Garden Grove, California

Garden Grove is a city in northern Orange County, California, United States, located 34 miles (55 km) southeast of the city of Los Angeles in the Los Angeles metropolitan area.[8] The population was 170,883 at the 2010 United States Census. State Route 22, also known as the Garden Grove Freeway, passes through the city in an east-west direction. The western portion of the city is known as West Garden Grove.

Garden Grove, California
City of Garden Grove[1]
The Christ Cathedral (formerly the Crystal Cathedral) in 2018.



Location of Garden Grove in Orange County, California.
Vicinity of Garden Grove
Garden Grove
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 33°46′44″N 117°57′37″W
Country United States of America
State California
County Orange
IncorporatedJune 18, 1956[2]
  MayorSteven R. Jones
  City council
  • Patrick Phat Bui
  • George S. Brietigam III
  • John R. O'Neill
  • Thu-Ha Nguyen
  • Stephanie Klopfenstein (Mayor Pro Tem)
  • Kim B. Nguyen
  Total17.98 sq mi (46.55 km2)
  Land17.96 sq mi (46.51 km2)
  Water0.02 sq mi (0.05 km2)  0.10%
Elevation89 ft (27 m)
  Rank5th in Orange County
25th in California
  Density9,737.60/sq mi (3,759.66/km2)
Time zoneUTC-8 (Pacific)
  Summer (DST)UTC-7 (PDT)
ZIP Codes[7]
Area codes657/714
FIPS code06-29000
GNIS feature IDs1660662, 2410568


19th century

Garden Grove was founded by Alonzo Cook in 1874. A school district and Methodist church were organized that year. It remained a small rural crossroads until the arrival of the railroad in 1905. The rail connection helped the town prosper with crops of orange, walnuts, chili peppers and later strawberries.

20th century

In 1933, much of the town's central business district was destroyed by the Long Beach earthquake, and one person was killed at the high school. The post-World War II boom led to rapid development, and Garden Grove was incorporated as a city in 1956 with about 44,000 residents.

Strawberry Festival

An annual event held over Memorial Day weekend, the Garden Grove Strawberry Festival is one of the largest community festivals in the western United States, attracting an estimated 250,000 visitors.[9][10] It began in 1958 and celebrates the city's agricultural past, which includes cultivating crops such as chili peppers, oranges, walnuts and strawberries. Part of the festivities include the cutting of the world's largest strawberry shortcake, carnival rides and vendors and a celebrity-filled parade.[11] Numerous Garden Grove organizations, including the Miss Garden Grove Scholarship Program, are part of the Memorial Day weekend festivities every year. In commemoration of Garden Grove's 50th anniversary, the city painted some of its fire hydrants with a design that featured a strawberry, recognizing the festival as a big part of Garden Grove's history.[12][13]


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 46.5 km2 (18.0 sq mi) 0.10% of which is water. West Garden Grove is west of Beach Boulevard.


Historical population
Est. 2018172,646[6]1.0%
U.S. Decennial Census[14]


The 2010 United States Census[15] reported that Garden Grove had a population of 170,883. The population density was 9,515.3 people per square mile (3,673.9/km²). The racial makeup of Garden Grove was 68,149 (39.9%) White, 2,155 (1.3%) Black, 983 (0.6%) Native American, 63,451 (37.1%) Asian, 1,110 (0.6%) Pacific Islander, 28,916 (16.9%) from other races, and 6,119 (3.6%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 63,079 persons (36.9%). Non-Hispanic whites were 22.6% of the population,[16] down from 90.6% in 1970.[17] Vietnamese Americans numbered 47,331 of the population. At 27.7% this was the highest concentration of any city in the United States except for adjacent Westminster.

The Census reported that 168,942 people (98.9% of the population) lived in households, 1,234 (0.7%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 707 (0.4%) were institutionalized.

There were 46,037 households, out of which 21,361 (46.4%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 26,659 (57.9%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 6,866 (14.9%) had a female householder with no husband present, 3,588 (7.8%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 2,025 (4.4%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 269 (0.6%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 6,491 households (14.1%) were made up of individuals and 2,842 (6.2%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.67. There were 37,113 families (80.6% of all households); the average family size was 3.94.

The population was spread out with 43,763 people (25.6%) under the age of 18, 17,383 people (10.2%) aged 18 to 24, 49,105 people (28.7%) aged 25 to 44, 42,106 people (24.6%) aged 45 to 64, and 18,526 people (10.8%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35.6 years. For every 100 females, there were 99.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 7.7 males.

