The Shifting Demographics of Antelope Valley

January 8, 2018 in | Comments (0)

From space, the far western portion of the Mojave Desert resembles a giant arrow pointing towards the Pacific. Flanked by the San Gabriel Mountains and the San Andreas Fault at its southern end with the Tehachapi Mountains climbing upward to the northwest, the desert’s western boundary is distinctly delineated. Within this geographic arrowhead, the Antelope Valley abuts and merges into northern Fremont Valley; the former referred to as “North Los Angeles County” and the latter a part of Kern County.

The landscape of the Antelope Valley has undergone a substantial transformation due to exponential growth and development over the last 40 years. In the 1980s, the area began shifting from a sparsely populated, mostly white, high desert outback to a bustling “bedroom commuter colony,” allowing those priced out — including many people of color — to purchase newer, single-family homes.

Now 71,000 Antelope Valley residents commute daily into the greater Los Angeles area for work. But as the region’s landscape is modified and its demographics shift, the arid land is revealing something potentially threatening to the health of those who came here to escape the high cost of living and other urban woes of “down below….”

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