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Because of a top 10% ranking in start-ups and sole proprietors per capita and one of the shortest commutes in Southern California, the city was chosen in 2009 by Forbes as one of the top 25 towns to live well in America.
In 1801, the Spanish Empire granted 62,500 acres (253 km2) to Jose Antonio Yorba, which he named Rancho San Antonio. Yorba’s great rancho included the lands where the cities of Olive, Orange, Villa Park, Santa Ana, Tustin, Costa Mesa and Newport Beach stand today. Smaller ranchos evolved from this large rancho including the Rancho Santiago de Santa Ana.
After the Mexican-American war, Alta California became part of the United States and American settlers arrived in this area. Columbus Tustin, a carriage maker from Northern California, founded the city in the 1870s on 1,300 acres (5 km²) of land from the former Rancho Santiago de Santa Ana. The city was incorporated in 1927 with a population of about 900. The townsite was bordered by Camino Real on the south, Newport Avenue on the east, 1st Street on the north, & the Costa Mesa Freeway on the west. During World War II, a Navy anti-submarine airship base (later to become a Marine Corps helicopter station) was established in unincorporated land south of the city; the two dirigible hangars are among the largest wooden structures ever built and are listed on the National Register of Historic Places and ASCE List of Historic Civil Engineering Landmarks. Suburban growth after the war resulted in increased population, annexation of nearby unincorporated land including the base, and development of orchards and farmland into housing tracts and shopping malls.
It is bordered by Irvine on the south and east, Orange and the census designated Tustin Foothills on the north, and Santa Ana on the west.
The Census reported that 75,020 people (99.3% of the population) lived in households, 340 (0.5%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 180 (0.2%) were institutionalized.
There were 25,203 households, out of which 10,465 (41.5%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 12,969 (51.5%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 3,494 (13.9%) had a female householder with no husband present, 1,472 (5.8%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 1,568 (6.2%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 193 (0.8%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 5,178 households (20.5%) were made up of individuals and 1,403 (5.6%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.98. There were 17,935 families (71.2% of all households); the average family size was 3.46.
The population was spread out with 20,212 people (26.8%) under the age of 18, 6,856 people (9.1%) aged 18 to 24, 25,033 people (33.1%) aged 25 to 44, 17,006 people (22.5%) aged 45 to 64, and 6,433 people (8.5%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33.4 years. For every 100 females there were 94.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.6 males.
There were 26,476 housing units at an average density of 2,389.2 per square mile (922.5/km²), of which 12,813 (50.8%) were owner-occupied, and 12,390 (49.2%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 1.3%; the rental vacancy rate was 5.8%. 36,783 people (48.7% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 38,237 people (50.6%) lived in rental housing units.
According to the 2010 United States Census, Tustin had a median household income of $74,011, with 12.2% of the population living below the federal poverty line.