% of renter households in the city of Palm Springs were rent burdened as of 2018 estimates, meaning they paid more than 30% of their income on rent and utilities. This is just above the average rate for the Coachella Valley and California.
Select a community to the right of the graph to see how rent burden rates compare to the city of Palm Springs over time. 

Overcrowded Households

3.5% of households in the city of Palm Springs have more than one person per one room of their housing unit, below average for the county's overcrowding rate of 6.9%.

Housing Stability

81.3% of households in the city of Palm Springs are living in the same housing unit as they were one year ago, slightly below average for the county's stability rate of 86.8%. 

Homeownership

60.6% of households were homeowners as of 2018 estimates, above the average for the state of California, but below the Coachella Valley and national averages.
Select a community to the right of the graph to see how home-ownership rates compare to the city of Palm Springs over time.
 

Housing Affordability* 

Approximately 2,130 housing units in Palm Springs are designated as "affordable housing units" according to data compiled from multiple sources - making up about 15% of all affordable housing units in the Coachella Valley. Such units are available to households based on federal income eligibility requirements, and residents living in the units pay no more than 30% of their incomes towards rent. 
In 2019, rents at 472 housing units were being subsidized by Housing Choice Vouchers in census tracts containing Palm Springs. In the Coachella Valley as a whole, 2,110 units were subsidized by the program in 2019. 

Social Connectedness

Linguistic Isolation

4.8% of the households in the city of Palm Springs are limited-English speaking households. This is relatively low compared to the average across other Coachella Valley places where 15.5% of households don't speak English.

Grocery Store Access*

Approximately 17% of the population in Palm Springs was considered to be living in a food desert as of 2015. In Coachella Valley as a whole, 35% of the population was living in a food desert. 

Erika Van Sickel
Erika received her Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies from UC Santa Barbara then worked at an environmental nonprofit organization in San Diego. She is currently pursuing a master’s in planning at USC with a concentration in design and a certificate in real estate development. Erika is also assisting to investigate rent burden and the resulting sacrifices residents are forced to make. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time outdoors and is a yoga and coffee enthusiast.

*Denotes data sources that do not provide data at the city level. The starred data is a total or average of the census tracts containing the city. 
Sources Notes: All data in this community profile come from the 2018 5-year estimates of the American Community Survey with the following exceptions: (1) Grocery Store Access which comes from the United States Department of Agriculture in 2015, (2) Housing Choice Vouchers which come from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in 2017, and (3) Affordable Housing Units that were compiled from multiple sources in 2018. All income and rent data is shown in 2018 dollars for all years. 
Photo Credit: Noe Montes