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Palm Desert, California

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Palm Desert in California.


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Palm Desert is a city in Riverside County, California, United States, in the Coachella Valley, approximately 11 miles (18 km) east of Palm Springs. The population was 41,155 at the 2000 census. The city was one of the state's fastest growing in the 1980s and 1990s,beginning with 11,801 residents in 1980, doubling to 23,650 in 1990, 35,000 in 1995, and nearly double its 1990 population by 2000. As of the United States Census Bureau estimate 2006 the city population was 47,047.

A major center of growth in the Palm Springs area, Palm Desert is a popular retreat for "snowbirds" from colder climates (the Eastern and Northern US, and Canada), who swell its population by an estimated 31,000 each winter. In the past couple of years Palm Desert has seen more residents become "full-timers", mainly from the coasts and urban centers of California, who have come for affordable but high-valued home prices. According to a 2001 Forbes Magazine report, Palm Desert is in the listing of the state's 50 and nation's 100 wealthiest communities.


The city was home to the "Palm Desert Scene", a unique musical genre heavily influenced by Stoner rock/Stoner metal.

Aging baby boomers make up over half of the Palm Desert's growing population. The city had a doubling of persons over age 55 in the 2000s, to reverse a previous trend of a "younger" population of all ages and once again, Palm Desert has a "gray" majority.

Sociopolitically, Palm Desert is viewed as a mostly conservative community with strong leanings toward the Republican party. But many residents are also registered Democrat.

Homeowners are a mixture of year-round residents and winter/second homes, mostly from the Pacific Northwest and urban centers across California. The second home market attracts an international population, particularly Canadians since the 1970s. Increasing numbers of Europeans, Australians and east Asians are buying up real estate. The global appeal of Palm Desert as the "place to be" for tourists has made it home to thousands of retired people from around the world.

Palm Desert isn't entirely homogeneous as widely assumed: Affluent African-Americans, Latinos and Asian Americans have moved to a formerly "all-white" city. There are many persons of Armenian, German, Irish, Italian, Polish and Swedish ancestry. The city has one of California's largest Jewish American communities.

Other ethnic groups represent a sizable portion of local residents are the Arabs, Cubans, Filipinos, Iranians, Japanese, Koreans, Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, South Americans and former Yugoslavians.

Points of interest

Living Desert Zoo and Gardens
College of the Desert
McCallum Theatre
Children's Discovery Museum of the Desert in Rancho Mirage.
Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells.

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