Much of the area is serviced by the post office in Torrance. Thus, being a Torrance P.O., and therefore having a Torrance zip code, residents and businesses of West Carson put "Torrance, CA" on their mail. For instance, the mailing address of Harbor-UCLA Medical Center is 1000 W. Carson Street Torrance, CA, because it is a Torrance P.O., but it is actually located in West Carson, CA.
West Carson is located at 33°49′35″N 118°17′33″W (33.826266, -118.292534), or about two miles (3 km) west of Carson.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 2.3 square miles (6.0 km2), over 99% of it land.
The north to south boundary of this unincorporated area is 190th Street to Lomita Boulevard; the west to east boundary is Normandie Avenue to the Harbor Freeway (Interstate 110).
The incorporated City of Los Angeles area Harbor Gateway (from Western Avenue to Normandie) lies west of West Carson, and the incorporated city of Carson lies east of the Harbor Freeway from West Carson.
The Harbor–UCLA Medical Center, operated by the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services, has a Torrance postal address, but it is located in West Carson.
In the state legislature West Carson is located in the 28th Senate District, represented by Democrat Isadore Hall, III, and in the 55th Assembly District, represented by Democrat Al Muratsuchi. Federally, West Carson is located in California's 43rd and is represented by Democrat Maxine Waters.
The 2010 United States Census reported that West Carson had a population of 21,699. The population density was 9,522.0 people per square mile (3,676.5/km²). The racial makeup of West Carson was 7,630 (35.2%) White (21.4% Non-Hispanic White), 2,330 (10.7%) African American, 185 (0.9%) Native American, 6,730 (31.0%) Asian, 301 (1.4%) Pacific Islander, 3,411 (15.7%) from other races, and 1,112 (5.1%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 7,100 persons (32.7%).
The Census reported that 20,493 people (94.4% of the population) lived in households, 176 (0.8%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 1,030 (4.7%) were institutionalized.
There were 7,166 households, out of which 2,236 (31.2%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 3,634 (50.7%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 978 (13.6%) had a female householder with no husband present, 450 (6.3%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 311 (4.3%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 46 (0.6%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 1,687 households (23.5%) were made up of individuals and 712 (9.9%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.86. There were 5,062 families (70.6% of all households); the average family size was 3.40.
The population was spread out with 4,066 people (18.7%) under the age of 18, 1,816 people (8.4%) aged 18 to 24, 5,805 people (26.8%) aged 25 to 44, 6,109 people (28.2%) aged 45 to 64, and 3,903 people (18.0%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42.1 years. For every 100 females there were 94.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.8 males.
There were 7,426 housing units at an average density of 3,258.7 per square mile (1,258.2/km²), of which 5,459 (76.2%) were owner-occupied, and 1,707 (23.8%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 1.6%; the rental vacancy rate was 4.3%. 15,074 people (69.5% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 5,419 people (25.0%) lived in rental housing units.
According to the 2010 United States Census, West Carson had a median household income of $62,100, with 8.6% of the population living below the federal poverty line.
As of the census of 2000, there were 21,138 people, 7,156 households, and 5,052 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 9,355.3 inhabitants per square mile (3,611.3/km²). There were 7,406 housing units at an average density of 3,277.8 per square mile (1,265.3/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 41.99% White, 11.75% African American, 0.66% Native American, 25.07% Asian, 1.20% Pacific Islander, 13.94% from other races, and 5.39% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 29.44% of the population.
There were 7,156 households out of which 29.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.6% were married couples living together, 12.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.4% were non-families. 24.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.85 and the average family size was 3.41.
In the CDP, the population was spread out with 22.6% under the age of 18, 8.0% from 18 to 24, 29.3% from 25 to 44, 24.8% from 45 to 64, and 15.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 92.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.5 males.
The median income for a household in the CDP was $49,118, and the median income for a family was $55,000. Males had a median income of $41,085 versus $32,032 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $21,023. About 7.4% of families and 9.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.4% of those under age 18 and 7.1% of those age 65 or over.
Residents are zoned to the Los Angeles Unified School District. Meyler Street Elementary School and Van Deene Elementary School are in West Carson. Some of the students attend Torrance Unified School District even though it is located in the Los Angeles Unified School District.