El Segundo was part of the "Rancho Sausal Redondo". a ranch with nearly 25,000 acres which extended from areas far west as Playa del Rey, east as Inglewood and south as Redondo Beach. The land consisted of wheat and barley fields on which cattle and sheep grazed.
In 1911 five men from the Standard oil company arrived to El Segundo. Richard J. Hanna and J.E. Howell of Eclipse refinery and John Black, Henry Foster and William Rheem from the Standard oil refinery came to seek a new potential area for their next oil refinery. What they were looking for was an area adjacent to the seashore so their tankers can have appropriate access. The land appealed to them because the land cost was kept to a minimum. The site also had to be close to populated areas to welcome new employees.
The site needed a new name. Richards Hanna's wife, Virginia, deemed this expanse as "El Segundo" (the second one), because this site was the second Standard Oil refinery in California. The first oil refinery was already christened as "El Primero" (the first). The Standard Oil bought 840 acres of land in June and opened for business in November.
The city was a one-industry town until the 1920s. El Segundo was chosen for the new Los Angeles Municipal Airport, the airport open in the 1930s. In the 1950s, Southern California Edison purchased a 43 acre site for a major electrical generating station.
El Segundo became the aerospace center for Douglas Aircraft, Hughes Aircraft, Northrop, and North American Aviation during the 1940s and 1950s. These aircraft companies transition into the aerospace/defense industry. In the 1960's The Aerospace Corporation and Los Angeles Air Force Base gave El Segundo the proud title of "The Aerospace Capital of the World".
In 2007, El Segundo's population was 16,526 people. It has populated 3.07% growth since 2000. In the 2000 census, there were 7,261 housing units. The racial makeup of El Segundo was 83.61% White, 1.17% African American, 0.47% Native American, 6.41% Asian, 0.29% Pacific Islander, 3.51% from other races and 4.55% from two or more race. 11.01% were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 7,060 households out of which 28.1% had children under the age of 18. 41.5% were married couples, 10.0% had a female householder with no husband, 44.6% were non-families. 34.3% of all households were individuals and 7.5% had someone living alone who was 65 or older.
The median income for a household for El Segundo was $61,341 and the median income for a family was $74,007. Males had a median income of $52,486 and females had a median income of $41,682. The per capita income for El Segundo was $33,996. About 3.1% of families and 4.6% of the population were below poverty line, including 4.7% of those under 18 years old and 6.0% those older than 65.