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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Malibu Census Data May Not Tell the Whole Story

• Some Malibu Residents May Elude Count


The first 2010 Census data for the City of Malibu has been released, although experts caution that it gives only a partial picture of Malibu’s current population and demographics.
According to the census, the total population of Malibu in 2010 was 12,645, a net gain of 70 from the 2000 census.
The number of recorded housing units has increased by 738 in the past 10 years, up from 6126 in 2000 to 6864 in 2010. The census data indicates that number of unoccupied housing units has also increased to one in three, according to the new numbers.
Critics who claim that the megamansions that have covered Malibu’s hills and ridgelines in the past 10 years are mostly empty may find ammunition to support the contention in the census data.
In 2010, 5267 housing units are listed as occupied and 1597 unoccupied. In 2000, 6126 units were recorded as occupied and 989 were unoccupied.
However, the census does not contain a record of unreported housing units, including converted garages, stables and barns, rented rooms, permanently occupied guesthouses and trailers, or their occupants, sometimes referred to as Malibu’s invisible population.
The census also does not differentiate between vacant residences and those that function as second homes for individuals who reside elsewhere, and doesn’t provide an accurate picture of the number of housekeepers and other domestic employees who reside in those second homes in lieu of the property owners who may visit on weekends, or during the summer.
The census also does not record the recent trend that is converting residences into drug and medical rehab facilities and the growing number of long-term patients who may draw on Malibu’s emergency services and resources but do not count as part of the population.
Census data on Malibu’s ethnic diversity indicates that Malibu’s Hispanic demographic has increased from 689 in 2000 to 769. The 2010 census recorded 328 individuals who identified themselves as Asian, up from 313 in 2000, and 148 African- Americans, up from 113 in 2000.
There are 20 Native Americans listed in the 2010 census, down from 27 in 2000, and 387 individuals listed as “two or more races,” up from 342 in 2000. The number of individuals listed as “white” was 11,558 in 2000, increasing slightly to 11,565 in 2010, and the number of those who checked “one race only” increased to 12,258, from 12,233 in 2000.
The number of children under 18 declined from 2467 in 2000 to 2366, a verification of Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District predictions for declining enrollment in Malibu schools.
Additional 2010 census data that has not yet been released is anticipated to yield additional statistics on the distribution and composition of Malibu households.
More information is available online at

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