OC has become famous via TV and for lots of more sensible reasons. I have lived here for over 25 years and witnessed the change, mostly desirable. I have traveled the world and lived abroad, but this is the best, in my humble opinion. Everyone admits it has been an unequaled growth story. A recent article in the New York Times headlined it with the political change where Republican voters have dropped to 43 percent. The demographic, ethnic and political changes are transforming the county and challenging long-held views of a region whose colorful, its detractors might suggest zany, reputation extends well beyond the borders of California.
At 3.1 million population it is larger now than the state of Iowa. There are 34 cities in the country and I read its gross domestic product (GDP) is higher than Arizona and New Mexico combined. It’s half way between Los Angeles and San Diego. Now we boast one of the finest cultural music and entertainment centers in America and receive orchestras and performing arts from all over Europe, Asia, and the Americas. The John Wayne Airport efficiently provides non-stop service to many major cities.
According to the New York Times, “At the end of 2009, nearly 45 percent of the county’s residents spoke a language other than English at home, according to county officials. Whites now make up only 45 percent of the population; this county is teeming with Hispanics, as well as Vietnamese, Korean and Chinese families.” The point is the diversity is invigorating, not to mention the abundance of good restaurants. My observation is that even with the multi-national population, they are all American and active in community affairs.
It is a great place to live – not cheap, but full of expectation and opportunity. And it’s on the Pacific Ocean with some great beaches and sunsets.