Bell Gardens is a city in Los Angeles County, California. The population was 42,072 at the 2010 census, down from 44,054 at the 2000 census.
Bell Gardens is notable for being one of only six Los Angeles County cities (out of 88 total) to permit casino gambling (the others being Inglewood, Gardena, Commerce, Compton, and Hawaiian Gardens). Dice games and slot machines are forbidden by state law.
Bell Gardens is bordered by Bell and Cudahy on the west, Commerce on the north and northeast, Downey on the southeast, and South Gate on the southwest.
The city is about 10 miles (16 km) southeast of Downtown Los Angeles.
The 2010 United States Census reported that Bell Gardens had a population of 42,072. The population density was 17,081.5 people per square mile (6,595.2/km²). The racial makeup of Bell Gardens was 20,824 (49.5%) White (2.7% Non-Hispanic White), 377 (0.9%) African American, 476 (1.1%) Native American, 261 (0.6%) Asian, 37 (0.1%) Pacific Islander, 18,787 (44.7%) from other races, and 1,310 (3.1%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 40,271 persons (95.7%).
The Census reported that 41,648 people (99.0% of the population) lived in households, 125 (0.3%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 299 (0.7%) were institutionalized.
The population was spread out with 14,308 people (34.0%) under the age of 18, 5,234 people (12.4%) aged 18 to 24, 12,692 people (30.2%) aged 25 to 44, 7,637 people (18.2%) aged 45 to 64, and 2,201 people (5.2%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 27.3 years. For every 100 females there were 99.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 99.0 males.
There were 9,986 housing units at an average density of 4,054.4 per square mile (1,565.4/km²), of which 2,318 (24.0%) were owner-occupied, and 7,337 (76.0%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 2.1%; the rental vacancy rate was 2.6%. 10,534 people (25.0% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 31,114 people (74.0%) lived in rental housing units.
According to the 2010 United States Census, Bell Gardens had a median household income of $38,170, with 27.6% of the population living below the federal poverty line.
According to California Watch, Bell Gardens has the highest percentage of residents who have not completed ninth grade (44.9%) of any California city.