San Fernando Valley
The San Fernando Valley is an urbanized valley in Los Angeles County, California, in the Los Angeles metropolitan area, defined by the mountains of the Transverse Ranges circling it. Home to 1.77 million people, it is north of the larger, more populous Los Angeles Basin.
Nearly two thirds of the valley's land area is part of the city of Los Angeles. The other incorporated cities in the valley are Glendale, Burbank, San Fernando, Hidden Hills, and Calabasas.
GeographyThe San Fernando Valley is about bound by the Santa Susana Mountains to the northwest, the Simi Hills to the west, the Santa Monica Mountains and Chalk Hills to the south, the Verdugo Mountains to the east, and the San Gabriel Mountains to the northeast. The northern Sierra Pelona Mountains, northwestern Topatopa Mountains, southern Santa Ana Mountains, and Downtown Los Angeles skyscrapers can be seen from higher neighborhoods, passes, and parks in the San Fernando Valley.
The Los Angeles River begins at the confluence of Calabasas Creek and Bell Creek, between Canoga Park High School and Owensmouth Ave. in Canoga Park. These creeks' headwaters are in the Santa Monica Calabasas foothills, the Simi Hills' Hidden Hills, Santa Susana Field Laboratory, and Santa Susana Pass Park lands. The river flows eastward along the southern regions of the Valley. One of the river's two unpaved sections can be found at the Sepulveda Basin. A seasonal river, the Tujunga Wash, drains much of the western facing San Gabriel Mountains and passes into and then through the Hansen Dam Recreation Center in Lake View Terrace. It flows south along the Verdugo Mountains through the eastern communities of the valley to join the Los Angeles River in Studio City. Other notable tributaries of the river include Dayton Creek, Caballero Creek, Bull Creek, Pacoima Wash, and Verdugo Wash. The elevation of the floor of the valley varies from about to above sea level.
Most of the San Fernando Valley is within the jurisdiction of the city of Los Angeles, although a few other incorporated cities are located within the valley as well: Burbank and Glendale are in the southeastern corner of the valley, Hidden Hills and Calabasas are in the southwestern corner, and San Fernando, which is completely surrounded by Los Angeles, is in the northeastern valley. Universal City, an enclave in the southern part of the valley, is unincorporated land housing the Universal Studios filming lot and theme park. Mulholland Drive, which runs along the ridgeline of the Santa Monica Mountains, marks the boundary between the valley and the communities of Hollywood and the Los Angeles Westside.
The San Fernando Valley has connection to other regions: The Santa Clarita Valley via Newhall Pass, the Westside via Sepulveda Pass, Hollywood via Cahuenga Pass, Simi Valley via Santa Susana Pass, and La Crescenta Valley via Interstate 210.
HabitatThe valley's natural habitat is a "temperate grasslands, savannas, and shrublands biome" of grassland, oak savanna, and chaparral shrub forest types of plant community habitats, along with lush riparian plants along the river, creeks, and springs. In this Mediterranean climate, post-1790s European agriculture for the mission's support consisted of grapes, figs, olives, and general garden crops.
Government and political representationThe San Fernando Valley contains five incorporated cities—Glendale, Burbank, San Fernando, Hidden Hills, and Calabasas—and part of a sixth, Los Angeles, which governs a majority of the valley. The unincorporated communities are governed by the County of Los Angeles.
RepresentationThe Los Angeles city section of the valley is divided into seven city council districts: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 12. Of the 95 neighborhood councils in the city, 34 are in the valley. The valley is represented in the California State Legislature by seven members of the State Assembly and five members of the State Senate. The valley falls into four congressional districts: the 28th, 29th, 30th, and 33rd, represented respectively by Adam Schiff, Tony Cárdenas, Brad Sherman, and Ted Lieu. The valley is represented in the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, by two supervisorial districts, with the western portion represented by Sheila Kuehl and the eastern portion by Kathryn Barger.
PoliticsThe San Fernando Valley, for the most part, tends to support Democrats in state and national elections. This is especially true in the southern areas, which include Sherman Oaks and the city of Burbank.
- The Los Angeles satellite administrative center for the valley, The Civic Center Van Nuys, is in Van Nuys. The area in and around the Van Nuys branch of Los Angeles City Hall is home to a police station, limited and unlimited jurisdiction superior courts and Los Angeles city and county administrative offices. Northridge is home to California State University, Northridge.
- Many branches of the Los Angeles Public Library are located in the valley.
- For independent libraries see "Incorporated Cities " in the "Municipalities and districts" list below.
- Los Angeles Police Department, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, and independent valley city departments.
- Los Angeles Fire Department, Los Angeles County Fire Department, Burbank Police Department, and independent valley city departments.
- City of Los Angeles neighborhood councils
Pre-California statehoodThe valley was a center of "the crossroads of cultures and languages, including the Tongva, Fernandeño, and Chumash." The Tongva, later known as the Gabrieleño Mission Indians after colonization, the Tataviam to the north, and Chumash to the west, had lived and thrived in the valley and its arroyos for over 8,000 years. They had :Category:Former Native American populated places in California|numerous settlements, and trading and hunting camps, before the Spanish arrived in 1769 to settle in the Valley.
The first Spanish land grant in the San Fernando Valley was called "Rancho Encino", in the northern part of the San Fernando Valley. Juan Francisco Reyes built an adobe dwelling beside a :Category:Tongva settlements|Tongva village or rancheria at natural springs, but the land was soon taken from him so that a mission could be built there. Mission San Fernando Rey de España was established in 1797 as the 17th of the 21 missions. The land trade granted Juan Francisco Reyes the similarly named Rancho Los Encinos, also beside springs. Later the Mexican land grants of Rancho El Escorpión, Rancho Providencia and Rancho Cahuenga, and Rancho Ex-Mission San Fernando covered the San Fernando Valley.
The Treaty of Cahuenga, ending the Mexican–American War fighting in Alta California, was signed in 1847 by Californios and Americans at Campo de Cahuenga, the Verdugo Family adobe at the entrance to the Cahuenga Pass in the southeast San Fernando Valley. The 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ended the entire war.
California statehood and beyondThe Valley officially became part of the State of California on September 9, 1850, when the California Statehood Act was approved by the federal government.
In 1874, dry wheat farming was introduced by J. B. Lankershim and Isaac Van Nuys, which became very productive for their San Fernando Homestead Association that owned the southern half of the valley. In 1876 they sent the very first wheat shipment from both San Pedro Harbor and from the United States to Europe.
Through the late-19th-century court decision Los Angeles v. Pomeroy, Los Angeles had won the rights to all surface flow water atop an aquifer beneath the valley, without it being within the city limits. San Fernando Valley farmers offered to buy the surplus aqueduct water, but the federal legislation that enabled the construction of the aqueduct prohibited Los Angeles from selling the water outside of the city limits. This induced several independent towns surrounding Los Angeles to vote on and approve annexation to the city so that they could connect to the municipal water system. These rural areas became part of Los Angeles in 1915.
The aqueduct water shifted farming in the area from dry crops, such as wheat, to irrigated crops, such as corn, beans, squash, and cotton; orchards of apricots, persimmons, and walnuts; and major citrus groves of oranges and lemons. They continued until the next increment of development converted land use, with postwar suburbanization leaving only a few enclaves, such as the "open-air museum" groves at the Orcutt Ranch Park and CSUN campus.
In 1909, the Suburban Homes Company, a syndicate led by H. J. Whitley, general manager of the board of control, along with Harry Chandler, Harrison Gray Otis, M. H. Sherman, and Otto F. Brant purchased 48,000 acres of the Farming and Milling Company for $2,500,000. Henry E. Huntington extended his Pacific Electric Railway through the Valley to Owensmouth. The Suburban Home Company laid out plans for roads and the towns of Van Nuys, Reseda, and Canoga Park. The rural areas were annexed into the city of Los Angeles in 1915. Laurel Canyon and Lankershim in 1923, Sunland in 1926, La Tuna Canyon in 1926, and the incorporated city of Tujunga in an eight-year process lasting from 1927 to 1935. These annexations more than doubled the area of the city.
Five valley cities incorporated independently from Los Angeles: Glendale in 1906, Burbank and San Fernando in 1911, Hidden Hills in 1961, and Calabasas in 1991. Universal City remains an unincorporated enclave that is home to Universal Studios and became home to Universal CityWalk later in the century. Other unincorporated areas in the valley include Bell Canyon and Kagel Canyon.
The advent of three new industries in the early 20th century—motion pictures, automobiles, and aircraft—also spurred urbanization and population growth. World War II production and the subsequent postwar boom accelerated this growth so that between 1945 and 1960, the valley's population had quintupled. Los Angeles continued to consolidate its territories in the San Fernando Valley by annexing the former Rancho El Escorpión for Canoga Park-West Hills in 1959, and the huge historic Porter Ranch at the foot of the Santa Susana Mountains for the new planned developments in Porter Ranch in 1965. The additions expanded the Los Angeles portion of San Fernando Valley from the original to.
In the late 1970s, there was a proposed east-west freeway labeled SR 64 that would have cut through the center of the valley from Calabasas in the western end of the valley to the SR-170 and I-5 freeway interchange in Sun Valley, Los Angeles in the eastern end of the valley, but local opposition gained traction and the proposed freeway was never approved or built.
San Fernando Valley is known locally as "The Valley".
In the 1980s, a distinctive valley youth culture was recognized in the media, particularly in the 1982 Frank Zappa / Moon Zappa song "Valley Girl" and the 1983 film Valley Girl. These helped fix the socio-economic stereotype of the "Valley girl" into the public consciousness, including a distinct Valley accent.
The 1994 Northridge earthquake struck on January 17 and measured 6.7 on the Moment magnitude scale. It produced the largest ground motions ever recorded in an urban environment and was the first earthquake that had its hypocenter located directly under a U.S. city since the Long Beach earthquake of 1933. It caused the greatest damage in the United States since the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. Although given the name Northridge, the epicenter was located in the community of Reseda, between Arminta and Ingomar streets, just west of Reseda Boulevard. The death toll was 57, and more than 1,500 people were seriously injured. A few days after the earthquake, 9,000 homes and businesses were still without electricity; 20,000 were without gas; and more than 48,500 had little or no water. About 12,500 structures were moderately to severely damaged, which left thousands of people temporarily homeless. Of the 66,546 buildings inspected, 6 percent were severely damaged and 17 percent were moderately damaged. In addition, damage to several major freeways serving Los Angeles choked the traffic system in the days following the earthquake. Major freeway damage occurred as far away as from the epicenter. Collapses and other severe damage forced closure of portions of 11 major roads to downtown Los Angeles.
This was the second time in 23 years that the San Fernando Valley had been affected by a strong earthquake. On February 9, 1971, a magnitude-6.5 event struck about northeast of the epicenter of the 1994 event. The 1971 earthquake caused 58 fatalities and about 2,000 injuries. At the time, the 1971 San Fernando earthquake was the most destructive event to affect greater Los Angeles since the magnitude-6.3 Long Beach earthquake of 1933.
21st century;Contemporary era
By the late 1990s, the San Fernando Valley had become more urban and more ethnically diverse with rising poverty and crime. In 2002, the valley tried to secede from the city of Los Angeles and become its own incorporated city to escape Los Angeles' perceived poverty, crime, gang activity, urban decay, and poorly maintained infrastructure. Since that unsuccessful secession attempt, a new Van Nuys municipal building was built in 2003; the Metro Orange Line opened in October 2005; 35 new public schools had opened up by 2012, and the valley's ethnic plurality is now Hispanic, edging out its white population by 0.8 percent.
By 2017, numerous urban development projects began in the valley, mainly in the Los Angeles neighborhoods of North Hollywood, Panorama City, and Woodland Hills. These projects started with the first few in Woodland Hills and the NoHo West project in North Hollywood began groundbreaking and construction on April 6, 2017.
LA Metro will begin construction on upgrades of the Metro Orange Line in 2021 with at-grade crossing gates and two bridges crossing both Sepulveda and Van Nuys Boulevards. The valley will get its first light rail line in seven decades by 2027, with construction of the line beginning in 2021 along Van Nuys Boulevard and San Fernando Road.
Parks and recreationThe San Fernando Valley is home to numerous neighborhood city parks, recreation areas and large Regional Open Space preserves. Many preserves are maintained as public parkland by the National Park Service's Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, the California State Parks, and local county and municipal parks districts.
