• AboutPasadena-Content

  • Pasadena Facts


    A severe Indiana winter during 1872-73 prompted a group of friends from Indianapolis to form an investment group with the purpose of moving to the warmer climate of Southern California. Sent to scout the area, D. M. Berry recommended purchasing a portion of the Rancho San Pasqual, which later became Pasadena.


    One of the main reasons Pasadena was incorporated in 1886 was to abolish saloons and the sale of alcohol in the area. In February 1887, an ordinance was passed that banned liquor in Pasadena.


    The word Pasadena literally means "valley" in the Ojibwa (Chippewa) Indian language, but it has been interpreted to mean "Crown of the Valley" and "Key of the Valley," hence the adoption of both the crown and the key in the official city seal.


    Pasadena, Texas was named after Pasadena, California because some thought that the areas resembled each other.

    An asteroid was given the name Pasadena in 1980, in part because it is a middle-sized "suburban" asteroid eight miles (13 kilometers) in diameter.

    The USS Pasadena SSN-752, a nuclear submarine, is the third Navy vessel and first submarine to carry the name of Pasadena. Commissioned in 1989, the submarine has been deployed several times, including the Persian Gulf in 1993. Currently based in Pearl Harbor, the football field sized sub is known for its speed and stealth, as well as, its advanced sonar capabilities and weaponry systems. The USS Pasadena was awarded the Submarine Squadron Seven Battle "E" Efficiency award for 1998.  The submarine's insignia was originally designed by Walt Disney for the USS Pasadena (CL-65),a light cruiser that earned six battle stars during WW2, represented by the boxing turtle. The red rose ties the ship to the City of Pasadena. More information about the USS Pasadena can be found on the Navy's Web site or the USS Pasadena Foundation.

    Official Flower

    The rose (no particular variety) was adopted as Pasadena's official flower on September 22, 1961.


    Naturalized parrots are frequently seen and heard around Pasadena. According to local legend, many were released during a 1959 fire which destroyed Simpson's Gardenland and Bird Farm in Pasadena.  Some of the parrots were probably pets that escaped or were set free. Some may have been released by smugglers attempting to avoid arrest. One common breed is the Red-crowned parrot. 

    Rose Bowl

    The Rose Bowl was constructed in 1922 on the site of a dump in the Arroyo Seco. It originally had a seating capacity of 57,000 and currently seats 100,184 people. The rim circumference is 2,430 feet (741 meters); 880 feet (268 meters) from the north to the south rim and 79,156 square feet (7,354 sq. meters) with a circumference of 1,350 feet (411 meters). The Rose Bowl is home for the UCLA Bruins Football team.

    Tournament of Roses

    The Tournament of Roses annual parade of flower covered floats has been held in Pasadena since January 1, 1890. It was patterned after a European festival of roses and was meant to show off Pasadena's natural beauty and sunny climate while most of the nation lay buried beneath snow.  Today, the 5.5 mile (8.8 kilometers) Tournament of Roses parade has magnificent floral floats, marching bands, equestrian units and public officials. Floats must be completely covered with flowers, greenery, or other natural material, with an average float requiring up to 100,000 blossoms. It is estimated that more than one half million roses in vials are used in each parade. The average cost of a finished float is between $75,000 and $250,000 depending on the size and mechanics of the float. About 1,000,000 people come to Pasadena to watch the Tournament of Roses. 

  • Pasadena Statistics

    The following figures reflect statistics from the 2005-2007 American Community Survey 3-Year Estimates*.The page will be updated as more current information becomes available. Please visit the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Fact Finder website for more information. 


    In 1880, the population of Pasadena was 391. One hundred years later, in 1980, the population was 118,072. By 1990, 131,591 people lived in Pasadena. According to the 2000 Census, Pasadena’s population increased 1.8% to 133,936.  In 2010, according to the Census, the population was 137,122, a change of 2.4%.


    According to the 2005-2007 American Community Survey Estimates, the median age was 36.9 years. The population by age is: under 5 years, 9,083; 5-9 years, 7,098; 10-14 years, 7,422; 15-19 years, 7,638; 20-24 years, 9,990; 25-34 years, 22,249; 35-44 years, 21,812; 45-54 years, 19,690; 55-59 years, 8,364; 60-64 years, 5,561; 65-74 years, 8,246; 75-84 years, 6,320; 85 years and over, 2,281.


    Pasadena is an ethnically diverse community. The 2005-2007 American Community Survey Estimates found 55.8% of Pasadenans are white, 33.0% are Latino, 13.4% are African-American, 12.7% are Asian, 0.5% are American Indian and Alaska Native, 0.0% are Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, and 17.5% are some other race. (Percentages may add to more than 100% because individuals may report more than one race.)


