Central Long Beach State of the Child Interactive Data


June 2021

Table of Contents

Central Long Beach

  • Demographics
  • Education
  • Economic Wellness
  • Built Environment
  • Health
  • Child Safety
  • Conclusion

Executive Summary 

Central Long Beach is an incredibly diverse area, though data sources do not accurately capture that diversity. Household incomes and unemployment, particularly among women and women with children, are below area medians. Families are rent-burdened, with Pacific Islander and Black households facing the most enormous financial strains due to rent. Many of these families live in the same areas defined by historic racist redlining efforts, showing the through-line connecting present racial disparities and past racial discrimination.

Residents of color are stopped most often for traffic violations, compared to all other racial groups in Central Long Beach. Surveys also reveal that whiter, wealthier residents in different neighborhoods of Long Beach are more likely to feel safe in their neighborhoods. In contrast, low-income residents of color feel harassed in their neighborhoods. 

Pollutant sources in the greater Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach area have significant and disproportionate impacts on community air quality and health. Advocates find that their representatives are not accountable to their communities but instead to the industries working and polluting the Port. Asthma rates are high, and access to parks and healthy food is low.  

These environmental and systems outcomes directly impact the health of and opportunities for young children and their families. Birth outcomes are racially disparate. Early childhood education (ECE) is crucial to child development, yet accessibility is a challenge for low-income residents. Third-grade test scores often found to be influenced by ECE access, are disparate, reflecting the ability of higher-income groups to find and pay for ECE. Further along in the K-12 years, suspensions and environmental conditions disproportionately push students of color out of schools. By extension, college readiness is low and unequal as well.

Each section of this report following Demographics (Education, Economic Wellness, Built Environment, Health, and Child Safety) identifies the gaps in Central Long Beach’s efforts to create an environment for families and children to thrive. First 5 LA Best Start, and the partners behind these efforts, are working to close these gaps. We humbly hope this report provides some baseline data and analysis in support of their advocacy.  


Central Long Beach is a diverse community. Half of Central Long Beach residents are Latinx, while White and Asian residents are the second and third largest groups represented at 18.3 percent and 15.0 percent, respectively. Another 13 percent of residents identify as Black, and a smaller percentage represent Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (NHPI) and American Indian/Alaska Native (AIAN) populations. The lack of adequate data disaggregation is a disservice to the Asian community in Central Long Beach, as the community itself is just as diverse as the neighborhood’s population. The City of Long Beach holds the largest number of Cambodians outside of Cambodia and is also home to several other Southeast Asian groups.    


Licensed and Unlicensed Child Care Centers in Region 4

Geography: Best Start Region 4 (Wilmington and Central Long Beach)
Data Source: California Department of Social Services CDSS, Data downloaded 06/10/2021. Data Note: Family Child Care Homes are excluded from this map because complete addresses are unavailable for mapping. Family Child Care Homes are a crucial component to the child care landscape, and are often run by immigrant women of color. Addresses of family child care homes are unavailable as these are the personal homes of the providers.

This map shows all the open and closed licensed childcare facilities in and around the Central Long Beach and Wilmington zip codes as of June 10th, 2021. The devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on childcare availability is widely known at this point (to read more, refer to the report) and has left both providers and families struggling. Investing in more ECE facilities and providers is crucial to ensuring that children have enough available seats and providers receive proper amount of financial supports needed to carry out the essential services they supply. 

Family childcare homes are another critical part of the childcare landscape and are often run by immigrant women of color. Family childcare homes are not included on this map because addresses of these homes are unavailable as these are the personal homes of the providers.

Subsidized ECE is available for infants, toddlers, and pre-Kindergarten (pre-K) children. However, there is a gap between eligibility and enrollment due to lack of access, leaving large groups of young children without essential developmental supports. In 2018, nearly 24 percent of Central Long Beach children eligible for subsidized pre-K were not enrolled in a qualifying program. This percentage of unmet need is similar for infant toddlers (IT) who were eligible for subsidized ECE but not enrolled. 

Several factors contribute to ECE inaccessibility. The lack of ECE facilities is one of the primary drivers, as supply of childcare facilities does not meet demand. Insufficient state and federal funding, especially when compared to K-12 education funding, is another driver. Current ECE enrollment processes are burdensome on families, particularly for parents and guardians who are working. Most enrollment processes are manual and require parents or guardians to submit paperwork to multiple facilities in person. COVID-19 exacerbated the lack of access when working families dealt with closures of already competitive childcare sites, further highlighting the importance of ECE facilities. Investing in the livelihood of Central Long Beach’s future generations requires improving accessibility and increasing affordability to ECE, among other strategies. 

Long Beach Unified (LBUSD) and LAUSD-District 7 School Data

Geography: LAUSD Board District 7 & Long Beach Unified School District
Data Source: California Department of Education.
Data Note: School data is from the 2018-2019 school year for the suspension and chronic absenteeism rates. All other school data is from the 2019-2020 school year.

This map represents all schools in the Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD), and Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD)-District 7. Children living in Central Long Beach are most likely attending schools in LBUSD, and children living in Wilmington are most likely attending schools in LAUSD-District 7. When you click on a school, a pop-up will show data on high school graduation, UC/CSU eligibility, chronic absenteeism, suspension rate and student homelessness data related to that school. Please note that elementary and middle schools will not have data for high school graduation rates or UC/CSU eligibility. 

