Population Rise in L.A. Put at 10.9% in 8 Years

Times Staff Writer

The population of Los Angeles, the nation's second-largest city, grew 10.9% between 1980 and 1988, nearing 3.3 million people, according to estimates released Wednesday by the city Planning Department.

City officials said the population figure estimated for October, 1988, was 3,288,877. City Planner Jeffrey Beckerman said the estimates were based on a variety of data, including information from the city's Building and Safety Department.

Planning officials said housing units increased 9.6% between 1980 and 1988, which meant that the average number of persons per occupied dwelling increased from 2.55 to 2.62. The precise number of housing units in the city by October, 1988, was 1,303,210.

Sylmar Grows Fastest

The fastest growing of the city's 35 planning districts continued to be the Sylmar area, where population rose 30% between the April, 1980, census and the Planning Department's estimates for October, 1988.

Sylmar has consistently led the city's growth in Planning Department estimates made since 1982, and planners said the high growth rate there is expected to continue.

Officials said the rapid growth there--in the area considered to be the city's last relatively undeveloped "frontier"--was probably due to the accelerated building activity in the north San Fernando Valley. More than 80% of the city's new single-family homes have been constructed in the northern and western areas of the valley, officials said.

"There's a lot of agricultural area still in existence in Sylmar, and slowly but surely those are going to be disappearing because of the economic pressures," said Irene Paul, a community planner for the city in the northeast San Fernando Valley.

"Condos and townhouses are going up," she said. "It's a place where people can get their foot in the door."

San Pedro had the second-fastest growth among the planning districts, with a 22.3% increase in population between 1980 and 1988. The northern and eastern portions of downtown Los Angeles were the third-fastest-growing district, with a population increase of 18.1%.

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