Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Cudahy is located at 33°57'51" North, 118°10'57" West (33.964214, -118.182575).
As of the census2 of 2000, there are 24,208 people, 5,419 households, and 4,806 families residing in the city. The population density is 8,345.3/km² (21,627.7/mi²). There are 5,542 housing units at an average density of 1,910.5/km² (4,951.3/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 43.14% White, 1.24% Black or African American, 1.28% Native American, 0.74% Asian, 0.17% Pacific Islander, 48.06% from other races, and 5.37% from two or more races. 94.14% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 5,419 households out of which 66.0% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.6% are married couples living together, 21.7% have a female householder with no husband present, and 11.3% are non-families. 8.1% of all households are made up of individuals and 3.5% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 4.47 and the average family size is 4.58.
In the city the population is spread out with 39.9% under the age of 18, 12.4% from 18 to 24, 32.3% from 25 to 44, 11.7% from 45 to 64, and 3.7% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 24 years. For every 100 females there are 97.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 97.4 males.
The median income for a household in the city is $29,040, and the median income for a family is $28,833. Males have a median income of $19,149 versus $16,042 for females. The per capita income for the city is $8,688. 28.3% of the population and 26.4% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 34.1% of those under the age of 18 and 18.1% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.
Cudahy is named for its founder, meat-packing baron Michael Cudahy (who also lent his name to a suburb of Milwaukee), who purchased the original 2,800 acres (11 km²) in 1908 to resell as one acre (4,000 m²) lots. These "Cudahy lots" were notable for their dimensions--in most cases, 50 to 100 feet (15 to 30 meters) in width and 600 to 800 feet in depth, a length equivalent to a city block or more in most American towns. Such parcels, often referred to as "railroad lots," were intended to allow the new town's residents to keep a large vegetable garden, a grove of fruit trees (usually citrus), and a chicken coop or horse stable. This arrangement, which proved popular in the booming towns along the lower reaches of the Los Angeles and San Gabriel rivers, proved particularly attractive to the Southerners and Midwesterners who were leaving their struggling farms in droves in the 1910s and 1920s to start new lives in Southern California. (Well into the 1950s, Cudahy residents were fond of going into the city's tiny downtown on horseback!) Los Angeles' notoriously anti-union industrialists of the day approved, as well: with factory workers housed in single-family homes in spacious semi-agricultural suburbs such as Cudahy, unionization and radical politics had considerably less momentum than in the overpopulated tenements and shantytowns of the East and Midwest.
By the early 1960s, increasing property values, as well as changes in zoning permits and property tax assessment formulas, led many Cudahy residents to sell off their homes to real estate developers who radically densified the once-tiny town. Where the typical Cudahy lot originally contained only a small one- or two-story house, most parcels today contain at least two duplex or triplex apartment buildings, and oftentimes a two- or three-story apartment building that stretches the length of the property, containing dozens (if not hundreds) of units. From the 1970s onward, these housing units have been filled almost entirely with working-class Latinos, and today Cudahy boasts one of the highest population densities of any incorporated city in the United States.
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