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Research Papers on the Demographic Characteristics of Los Angeles

How do you start a Demographic Characteristics of Los Angeles research paper? Our expert writers suggest like this:

Four million people live in the United State’s second most populated city, Los Angeles. As a major metropolitan area, Los Angeles is a global cultural center as well as an industrial behemoth. A research paper on the demographic characteristics of Los Angeles could be approached from many angles and with countless statistics on the diverse group of individuals that live within the city confines. Paper Masters suggests that you begin your research paper with a very narrow focus on just one demographic of Los Angeles and expand from there. Otherwise your topic will encompass too much information and you will not cover any aspect of the demographics sufficiently.

The demographic of population cites the cities populous at 4,065,585 people as of 2009, according to the City of Los Angeles Information Statement of 2010. 10 % of the total population of California lives in Los Angeles, with a very diverse range of cultural backgrounds.

Modern Los Angeles owes its growth largely to the rapacious vision of one man: Harry Chandler, responsible for bringing water to Los Angeles.  As Los Angeles expanded, the regional economic power dispersed into its various communities.  Los Angeles is a place where cultural artifacts have been largely tied to real estate.  The Arroyo Set, from the early 20th century was one of the first attempts to define LA in terms of its housing.  Prefabricated mini-models of these homes, “democratic bungalows,” sent LA’s population into single-family dwellings at a higher rate then the rest of the country.  This trend has merely continued in LA.  “The growth of the suburban population outside the Los Angeles city limits…offered a new terrain for homeowner separatism”.  Los Angeles is not a city but a myriad collection of communities, all claiming independence from each other.  “The emergence of suburban Southern California as a ‘metrosea’ of fragmented and insular local sovereignties—often depicted in urbanist literature as an ‘accident’ of unplanned growth—was in fact the result of deliberate shaping”.  In other words, at Los Angeles grew, whites were able to build neighborhood after neighborhood to exclude minorities. 

Given that the city is so incredibly big, break down your demographic study into one of the following areas: Demographic Characteristics of Los Angeles

  • Residential Statistics – Where do the majority of the population live?
  • Employment Statistics – What is the unemployment rate? What is the history of the Los Angeles unemployment rate? Which social demographic is unemployed?
  • Personal Income – How does the income of people in Los Angeles differ or is it similar to other parts of the United States?
  • Housing – Although affected by personal income, how is the housing market in Los Angeles? Who and who does not own homes in LA?
  • Education – How well educated are the people of Los Angeles? How is their school attendance and how many residents complete high school? What special educational problems does a city the size of Los Angeles have to deal with.

A demographic study of the characteristics of Los Angeles can cover many topics. Narrow your topic on LA to insure you do a great job of covering everything important.

At the end of the 19th century, Los Angeles was a “back-county town…tributary to imperial San Francisco, with little water or capital, and no coal or port”.  By 1920, Los Angeles was the largest city in the West, fast on its way to becoming the entity that it is. “Los Angeles was first and above all the creature of real-estate capitalism: the culminating speculation, in fact, of the generations of boosters and promoters who had subdivided and sold the West from the Cumberland Gap to the Pacific”.

Los Angeles was marketed, chiefly by the Los Angeles Times, in a combination of “myth-making and literary invention with the crude promotion of land values and health cures”.  This is genesis of the Southern California Dream, built on an insulated mindset that kept out union labor and unsavory immigrants.  Los Angeles became “the sunny refuge of White Protestant America in an age of labor upheaval and the mass immigration of the Catholic and Jewish poor from Eastern and Southern Europe” (30).  The dream was quickly replaced by the idea of literary noir, but these attempts at decrying LA decay were transformed on the screen in the 1940s.

It would appear that central to the understanding of Los Angeles is the presence of the film industry.  For as seedy, racist, and crime-ridden that novels and films have portrayed this urban landscape, the general public outside of Los Angeles has continued to be fascinated by it. This is a paradox: the more noir that LA is seen, the greater its attraction.  “The result feels very much like the actual moral texture of the Reagan-Bush era: a supersaturation of corruption that fails any longer to outrage or even interest”.  LA’s future, and indeed the entire Southwest, may lie in the fact that self-promoted growth will be a self-sustaining factor, and that expansion will continue beyond the limits of physical possibility.

Capitalism was part and parcel to such development, since these new tracts (which now push far into the desert) have been carefully designed to appeal to a sense of isolation.  “Incorporation allowed…middle-income homeowners to separate themselves from nearby apartment dwellers and welfare recipients.  In other cases, the insulation of home values went hand in hand with the definition of communal lifestyles".

This trend has taken on a postmodern facet in recent decades.  Los Angeles has become “Fortress LA,” “where the defense of luxury lifestyles is translated into a proliferation of new repressions in space and movement, undergirded by the ubiquitous ‘armed response’”.  This is LA’s latest cultural artifact: the destruction of private space in the quest for security and segregation.  All of this is the result of the power of capital.  Los Angeles is and has been built in such a way to reflect the desires (not the needs) of the haves, and their desire to keep out the have-nots.  “With historical landscapes erased, with mega-structures and superblocks as primary components, and with an increasingly dense and self-contained circulation system, the new financial district is best conceived as a single, demonically self-referential hyper-structure, a Miesian skyscape raised to dementia”.

The overall picture that Davis paints is a Los Angeles dominated by capitalist greed and racism.  From the days of Otis to the present, Los Angeles’ growth has been spurned by the elite of the city, attracting masses of people, but at the same time restricting their ability to freely move about the city.  Modern Los Angeles appears to be a collection of armed camps, as each community seeks to isolate itself from less wealthy neighbors, and contain the urban poor and minorities into strictly defined areas.  The very fear that such undesirables might break out of their enclaves has led to the proliferation of armed guards, gated communities and a general sense of fear throughout Los Angeles.


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