Santa Clarita was incorporated in 1987 as the union of several previously existing communities, including Canyon Country, Newhall, Saugus, and Valencia, all of which are the land of the former Rancho San Francisco. Its principal boundaries are the Golden State (I-5) and Antelope Valley (SR-14) freeways; their merger in Newhall Pass at the city's southernmost point gives Santa Clarita its distinctive triangular appearance on the map.
Santa Clarita's most notable attractions are the Six Flags Magic Mountain amusement park located just outside the city limits in unincorporated Los Angeles County, and the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), located in Valencia.
As of the census of 2000, there were 151,088 people, 50,787 households, and 38,242 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,219.6/km² (3,159.1/mi²). There were 52,442 housing units at an average density of 423.3/km² (1,096.5/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 79.53% White, 2.07% African American, 0.59% Native American, 5.24% Asian, 0.15% Pacific Islander, 8.54% from other races, and 3.89% from two or more races. 20.50% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 50,787 households out of which 44.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.0% were married couples living together, 9.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.7% were non-families. 18.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.95 and the average family size was 3.38.
In the city the population was spread out with 30.3% under the age of 18, 8.1% from 18 to 24, 33.6% from 25 to 44, 20.8% from 45 to 64, and 7.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 98.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.4 males.
According to a 2007 estimate, the median income for a household in the city was $79,004, and the median income for a family was $91,450. Males had a median income of $53,769 versus $36,835 for females. The per capita income for the city was $26,841. 6.4% of the population and 4.7% of families were below the poverty line. 6.7% of those under the age of 18 and 5.9% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.
Santa Clarita is serviced by Interstate 5 on the western Valencia side, of the valley. The communities of Canyon Country and Newhall, on the east side of the valley, can be accessed by using State Route 14.
City of Santa Clarita Transit provides extensive bus service within the Santa Clarita Valley and to/from Sylmar in the San Fernando Valley. City of Santa Clarita Transit is operated by MV Transportation, Inc. under contract with the city of Santa Clarita.
On weekdays, City of Santa Clarita Transit operates commuter buses to/from Burbank, downtown Los Angeles, Warner Center, Van Nuys, Century City and Lancaster. Also on weekdays when school is in session, City of Santa Clarita Transit operates supplemental school-day service with routes and scheduled stops designed around various school sites within the Santa Clarita Valley.
City of Santa Clarita Transit also operates Dial-A-Ride service for seniors and the disabled. Dial-A-Ride service is also open to the general public after 6:00 p.m. The service allows for pick-up and drop-off at any address within the City of Santa Clarita and within a three-quarter mile radius of the nearest fixed route bus stop in unincorporated areas.
City of Santa Clarita Transit was formerly known as Santa Clarita Transit.
Metrolink provides commuter passenger train service to the Santa Clarita Valley along its Antelope Valley Line which runs from Lancaster to Union Station in Downtown Los Angeles, where transfers can be made to destinations in Southern California and the rest of the nation. Metrolink services 3 stations in the city, Via Princessa Station in the Canyon Country community, Santa Clarita Station which is centrally located in the city and serves most of the Valencia and Saugus communities, and the Newhall Station which serves the community of Newhall. All stations have large parking lots to allow commuters to "park and ride."
Metrolink service operates 7 days a week, with reduced service on Saturdays and Sundays.
There are a series of bike trails and walking paths threaded throughout the city. Bicyclists can ride from the eastern end of the city in Canyon Country along a paved path which is independent from automobile traffic all the way to Valencia on the Santa Clara River Trail. This path closely follows the Santa Clara River and Soledad Canyon Road. There are many jumping off points along this route providing access to neighborhoods, Metrolink stations and commerce. Once in Valencia, there are several pedestrian bridges called paseos connected to the bike path network. The paseos provide a measure of safety for riders and walkers by keeping them above and away from automobile traffic. The neighborhoods in Valencia were planned to include an ample amount of walking and riding paths that connect to this overall network.