Chronic absence plays a critical role in student achievement because of the lost learning opportunities. Schools with high or disparate rates of chronic absenteeism might fail to sufficiently engage families and communities. Language or cultural barriers, poor student-teacher relationships, and excessively punitive discipline policies reduce student connectedness. In LBUSD, 15.1 percent of students are chronically absent. The number one leading cause for chronic absenteeism is asthma which is unsurprising considering Long Beach’s historical issues with toxic pollutants in the air from the ports. Of the chronically absent students, AIAN students are 3.8 times more likely to miss a significant number of days at school compared to Filipinx students. 

Unsurprisingly, students in racial groups who are more likely to be pushed out of classrooms are also less likely to be prepared for college. Latinx and Black students are part of the groups most likely to face student homelessness and chronic absenteeism, and schools in this community tend to prepare them for college at lower rates than the total student population.

Economic Wellness

Median Household Income by Census Tract

Geography: Region 4 Best Start Geographies
Data Source: American Community Survey, 2015-2019 5-Year Estimate.
Data Note: Data is in 2019 Inflation-Adjusted Dollars.

Historically, redlining dissuaded banks from approving loans for people of color in the “desirable” parts of the neighborhood with less pollution. Even today, the median household income in this region is relatively low compared to neighboring areas such as Ranchos Palos Verdes, a wealthy community made up of largely White residents. The map presents a visual breakdown of communities by census tract of their average median household income from lowest to highest. In Wilmington, the average median household income can range anywhere from $45K to $55K. In Central Long Beach, the average median household income can range anywhere from $30K to $60K. Just miles over, Rancho Palos Verdes residents have an average median household income above $200K. 

Labor force participation is one indicator of a family’s access to employment and source of financial health. The data shows that single female heads of households are least likely to participate in the labor force in Central Long Beach. These households are also likely to be households of color. One national study found that 51 percent of Black children live with a single parent compared to 17 percent of White children.  

In Central Long Beach, where median household incomes are significantly lower than in other parts of the city, families spend a large portion of their incomes on rent. This rent burden is disparate across races, with NHPI families spending more than one-third of their income on rent while White families on average spend 27 percent of their incomes on rent. 

Built Environment

Air Pollution and Greenspace

Geography: Best Start Region 4
Data Source: 2015-2017 Cal Enviro Screen 4.0 & 2021 GreenInfo Network.


The South Bay area is historically known for having some of the worst rates of air quality as a result of being in close proximity to two international industrial ports. The map visualizes the pollution burden percentile measured by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment and the parks in region 4 identified by GreenInfo Network. The map shows that the majority of Central Long Beach and Wilmington are in areas with high average pollution burden percentiles. While Central Long Beach shows a couple of parks in the area, a quick zoom will show that the overwhelming majority of them are in areas with high pollution and ultimately, poor air quality.

Affordability and Access to Healthy Foods 

Geography: Best Start Region 4
Data Source: 2019 USDA Food Access & 2018 LA City Geohub. 

Data Note: The indicator measures low income & low food access to determine food accessibility. This map includes farmers markets that are within 5 miles of the Best Start Region 4 geography.


In Central Long Beach, the average infant mortality rate of 3.3 per 1,000 live births is slightly below the Los Angeles County rate of 3.6 per 1,000 live births. Countywide, infant mortality rates are higher for low-income, Black, and U.S.-born Latinx families. This disturbing racial disparity holds true in the Long Beach area as well. The Long Beach Health and Human Services Department reports a higher infant mortality rate of 4.2 per 1,000 live births. It also shows far higher infant mortality rates for Black families than for families of other races. Numerically, more than half of Long Beach infant deaths between 2013 and 2017 were to Latinx families. 

Food issues in Central Long Beach include the ability to afford and access healthy food and the cultural and language capacities of food service providers. Access to healthy foods is a separate but related issue. In SPA 8, White residents are most likely to be able to obtain affordable healthy foods and AIAN residents least likely.

Child Safety

The RACE COUNTS – PUSH LA report, Reimagining Traffic Safety & Bold Political Leadership in Los Angeles, makes clear that stops and arrests are racially and economically biased, costly for communities, and an inefficient means of advancing traffic safety. An analysis of related data shows that traffic stops and arrests in the Long Beach area are not materially different.

Black, NHPI, and multiracial drivers in Long Beach were stopped at higher rates than White drivers according to data collected from the Long Beach Police Department. Black drivers were stopped at a rate of 195 times per 1,000 people, while White drivers were stopped 71.7 times per 1,000 people.


Central Long Beach is a diverse community with incredible organizations, individuals, and families striving to build a place of opportunity for the next generation. Racial disparities in outcomes and systems not yet attuned to addressing them stand in the way. While the data presented does not present the complete picture, it introduces some of the issues facing families in Central Long Beach, such as the need for investment in early childhood education and reducing hazardous pollution sources. Each highlighted issue plays a vital role in supporting that a child must have to live a prosperous and healthy life. 

We are hopeful this report helps community partners advocate for change to the systems currently falling short. We are inspired by the organizations, including those in the Community Spotlights, to make those changes happen. We thank the contributors to this report, and we look forward to future iterations that are co-created or wholly created by partners. To learn more about the data used in this report and future iterations, please find the interactive visuals on [insert link to site] and read about the report on the neighboring community of Wilmington, please click here, [link to Wilmington report].

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