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Norwalk is a suburban city in Los Angeles County, Californiamarker, United Statesmarker. The population was 103,298 at the 2000 census. In 2009 the population was 107,698.Founded in the late 1800s, Norwalk was incorporated in as a city in 1957. It is located southeast of downtown Los Angelesmarker, and northwest of Garden Grove. Prior to the 1950s, Norwalk had a large Dutch population, primarily connected to the large number of dairies in the area. Due to an influx of immigration primarily from Mexicomarker, the Latino population has grown significantly. In the 1990s, Norwalk gained a significant Asian population from families priced out of wealthier neighboring Cerritosmarker and communities in Orange Countymarker.

Norwalk operates under a Council/Manager form of government, established by the Charter of the City of Norwalk which was drafted in 1957. The five-member City Council acts as the City's chief policy-making body. Every two years, Councilmembers are elected by the citizens of Norwalk to serve four-year, overlapping terms. Councilmembers are not limited to the number of terms they may serve. The Mayor is selected by the Council and serves a one-year term.

Norwalk is a member of the Gateway Cities Council of Governments. Norwalk's sister cities are Hermosillo, Sonoramarker and Fresnillo, Zacatecasmarker in Mexico.


Norwalk is located at (33.906914, -118.083398).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of . 24.2 km² (9.35 mi²) of it is land and 0.1 km² (0.5 mi²) of it (0.60%) is water.

Norwalk is bordered by Downeymarker on the Northwest, Bellflowermarker on the Southwest, Cerritosmarker and Artesiamarker on the South, and Santa Fe Springsmarker on the North and East.


Norwalk, like the rest of the Los Angeles basin is well-known for its year-round pleasant weather:

-On average, the warmest month is August.

-The highest recorded temperature was 111°F in 1961.

-On average, the coolest month is January.

-The lowest recorded temperature was 25°F in 1963.

-The maximum average precipitation occurs in February.

Norwalk has a Mediterranean climate or Dry-Summer Subtropical (Köppen climate classification Csb on the coast, Csa inland), enjoying plenty of sunshine throughout the year, with an average of 263 sunshine days and only 35 days with measurable precipitation annually.

The period of April through November is warm to hot and dry with average high temperatures of 71 - 79°F and lows of 50 - 62°F. Due to the moderating effect of the ocean, temperatures are cooler than more inland areas of Los Angeles, where temperatures frequently exceed 90°F (32°C) and occasionally reach 100°F (38°C).

The period of November through March is somewhat rainy, as shown in the table to the left.

The Los Angeles area is also subject to the phenomena typical of a microclimate. As such, the temperatures can vary as much as 18°F (10°C) between inland areas and the coast, with a temperature gradient of over one degree per mile (1.6 km) from the coast inland. California also has a weather phenomenon called "June Gloom or May Grey", which sometimes brings overcast or foggy skies in the morning on the coast, but usually is followed by sunny skies by noon during late spring and early summer.

The Los Angeles region averages 15 inches (385 mm) of precipitation annually, which mainly occurs during the winter and spring (November through April) with generally light rain showers, but sometimes as heavy rainfall and thunderstorms. Coastal areas receive slightly less rainfall, while the mountains receive slightly more. Snowfall is extremely rare in the city basin, but the mountains within city limits typically receive snowfall every winter. The greatest snowfall recorded in downtown Los Angeles was 2 inches (5 cm) in 1932.


As of the census of 2000, there were 103,298 people, 26,887 households, and 22,531 families residing in the city. The population density was 4,120.2/km² (10,667.6/mi²). There were 27,554 housing units at an average density of 1,099.0/km² (2,845.5/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 44.82% White, 4.62% African American, 1.16% Native American, 11.54% Asian, 0.39% Pacific Islander, 32.75% from other races, and 4.71% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 62.89% of the population.

There were 26,887 households out of which 46.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.1% were married couples living together, 16.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 16.2% were non-families. 12.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.79 and the average family size was 4.08.

