Race and ethnicity 77, 9% of people in Santa Ana, CA are Hispanic (259k people). Santa Ana Artist's Village was created around the Grand Central Art Center at Cal State Fullerton to attract artists and young professionals to live-work lofts and new businesses. In 1887, the California Central Railroad (which became a subsidiary of Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway the following year) broke the local South Pacific monopoly on rail travel, offering services between Los Angeles and San Diego via Santa Ana as a major intermediate station. Santa Ana, Orange County, has an all-Latino City Council and is at the forefront of a California where Latinos have the most influence in everyday life.
The Santa Ana Unified School District includes 37 K-5 elementary schools, nine middle schools 6-8, eight high schools 9-12, five special schools, and one charter school. Santa Ana, approximately four-fifths Latino, has been characterized by The New York Times as the face of a new California, a state where Latinos have more influence in everyday electoral, cultural and demographic life than almost anywhere else in the country. Despite the city's high percentage of Democrats, the city tends to vote conservatively on social issues, as does the rest of northern Orange County. In recent years, the nearby city of Irvine has surpassed Santa Ana in commercial growth, with the Irvine Business District located near John Wayne Airport.
Santa Ana was listed as a municipality in Los Angeles County in the 1860 and 1870 censuses, with an area that encompasses most of what is now north and center of Orange County. Across the west end of the city is the mostly channeled Santa Ana River, which is also largely seasonal due to the construction of the Prado Dam and Seven Oaks Dam. One of Santa Ana's most notable businesses is the musical instrument company Rickenbacker, whose electric guitars and basses became famous in the hands of many rock and roll legends. The Santa Ana Highway (Interstate) heads north to Los Angeles and south to South Orange County and San Diego.
To compete with this, Santa Ana has approved commercial projects in the South Coast metropolitan area, as well as the Metro East development, located at the confluence of the Santa Ana Highway and the Costa Mesa Highway. Today, Santa Ana stands as the face of a new California, a state where Latinos have more influence in everyday electoral, cultural and demographic life than almost anywhere else in the country. The core of the city is the downtown area, which contains both stores and housing, as well as the Santa Ana Civic Center, which is a dense campus of administrative buildings for both the city and Orange County. Of the 20% lowest automatic response districts in Orange County (116 districts with an SRR of less than 71%), there were 26 census districts that overlapped the city of Santa Ana.
Greenville, a former rural area of Santa Ana, has buildings that are more than a century old, but industrial complexes have replaced the agricultural fields that once surrounded the city.