La Mirada (Spanish for the look) was the creation of two men, Andrew McNally, a printer and mapmaker from Chicago (see Rand McNally) and his son-in-law Edwin Neff. In 1888, McNally purchased over 2,200 acres (8.9 km2) of Rancho Los Coyotes, south of Whittier, for $200,000. He developed 700 acres (2.8 km2) into his own home called Windermere Ranch and surrounded it with olive, orange and lemon groves. McNally built a plant to process the olive oil, which was of the best quality, as well as a railroad station on Stage Road. From here his olive oil and fruit were shipped all over the U.S.
In 1896, McNally turned his property over to his daughter and his son in law. McNally and Neff formed the La Mirada Land Company, which published a booklet entitled "The Country Gentleman in California", advertising parcels of land for sale including pictures, a map and descriptions of the scenic olive, alfalfa, lemon and grapefruit groves.
In 1946, "Along Your Way", a "Station by Station Description of the Santa Fe Route Through the Southwest," describes La Mirada with a population of 213, surrounded by orange, lemon, walnut and olive groves; oil wells; olive oil factory; and fruit packing houses.
The city received a lot of attention for the fact that it was going to be completely structured and planned out. Referred to as "the Nation's completely planned city" during the early 1950s, the city of La Mirada received a lot of attention from the State Fair. The Fair praised the city for planning for the future while still maintaining practicality for today.
In 1953, the land was sold to subdivisions for 5.2 million dollars, one of the largest real estate transactions in California. By 1960, the year the city was incorporated, La Mirada had grown from a mere 100 homes to over 8,000. The city was incorporated as "Mirada Hills" on March 23, 1960. On November 8, 1960, voters approved a change of name to the current La Mirada, which was officially certified on December 15, 1960.
Today, the current population is just over 50,000 with the addition of a new subdivision on the eastern portion of the town.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 7.9 square miles (20 km2). 7.8 square miles (20 km2) of it is land and 0.02 square miles (0.052 km2) of it (0.22%) is water. The city is on the border between Orange and Los Angeles Counties. The cities that border it on the Los Angeles County side are Santa Fe Springs to the west and Cerritos to the southwest; and unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County East Whittier, and South Whittier to the North. Then the cities which border it on the Orange County side are Fullerton and La Habra on the east; Buena Park on the south; also a small portions of unincorporated Orange County to the northeast.
The 2010 United States Census reported that La Mirada had a population of 48,527. The population density was 6,175.7 people per square mile (2,384.5/km²). The racial makeup of La Mirada was 29,462 (60.7%) White (38.0% Non-Hispanic White), 1,099 (2.3%) African American, 394 (0.8%) Native American, 8,650 (17.8%) Asian, 142 (0.3%) Pacific Islander, 6,670 (13.7%) from other races, and 2,110 (4.3%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 19,272 persons (39.7%).
The Census reported that 45,670 people (94.1% of the population) lived in households, 2,586 (5.3%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 271 (0.6%) were institutionalized.
There were 14,681 households, out of which 5,368 (36.6%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 8,971 (61.1%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 1,731 (11.8%) had a female householder with no husband present, 802 (5.5%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 544 (3.7%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 93 (0.6%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 2,536 households (17.3%) were made up of individuals and 1,578 (10.7%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.11. There were 11,504 families (78.4% of all households); the average family size was 3.48.
The population was spread out with 10,246 people (21.1%) under the age of 18, 7,092 people (14.6%) aged 18 to 24, 11,609 people (23.9%) aged 25 to 44, 12,203 people (25.1%) aged 45 to 64, and 7,377 people (15.2%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37.9 years. For every 100 females there were 92.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.4 males.
There were 15,092 housing units at an average density of 1,920.7 per square mile (741.6/km²), of which 11,608 (79.1%) were owner-occupied, and 3,073 (20.9%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 0.8%; the rental vacancy rate was 4.0%. 36,660 people (75.5% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 9,010 people (18.6%) lived in rental housing units.
During 2009–2013, La Mirada had a median household income of $81,961, with 7.0% of the population living below the federal poverty line.
As of the census of 2000, there were 46,783 people, 14,580 households, and 11,518 families residing in the city. The population density was 5,960.6 inhabitants per square mile (2,301.0/km²). There were 14,811 housing units at an average density of 1,887.1 per square mile (728.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 64.46% White, 1.93% Black or African American, 0.75% American Indian, 14.88% Asian, 0.27% Pacific Islander, 13.64% from other races, and 4.08% from two or more races. 33.47% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 14,580 households out of which 37.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 64.1% were married couples living together, 10.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 21.0% were non-families. 17.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.10 and the average family size was 3.49.
In the city, the population was spread out with 26.2% under the age of 18, 10.7% from 18 to 24, 28.5% from 25 to 44, 20.8% from 45 to 64, and 13.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 93.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.3 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $61,632, and the median income for a family was $66,598 (these figures had risen to $77,952 and $87,037 respectively as of a 2007 estimate). Males had a median income of $47,364 versus $31,993 for females. The per capita income for the city was $22,404. About 3.7% of families and 5.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.1% of those under age 18 and 4.5% of those age 65 or over.
The city is governed by a five-member council-manager government, each elected at-large (i.e., by the entire city's voting population, not by districts) to four year terms. Each year the five members vote one of themselves to be the Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem.