In the city the population was spread out with 32.1% under the age of 18, 10.7% from 18 to 24, 30.5% from 25 to 44, 17.6% from 45 to 64, and 9.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 30 years. For every 100 females there were 97.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.3 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $46,047, and the median income for a family was $47,524. Males had a median income of $31,579 versus $26,047 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,022. About 9.5% of families and 11.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.8% of those under age 18 and 7.6% of those age 65 or over.

Government and infrastructure

Local government

According to the city’s most recent Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the city’s various funds had $78.2 million in Revenues, $79.1 million in Expenditures, $107.2 million in Total Assets, $48.7 million in Total Liabilities, and $54.8 million in Cash and Investments.

The structure of the management and coordination of city services is:

Department Director
City Manager Ernie V. Garcia
Assistant City Manager Thomas E. Lynch
Director of Finance/City Treasurer Vacant
Director of Transportation James C. Parker
Director of Community Development Kurt Anderson
Director of Personnel/Risk Manager Ernie Hernandez
Director of Public Services Gary DiCorpo
Director of Recreation and Park Services Toni Tucker
Director of Public Safety Carlos Ramos
Director of Social Services Tak Hamabata
City Clerk Theresa Devoy

Law enforcement

Norwalk is currently a contract city, in which the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department provides police services. It maintains its own station, which also provides police services to La Miradamarker and unincorporated South Whittiermarker. At one time the station also provided contracted police services to Santa Fe Springsmarker, but those services ended when the city entered into a contract with the Whittiermarker Police Department. The station is staffed with 206 sworn personnel. The Joint Regional Drug Intelligence Center and Joint Regional Intelligence Center, which has a counter-terrorism focus, are located in a large commercial building at 12440 East Imperial Highway.


Norwalk is the home of the Los Angeles County Registrar/Recorder. The Los Angeles County Registrar's Office is responsible for the registration of voters, maintenance of voter files, conduct of federal, state, local and special elections and the verification of initiative, referendum and recall petitions. There are approximately 4.1 million registered voters, and 5 thousand voting precincts established for countywide elections. The office also has jurisdiction over marriage license issuance, the performance of civil marriage ceremonies, fictitious business name filings and indexing, qualification and registration of notaries and miscellaneous statutory issuance of oaths and filings. The office issues approximately 75,000 marriage licenses and processes 125,000 fictitious business name filings annually. The Recorder's Office is responsible for recording legal documents which determine ownership of real property and maintains files of birth, death and marriage records for Los Angeles County. It serves the public and other County departments such as the Assessor, Health Services, Public Social Services and Regional Planning. The office processes 2 million real and personal property documents and 750,000 birth, death and marriage records annually and services approximately 2,000 customers daily.

County, state, and federal representation

In the state legislature Norwalk is located in the 30th Senate District, represented by Democrat Ronald S. Calderon, and in the 56th Assembly District, represented by Democrat Tony Mendoza. Federally, Norwalk is located in California's 38th congressional district, which has a Cook PVI of D +20 and is represented by Democrat Grace Napolitano.

The United States Postal Service operates the Norwalk Post Office at 14011 Clarkdale Avenue and the Paddison Square Post Office at 12415 Norwalk Boulevard.

Superior Court

The Southeast District of the Los Angeles County Superior Court is located in Norwalk.

Metropolitan State Hospital

The 162-acre Metropolitan State Hospital, a psychiatric and mental health facility operated by the California Department of Mental Health, is located in Norwalk.



Norwalk has no fewer than 4 freeways that cross into city boundaries. The Santa Ana Freeway (I-5) and San Gabriel River Freeway (I-605) intersect at its northern edge, while the Century Freeway (I-105) terminates at the San Gabriel River Freeway at the city's western edge. The Artesia Freeway (SR 91) runs just south of the city's southern border in the communities of Cerritos and Artesiamarker.