Small garden parks and missions
- The Japanese Garden
- The gardens at Adobes
- The Orcutt Ranch Horticulture Center
- The Leonis Adobe
- The Andrés Pico adobe
- Los Encinos State Historic Park
- Mission San Fernando
- Griffith Park, located at the southeastern end of the valley in the Hollywood Hills
- Sepulveda Dam recreation area
- Hansen Dam recreation area
- Los Angeles River, with parks of various sizes along the part of the river located in the valley
Mountain open-space parks
- Backbone Trail System
- Bell Canyon Park
- Brand Park
- Chatsworth Park South
- Deukmejian Wilderness Park
- El Escorpión Park
- Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail
- La Tuna Park
- Laurel Canyon Park
- Marvin Braude Mulholland Gateway Park
- O'Melveny Park above Granada Hills
- Rocky Peak Park
- Sage Ranch Park
- San Vicente Mountain Park, above Encino
- Santa Susana Pass State Historic Park
- Topanga State Park
- Upper Las Virgenes Canyon Open Space Preserve
- Verdugo Mountains Open Space Preserve
- Wilacre Park
- Wildwood Canyon Park, above Burbank
- Wilson Canyon Park, above Sylmar
Municipalities and neighborhoods
Incorporated cities (independent)
- Los Angeles
- Hidden Hills
- San Fernando
- Bell Canyon
- Calabasas Highlands
- Kagel Canyon
- Universal City
- West Chatsworth
City of Los Angeles neighborhoods of the San Fernando Valley
- Cahuenga Pass
- Canoga Park
- Granada Hills
- La Tuna Canyon
- Lake Balboa
- Lake View Terrace
- Mission Hills
- NoHo Arts District
- North Hills
- North Hollywood
- Panorama City
- Porter Ranch
- Shadow Hills+
- Sherman Oaks
- Studio City
- Sun Valley
- Toluca Lake
- Valley Glen
- Valley Village
- Van Nuys
- Warner Center
- West Hills
- Woodland Hills
EconomyThe Valley is home to numerous companies, the most well known of which work in motion pictures, music recording, and television production. The former movie ranches were branches of original studios now consisting of CBS Studio Center, NBCUniversal, The Walt Disney Company, and Warner Bros.
The valley was previously known for advances in aerospace technology and nuclear research by companies such as Lockheed, Rocketdyne and its Santa Susana Field Laboratory, Atomics International, Litton Industries, Marquardt, and TRW's predecessor Thompson Ramo Wooldridge.
Adult entertainmentThe valley became the pioneering region for producing adult films in the 1970s and grew to become home to a multibillion-dollar pornography industry, earning the monikers Porn Valley,
Silicone Valley, and San Pornando Valley. The leading trade paper for the industry, AVN magazine, is based in the Northwest Valley, as were a majority of U.S. adult video and magazine distributors. The Paul Thomas Anderson film, Boogie Nights explores these aspects of the valley. According to the HBO series Pornucopia, at one time, nearly 90 percent of all legally distributed pornographic films made in the United States were either filmed in or produced by studios based in the San Fernando Valley.
The pornography industry began to decline by the mid-2000s, owing, for the most part, to the growing amount of free content on the Internet, which undercut consumers' willingness to pay. In 2007 industry insiders estimated that revenue for most adult production and distribution companies had declined 30 percent to 50 percent and the number of new films made had fallen sharply.
Utilities and infrastructureMost of the utilities in the valley are served by public municipal governments, primarily the cities of Los Angeles, Burbank, and Glendale, while there are only two private-owned utilities for gas and electricity in the valley as well. Southern California Edison has their overhead power lines going through the city of Burbank and through the Los Angeles city neighborhoods of Sylmar, Mission Hills, Arleta, North Hollywood, Studio City, Woodland Hills, Granada Hills, Porter Ranch, and Chatsworth as well.
The valley is served by the following utility companies:
- Los Angeles Department of Water and Power
- Burbank Water and Power
- Southern California Edison
- Glendale Water and Power
- Los Angeles Department of Water and Power
- Burbank Water and Power
- City of San Fernando
- Metropolitan Water District
- Glendale Water and Power
- City of Los Angeles
- City of San Fernando
- City of Burbank
- City of Glendale
FreewaysMajor freeways cross the Valley, including Interstate 405, U.S. Route 101, State Route 118, State Route 170, Interstate 210, and Interstate 5. Notable streets include Sepulveda Boulevard, Ventura Boulevard, Laurel Canyon Boulevard, San Fernando Road, Victory Boulevard, Reseda Boulevard, Riverside Drive, Mulholland Drive, and State Route 27.
Rapid transit, dedicated transitway, and express and local buses, provided by many agencies, serve the San Fernando Valley. Some of the former rights-of-way of the Pacific Electric Railway, which first accelerated population growth in the Valley, have been repurposed for busways and light rail lines.