    English only is spoken at home by 55.1% of the population over age five. Spanish is spoken at home by 28.1% of the population over age five. The proportion of those speaking a language other than English at home is 44.9%; 16.6% of those do not speak English well.


    The citizens of Pasadena are relatively well educated: The 2005-2007 American Community Survey Estimates for those that are 25 years of age or over, 85.5% are high school graduates and 45.6% have at least a bachelor degree or higher. The same 3-Year Estimates show 35,308 people are enrolled in school, from preschool or nursery school to college or graduate school. Of those, 17,504 are enrolled in elementary or high school; college enrollment is 13,770 persons.


    There are over 100,000 jobs in a wide variety of industries in the City of Pasadena. According to the 2005-2007 American Community Survey Estimates, persons 16 years and older are employed as follows: 49.6% managerial and professional related occupations; 17.2% service occupations; 22.0% sales and office occupations; 5.6% construction, extraction and maintenance occupations; and 5.6% production, transportation and materials moving technology occupations.


    Pasadena is located 10 miles (16 kilometers) northeast of downtown Los Angeles. The city is bordered by the San Gabriel Mountains to the north and seven cities--La Canada Flintridge, South Pasadena, Arcadia, Sierra Madre, San Marino, Glendale, Los Angeles and unincorporated Altadena. The latitude is N. 34 9' and longitude is W. 118 10'. The elevation is 864 feet (263 meters) above sea level. 


    The climate is sub-tropical and semi-arid. According to Weatherbase, the average high temperature is 75 Fahrenheit (24 Celsius) annually. The average low temperature is 48 (9 C.). The overall average temperature is 62 (17 C.). The highest recorded temperature was 113 F. (45 C.) on June 17, 1917, while the lowest was 21 F. (-6 C.) on January 7, 1913. The average yearly rainfall is 51.8 cm. During the winter months of December through March, it is sunny or partly sunny 75% of the time. It has snowed twice in the City's history: January 13, 1932 and January 11, 1949. 

    Air Quality

    The South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) reports that in 2007, Pasadena had no unhealthful ozone days, a decrease from 7 unhealthful ozone days in 2003 and 71 in 1992. The smoggiest month in Southern California is August.  For additional information, see the SCAQMD’s website at http://www.aqmd.gov.

     (An unhealthful ozone day occurs when the air has more than 120 parts per billion of ozone in one hour and there is enough ozone in the air for some people to experience headaches, nausea or shortness or breath.) 


    Pasadena covers approximately 22.5 square miles, with an average of ten residents per acre. 


    The 2005-2007 American Community Survey 3-Year Estimates show there are 51,973 occupied housing units in Pasadena, consisting of 47.6% homeowners and 52.4% renters.  According to the 2000 Census, the median year that homes were built is 1954, although the 2005-2007 American Community Survey 3-Year Estimates show 29.4% were constructed before 1939. The average rent for a 2 bedroom apartment in March of 2009 was $1,416 per month according to the Beven & Brock Rent Survey.


    Pasadena has 23 parks, totaling more than one thousand acres of parkland.  About 60,000 trees line the streets of Pasadena.  There are about 57,000 street trees and about 25,000 park and wild land trees, with an estimated value over 100 million dollars. Private trees are estimated to be over 60% of the total urban forest, or 123,000 trees.


    Pasadena has five major hotels: The Westin Pasadena, Hilton Pasadena, The Sheraton Pasadena Hotel, The Langham, Huntington Hotel & Spa, Pasadena, and Old Pasadena Courtyard by Marriott. For more information about these hotels and others, visit the Pasadena Convention and Visitors Bureau 


    Major employers include the California Institute of Technology/Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Huntington Memorial Hospital, Bank of America, Kaiser Permanente, Pasadena City College, Guidance Software, One West Bank, Western Asset Management, East West Bank, OpenX, Parsons Corporation and Jacobs Engineering.  

    The City of Pasadena has over 7 million square feet of office space

    Cost of Living 

    The annual average Consumer Price Index (CPI) for 2008 of Urban Consumers in the Los Angeles-Riverside-Orange Co. area was 225.008, an increase since an average of 17.338 in 2007. Please visit the Consumer Price Index Web site for more information.


    *NOTE. Although the American Community Survey (ACS) produces population, demographic and housing unit estimates, it is the Census Bureau's Population Estimates Program that produces and disseminates the official estimates of the population for the nation, states, counties, cities and towns and estimates of housing units for states and counties.  For questions about this page, please email Library Reference Questions.








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