Azusa is a city in Los Angeles County, California, United States. The population was 44,712 at the 2000 census. Though often assumed to be a compaction of the phrase "everything from A to Z in the USA", the place name "Azusa" traces back to at least the eighteenth century. "The Azusa" originally referred to the San Gabriel Valley and river, and likely derives from the Tongva place name Asuksagna.
As of the censusGR2 of 2000, there were 44,712 people, 12,549 households, and 9,298 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,939.7/km² (5,023.7/mi²). There were 13,013 housing units at an average density of 564.5/km² (1,462.1/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 52.35% White, 3.78% Black or African American, 1.31% Native American, 6.14% Asian, 0.17% Pacific Islander, 30.52% from other races, and 5.73% from two or more races. 63.79% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 12,549 households out of which 43.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.7% were married couples living together, 17.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.9% were non-families. 18.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.41 and the average family size was 3.90.
In the city the population was spread out with 30.8% under the age of 18, 15.5% from 18 to 24, 31.5% from 25 to 44, 15.3% from 45 to 64, and 6.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 27 years. For every 100 females there were 97.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.6 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $39,191, and the median income for a family was $40,918. Males had a median income of $30,845 versus $26,565 for females. The per capita income for the city was $13,412. About 15.1% of families and 18.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 23.9% of those under age 18 and 10.4% of those age 65 or over.
Azusa is home to Azusa Pacific University, a private Christian university.
Azusa is served by the Azusa Unified School District. Its schools include:
Azusa is to be the eastern terminus of the first phase of a planned (but as yet unfunded) extension of the Metro Gold Line light rail service, which currently operates between Los Angeles Union Station and eastern Pasadena. Like the current Gold Line, it would operate along former Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway right-of-way purchased by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in 1993. MTA plans to extend the line to the end of its reserved right-of-way in Montclair, just across the San Bernardino County line.
A popular running gag on the long-running radio comedy The Jack Benny Program involved a railroad station announcer, voiced by Mel Blanc, announcing the arrival or departure of a train to or from "Anaheim, Azusa, and Cucamonga." In Benny's day, the Santa Fe offered passenger service through Azusa and Cucamonga. Currently, there is no passenger rail service to Azusa proper, though Metrolink's well-maintained San Bernardino Line stops in nearby Covina and Baldwin Park many times daily. That line also serves Cucamonga, and a change of trains in San Bernardino or Los Angeles will enable one to reach Anaheim.
The Azusa Police Department was home to the very first Chevrolet Camaro police car ever built(in service from 1987-2000?);originally built at the now-closed GM Assembly Plant in Van Nuys, with a custom turbocharging system donated by race-car legend Gale Banks, it inspired the California Highway Patrol and the Michigan State Police to order a few Camaro police specials for their fleets(with many other police and sheriff's departments[as well as the Royal Canadian Mounted Police] to follow).The Camaro was finally retired from active service in 2000(at that time it was the only Camaro police car of the original mid-1980s design to remain in service in any California police force).