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority operates two Metro Red Line subway stations in the Valley, which are located at Universal City and North Hollywood, which connect it directly to Hollywood and Downtown Los Angeles. The Metro Red Line is the first heavy rail subway in the valley built in 2000. With transfers, they connect the Valley to the entire Metro regional light rail and subway network. The Red Line's two Valley subway stations provide access to national travel through Bob Hope Airport and Amtrak and regional travel through Metrolink, Metro Rapid, Metro Local, and the Metro Orange Line. Metro approved a new light rail line, the East San Fernando Valley Transit Corridor. A new north–south light rail line on Van Nuys Boulevard from the Orange Line Van Nuys Station is planned. Construction is set to begin in 2021 with a completion date of 2027. It will also become the valley's first light rail line in decades. Metro is also studying a route through the Sepulveda Pass, the Sepulveda Pass Transit Corridor, including a monorail alternative proposal. Metro is also proposing a new bus rapid transit line along Nordhoff, Roscoe, and Laurel Canyon boulevards that will be completed by 2024, and a Metro Orange Line extentsion to Pasadena from North Hollywood by 2024 as well.
The Orange Line busway uses a dedicated transitway route running the east–west length of the Valley connecting the North Hollywood Red Line Station to the Warner Center Transit Hub in Woodland Hills and then heads north through Canoga Park to the Chatsworth Metrolink train station.
Rail and airhas two Valley lines, the Antelope Valley Line and Ventura County Line, which connect the Valley and beyond to downtown Los Angeles and south, becoming one line at the Downtown Burbank station. Metrolink always had one Burbank Airport station on the Ventura County Line, but a second Burbank Airport station was built in 2017 on the Antelope Valley Line.
Amtrak's Pacific Surfliner long-distance rail line has stops at Burbank Airport station, Van Nuys, and Chatsworth Station, before proceeding on to Ventura County, Santa Barbara, and Northern California or Union Station and San Diego.
The California High-Speed Rail Authority was planning two stations in the Valley, one in Burbank and the other in Sylmar, but the proposed Sylmar high-speed rail station was canceled owing to local opposition from the city of San Fernando. As of now, there's only one planned station in the valley, located in Burbank with an initial section of the railroad possibly opening in 2029.
The Valley's two major airports are Hollywood Burbank Airport and the Van Nuys Airport. The Van Nuys–Airport FlyAway Terminal provides nonstop scheduled shuttle service to LAX and back to the valley, with parking.
EducationPublic schools in the San Fernando Valley are served by three unified school districts; The Northwest and East Regions of the Los Angeles Unified School District, the Glendale Unified School District and the Burbank Unified School District. There are four community colleges in the valley; Los Angeles Valley College in Valley Glen, Los Angeles Mission College in Sylmar, Los Angeles Pierce College in Woodland Hills and Glendale Community College in the College Hills neighborhood of Glendale. All except Glendale College are served by the Los Angeles Community College District. The only state university in the San Fernando Valley is California State University Northridge in Northridge.
In 1994 there were 180,000 PK-12 students attending Los Angeles Unified School District campuses in the Valley. During the same year, about 45,000 PK-12 students, or one in five of all such students, attended the over 200 private schools in the Valley.
CultureCultural assets in the San Fernando Valley include:
- The Great Wall of Los Angeles – A 2,754-foot-long mural designed by Judy Baca and painted on the sides of the Tujunga Wash, depicting the history of California.
- The Mission San Fernando Rey de España - Is a Spanish mission in the Mission Hills district of Los Angeles, California. The mission was founded on September 8, 1797, and was the seventeenth of the twenty-one Spanish missions established in Alta California. Named for Saint Ferdinand, the mission is the namesake of the city of San Fernando and the San Fernando Valley.
- The Nethercutt Collection – Museum in Sylmar best known for its collection of classic automobiles, also has collections of mechanical musical instruments and antique furniture.
- Valley Relics Museum - Museum in Van Nuys dedicated to the history and pop culture of the San Fernando Valley. It was once located in Chatsworth, CA.
- Gordon R. Howard Museum complex in Burbank, CA.
- Autry Museum of the American West – near Burbank in Griffith Park.
- Travel Town Museum – near Burbank in Griffith Park.
- Discovery Cube Los Angeles - Children's museum in Hansen Dam.
- The Museum of the San Fernando Valley in Northridge.
Performing arts venuesSan Fernando Valley performing arts venues:
- The Starlight Bowl – A 5,000-capacity amphitheater built in 1950, located in Burbank.
- The Valley Performing Arts Center – Located on the CSUN campus, features a 1,700-seat concert hall.
As of now, the only amusement park in the San Fernando Valley is Universal Studios Hollywood in unincorporated Universal City.