There were 47,755 housing units at an average density of 2,659.1 per square mile (1,026.7/km²), of which 26,240 (57.0%) were owner-occupied, and 19,797 (43.0%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 1.2%; the rental vacancy rate was 4.6%. 96,308 people (56.4% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 72,634 people (42.5%) lived in rental housing units.

According to the 2010 United States Census, Garden Grove had a median household income of $59,988, with 15.5% of the population living below the federal poverty line.[18]


Local government

Garden Grove uses a council-manager form of government. In July 2015 the city was sued by a resident who claimed that the longstanding at-large elections had affected the Latino vote and was in violation of the California Voting Rights Act. On January 26, 2016, the city council voted to settle the lawsuit, and therefore adopted that council members would be voted by district (six districts total) and no longer at-large; the mayor, however, will continue to be elected at-large.[19] The city council consists of mayor Steven R. Jones, Phat Bui, George S. Brietigam III, John R. O'Neill, Thu-Ha Nguyen, mayor pro tem Stephanie Klopfenstein and Kim B. Nguyen.[20] According to the city's most recent Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the city's various funds had $206.0 million in Revenues, $193.0 million in expenditures, $1,098.9 million in total assets, $251.5 million in total liabilities, and $196.3 million in cash and investments.[21]

The following list of city officials is current as of August 2019.

City Department Director
City Manager Scott Stiles
Deputy City Manager Maria Stipe
Community and Economic Development Lisa Kim
Community Services Kim Huy
Finance Patricia (Yuan) Song
Fire Orange County Fire Authority Division 1 Chief
Human Resources Laura J. Stover
Information Technology Anad Rao
Police Chief Tom DaRé
Public Works Bill Murray

Emergency services

The Garden Grove Police Department provides law enforcement with mutual aid assistance offered at times by the Anaheim Police Department's helicopter, and the Orange County Sheriff's Department Air Unit. In August 2019 the city disbanded its fire department and contracted with The Orange County Fire Authority.[22]

State and federal representation

In the California State Senate, Garden Grove is in the 34th Senate District, represented by Democrat Tom Umberg.[23]

In the California State Assembly, Garden Grove is split between the 65th Assembly District, represented by Democrat Sharon Quirk-Silva, the 69th Assembly District, represented by Democrat Tom Daly, and the 72nd Assembly District, represented by Republican Tyler Diep.[24]

In the United States House of Representatives, Garden Grove is split between California's 46th, 47th, and 48th congressional districts,[25] which are represented by Lou Correa (DSanta Ana), Alan Lowenthal (DLong Beach), and Harley Rouda (DLaguna Beach), respectively.


According to the California Secretary of State, as of October 22, 2018, Garden Grove has 72,768 registered voters. Of those, 26,604 (36.56%) are registered Democrats, 21,449 (29.48%) are registered Republicans, and 21,941 (30.15%) have declined to state a political party/are independents.[26]

Garden Grove city vote
by party in presidential elections
Year Democratic Republican Third Parties
2016[27] 58.40% 30,244 35.61% 18,443 6.00% 3,105
2012[28] 53.54% 25,786 44.05% 21,213 2.41% 1,161
2008[29] 46.76% 23,754 51.07% 25,939 2.17% 1,103
2004[30] 37.73% 18,055 61.13% 29,251 1.14% 545
2000[31] 46.16% 20,483 50.16% 22,257 3.68% 1,631
1996[32] 42.42% 16,675 46.25% 18,179 11.32% 4,451
1992[33] 33.03% 14,706 41.68% 18,560 25.29% 11,261
1988[34] 33.56% 15,041 65.00% 29,133 1.44% 644
1984[35] 25.67% 11,656 73.13% 33,206 1.20% 546
1980[36] 25.42% 11,144 65.62% 28,772 8.96% 3,929
1976[37] 41.66% 16,549 55.80% 22,169 2.54% 1,011


According to the City's 2015 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,[38] the top employers in the city are:

# Employer # of employees
1 Air Industries Corp. 681
2 American Apparel Knit & Dye 535
3 Prime Healthcare Services 516
4 Walmart 412
5 Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics 363
6 Office Max Inc. 360
7 Hyatt Regency Orange County 350
8 GKN Aerospace Transparency Systems, Inc. 335
9 Kaiser Foundation Health 317
10 NBTY Acquisition, LLC 298


The Garden Grove Unified School District serves most of the city, as well as the Westminster School District, Huntington Beach Union High School District and the Orange Unified School District, which serves portions in Garden Grove.

