Laguna Niguel (/ləˈɡuːnə nɪˈɡɛl/) is a suburban city in Orange County, California in the United States. The name Laguna Niguel is derived from the words “Laguna” (Spanish for “lagoon”) and “Niguili” (the name of a Native American village once located near Aliso Creek). As of the 2010 census, the population was 62,979. Laguna Niguel is located in the San Joaquin Hills in the southeastern corner of Orange County, close to the Pacific Ocean, and borders the cities of Aliso Viejo, Dana Point, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Mission Viejo, and San Juan Capistrano.
Laguna Niguel is located at 33°31′55″N 117°42′9″W / 33.53194°N 117.70250°W / 33.53194; -117.70250 (33.531938, −117.702503). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 14.9 square miles (39 km). 14.8 square miles (38 km) of it is land and 0.05 square miles (0.13 km) of it (0.35%) is water.
Laguna Niguel consists of mostly hilly terrain, being located within the San Joaquin Hills. The average elevation is 400 feet (120 m); elevations range from near sea level to 936 feet (285 m) at the summit of Niguel Hill, in the southwest corner of the city. Neighboring cities are Aliso Viejo and Laguna Hills to the north, Mission Viejo and San Juan Capistrano to the east, and Laguna Beach and Dana Point to the south. On the west, it borders the significant unincorporated acreage of Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park.
The main watercourses in Laguna Niguel are Salt Creek, which flows through the southern part of the city, and Sulphur Creek, which drains much of the northern half. Sulphur Creek is a tributary of Aliso Creek, which flows through the wide and deep Aliso Canyon before reaching the Pacific Ocean. Laguna Niguel Lake, formed by damming Sulphur Creek, is the largest body of water in the city. Although Laguna Niguel is located very close to the Pacific, it does not border it, the result of a controversy over the coastline with Dana Point in 1989 (see #History).
The 2010 United States Census reported that Laguna Niguel had a population of 62,979. The population density was 4,231.1 people per square mile (1,633.6/km²). The racial makeup of Laguna Niguel was 50,625 (80.4%) White (72.5% Non-Hispanic White), 777 (1.2%) African American, 219 (0.3%) Native American, 5,459 (8.7%) Asian, 87 (0.1%) Pacific Islander, 3,019 (4.8%) from other races, and 2,793 (4.4%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 8,761 persons (13.9%).
The Census reported that 62,731 people (99.6% of the population) lived in households, 248 (0.4%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 0 (0%) were institutionalized.
There were 24,232 households, out of which 8,085 (33.4%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 14,077 (58.1%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 2,271 (9.4%) had a female householder with no husband present, 886 (3.7%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 994 (4.1%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 237 (1.0%) same-sex married couples or partnerships; 5,390 households (22.2%) were made up of individuals and 1,790 (7.4%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.59. There were 17,234 families (71.1% of all households); the average family size was 3.06.
The population was spread out with 14,216 people (22.6%) under the age of 18, 4,722 people (7.5%) aged 18 to 24, 14,667 people (23.3%) aged 25 to 44, 21,177 people (33.6%) aged 45 to 64, and 8,197 people (13.0%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42.8 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.2 males.
There were 25,312 housing units at an average density of 1,700.5 per square mile (656.6/km²), of which 17,453 (72.0%) were owner-occupied, and 6,779 (28.0%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 0.9%; the rental vacancy rate was 5.4%. 45,029 people (71.5% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 17,702 people (28.1%) lived in rental housing units.
During 2009–2013, Laguna Niguel had a median household income of $99,771, with 6.3% of the population living below the federal poverty line.
As of the census of 2000, there were 61,891 people, 23,217 households, and 16,785 families residing in the city. The population density was 4,221.0 inhabitants per square mile (1,630.0/km²). There were 23,885 housing units at an average density of 1,629.0 per square mile (629.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 83.50% White, 1.25% African American, 0.29% Native American, 7.73% Asian, 0.12% Pacific Islander, 3.48% from other races, and 3.62% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 10.38% of the population.
There were 23,217 households out of which 38.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.2% were married couples living together, 8.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.7% were non-families. Of all households 20.6% were made up of individuals and 4.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.65 and the average family size was 3.10.
In the city, the population was spread out with 26.6% under the age of 18, 6.0% from 18 to 24, 32.9% from 25 to 44, 25.7% from 45 to 64, and 8.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.2 males.
According to the Census Bureau’s 2008 estimate, the median income for a household in the city was $98,072, and the median income for a family was $150,963. Males had a median income of $68,640 versus $40,487 for females. The per capita income for the city was $50,980. About 2.8% of families and 4.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.6% of those under age 18 and 4.1% of those age 65 or over.