Norwalk is a suburban city in Los Angeles County, California, United States. The population was 105,549 at the 2010 census, up from 103,298 at the 2000 census. It is the 64th most populous city in California.
Founded in the late 19th century, Norwalk was incorporated as a city in 1957. It is located 17 miles (27 km) southeast of downtown Los Angeles and is part of the Greater Los Angeles area.
Norwalk is a member of the Gateway Cities Council of Governments. Norwalks sister cities are Morelia, Michoacan, and Hermosillo, Sonora, in Mexico.
The area known as "Norwalk" was first home to the Shoshonean Native American tribe. They survived primarily on honey, an array of berries, acorns, sage, squirrels, rabbits and birds. Their huts were part of the Sejat Indian village.
In the late 1760s, settlers and missions flourished under Spanish rule with the famous El Camino Real trail traversing the area. Manuel Nieto, a Spanish soldier, received a Spanish land grant (Rancho Los Nietos) in 1784 that included Norwalk.
After the Mexican-American War in 1848, the Rancho and mining days ended. Portions of the land were subdivided and made available for sale when California was admitted into the union of the United States. Word of this land development reached the Sproul Brothers in Oregon. They recalled the fertile land and huge sycamore trees they saw during an earlier visit to the Southern California area. In 1869, Atwood Sproul, on behalf of his brother, Gilbert, purchased 463 acres (1.87 km2) of land at $11 an acre ($2700/km²) in an area known as Corazon de los Valles, or “Heart of the Valleys”.
By 1873, railroads were being built in the area and the Sprouls deeded 23 acres (93,000 m²) stipulating a "passenger stop" clause in the deed. Three days after the Anaheim Branch Railroad crossed the "North-walk" for the first time, Gilbert Sproul surveyed a town site. In 1874, the name was recorded officially as Norwalk. While a majority of the Norwalk countryside remained undeveloped during the 1880s, the Norwalk Station allowed potential residents the opportunity to visit the "country" from across the nation.
What are known as the "first families" to Norwalk (including the Sprouls, the Dewitts, the Settles, and the Orrs) settled in the area in the years before 1900. D.D. Johnston pioneered the first school system in Norwalk in 1880. Johnston was also responsible for the first real industry in town, a cheese factory, by furnishing Tom Lumbard with the money in 1882. Norwalks prosperity was evident in the 1890s with the construction of a number of fine homes that were located in the middle of orchards, farms and dairies. Headstones for these families can be found at Little Lake Cemetery, which was founded in 1843 on the border between Norwalk and Santa Fe Springs at Lakeland Road.
At the turn of the 19th century, Norwalk had become established as a dairy center. Of the 50 local families reported in the 1900 census, most were associated with farming or with the dairy industry. Norwalk was also the home of some of the largest sugar beet farms in all of Southern California during this era. Many of the dairy farmers who settled in Norwalk during the early part of the 20th century were Dutch.
After the 1950s, the Hispanic population in Norwalk grew significantly as the area became increasingly residential.
Norwalk is located at 33°54?25?N 118°5?0?W (33.906914, -118.083398).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 25.243 km2 (10 sq mi). 9.707 square miles (25.14 km2) of it is land and 0.039 square miles (0.10 km2) of it (0.40%) is water.
Norwalk is bordered by Downey on the northwest, Bellflower on the southwest, Cerritos and Artesia on the south, and Santa Fe Springs on the north and east.
According to the Citys 2013 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the top employers in the city are: