n 1990, Latinos and African Americans each comprised 47% of the area's population; today Latinos outnumber blacks 2 to 1.A lot of information here about the area that used to be known as South Central. If you want to know why Latinos are moving in and blacks are moving out, this article doesn't address it. In fact, that's not important. The same conditions might persist no matter what ethnic group lives.
But that ethnic transformation is one of the few dramatic changes in an area that for decades has known one constant: poverty. According to a newly released report by UCLA's School of Public Affairs, almost one-third of the area's residents have been living below the poverty line since 1990.
"South L.A. has been a neglected part of the city," said Franklin D. Gilliam Jr., dean of the School of Public Affairs. "There have been efforts to rebuild, but those efforts haven't been as successful. And that's because we have not developed a strategy for dealing with the long-term and persistent effects of poverty."
The UCLA report points out that the area is a place of stark contrasts, with solid middle- and upper-class pockets -- View Park and Baldwin Hills -- on the west and communities that lag behind nearly every measure of prosperity farther east. It's most often defined as an area of immense need.
A year after the 1992 riots, UCLA released a lengthy report describing the unrest as a "predictable outcome" of a festering crisis in a region where joblessness, hopelessness and a crippling lack of skills and education existed side by side with wealth, privilege and opportunity.
UCLA researchers returned to the area this year to gather data for the new report, titled "The State of South L.A.." The study sought to define 60 square miles -- bounded by the 10 Freeway, La Cienega Boulevard, the 105 Freeway and Alameda Street -- with about 885,000 people, close to 10% of the county's population.