Community Profile: Indian Wells

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.

Indian Wells is an incorporated City in the Coachella Valley that lies between Palm Desert and La Quinta. Native Americans first settled the area that is now the City of Indian Wells around a hand-built well, which is how the city derived its name. As early as 1823 the name “Indian Wells” was written in the diaries of an explorer, Jose Romero, who was looking for a route to Tuscon, AZ. Later, when gold was discovered in the Colorado River, a trail was built from Los Angeles through the desert with Indian Wells becoming an important stop along the route. In the 1920s, Indian Wells began booming along with the date industry in the Coachella Valley. After the Indian Wells Hotel was built in 1957, the area soon became a thriving golf destination. As surrounding cities began to incorporate in the 1960s, community leaders in Indian Wells decided it was important they become a city of their own, eventually incorporating in 1967.
Today, Indian Wells is home to four world-class resorts and several sports venues. Several worldwide sports competitions are held here annually including the BNP Paribas Open, a tennis championship held at Indian Wells Tennis Garden. The City is also home to the popular Indian Wells Arts Festival that draws attendees from around the Coachella Valley.

As of 2017 estimates, the population of Indian Wells was 5,267 people with a median income of $103,516. Compared to the greater Coachella Valley, Indian Wells has a relatively older population with a median age of 68 years old, high rates of education with 58% of residents having graduated college, and very low uninsured rates (2%).
Explore the visualizations below to learn more about demography, housing, education, environment, health and social connectedness in Indian Wells and how the community compares to the state, county and other places in the Coachella Valley. 

Demography


Indian Wells has a population of 5,267. The average household size is 1.9 people, slightly smaller than the average household size in Coachella Valley of 2.6.
31% of households in the City are either people living alone or with non-relatives, which are considered non-family households. This is slightly lower than the Coachella Valley average of 39%.

Race & Ethnicity

Indian Wells has a demographic make-up quite different from the rest of the Coachella Valley. Their Latinx population is just approximately 4%, compared to the Coachella Valley average of nearly 52%. Furthermore, their White population, 90%, is over twice as large as the Coachella Valley average of nearly 41%.

Immigration

Nearly 11% of Indian Wells' population are immigrants. This is less than half the immigrant population of the Coachella Valley (25%) and California (27%).
Nearly 49% of those immigrants are citizens which is 12 percentage points higher than average for the Coachella Valley (37%).
Select a community to the right of the chart to see how immigrant population compares to Indian Wells. 

Age Distribution

The median age in Indian Wells is nearly 68 years old, almost twice as old as the average age in Riverside County (35), and the United States (38).
The population in Indian Wells is generally older than the average in the Coachella Valley. 61% of the population is 65 and older, meanwhile this age group makes up just under 22% of the population for the greater Coachella Valley.
Hover over the chart on the right to see how age distribution in the Coachella Valley, CA and the US compares to Indian Wells. 

Education & Insurance

Graduation Rates

College graduation rates are high in Indian Wells compared to the rest of the Coachella Valley. 58% of Indian Wells residents have a college degree, which is more than twice as high as the Coachella Valley average of 24%.
Furthermore, most people in Indian Wells have at least a high school diploma. Only 4% of people in Indian Wells have less than a high school diploma. This is 5 times lower than the Coachella Valley average of 20% of people having less than a high school diploma.
Select a community to the right of the chart to see how college graduation rates and less than high school diploma rates compare to Indian Wells.

Health Insurance

The uninsured population rate is higher in the Coachella Valley at nearly 15%, than in CA and the US, which are both 11%. However, the uninsured population in Indian Wells is very low, 1/5 the rate of the CA average at 2%.
Select a community to the right of the chart to see how uninsured population rates compare to Indian Wells.

Employment

Median Income

The median household income in Indian Wells is $103,516Almost twice as high as the median household income in the Coachella Valley of $55,402. 

Labor Force Participation Rate

The labor force participation rate in Indian Wells is relatively low compared to the rest of the Coachella Valley. In Indian Wells, the labor force participation rate is nearly 35% compared with 63% in the Coachella Valley.
Select a community to the right of the chart to see how labor force participation rates compare to Indian Wells. 

Housing/Real Estate

Household Overcrowding

Household overcrowding is defined as having more than one person per room in a household. In Indian Wells, the percent of households who are overcrowded is very low, at 0.3%, compared to the Coachella Valley average of 6%.

Median Gross Rent

Median gross rent in Indian Wells is low when compared to the Coachella Valley average. At $857 per month, it is $250 lower per month than the Coachella Valley average of $1,007.

Rent Burdened Population

Given the low rent and high income, it is surprising that the percent of the rent-burdened population in Indian Wells is higher than average. Rent burden is defined as spending more than one-third of your monthly income on rent and utilities. In Indian Wells, 76% of the population is rent-burdened compared with 55% in the Coachella Valley.
Select a community to the right of the chart to see how rent burdened rates compare to Indian Wells.

Homeownership

The homeownership rate in Indian Wells is high compared to the rest of the Coachella Valley. In 2017 at 85%, of Indian Wells residents were homeowners, this homeownership rate was 20 percentage points higher than the Coachella Valley average of 65%.

Select a community to the right of the chart to see how homeownership rates compare to Indian Wells.

Social Connectedness & Transit


Linguistic Isolation

The percentage of non-English speaking households in Indian Wells, 2%, is far lower than the Coachella Valley average of 13%

Transit Ridership

Transit ridership in Indian Wells is uniquely high for the Coachella Valley and has grown over the last few years. In 2017, transit ridership reached just over 4%, compared with just 2% in the Coachella Valley. However, that rate is still lower than the California and U.S. averages which are both just over 5%.
Select a community to the right of the chart to see how transit ridership compares to Indian Wells.

Grace Persico
Grace Persico is a Master of Public Policy student interested in education policy, social justice, and community development. She studied international relations and anthropology at UC Davis, graduating with a dual degree in 2013. Prior to beginning her master’s program, Grace worked at Oakland Unified School District organizing summer and after school programs and spent some time abroad teaching in Colombia. In her free time she enjoys traveling, reading, and re-watching every episode of Parks & Rec.

Source Notes: All data in this community profile come from either the 2017 5-year estimates of the American Community Survey or the 2016 5-year estimates of the American Community Survey.  
Photo Credits: City of Indian Wells, Planning Division