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The city is located in the South Bay region of the greater Los Angeles area and is one of the three Beach Cities. Hermosa Beach is bordered by the other two, Manhattan Beach to the north and Redondo Beach to the south and east.
The city’s beach is popular for sunbathing, beach volleyball, surfing, paddleboarding and bars. The city itself extends only about 15 blocks from east to west and 40 blocks from north to south, with the Pacific Coast Highway running down the middle. Situated on the Pacific Ocean, Hermosa’s average temperature is 70 degrees in the summer and 55 degrees in the winter. Westerly sea breezes lessen what can be high summertime temperatures in Los Angeles and elsewhere in the county and help keep the smog away 360 days of the year.
A paved path, called The Strand, runs along Hermosa’s beach from Torrance Beach in the south approximately twenty miles north to Santa Monica and the Hermosa Beach pier is at the end of Pier Avenue, which is one of the beach community’s main shopping, eating and partying areas.
In early days, Hermosa Beach — like so many of its neighboring cities (Inglewood, Lawndale, Torrance) — was one vast sweep of rolling hills covered with fields of grain, mostly barley. During certain seasons of the year large herds of sheep were grazed over this land, and corrals and large barns for storing the grain, as well as providing shelter for horses and farm implements were located on the ranch between Hermosa and Inglewood. The Spanish words Rancho Sausal Redondo mean a large circular ranch of pasture of grazing land, with a grove of willow on it.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.4 square miles (3.6 km2), all of it land.
The Census reported that 19,491 people (99.9% of the population) lived in households, 11 (0.1%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 4 (0%) were institutionalized.
There were 9,550 households, out of which 1,878 (19.7%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 3,254 (34.1%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 460 (4.8%) had a female householder with no husband present, 325 (3.4%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 710 (7.4%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 64 (0.7%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 3,644 households (38.2%) were made up of individuals and 606 (6.3%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.04. There were 4,039 families (42.3% of all households); the average family size was 2.80.
The population was spread out with 3,093 people (15.9%) under the age of 18, 1,242 people (6.4%) aged 18 to 24, 8,516 people (43.7%) aged 25 to 44, 4,898 people (25.1%) aged 45 to 64, and 1,757 people (9.0%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37.0 years. For every 100 females there were 111.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 112.1 males.
There were 10,162 housing units at an average density of 7,123.5 per square mile (2,750.4/km2), of which 4,255 (44.6%) were owner-occupied, and 5,295 (55.4%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 1.0%; the rental vacancy rate was 4.4%. 10,083 people (51.7% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 9,408 people (48.2%) lived in rental housing units.
According to the 2010 United States Census, Hermosa Beach had a median household income of $101,655, with 3.4% of the population living below the federal poverty line.
In 2005, Hermosa Valley and Hermosa View schools were honored as U.S. Department of Education National Blue Ribbon Schools, along with 33 California schools and less than 300 schools across the nation. The award was based on academic achievement. Hermosa schools are among the top 10% of schools in the state with students scoring at or above the 90% in the highest grade tested in reading and math. For the award, the Department of Education reviewed growth in scores over a three-year period.