Rancho Mirage is a resort city in Riverside County, California, United States. The population was 17,218 at the 2010 census, up from 13,249 at the 2000 census, but the seasonal (part-time) population can exceed 20,000. In between Cathedral City and Palm Desert, it is one of the eight cities of the Coachella Valley (Palm Springs area). Rancho Mirage was incorporated in 1973 from a merger of Mirage Cove with five unincorporated areas known as the "Cove communities" (Desert, Magnesia, Palmas, Tamarisk and Thunderbird), but had 3,000 permanent residents at the time.
Although the first modern settlements date back to the 1920s and 1930s, Rancho Mirage got its claim to fame after World War II. The Annenberg Estate or Sunnylands, owned by philanthropists Walter and Leonore Annenberg, had long been popular with the wealthy and powerful, including Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope, Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Queen Elizabeth II, and Mary Martin. Several United States Presidents have vacationed at the Annenberg estate, including Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and Gerald Ford. Ford later bought a house in Rancho Mirage and was living there at the time of his death in 2006. The Betty Ford Center, a world-renowned addiction rehabilitation center, is located in Rancho Mirage at the Eisenhower Medical Center.
Rancho Mirage has twelve golf courses, also known as country clubs or golf resorts. The city's first resort was the Thunderbird Guest Ranch, opened in 1946 for entertainers and business clientele. Other golf resorts are the Tamarisk, Mission Hills, the Springs, Sunrise, KSL Resorts' Rancho Las Palmas hotel (opened in 1979 to replace the Desert Air golf and private airport from 1954–1978), Rancho Mirage, Morningside, Mission Hills North Course, Westin Hotels Mission Hills resort, and Tuscania by Sunrise Company opened in 2006.
The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians of Palm Springs runs the Agua Caliente Casino on the intersection of Bob Hope Drive and Ramon Road off Interstate 10, opened in 2002. The casino is a popular destination for locals, tourists, and gambling enthusiasts. In 2008 the tribal board completed the expansion of the Agua Caliente resort, which includes a 12-story hotel and spa, as well as remodelling the casino and expanding the parking structures. A theater for top name entertainers opened in 2009. Though the Agua Caliente Resort and Casino was just outside the border of Rancho Mirage in an unincorporated area, the City of Rancho Mirage included the property as part of the city in an agreement with the tribe so they would have access to police and firefighting services.
Rancho Mirage has expanded its economy from one based on seasonal, resort-based golfing and low-paying rentals, to include light industry and commerce near the I-10 and high-end retail centers like The River shopping complex.
The 2010 United States Census reported that Rancho Mirage had a population of 17,218. The population density was 693.3 people per square mile (267.7/km²). The racial makeup of Rancho Mirage was 15,267 (88.7%) White, 256 (1.5%) African American, 94 (0.5%) Native American, 651 (3.8%) Asian, 14 (0.1%) Pacific Islander, 598 (3.5%) from other races, and 338 (2.0%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1,964 persons (11.4%).
The Census reported that 17,154 people (99.6% of the population) lived in households, 16 (0.1%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 48 (0.3%) were institutionalized.
There were 8,829 households, out of which 1,031 (11.7%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 4,159 (47.1%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 453 (5.1%) had a female householder with no husband present, 213 (2.4%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 316 (3.6%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 454 (5.1%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 3,055 households (34.6%) were made up of individuals and 1,961 (22.2%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 1.94. There were 4,825 families (54.6% of all households); the average family size was 2.46.
The population was spread out with 1,828 people (10.6%) under the age of 18, 508 people (3.0%) aged 18 to 24, 1,885 people (10.9%) aged 25 to 44, 5,415 people (31.4%) aged 45 to 64, and 7,582 people (44.0%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 62.3 years. For every 100 females there were 97.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.2 males.
There were 14,243 housing units at an average density of 573.5 per square mile (221.4/km²), of which 7,089 (80.3%) were owner-occupied, and 1,740 (19.7%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 5.0%; the rental vacancy rate was 17.2%. 13,845 people (80.4% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 3,309 people (19.2%) lived in rental housing units.
The city includes one elementary school (Rancho Mirage Elementary) that is part of the Palm Springs Unified School District, the newly renovated Nellie Coffman Middle School on the city line with Cathedral City and two private schools: Marywood-Palm Valley and Xavier College Preparatory High School. Catholic High in nearby Thousand Palms covers all grades. The PSUSD is building a new grade-middle school complex on the lands of the former Walter Annenberg estate donated to the PSUSD. The complex expected to open in late 2012. In addition, a new high school Rancho Mirage High School with an expected completion date in late 2012 is being built. Rancho Mirage is also home to Santa Barbara Business College, a private college that offers academic degrees and career training.