Our Socio-economic Setting
Once consisting of native grasses and oak meadows, Arden Arcade's earliest settlements were oriented around agricultural pastures and orchards. Mather and McClellan Air Force bases were both significant from World War II until their closures in 1993 and 2001 and provided significant local employment for many years. The post-WWII suburban building boom resulted in many working-class subdivisions. Over time, some parts of the area became treasured as single-family home enclaves for the upper class, while other parts were allowed to deteriorate as the County focused on piecemeal developments that ultimately amounted to extensive suburban sprawl. Arden Arcade is now home to some of the region's most impoverished neighborhoods, as well as some of its most expensive residential real estate. The community reflects the apparent gap between rich and poor across the nation. Perhaps owing to the abundance of inexpensive rental housing, the community has hosted major groups of immigrants in recent years - Eastern European immigrant groups in the 1990s and early 2000s followed later by Middle Eastern immigrants and refugee groups. With some 100,000 residents, Arden Arcade would be bigger than 2/3 of California's cities if it was a municipality.