A report on planned developments in California, prepared by the Public Policy Institute of California, found that residents in these communities represent a broad mix of financial and ethnic diversity, contrary to popular perception.

Tracy Gordon, a research fellow for the policy institute, said, “We found the population in these communities to be substantially more mixed, particularly with regard to income, than is often portrayed.”

For example, the study found that about 47 percent of households in suburban planned developments have incomes from $35,000 to $100,000, compared with 48 percent in other suburban neighborhoods. Planned developments do have slightly more households in the middle-income range, the study also found.

About 60 percent of planned developments are white, compared with other city neighborhoods in which about 41 percent of residents are white, the institute reported. Planned communities house an above-average percentage of high-income residents. Between 22 percent and 26 percent of households in planned developments earn more than $100,000 per year, the study found, compared with 15 percent to 17 percent of households in other neighborhoods.

Voter turnout is about 74 percent among planned development residents, compared with voter turnout rates of about 68 percent in other neighborhoods. Voters in planned developments also tend to be more conservative than voters in other neighborhoods, the study found.

Planned communities represent about 25 percent of California’s existing housing, and an estimated 60 percent of new housing in the state will be planned developments, condos or cooperatives, the policy institute reported. The institute is a private, nonprofit organization established in 1994.


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