King of Kings Lutheran School is a Christian school (3K-8th grade) of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS) in Garden Grove.[39]

Arts and culture

Garden Grove is home to two stage theaters, the Gem Theater and the Festival Amphitheater. The Festival Amphitheater hosts Shakespeare Orange County, which presents an annual Shakespeare Festival each summer. Both venues are owned by the City of Garden Grove, but operated by outside entities. The Gem Theater is currently operated by Damien Lorton and Nicole Cassesso of 'One More Productions'. The Festival Amphitheater is managed by Thomas Bradac, the producing artistic director of Shakespeare Orange County.

The Garden Grove Playhouse used to be an active theatre, now closed down. It was operated by a non-profit group of the same name.

The song "Garden Grove" by Sublime details taking a trip to Garden Grove.

Notable people




  • Jim Silva, former California Assemblyman, former Member of the Orange County Board of Supervisors, former Mayor of Seal Beach
  • Bill Thomas, retired U.S. Congressman and former Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee (and alumnus of Garden Grove High School)
  • Robert K. Dornan, former U.S. Congressman.[41]
  • Janet Nguyen, Orange County supervisor
  • Curt Pringle, former State Assemblyman, Speaker of the California State Assembly and former mayor of Anaheim
  • Paul Jeffrey Watford, Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Assumed office May 22, 2012, born in Garden Grove August 25, 1967


See also

  • Greater Los Angeles portal


  1. "City of Garden Grove". City of Garden Grove. Retrieved November 20, 2014.
  2. "California Cities by Incorporation Date". California Association of Local Agency Formation Commissions. Archived from the original (Word) on November 3, 2014. Retrieved August 25, 2014.
  3. "2016 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 19, 2017.
  4. "Garden Grove". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved October 19, 2014.
  5. "Garden Grove (city) QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 19, 2015.
  6. "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved July 13, 2019.
  7. "ZIP Code(tm) Lookup". United States Postal Service. Retrieved December 6, 2014.
  9. Bharath, Deepa (May 27, 2010). "Strawberry Festival kicks off today". The Orange County Register. Retrieved June 1, 2010.
  10. "About us". Garden Grove Strawberry Festival website. Retrieved June 1, 2010.
  11. Garden Grove Strawberry Festival- EVENTS Archived August 23, 2011, at the Wayback Machine Retrieved April 20, 2011
  12. "Turning Golden". Retrieved September 30, 2013.
  13. "Showing off fire hydrants painted to note the city's 50th anniversary". March 6, 2009. Retrieved September 30, 2013.
  14. "Census of Population and Housing". Archived from the original on April 26, 2015. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  15. "2010 Census Interactive Population Search: CA – Garden Grove city". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
  16. "Garden Grove (city), California". State & County QuickFacts. U.S. Census Bureau.
  17. "Race and Hispanic Origin for Selected Cities and Other Places: Earliest Census to 1990". U.S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on August 12, 2012.
  18. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  19. Vo, Thy (January 27, 2016). "Garden Grove Mayor Will Continue to be Elected on At-Large Basis". The Voice of OC. Retrieved December 13, 2016.
  20. "City of Garden Grove Mayor and Council Members". City of Garden Grove. Retrieved December 22, 2018.
  21. City of Garden Grove CAFR
  23. "Statewide Database". UC Regents. Retrieved November 24, 2014.
  24. "Communities of Interest – City". California Citizens Redistricting Commission. Retrieved September 27, 2014.
  25. "Communities of Interest – City". California Citizens Redistricting Commission. Retrieved September 27, 2014.
  26. "CA Secretary of State – Report of Registration – October 22, 2018" (PDF). Retrieved February 16, 2019.
  34. Statement of the Vote. Sacramento, Calif. : The Secretary. 1968.
  35. Statement of the Vote. Sacramento, Calif. : The Secretary. 1968.
  36. Statement of the Vote. Sacramento, Calif. : The Secretary. 1968.
  37. Statement of the Vote. Sacramento, Calif. : The Secretary. 1968.
  38. City of Garden Grove CAFR
  40. "The Kids Aren't Alright by The Offspring". Retrieved August 31, 2010.
  41. Barone, Michael; Ujifusa, Grant (1987). The Almanac of American Politics 1988. National Journal. p. 166.
  42. "Retail religion". The Economist. April 9, 2015. Retrieved April 13, 2015.
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