Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The city derives its name from a mispronunciation of belle fleur, a variety of apple tree. Originally settled by dairy farmers of Dutch, Japanese, and Portuguese descent, Bellflower and neighboring Paramount served as the milk production centers for Southern California until soaring post-World War II property values motivated most of the farmers to move several miles east to the Dairy Valley/Dairyland area (now the cities of Cerritos and La Palma). Seemingly overnight, the city's pastures and farms were replaced by sprawling subdivisions of inexpensive, largely prefabricated single-story houses. In the 1950s and 1960s, Bellflower Boulevard, the city's main thoroughfare, was a thriving commercial strip. However, suburban growth in Orange County and the San Gabriel and San Fernando valleys made Bellflower's relatively humble housing tracts decidedly unattractive, and by the 1990s much of its original white population--and the businesses that served it--had left. The departed Anglos were replaced by just about every ethnicity imaginable, to the extent that the "A-B-C" region, formed by Bellflower and neighboring Artesia and Cerritos, is considered one of the most ethnically and linguistically diverse in the United States. Bellflower Boulevard has recovered much of its previous business traffic, and is now lined with shops advertising in two dozen languages.
Bellflower is located at 33°53'17" North, 118°7'39" West (33.888165, -118.127604).
As of the census2 of 2000, there are 72,878 people, 23,367 households, and 17,128 families residing in the city. The population density is 4,635.6/km² (11,999.5/mi²). There are 24,247 housing units at an average density of 1,542.3/km² (3,992.3/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 46.09% White, 13.09% Black or African American, 0.92% Native American, 9.69% Asian, 0.70% Pacific Islander, 24.38% from other races, and 5.13% from two or more races. 43.23% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 23,367 households out of which 43.7% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.0% are married couples living together, 19.0% have a female householder with no husband present, and 26.7% are non-families. 21.1% of all households are made up of individuals and 7.5% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 3.09 and the average family size is 3.59.
In the city the population is spread out with 31.9% under the age of 18, 10.3% from 18 to 24, 32.0% from 25 to 44, 17.4% from 45 to 64, and 8.4% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 30 years. For every 100 females there are 95.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 90.6 males.
The median income for a household in the city is $39,362, and the median income for a family is $42,822. Males have a median income of $32,658 versus $28,012 for females. The per capita income for the city is $15,982. 15.8% of the population and 12.8% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 20.7% of those under the age of 18 and 10.0% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.
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