Cerritos On Wheels (COW)

COW buses provide service to Cerritos Collegemarker with routes connecting to the Cerritos Towne Center, Cerritos Center for the Performing Artsmarker, Cerritos Millennium Library, Los Cerritos Centermarker and several other stops in neighboring Cerritos.

Norwalk Transit

Norwalk Transit serves Norwalk and its adjacent communities. Currently there are 8 different bus lines operating in Norwalk and adjacent cities.

Long Beach Transit

Long Beach Transit provides service to the Metro Green Line Station via Studebaker Road from Long Beach.

Los Angeles Metro

The Los Angeles MTA ("Metro") provides both bus and train service from Norwalk. The Metro Green Line light rail line provides service to LAXmarker (via shuttle from Aviation Station) and Redondo Beach. Metro bus routes provide service to the west on Florence, Firestone, Imperial, and Rosecrans Blvd. from the Norwalk Green Line Station. Express routes also connect to Disneyland, El Monte Bus Station, Long Beach and downtown Los Angeles.


Southern California Regional Rail Authority ("Metrolink") The Metrolink Orange County Line and 91 Line (which operate on the same track in this area) connect Norwalk with Orange County, Riverside Countymarker, and Downtown Los Angeles.


The area known as "Norwalk" was first home to the Shoshonean Native American tribe. They survived primarily on honey, an array of berries, acorns, sage, squirrels, rabbits and birds. Their huts were part of the Sejat Indian village.

In the late 1760s, Spanish settlers, Padres and missions flourished under Spanish rule with the famous El Camino Real trail traversing the area. Manuel Nietomarker, a Spanish soldier, received a Spanishmarker land grant (Rancho Los Nietosmarker) in 1784 that included Norwalk.

After the Mexican-American war, the Rancho and mining days in the new, American California, ended around the 1860s and the land was subdivided once again and made available for sale now as part of the US State of California. Word of this land development reached the Sproul Brothers in Oregon. They recalled the fertile land and huge sycamore trees they saw during an earlier visit to the Southern California area. In 1869, Atwood Sproul, on behalf of his brother, Gilbert, purchased 463 acres (1.9 km²) of land at $11 an acre ($2700/km²) in an area known as Corazon de los Valles, or "Heart of the Valleys."

By 1873, railroads were being built in the area and the Sprouls deeded 23 acres (93,000 m²) stipulating a "passenger stop" clause in the deed. Three days after the Anaheim Branch Railroad crossed the "North-walk" for the first time, Gilbert Sproul surveyed a town site. In 1874, the name was recorded officially as Norwalk. While a majority of the Norwalk countryside remained undeveloped during the 1880s, the Norwalk Station allowed potential residents the opportunity to visit the "country" from across the nation.

This pre-1900 era also brought the "first families" to Norwalk, including the Sprouls, the Dewitts, the Settles, the Orrs, and many others. D.D. Johnston pioneered the first school system in Norwalk in 1880. Johnston was also responsible for the first real industry in town, a cheese factory, by furnishing Tom Lumbard with the money in 1882. Norwalk's prosperity was evident in the 1890s with the construction of a number of fine homes that were located in the middle of orchards, farms and dairies. Headstones for these families can be found at Little Lake Cemetery founded in 1843. The cemetery in on the Norwalk-Santa fe Springs border at 11959 E. Lakeland Rd.

At the turn of the century, Norwalk had become established as the dairy center. Of the 50 local families reported in the 1900 census, most were associated with farming or with the dairy industry. Norwalk was also the home of some of the largest sugar beet farms in all of Southern California during this era.

Airplane disaster

In February 1958, two military aircraft, a Douglas C-118 A military transport and a U.S. Navy P2V-5F Neptune patrol bomber, collided over Norwalk at night. 47 servicemen were killed as well as a civilian 23-year-old woman on the ground who was hit by falling debris. A plaque commemorating the disaster erected by the American Legion in 1961 marks the spot of the accident, today a mini-mall at the corner of Firestone Boulevard and Pioneer Boulevard.

