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Garden Grove, California facts for kids

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Garden Grove, California
City of Garden Grove
Garden Grove Vietnamese Buddhist Temple.jpg
Garden grove high school.jpg
Clockwise: Christ Cathedral; Garden Grove High School; Chùa Huệ Quang Buddhist Temple.
Flag of Garden Grove, California
Official seal of Garden Grove, California
Official logo of Garden Grove, California
Absit Invidia (Latin), "The City Of Youth And Ambition"
Location of Garden Grove in Orange County, California.
Location of Garden Grove in Orange County, California.
Vicinity of Garden Grove
Vicinity of Garden Grove
Garden Grove, California is located in the United States
Garden Grove, California
Garden Grove, California
Location in the United States
Country United States
State California
County Orange
Founded 1874
Incorporated June 18, 1956
 • Type Council–manager
 • Total 17.98 sq mi (46.56 km2)
 • Land 17.96 sq mi (46.51 km2)
 • Water 0.02 sq mi (0.05 km2)  0.10%
89 ft (27 m)
 • Total 171,949
 • Rank 5th in Orange County
31st in California
 • Density 9,558.08/sq mi (3,690.40/km2)
Time zone UTC−8 (Pacific)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−7 (PDT)
ZIP Codes
Area codes 657/714
FIPS code 06-29000
GNIS feature IDs 1660662, 2410568

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. The population was 171,949 at the 2020 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.


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. 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. 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.


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
Census Pop.
1960 84,238
1970 121,155 43.8%
1980 123,307 1.8%
1990 143,050 16.0%
2000 165,196 15.5%
2010 170,883 3.4%
2020 171,949 0.6%
U.S. Decennial Census


The 2010 United States Census 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, down from 90.6% in 1970. 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.

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.


According to the city's 2021 Annual Comprehensive Financial Report, the top employers in the city are:

# Employer # of employees
1 Great Wolf Lodge Southern California 700
2 Air Industries Corp. 625
3 Garden Grove Hospital Medical Center 516
4 Hyatt Regency Orange County 424
5 GKN Aerospace Transparency Systems, Inc. 409
6 Safran Cabin 350
7 Costco 323
8 Full Clip 310
9 Walmart 272
10 Lutheran Social Services of Southern CA 250


The Garden Grove Unified School District serves most of the city, as well as the Westminster School District, Huntington Beach Union High School District, Anaheim Elementary School District, Anaheim 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.

Notable people


  • Justin Chon, actor
  • Wally George, talk-show host
  • Scott Klopfenstein, backup singer, keyboardist, trumpeter and guitarist for the ska-punk band Reel Big Fish
  • Dexter Holland, lead singer, The Offspring, also wrote the song "The Kids Aren't Alright" about the city
  • Steve Martin, actor, comedian, musician and writer; graduate of Garden Grove High School
  • Jennette McCurdy, country music artist and actress, iCarly and Sam & Cat
  • Monique Powell, lead singer, Save Ferris
  • Kevin 'Noodles' Wasserman, lead guitarist, The Offspring
  • Atreyu, a metalcore band
  • Kieu Chinh, actress
  • Poreotics, dance crew
  • Dave Mustaine, lead singer, Megadeth; played baseball in Garden Grove Eastside Little League, lived on Pearce Ave
  • Basil "Bill" Poledouris, musician; motion picture film score music composer
  • Vicky Nguyen, news reporter, KFYR-TV, NBC Affiliate
  • Shubhendra Shankar, musician, composer and graphic artist
  • Mick Mars, musician and guitarist for Mötley Crüe
  • David J. Peterson, creator of the Dothraki and Valyrian languages from HBO's Game of Thrones


  • Bert Blyleven, Major League Baseball pitcher, Hall of Famer, color commentator, graduate of Santiago High School
  • Ed Caruthers, Olympic silver medalist, 1968 Mexico City. Taught at Bolsa Grande High School.
  • Bobby Crosby, MLB Rookie of the Year (2004), attended Pacifica High School and La Quinta High School
  • Mary Decker, runner in National Track and Field Hall of Fame; grew up in Garden Grove
  • Lenny Dykstra, MLB player with Mets, Phillies; graduate of Garden Grove High School
  • Amanda Freed, Olympic gold medalist in softball (2004), attended Pacifica High School, Bell Intermediate and Patton Elementary
  • Luis Gil, soccer player for Real Salt Lake
  • Gary Hall, Sr., Olympic swimmer, silver medalist
  • Lorrin "Whitey" Harrison, legendary surfer and surfing innovator
  • Mike Iupati, football player
  • Jeremy Jackson, mixed martial artist
  • Norm Johnson, NFL kicker
  • Darryl Kile, MLB pitcher
  • Leah O'Brien, softball infielder, Olympic gold medalist 1996
  • Craig Paquette, MLB third baseman, graduate of Rancho Alamitos High School
  • Nam Phan, mixed martial artist
  • Troy Polamalu, NFL player with the Pittsburgh Steelers
  • Dennis Sigalos, motorcycle speedway rider, winner of the 1982 Speedway World Pairs Championship
  • Leo Sutherland, MLB player
  • Ed Templeton, professional skateboarder and artist
  • Alan Trammell, MLB shortstop and manager for the Detroit Tigers
  • Matt Treanor, MLB catcher
  • Randy Vataha, football player at Stanford, Jim Plunkett's favorite receiver


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