Los Angeles Changing Demographics: 1940s to the Present


When black families began migrating from the rural South to Compton and Richland Farms in the 1950s, they found their "home away from home" in this small community. Although it didn't support large-scale agricultural business, the area allowed residents to work the land for their own use and benefit of the community. This informal practice largely disappeared by the late 70s and 80s, when to be called "rural" or "country" was a kind of slur. Younger generations sold the land their families had worked for decades, and moving away or simply abandoning both farm work and the quest for sustainability. In the 1980s, when rural Latinos from Mexico and Central America began to migrate to Los Angeles in earnest, the same attributes that made Compton and Richland Farms attractive to previous groups of migrants were equally attractive for the new immigrant population.

In the slideshow below, maps depict the change in demographics from 1940-1970.


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