Is Inglewood, California A Ghetto? Examining The City’S Reputation

If you’re wondering whether Inglewood, California has a reputation as a dangerous, impoverished area, here’s a quick answer: In the past, some parts of Inglewood did struggle with crime and urban decay leading to a ‘ghetto’ stereotype. However, in recent years the city has been transforming with major redevelopment and a declining crime rate.

In this comprehensive article, we’ll dive into Inglewood’s history, demographics, crime statistics, economic status, and popular perception to analyze the validity of describing this city as a ‘ghetto’.

History of Inglewood’s Origins and Demographic Shifts

Inglewood, California has a rich history that dates back to the 1880s when it was founded as a stop on the railroad line. The city was originally settled by farmers and later became a popular residential area for Los Angeles workers.

Inglewood experienced significant growth during the early 1900s, with the development of schools, churches, and other community institutions.

Transitioned from majority white to majority black in the 1960s-70s

However, Inglewood went through a major demographic shift in the 1960s and 70s. As racial tensions and segregation persisted in many parts of the United States, Inglewood became one of the cities that experienced a transition from majority white to majority black population.

This shift was largely due to the migration of black families from other areas seeking better job opportunities and housing options.

This demographic change brought about both challenges and opportunities for Inglewood. On one hand, it fostered a sense of community and cultural diversity, with vibrant neighborhoods and businesses. On the other hand, it also led to increased social and economic disparities, as many black residents faced limited access to quality education, healthcare, and job opportunities.

Demographic changes led to white flight and disinvestment

The demographic changes in Inglewood also triggered a phenomenon known as “white flight,” where many white residents moved out of the city, often due to racial tensions and perceived decline in property values.

This exodus of white residents resulted in disinvestment and a decrease in resources for the remaining population.

As a consequence, Inglewood faced economic challenges, struggling with high unemployment rates and a decline in infrastructure. However, in recent years, the city has been making efforts to revitalize its economy and improve the quality of life for its residents.

It is important to note that while Inglewood has faced its share of challenges, it is not accurate to label the entire city as a “ghetto.” Inglewood is a diverse community with a rich cultural heritage and many positive aspects.

It is home to several well-known landmarks, including The Forum and the future home of the Los Angeles Rams and Chargers, the SoFi Stadium.

To learn more about the history and current state of Inglewood, you can visit the official City of Inglewood website or explore resources from reputable sources such as the Los Angeles Times and the Inglewood Today newspaper.

Socioeconomic Metrics and ‘Ghetto’ Perception

When examining the reputation of Inglewood, California, it is important to consider the socioeconomic metrics that have contributed to its perception as a “ghetto.” The city has faced challenges in terms of poverty, income levels, and unemployment rates, which have historically been higher than the national average.

Poverty rate, income levels, and unemployment rates historically higher than national average

Inglewood has struggled with poverty, with a poverty rate that has consistently been higher than the national average. According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the poverty rate in Inglewood was 20.7% in 2019, compared to the national average of 10.5%.

Income levels in Inglewood have also been lower than the national average. The median household income in Inglewood was $47,853 in 2019, significantly lower than the national median household income of $68,703.

Unemployment rates have also been a concern in Inglewood. As of January 2021, the unemployment rate in the city was 12.6%, higher than the national unemployment rate of 6.3%. These economic challenges have contributed to the perception of Inglewood as a disadvantaged area.

Crime, drugs, and gang activity increased in the 1980s-90s

Inglewood experienced a significant increase in crime, drugs, and gang activity during the 1980s and 1990s. Like many other cities in the United States during that time period, Inglewood faced challenges related to drug trafficking, gang violence, and associated crime rates.

However, it is important to note that over the past two decades, crime rates in Inglewood have significantly decreased. According to data from the FBI, violent crime rates in Inglewood decreased by 57% between 2000 and 2019. Property crime rates also decreased by 53% during the same period.

While the city has made progress in reducing crime, the perception of Inglewood as a dangerous area still lingers in the minds of some outsiders.

Urban decay led to outsider perception as dangerous ‘ghetto’

Another factor contributing to Inglewood’s reputation as a “ghetto” is urban decay. In the past, the city faced challenges related to deteriorating infrastructure, vacant buildings, and blighted neighborhoods.

These visual cues of urban decay can contribute to the perception of an unsafe and undesirable environment.

