About the City of Cerritos

Cerritos was originally inhabited by Native Americans belonging to the Tongva, who would later be renamed the "Gabrieleños" by the Spanish settlers after the nearby San Gabriel Mission. It was part of Rancho Los Nietos, which covered 300,000 acres of what are today the cities of Cerritos, Long Beach, Lakewood, Downey, Norwalk, Santa Fe Springs, part of Whittier, Huntington Beach, Buena Park and Garden Grove.

It was incorporated on April 24, 1956 as the City of Dairy Valley to reflect the predominant agriculture focus of the area. At the time, within the city limits there were more than 400 dairies, 100,000 cows and 106,300 chickens. In fact, the cows outnumbered the city’s 3,439 residents by nine to one.

By the early 1960s, rising land values and property taxes began to make dairy operations uneconomical. In a 1965 special election, voters decided to permit the building of homes on less than five acres per residence. Allowing for normal residential development.

On January 10, 1967, the official name change name to Cerritos occurred. The name was based on the fact that the area was located near land that was part of the original Spanish land grant Rancho Los Cerritos.

Cerritos was one of the first cities in Los Angeles County to develop large-scale retail zones, such as the Los Cerritos Center and Cerritos Auto Square.

In 1978, Cerritos dedicated the nation's first solar-heated City Hall complex, and in 1993, the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts opened its doors.

The city’s top three employers are ABC Unified School District, United Parcel Service and AT&T Mobility. is the city's largest employer with a staff of 6,000. Other large employers are Los Cerritos Center and the Cerritos Auto Square. Retail and industrial trades are responsible for Cerritos' $2 billion taxable retail sales and $7.2 billion assessed property valuation.

According to the California State Board of Equalization, Cerritos residents are the second-highest retail spenders in California. Second only second to Beverly Hills, averaging $36,544 per resident.

The city has entered a float in the Tournament of Roses Parade annually since 2002.

Its points of interest includes Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, the Cerritos Millennium Library, and the Cerritos Sculpture Garden.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 8.9 square miles; 8.7 square miles of it is land and 0.1 square miles of it (1.48%) is water.