Palm Desert, CA
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Living in Palm Desert


Palm Desert is a medium-sized city located in the state of California. With a population of 51,869 people and 16 constituent neighborhoods, Palm Desert is the 178th largest community in California.

Housing costs in Palm Desert are among some of the highest in the nation, although real estate prices here don't compare to real estate prices in the most expensive communities in California.

Palm Desert is a decidedly white-collar city, with fully 88.45% of the workforce employed in white-collar jobs, well above the national average. Overall, Palm Desert is a city of service providers, sales and office workers, and professionals. There are especially a lot of people living in Palm Desert who work in sales jobs (14.28%), office and administrative support (11.08%), and management occupations (10.56%).

Of important note, Palm Desert is also a city of artists. Palm Desert has more artists, designers and people working in media than 90% of the communities in America. This concentration of artists helps shape Palm Desert’s character.

One interesting thing about the economy is that relatively large numbers of people worked from their home: 7.28% of the workforce. While this number may seem small overall, as a fraction of the total workforce this is high compared to the rest of the county. These workers are often telecommuters who work in knowledge-based, white-collar professions. For example, Silicon Valley has large numbers of people who telecommute. Other at-home workers may be self-employed people who operate small businesses out of their homes.

Another notable thing is that Palm Desert is a major vacation destination. Much of the city’s population is seasonal: many people own second homes and only live there part-time, during the vacation season. The effect on the local economy is that many of the businesses are dependent on tourist dollars, and may operate only during the high season. As the vacation season ends, Palm Desert’s population drops significantly, such that year-round residents will notice that the city is a much quieter place to live.

The education level of Palm Desert citizens is very high relative to the national average among all cities (21.84%): 35.48% of adults in Palm Desert have a bachelor's degree or even advanced degree.

The per capita income in Palm Desert in 2010 was $39,219, which is upper middle income relative to California, and wealthy relative to the rest of the US. This equates to an annual income of $156,876 for a family of four. However, Palm Desert contains both very wealthy and poor people as well.

Palm Desert is an extremely ethnically-diverse city. The people who call Palm Desert home describe themselves as belonging to a variety of racial and ethnic groups. The greatest number of Palm Desert residents report their race to be White, followed by Asian. Palm Desert also has a sizeable Hispanic population (people of Hispanic origin can be of any race). People of Hispanic or Latino origin account for 25.84% of the city’s residents. Important ancestries of people in Palm Desert include English, Irish, Italian, and Scottish.

Palm Desert also has a high percentage of its population that was born in another country: 19.81%.

The most common language spoken in Palm Desert is English. Other important languages spoken here include Spanish and Tagalog.