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Whittier is a city in Los Angeles County, California about 12 miles (19 km) southeast of Los Angeles. The city had a population of 85,331 at the 2010 census, up from 83,680 as of the 2000 census, and encompasses 14.7 square miles (38.0 km2).
Like nearby Montebello, the city constitutes part of the Gateway Cities. Whittier was incorporated in February 1898, although it was first settled in 1887, and became a charter city in 1955. The city is named for the poet John Greenleaf Whittier and is home to Whittier College.
Whittier has a total area of 14.7 square miles (38 km2), virtually all land. Whittier is bordered by the community of Hacienda Heights to the northeast, City of Industry to the north, and several other unincorporated communities in the San Gabriel Valley mostly along its northern sections. Pico Rivera lies at the west, La Habra Heights to the east, La Habra to the southeast and Santa Fe Springs to the south.
There are several neighborhoods in Whittier. The area centered around Philadelphia Street and Greenleaf Avenue is known as Uptown Whittier and contains the traditional central business core. Just north of Uptown Whittier are the neighborhoods known as Central Park and Hadley-Greenleaf. They have been designated historic districts by the city Historic Resources Commission, and together comprise most of the area of the Whittier Historic Neighborhood Association. These districts contain many Craftsman and Spanish Colonial Revival homes.
In and abutting the hills north of the historic districts is Starlite Estates, an upscale neighborhood. The area surrounding Whittier College is known as College Hills and was also recently designated a historic district, as has a small cluster of homes along Earlham Drive.
The area east of College Avenue is referred to as East Whittier. East Whittier was a separate agricultural community until the postwar era. The eastern parts of East Whittier, developed in the 1950s and 60s, are Friendly Hills, Murphy Ranch and Leffingwell Ranch.
In population, it is one of the least dense in Los Angeles, and the percentage of white people is high for the county. It is not especially diverse. The percentage of residents 25 and older with four-year college degrees is high for both the city and the county. The percentage of veterans, 10.7% of the population, was high for the city of Los Angeles and high for the county overall. The percentage of veterans who served during World War II or Korea was among the county’s highest.
As of the 2000 Census, and according to the Los Angeles Almanac, there were 67,006 people and 29,119 households residing in Whittier. The racial makeup of the neighborhood was 79.90% White, 6.97% Asian, 0.13% Pacific Islander, 3.34% African American, 0.33% Native American, 4.80% from other races, and 4.52% from two or more races. 11.94% of the population were Hispanic of any race.
Median household income in 2000 was $72,568. Median home cost in ZIP 91364 is (2007): $944,500 and cost of living in ZIP 91364 is (2007): 76.26% higher than the U.S. average.