Report: How San Marino Lost its Whiteness

An Atlantic Cities blog post focuses on the history of demographic changes in San Marino.

A week after a over the last few decades in the San Gabriel Valley, the Atlantic Cities blog has a piece focused specifically on San Marino.

The focus of the piece is how San Marino has gone from being a city with a vast majority of white residents to one with a large Asian population.  From the blog:

San Marino isn’t just affluent, it’s exclusive—and it always has been. For much of its history, San Marino’s exclusivity was both economic and racial. The city’s moneyed gentility masked a potent undercurrent of racially tinged conservatism. In 1970, it was 99.7 percent white.

Today, by contrast, only 49.8 percent of households in San Marino are headed by whites. In a few decades, the total population of one of Los Angeles’s most elite and most monochromatic suburbs has become majority-Asian.

The piece goes on to discuss San Marino history, quoting from old newspaper editorials and discussing the racial composition of San Marino High.

We want to know what you think of the piece?  Is it a good starting point for a discussion?  Anything you disagree with?  How do you think San Marino has changed over the years?  Please tell us your thoughts in the comments section.


Michael August 28, 2012 at 01:10 PM
The title alone reminds me that it's not exclusive, but it's mostly narrow minded...
Paul B. August 28, 2012 at 06:06 PM
The original article is Interesting but the story title on Patch is poor. It would be more appropriate to say something like "How San Marino Achieved Its Great Mix."
Mimi August 28, 2012 at 09:30 PM
I find both article's titles, "How San Marino Lost its Whiteness" and The Atlantic Cities article, "How an Exclusive Los Angeles Suburb Lost Its Whiteness", inflammatory and xenophobic. White flight is not a new phenomena and should not be advertised as such. Many areas in Los Angeles started out being predominantly white and then over time the population shifted to a more African American, Hispanic, or Asian population especially after busing to desegregate schools in the 1970's. It took my Asian family 3 generations to be able to live in San Marino. Now the recent first generation immigrants to San Marino come well educated and wealthy. Exclusivity is not the mainstay of the wealthy white population but it is common in any wealthy community from any race, country or culture.
Slam August 31, 2012 at 04:47 PM
Unlike you, Mimi, I do not find the articles from The Atlantic Cities inflammatory and xenophobic. Just because the article did not euphemize the word "whiteness" doesn't mean that it's inflammatory and xenophobic. They're backing up their articles with historical facts and real numbers, and you take offense because the authors believed their readers are intelligent enough and would be objective enough to understand this? For the record, I'm Chinese that immigrated to the SG Valley over 30 years ago, so I have no problems with the Asian Invasion. The only problems I have are the Chinese from MAINLAND CHINA and their complete disregard and lack of respect for local customs and communities. Lets not forget that the Chinese from mainland China are corrupt government officials and financial criminals. They are "investing" in CA real estate in order to hide their corrupt and stolen money from the Chinese government. Plain and simple. So no, I'd rather not live next to a criminal that has moral content that is equivalent to Bernie Madoff's.


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