As of the census of 2000, there were 5,125 people, 1,903 households, and 1,366 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 497.2/km² (1,286.1/mi²). There were 3,686 housing units at an average density of 357.6/km² (925.0/mi²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 87.71% White, 0.47% African American, 1.70% Native American, 0.92% Asian, 0.10% Pacific Islander, 4.06% from other races, and 5.05% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 11.12% of the population.
There were 1,903 households out of which 35.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.2% were married couples living together, 10.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.2% were non-families. 21.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.61 and the average family size was 3.04.
In the CDP the population was spread out with 27.4% under the age of 18, 7.4% from 18 to 24, 28.8% from 25 to 44, 27.6% from 45 to 64, and 8.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 102.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 102.3 males.
The median income for a household in the CDP was $50,524, and the median income for a family was $56,855. Males had a median income of $45,172 versus $34,492 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $22,231. About 7.0% of families and 8.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.7% of those under age 18 and 9.9% of those age 65 or over.
In the state legislature Running Springs is located in the 31st Senate District, represented by Republican Robert Dutton, and in the 65th Assembly District, represented by Republican Paul Cook. Federally, Running Springs is located in California's 41st congressional district, which has a Cook PVI of R +9 and is represented by Republican Jerry Lewis.
Running Springs is a mountain community in the San Bernardino Mountains. It is an inholding in the San Bernardino National Forest. Situated at the junction of SR-18 and SR-330, it is a major gateway to the mountain communities of Lake Arrowhead, Arrowbear, Green Valley Lake, and Big Bear. It lies some 16 miles (24 kilometres) northeast of the city of Highland, California, up SR-330, at an elevation of 6080 feet. While there is no primary industry in Running Springs, there are service industries geared to the tourist market, as the San Bernardino National Forest is a highly popular year-round tourist destination. Also, taking advantage of the forested setting, the area is home to multiple summer camps, including Pali Overnight Adventures, which caters to upper class families. Several prominent celebrities children attend Pali, including the children of Hugh Hefner, Bruce Springsteen, and others.
Additionally, Running Springs, together with surrounding communities, form a bedroom community for commuters who are employed in San Bernardino and points beyond who are willing to tolerate the notorious Southern California commute in order to live above the city's considerable smog and pollution.
Running Springs is a member community of the Rim of the World, an inhabited stretch of the San Bernardino Mountains and wholly contained in the San Bernardino National Forest. The Rim (as it is locally known) extends from Crestline to Big Bear, a distance of some 30 miles (50 kilometres). Locals refer to most non-residents as "Flatlanders", a term describing people from down the hill. "Flatlanders" is also used to describe drivers unfamiliar with the skills, equipment or laws governing driving on mountain roads.
The film Running Springs was set and filmed in the Running Springs area.
Andrew James Woodyard, the writer for the webcomic Supernaturals Presents was originally from Running Springs.