In the California State Legislature, La Mirada is in the 32nd Senate District, represented by Democrat Tony Mendoza, and in the 57th Assembly District, represented by Democrat Ian Calderon.
In the United States House of Representatives, La Mirada is in California's 38th congressional district, represented by Democrat Linda Sánchez.
The Los Angeles County Department of Health Services operates the Whittier Health Center in Whittier, serving La Mirada.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department (LASD) operates the Norwalk Station in Norwalk, serving La Mirada. In addition the department operates the La Mirada Substation.
The Norwalk Station is also responsible for providing contracted police services to the city of Norwalk as well as unincorporated South Whittier. The department has a substation in La Mirada located adjacent to City Hall. Many deputies assigned to La Mirada drive patrol cars marked with the La Mirada logo, but wear Los Angeles County deputy uniforms.
The city also employs a civilian Public Safety team to support the LASD. Public Safety Officers are unarmed and do not have arrest powers. They carry out ancillary duties such as issuing animal/bicycle licenses, fingerprinting, and writing reports on non-hazardous matters (e.g., forgery, vandalism). They are also charged with enforcing parking and municipal codes.
Fire protection and paramedic services are provided by the Los Angeles County Fire Department (LACoFD). The department maintains Station #49 in La Mirada adjacent to City Hall, provides coverage to the central parts of the city. Station 49 also serves as the headquarters for Battalion 21.
In May 2010 a ribbon cutting was held to celebrate the opening of a second fire station located operating from the city. Station 194 moved from its temporary home at 1401 South Beach Blvd into the new quarters at 13540 Beach Blvd. The site was chosen as it provides first-in coverage to the city of La Habra, which funded half of the cost of the construction project.
In return for investment towards the construction of Station 194, La Habra now enjoys the benefits of having a fourth Paramedic Assessment Fire Engine serving the city at no cost to La Habra taxpayers for a 20-year period (La Habra signed a ten-year fire service agreement extension in 2015). The entire cost of the four-person crew is funded by the County Fire District which La Mirada belongs.
The construction of the new fire station which was a key component of this agreement was completed in just over four years after a series of design and construction delays. Neighborhoods in eastern La Mirada that once experienced six-minute response times (travel time) can now be reached in three minutes or less today.
Crews from two nearby stations also include parts of La Mirada as their first-in district. Engine 35 stationed in Cerritos on Artesia Blvd covers most of the industrial areas of the city that are south of Interstate 5.
Station 15 located in East La Mirada on Santa Gertrudes Avenue handles the north and northeast sections of town. The four-person crew assigned to Quint 15 now staff the only truck company in the area. In addition to ladder truck duties a Quint also has the ability to pump water at a fire. Prior to the 2005 reduction of staff at the La Mirada Blvd station there was a truck staffed as well as the engine and paramedic squad currently staffed.
Public education in a majority of La Mirada is governed by the Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District, headquartered in neighboring Norwalk. La Mirada has one public secondary school, La Mirada High School
The Creek Park and Granada Heights neighborhoods in northern La Mirada are within the boundaries of the East Whittier City School District K - 8th grade, the Whittier Union High School District, and Rio Hondo College District all with campuses in nearby Whittier.
Several private schools are located in La Mirada:St. Paul of the Cross School in the Foster Park neighborhood
Beatitudes of Our Lord School
The city is home to one private higher education institution, Biola University.
La Mirada's main arterial streets are Rosecrans Avenue and Imperial Highway. Valley View Avenue, La Mirada Boulevard, and Santa Gertrudes Avenue are other important arterials. Interstate 5 passes through the southwest corner of the city, while Beach Boulevard (CA-39) passes through the east end of the city.
Freight railroad traffic through the city is handled by BNSF Railway on its right-of-way in the southwest portion of the city. Metrolink operates commuter rail service on this right-of-way; the nearest stations to La Mirada are Buena Park and Norwalk/Santa Fe Springs. Union Pacific Railroad operates a rail line along Interstate 5 and serves the southern industrial areas south of I-5.
Public transportation is provided by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro), Norwalk Transit, and Montebello Bus Lines.
According to the City's 2014 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the top employers in the city are:
The Elephant Bar restaurant chains offices are located there.Gary Allan, country singer, born in La Mirada
YTCracker, former hacker, Nerdcore rapper
Ila Borders, female baseball pitcher
Derby Carillo, American-born Salvadoran footballer
Tony Corrente, NFL referee
Jennie Finch, Olympic softball player
Mark R. Hughes, founder of Herbalife
Steven L. Kwast, United States Air Force General
Janine Lindemulder, exotic dancer and adult film actress
Keith McGill, football player for the Oakland Raiders
Shotaro Omori, American figure skater
Russell Poole an LAPD Detective noted for the investigation into the deaths of rap star Notorious B.I.G. and the cop to cop shooting between LAPD officers, Kevin Gaines and Frank Lyga. In addition to uncovering of LAPD notorious Ramapart Scandal
Amber Riley, actor and singer best known for her role in Glee
Derrick Williams, basketball player for the Sacramento Kings
Eric Winter, actor best known for his role in Days of Our Lives
Chase De Leo, hockey player for the Winnipeg Jets