trying to find the population of Van Nuys, CA

I see from that "The 2000 U.S. census counted 136,443 residents in the 8.99-square-mile Van Nuys neighborhood".  Could you tell me where I can see that on the census site and download that data?  I was hoping wikipedia included the reference on where that information is located, but it does not.


  • If you goggle search you will see that "Van Nuys" CA is not a census recognized geography. It is a neighborhood of Los Angles.  If you look here:  you can see that they compute the population by adding up over census tracts, probably using a map (shape file) from Los Angles County to select the tracts. Many (most) cities publish maps/shapefiles of neighborhoods.

    Cheers !

  • David,

    Thanks for your response.  My boss is very census-centric.  He is comfortable citing census information, but uncomfortable citing other sites.  For example, I looked at your reference.  Their population count was different than the wikipedia site.  

    Would you be able to give a census-centric response?


  • See my response under the Lyndon Village question.  You can compute the number on the web page that I referenced. They give their method that uses census data together with a map from Los Angels county I couldn't find one but email Los Angles county and ask.

  • Okay, get ready go down a rabbit hole...
    As David Dorer noted, Van Nuys is a neighborhood, not officially recognized by any federal entity and no Census statistics are reported for it.
    If you want "official" demographics for neighborhoods, your best source is usually the city is which the neighborhood is located.  They keep track of the geographic boundaries and usually have a collection of statistics which are more or less useful.

    In the case of Van Nuys, the city of Los Angeles has this data for viewing and download...
    "Census Data by Neighborhood Council"
    "Census 2010 population/demographic data approximated from block groups to LA Neighborhood Councils using Esri software"

  • The downside is that the "official" city statistics are based on 2010 Census numbers.
    But the "StatisticalAtlas" site is not that all up-to-date either.  A quick look at their population count for the 91405 zip code (54,356) shows their data is from the 2012-2016 5-year data set.  
    Also the neighborhood boundaries are at least ten years old, coming from a data set released into the public domain by Zillow about a decade ago and taken down about three years ago.

    I've chatted with Jim D the owner of the StatisticalAtlas site and have some insight into it.  
    Jim's a very skilled programmer and his small group have produced some cool sites (check out Weatherspark).  But their focus is on the business of attracting search results to their site and collecting the ad revenue.
    I wouldn't rely on it for timely demographics, but it does have a unique and useful way to look at the relationships between geographic boundaries.

  • And don't get me started about "La Jolla"!  Laughing

  • Interesting comments. Zillow is a treasure trove of data, whether it's accessible in the needed fashion is another thing. I have used sites which are similar (e.g., AreaVibes) when I was thinking about moving to a different part of the country. I have found the results from these sites to have increasingly old data, yet the desire to collect ad revenue remained strong. This is similar to the decreasing utility of search engines in providing relevant results. Some of this is also due to privacy constraints which apply to government endeavor, but do not apply to commercial concerns. So you get what you get.

  • If it's helpful, Census Reporter developed a service to compute 2020 and 2010 population for neighborhoods and other local non-census geographies. All we need is a shapefile, or, preferably a pointer to a publicly accessible shapefile/geojson. If you provide us a link to a public map, we share the results publicly on
    When we launched, it was self-service, but that was slightly bumpy, so it's by request now. No guarantees, but turnaround is generally within one business day, unless I'm on vacation :) The code is public on GitHub, but it basically works by assigning blocks to the user-provided geographies that contain each block's centroid/internal point. If the map aligns with a Census place, I also run a little audit process against the 2020 redistricting data population totals, and in the rare case that there's a serious mismatch, we include notes about it on the pages linked from above.
    A very brief look didn't turn up a straightforward GIS file for LA "neighborhood councils," but if you have them, use the link on the above page to submit a request.
  • ah, I missed that we already have a tabulation for 318 "LA County Neighborhoods" (original map from UCLA, unfortunately returning a 500 error now)

    It lists the 2020 population of Van Nuys as 109,290 compared to 104,734 in 2010. I note that that's considerably higher than the 2010 population in the, but again, the maps are likely not identical.

  • Dear Joe,

    I was just about to ask for a link to the LA shape file !

    just found one on the LA county website:

    this may be a google-link

    This came for the search box on the LA website

    Here is the LA data search page (Los Angeles GeoHub official data)

    Neighborhood Council Boundaries


  • It's never easy, is it? Here's an substantially different one I found on the same server. And no clear provenance.  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  • I'm pretty sure that the website is an official LA website and that the maps probably have some legal significance -- for example for LA City  city planning

  • I'm not so sure.

    this one:

    is, according to the metadata, a "filtered" version of a map produced by the Los Angeles times, related, I assume, to

    The map is uploaded by "Private Member, City of Los Angeles Hub" where others have names and official offices listed.

  • Joe, thanks for the information about the Census Reporter service.  What a great resource!

    I squirreled away the Zillow neighborhood shapefiles before they were removed.
    For mature cities like LA, I would bet that the neighborhood boundaries haven't changed significantly (or at all) in the ten years since they were current.  So the Zillow set of boundaries should be good enough for individual cities if you do your data validation.

    For a complete and up-to-date set of neighborhood boundaries, there are currently only two sources - Attom Data (previously Home Junction) and Precisely (previously Pitney Bowes/Maponics).

  • I would say that the 109,290 figure is correct (adding up the component block groups).  I'm not sure why the 2010 population from the LA city is so low,  I don't see how that can be accurate given the same geographies or other parameters.