Community Profile: Cathedral City

USC - Lift to Rise Partnership

The Neighborhood Data for Social Change (NDSC) platform is a project of the USC Price Center for Social Innovation. Lift To Rise is partnering with The Price Center in the development of the Neighborhood Data for Social Change (NDSC) platform for the Coachella Valley. Lift to Rise is a community-based partnership in the Coachella Valley with the primary goal of advancing a future where all Coachella Valley families are healthy, stable, and thriving. NDSC will publish an ongoing series of data stories that incorporate maps, data visualizations, photos, and rich narrative to highlight trends, opportunities, and challenges facing communities in the region.

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Community profiles provide insight and information to the nine cities and unincorporated places in the Coachella Valley. The profiles provide precise, relevant data at the community level in combination with interactive maps and visualizations to help community members learn about the most important issues facing their communities and to help policy makers make informed decisions for their constituents. Community profiles are updated annually with the latest data, with new profiles released on a regular basis.


Cathedral City is located in the Coachella Valley to the east of Palm Springs. The Cahuilla Indians were the first inhabitants of the area and lived there for 2,000 years. Today 28% of Cathedral City is a protected Cahuilla Indian reservation. 

Cathedral City is home to a growing number of festivals including Cathedral City Hot Air Balloon Festival, Taste of Jalisco, Cathedral City LGBT Days, a portion of the Palm Springs International Film Festival, Halloween Spooktacular and Easter Kidapalooza. The City is also a thriving cultural center with the Coachella Valley’s only actors’ equity playhouse — Coachella Valley Repertory Theatre — and an artist colony. Where Art Lives began as an artists’ colony in the Cathedral Cove neighborhood almost 100 years ago with famous artists such as Agnes Pelton, Val Samuelson, and Matille Prigge Seamen. Today, more than 70 professional artists still call Cathedral City home. 

As of 2017 estimates, Cathedral City has a population of 53,733 people and a median income of $43,384. Compared to the rest of the Coachella Valley, Cathedral City has more immigrants (31% of total population), higher rates of immigrant citizenship (42%), lower rates of homeownership (60%), and higher rates of rent burden (59%).

Explore the visualizations below to learn more about demography, housing, education, environment, health and social connectedness in Cathedral City and how the community compares to the state, county and other places in the Coachella Valley. 

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Cathedral City has a population of 53,733, making it the second largest city in the Coachella Valley. The average household size is 2.98 people, slightly higher than the average household size in Coachella Valley of 2.62. 

The rate of non-family households, which includes individuals living alone or with non-relatives, is about 36% of the 17,888 total households. This is only slightly lower than the average rate in Coachella Valley as a whole, 38.7%.


Race & Ethnicity

Cathedral City has a large Hispanic population, 59% of the total population. This is slightly above the average in the Coachella Valley (52%). 

Additionally, there is a slightly larger Asian population in Cathedral City (4.5%) than the rest of the Coachella Valley (3%). Furthermore, the white population in Cathedral City has been falling in recent years, from 38% in 2009, to 31% in 2017.



Age Distribution

The median age in Cathedral City is 37 years old. This is only slightly older than the state median age (36) and slightly younger than the national median age (38). 

The age distribution is also very similar to the state's age distribution. For example, 8.5% of Cathedral City's population is between 18-24 and 13% are between 25-34; compared to 10% and 15%, respectively, at the state level.


Immigrant Population

Just over 31% of Cathedral City's population is made up of immigrants. That rate is slightly higher than the rate for the Coachella Valley (25%), California (27%) and the U.S. (13%).

Select a community to the right of the chart to see how immigrant population compares to Cathedral City. 


Immigrant Citizenship

42% of the immigrant population in Cathedral City are citizens. This rate is higher than the rate in the Coachella Valley (37%). As you can see in the graph of the left, the rate of immigrant citizenship in Cathedral City is growing faster than that rate in the Coachella Valley but is still lower than the rate in either California or the United States.

Select a community to the right of the chart to see how immigrant citizenship compares to Cathedral City. 




High School Graduation

Cathedral City has a slightly lower high school graduation rate than the average estimate for the Coachella Valley. 77% of the population has received a high school diploma (or its equivalent) in Cathedral City as compared to the average in the Coachella Valley (80%).


College Graduation 

19% of the population of Cathedral City have graduated from college. That number is lower than the average college graduation rate for the Coachella Valley (24%).


Young Adults Enrolled in School

Nearly 36% of young adults are enrolled in school in Cathedral City. That rate is slightly higher than the average rate in the Coachella Valley, but lower than in California or the United States. The graph on the right demonstrates that that proportion has been growing since 2009.

Select a community to the right of the chart to see how young adults enrolled in school rates compare to Cathedral City. 


Housing/Real Estate


Housing Units

Cathedral City has the fourth largest number of housing units in the Coachella Valley at 22,279 units.

There is also a slightly higher rate of household overcrowding, meaning there is more than one person per one room of a housing unit. In Cathedral City the average rate of overcrowding is 8.7% compared to 6% average in the Coachella Valley.



The rate of homeownership in Cathedral City is 60%slightly lower than the average homeownership rate in the Coachella Valley (65%). However, homeownership rates in Cathedral City are 5 percentage points higher than the state level average. 

Select a community to the right of the chart to see how the homeownership rates compare to Cathedral City. 


Rent Burden

Cathedral City residents are slightly more rent burdened than the rest of the Coachella Valley. 59% of the population spent more than 30% of their income on rent and utilities according to 2017 estimates, as compared with the average in the Coachella Valley (55%). 

Select a community to the right of the chart to see how rent burden rates compare to Cathedral City. 


Housing Stability

Housing stability dipped slightly in Cathedral City from 2011-2013 estimates, however it has been steadily growing since then. According to 2017 estimates, housing stability in Cathedral City is nearly 88%, 1% higher than average housing stability throughout the Coachella Valley.

Select a community to the right of the chart to see how housing stability rates compare to Cathedral City. 


Social Connectedness & Health | Connectedness & Health


Linguistic Isolation

10% of households in Cathedral City are limited-English speaking households, meaning no one over the age of 14 reports speaking English "very well." This rate is slightly lower than the average rate of 13% across the Coachella Valley.


Uninsured Population

The rate of uninsured people is relatively high in Cathedral City (18%) compared to the average across the Coachella Valley (14%). However, this rate has fallen from 27% in 2012 estimates.


Transit Ridership

The rate of the population that uses public transit is low across the Coachella Valley at about 2%. However, in Cathedral City, the rate is slightly higher at 3% and has been growing slightly over the last few years estimates.

Select a community to the right of the chart to see how transit ridership rates compare to Cathedral City. 


Source Notes: All data in this community profile come from either the 2017 5-year estimates of the American Community Survey.  

Cover Photo Credit: Noe Montes

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