Don’t believe everything you hear about “The O.C.” Here are some common misconceptions about Orange County. 

Everyone’s rich

107929-fullA homeless encampment in Santa Ana / Photo credit: SCPR

Believe it or not, poverty is growing dramatically in Orange County. According to the California Poverty Measure, a report on poverty published in 2013, Orange County’s poverty rate is at 24.3 percent. The reason why? Housing costs.

According to a Kennedy Commission report, the average rent cost for a two-bedroom unit is $1,608 per month, which ranks Orange County among the nation’s 10 most expensive counties for renters. This means you would have to earn $31.62 an hour in order to afford a two-bedroom unit costing $1,664 a month.

The reality is…not everyone makes that type of money in Orange County, according to the latest numbers from the Census. Sure, the median household income in Newport Beach might be $106,333. But the median household income in Santa Ana is half that, at $53,335.

While it is 100 percent true that there are some very wealthy people living in Orange County’s coastal and southern regions, the working poor living in OC’s central and northern areas are sustaining those luxury lifestyles. This has led to a spike in food insecurity, among other issues.

Everyone’s White

rs_560x415-130804121252-1024.TheOC3.jl.080413_copyThe cast of the television show "The O.C." / Photo credit: E! Online

Non-Hispanic Whites only represent 42 percent of Orange County’s population, according to the latest Census figures. Orange County is 19.6 percent Asian and 34.3 percent Hispanic. OC has one of the largest Vietnamese populations in the United States and one of the largest cities in the county, Santa Ana, is 78.2 percent Hispanic.

And a study conducted by the California Department of Finance says Orange County will become more Latino in the future.

Everyone’s Conservative

minutemen"Minutemen" monitoring the U.S. Mexico Border / Photo credit: DC Clothes Line

No surprise here, but Orange County typically leans Republican. In fact, OC has been a hot bed for right-wing, conservative movements in the past…think about Orly Taitz, the Center for Medical Progress, the Minutemen.

But according to a report from The Orange County Register, the Republican party’s edge in Orange County is now only 8 points and is shrinking, as the share of registered Republican voters fell below 40 percent for the first time last December.

There’s no good food in Orange County

corazon_taco_3Taco Maria / Photo credit: Los Angeles Magazine

Whether you’re down for amazing Vietnamese cuisine in Little Saigon, tasty Middle Eastern food in Anaheim’s Little Arabia or incredible Mexican food in Santa Ana, Orange County has it all. In fact, renown Los Angeles Times food writer Jonathan Gold listed five Orange County restaurants in a 2015 list of his favorite restaurants in the Los Angeles area. Taco Maria (#2), Brodard Chateau (#44), Marché Moderne (#50), Playground (#66) and Garlic and Chives (#93) made the list. That’s a big deal!

Orange County is a boring, suburban area

Partying-at-SturaA photo of Sutra Lounge in Costa Mesa / Photo by NewSantaAna

Orange County is what you make of it. Sure, there are bedroom communities…cough, Irvine, cough…but a dynamic destination is usually only a drive away. OC has world class shopping, with South Coast Plaza and Fashion Island. Incredible nightlife, in Downtown Santa Ana and Downtown Fullerton. Three major theme parks, with Disneyland, Disney California Adventure and Knott’s Berry Farm. Scenic hiking trails and beaches. Two major league sports teams, the Los Angeles Angels and the Anaheim Ducks. It also has a few awesome concert venues, like The Observatory and Yost Theater. All of this is within our county boundaries.

Yeah…there’s a good chance you’ll find something to do in Orange County.

Originally posted 2016-04-12 21:53:38.

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