The Hargitt House

Built in 1891 by the D. D. Johnston family, the Hargitt House is an 1891 Victorian Eastlake. The Hargitt House Museum, located at 12426 Mapledale, was donated to the people of Norwalk by Charles ("Chun") and Ida Hargitt. The Museum is open on the first and third Saturday of the month from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Emergency services

Fire protection in Norwalk is provided by the Los Angeles County Fire Department with ambulance transport by Care Ambulance Service. The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department provides law enforcement.


In 1997 Eva Air moved its United States headquarters to Norwalk from the San Pedro area of Los Angeles.


Norwalk is home to Cerritos Collegemarker. Founded in 1955, Cerritos College is a public community college serving an area of of southeastern Los Angeles county. The college offers degrees and certificates in 87 areas of study in nine divisions. Over 1,200 students complete their course of studies each year.

Norwalk is served by the Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District, headquartered at 12820 Pioneer Blvd., Norwalk, CA 90650 as well as the Little Lake City Elementary School District, headquartered at 10515 S. Pioneer Blvd., Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670. Certain areas of West Norwalk are served by the ABC Unified School District, located at 16700 Norwalk Blvd., Cerritos, CA 90703. Among the several parochial schools in Norwalk are Saint John of God School (Roman Catholic), Pioneer Baptist School (Baptist Christian), and Saint Linus School (Roman Catholic).

Movies filmed in Norwalk

  • The Postman Always Rings Twice - (1946) Includes scene filmed on location at the Norwalk train depot near Front Street and Funston Avenue
  • Grease 2 (1982) - Mostly filmed at Excelsior High School
  • High School U.S.A. (1983) - Filmed at Excelsior High School
  • Suburbia (1984) - Streetscape in the Interstate 105/605 area
  • The Karate Kid (1984) - Golf 'N' Stuff
  • Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead (1995) - Outside scenes filmed at Keystone Lanes, a bowling alley on Imperial Highway
  • Brüno (2009) - Civil Marriage Scene filmed at the LA County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Building.
  • Best Men (1997) - Mostly filmed on Front Street
  • Another Day in Paradise (1998) - Locations include both Front Street and Firestone Boulevard
  • Life (1999) - Scene filmed at Greyhound bus station on Front Street
  • Corvette Summer (1978) - Scene filmed outside of what was then the Golden West Ballroom on Studebaker between Imperial Highway and Firestone Boulevard
  • Heroes (TV series, 2007) - Scene filmed at Greyhound bus station on Front Street at San Antonio Boulevard
  • Cutting Class (1989 Horror Film) - Filmed in Norwalk, the movie was Brad Pitt's first major role in a movie. The John Glenn High School band is heard playing their school fight song during the game scene
  • Speed (1994) - Shots filmed at the construction site of the 105 Freeway at Studebaker Rd and Imperial Hwy
  • Frailty (2001)-Shots filmed at Greyhound bus station on Front Street at San Antonio Boulevard
Avril Lavigne "Girlfriend" music video shot at Golf N' Stuff
  • "Justin Stinson": The Story of a Teenaged Drama Queen" Filmed at Norwalk High School


  • Norwalk Hills (North)
  • Studebaker (North Norwalk)
  • Carmenita (South Norwalk)
  • Civic Center (Central Norwalk)
  • South East Norwalk (1. known as the "Barrio")
  • South East Norwalk (2. also known as the "One-Ways")


  2. Burt, Christopher. Extreme Weather: A Guide and Record Book. New York: Norton, 2004: 100.
  3. City of Norwalk 2007-08 CAFR Retrieved 2009-06-07
  4. City of Norwalk Website retrieved 2009-06-04
  5. " Post Office Location - NORWALK." United States Postal Service. Retrieved on December 6, 2008.
  6. " Post Office Location - PADDISON SQUARE." United States Postal Service. Retrieved on December 6, 2008.
  7. " EVA AIRWAYS RELOCATES HEADQUARTERS TO NORWALK." Long Beach Press-Telegram. April 28, 1997. Retrieved on September 29, 2009.

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