HealthcareThere are two Kaiser Permanente hospitals serving the San Fernando Valley, one in Panorama City and one in Woodland Hills. Also, there are two Providence hospitals, in Burbank and Mission Hills. Besides Kaiser Permanente and Providence hospitals, most of the valley is served by non-profit hospitals such as: Valley Presbyterian Hospital in Van Nuys, Northridge Hospital Medical Center in Northridge, Olive View – UCLA Medical Center in Sylmar, Encino Hospital Medical Center in Encino, Providence Tarzana Medical Center in Tarzana, and Sherman Oaks Hospital in Sherman Oaks.
Valley independence and secession
Independence movementsThe Valley attempted to secede in the 1970s, but the state passed a law barring city formation without the approval of the City Council. In 1997, Assemblymen Bob Hertzberg and Tom McClintock helped pass a bill that would make it easier for the Valley to secede by removing the City Council veto. AB 62 was signed into law by Governor Pete Wilson. Meanwhile, a grassroots movement to split the Los Angeles Unified School District and create new San Fernando Valley-based school districts became the focal point of the desire to leave the city. Though the state rejected the idea of Valley-based districts, it remained an important rallying point for Hertzberg's mayoral campaign, which proved unsuccessful.
In 2002, the San Fernando Valley portion of Los Angeles again seriously campaigned to secede from the rest of the city and become its own new independent and incorporated city. The movement gained some momentum, but measure F did not receive the necessary votes to pass. There were multiple name choices for the new city. "Valley City" was the chosen name for the new city. Among the proposed names for the new city were "Mission Valley", "Rancho San Fernando", "Camelot", or "Townsville".
District renamingsThe NoHo Arts District was established and the name chosen as a reference for its location in North Hollywood and as a play off New York City's arts-centered SoHo District. According to the San Fernando Guide, the change helped develop a "primarily lower to middle-class suburb into … a collection of art and a home for the artists who ply their trade in the galleries, theaters and dance studios in this small annex."
According to the Lake Balboa Neighborhood Council, from 2002 through November 2007 there was a debate about the official recognition of Lake Balboa as a community by the City of Los Angeles. New community names were not sanctioned by the city until January 2006, when the city adopted a formal community-naming process. On November 2, 2007, the City Council of Los Angeles approved a motion renaming a larger portion of Van Nuys to Lake Balboa.
DemographicsAs of 2012 the population of the San Fernando Valley was 1.77 million, of which 41.8 percent were Hispanic or Latino, 41.0 percent were non-Hispanic white, 12.7 percent were Asian and 4.6 percent were African Americans. According to the 2010 United States Census, The largest city located entirely in the valley is Glendale. The most populous districts of Los Angeles in the Valley are Van Nuys and Pacoima. Burbank and the two districts named each have more than 100,000 residents. Glendale has more than 200,000 residents. Despite the San Fernando Valley's reputation for sprawling, low-density development, the valley communities of Panorama City, North Hollywood, Van Nuys, Reseda, Canoga Park, and Northridge, all in Los Angeles, have numerous apartment complexes and contain some of the densest census tracts in Los Angeles.
Asian Americans make up 10% of the population and live throughout the valley, but are most numerous in the Los Angeles communities of Chatsworth, Panorama City, North Hollywood, Reseda, Canoga Park, Northridge, Porter Ranch and Granada Hills. Unlike the San Gabriel Valley, whose Asian American population is predominantly Chinese, the San Fernando Valley's Asian American population is mostly Filipino and Korean with smaller concentrations of Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese, and Indian. In contrast to the San Gabriel Valley, the population of Asian Americans is much smaller in the San Fernando Valley. Another large ethnic element of the populace is the Iranian community, with 200,000 people living mainly in west San Fernando Valley communities such as Tarzana, Calabasas, Woodland Hills, Encino, and Sherman Oaks. The valley is also home to a large Jewish community, with a large part of its population in the North Hollywood and Valley Village areas. African Americans compose 3.8% of the Valley's population, living mainly in the Los Angeles sections of Lake View Terrace, Pacoima, Reseda, North Hollywood, Van Nuys, and Northridge.
The San Fernando Valley has a significant population below the poverty level. About 30 percent of Valley households in 2009 earned less than $35,000 a year, including 10 percent who made less than $15,000 a year.
The Pacoima district, once considered the hub of suburban blight and of having the highest poverty rate, is no longer such. Other San Fernando Valley neighborhoods such as North Hollywood, Panorama City, and Arleta now have poverty rates which are higher.
In general, the areas with lower poverty rates have become fewer and more scattered, while many of the now affluent communities have become compartmented, having their own private, planned and gated communities. Many of these tend to be on or near the borders of the Valley in the foothill regions.