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Since its incorporation in 1921, Torrance has grown rapidly. Its estimated 2013 population was 147,478. This residential and light high-tech industries city has 90,000 street trees and 30 city parks. Known for its low crime rates, the city consistently ranks among the safest cities in Los Angeles County. Torrance is the birthplace of the American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO). In addition, the city of Torrance has the second-highest percentage of Japanese demographic in California (8.9%).
Historically the El Nido neighborhood was home to many European immigrants, such as originally Dutch, German, Greek, Italian and Portuguese people. These were soon joined by Mexican-American and Hispanic and Latino immigrants, employed in the growing early 20th century agriculture, petroleum, and manufacturing industries, such as the fish canneries.
Rapid new growth in Torrance began after World War II as wartime industries transformed into Post-war Aerospace manufacturers and related technology industries. Large housing developments were built in the 1950s and 1960s to accommodate the new population. Torrance moved on after the closure of some aerospace development and oil refinery plants in the 1990s statewide recession.
Torrance survived the deindustrialization, regional economic slowdowns and national recessions in the 1970s to 2000s. Large-scale Asian immigration in the past couple of decades has transformed Torrance into a diverse and multicultural city.
It is about 20 miles (32 km) southwest of Downtown Los Angeles.
Torrance Beach lies between Redondo Beach and Malaga Cove on Santa Monica Bay. The southernmost stretch of Torrance Beach, on a cove at the northern end of the Palos Verdes peninsula, is known to locals as “Rat Beach”.
A rare urban wetlands, the Madrona Marsh, is a nature preserve, on land once set for oil production and saved from development, with restoration projects enhancing the vital habitat for birds, wildlife, and native plants. A Nature center provides activities, information, and classes for school children and visitors of all ages.
The rainy season is November through March, as shown in the adjacent table.
The Los Angeles area is also subject to the phenomenon typical of a microclimate. As such, the temperatures can vary as much as 18 °F (10 °C) between inland areas and the coast, with a temperature gradient of over one degree per mile (1.6 km) from the coast inland. California has also a weather phenomenon called “June Gloom or May Gray”, which sometimes brings overcast or foggy skies in the morning on the coast, followed by sunny skies by noon during late spring and early summer.
The Census reported that 144,292 people (99.2% of the population) lived in households, 506 (0.3%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 640 (0.4%) were institutionalized.
There were 56,001 households, out of which 18,558 (33.1%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 29,754 (53.1%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 6,148 (11.0%) had a female householder with no husband present, 2,510 (4.5%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 2,152 (3.8%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 309 (0.6%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 14,472 households (25.8%) were made up of individuals and 5,611 (10.0%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.58. There were 38,412 families (68.6% of all households); the average family size was 3.14.
The population was spread out with 31,831 people (21.9%) under the age of 18, 10,875 people (7.5%) aged 18 to 24, 38,296 people (26.3%) aged 25 to 44, 42,710 people (29.4%) aged 45 to 64, and 21,726 people (14.9%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41.3 years. For every 100 females there were 94.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.8 males.
There were 58,377 housing units at an average density of 2,840.3 per square mile (1,096.6/km²), of which 31,621 (56.5%) were owner-occupied, and 24,380 (43.5%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 0.8%; the rental vacancy rate was 5.3%. 85,308 people (58.7% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 58,984 people (40.6%) lived in rental housing units.
During 2009–2013, Torrance had a median household income of $77,061, with 7.4% of the population living below the federal poverty line.