However, Inglewood has undergone significant revitalization efforts in recent years. The city has seen major development projects, including the SoFi Stadium and Entertainment District, which have brought new opportunities for economic growth and community improvement.

It is important to consider these socioeconomic metrics and the historical context when examining the perception of Inglewood as a “ghetto.” While the city has faced challenges, it is also important to acknowledge the progress that has been made and the ongoing efforts to improve the community.

Inglewood’s Recent Renaissance and Redevelopment

Inglewood, California has experienced a remarkable transformation in recent years, shedding its previous reputation and emerging as a city on the rise. Major investments, falling crime rates, and a surge in new businesses and housing have all contributed to the city’s revitalization.

Major investments like Hollywood Park/SoFi Stadium revitalizing the city

One of the major catalysts for Inglewood’s resurgence is the Hollywood Park/SoFi Stadium development. This $5 billion project has brought new life to the city, attracting visitors from all over to enjoy world-class entertainment and sporting events.

The stadium’s construction has not only created jobs for local residents but has also spurred economic growth in the area. Inglewood is now home to one of the most iconic sports and entertainment venues in the country, further solidifying its status as a vibrant and thriving city.

Falling crime rates and increasing median income

Inglewood has made significant strides in improving its safety and security. Over the past decade, crime rates have steadily decreased, making the city a safer place to live and visit. This decline in crime has been accompanied by an increase in the median income of its residents, providing a more stable and prosperous environment for the community.

With a growing middle class and a renewed sense of optimism, Inglewood is shedding its previous reputation and becoming a desirable place to call home.

New businesses, housing, and civic pride changing reputation

The revitalization of Inglewood is evident in the surge of new businesses and housing developments taking place. The city has become a hub for entrepreneurs and startups, attracting innovative companies and creating job opportunities for its residents.

Additionally, the construction of new housing complexes and the renovation of existing properties have increased the availability of affordable housing options. This influx of new businesses and housing has not only transformed the physical landscape of Inglewood but has also instilled a sense of civic pride among its residents.

Community events, festivals, and cultural initiatives have further strengthened the city’s reputation as a vibrant and culturally diverse destination.

While Inglewood may have had a troubled past, its recent renaissance and redevelopment efforts have propelled it into a new era of prosperity. The city’s major investments, falling crime rates, and the emergence of new businesses and housing have all contributed to its changing reputation.

Inglewood is no longer defined by its past but by its bright and promising future.

Community Opinions on Inglewood’s Current Status

When it comes to Inglewood’s reputation, long-time residents acknowledge the challenges the city has faced in the past. However, they also point out the recent improvements that have taken place. Despite its previous struggles, Inglewood has seen a revitalization in recent years, with new businesses, restaurants, and entertainment venues opening up.

This has brought a renewed sense of community pride and optimism among residents.

Police and officials promote the city’s decreasing crime rates

One major factor in changing perceptions of Inglewood is the city’s decreasing crime rates. The local police department and city officials have been working tirelessly to improve safety and reduce crime in the area.

According to the latest statistics provided by the Inglewood Police Department, overall crime rates have been steadily declining over the past several years. This includes a significant decrease in violent crimes such as homicides and robberies.

These efforts have helped create a safer environment for residents and visitors alike.

Some say ‘ghetto’ stereotype is outdated and needs reexamining

While some may still hold onto the stereotype of Inglewood being a “ghetto,” many argue that this perception is outdated and needs to be reexamined. Inglewood has undergone significant changes and improvements over the years, transforming into a vibrant and diverse community.

It is home to various cultural events, including the annual Jazz Festival and the Forum, a popular concert venue. Additionally, the city’s proximity to major attractions like the Los Angeles International Airport and the new SoFi Stadium has made it an attractive place to live and visit.

It is important to challenge stereotypes and recognize the progress that has been made in Inglewood. While every city has its challenges, it is unfair to label an entire community based on outdated perceptions.

Inglewood is a place of opportunity and growth, and its residents are proud of the positive changes that have taken place. To learn more about the city’s transformation, you can visit the official website of the City of Inglewood at


While parts of Inglewood did experience poverty, crime, and urban decay in past decades that led to its ‘ghetto’ reputation, recent years show major investments and decreasing crime that point to a city in transition. Overall, deeming Inglewood a current ‘ghetto’ requires nuance – while problems still exist, its trajectory shows a more complex story.

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