The current full time population is approximately 18,000 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.
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). Although the first modern settlements date back to the 1920s and 1930s, Rancho Mirage got its claim to fame after World War II when various presidents, foreign dignitaries and sundry other famous people came to visit the Annenburg’s at their estate, which is the largest single piece of real estate in the valley.
Rancho Mirage has twelve golf courses, in various 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 which opened in 1979 to replace the Desert Air golf and private airport from 1954–1978, Rancho Mirage, Morningside, Mission Hills North Course, Mission Hills resort, and Sunrise Country Club.
Rancho Mirage prides itself on being a high-quality resort community and a favorite get-away spot for vacationers. Rancho Mirage is one of the few cities in California that boasts twelve golf courses and hosts internationally televised tournaments like the LPGA Golf tournament. Many avid golfers who play on any of the twelve fairways have described it as a golfers’ heaven. The city draws in many A-listers who buy vacation homes and retire to a life of leisurely golfing.
Rancho Mirage’s economy has expanded, and has changed from being that of a seasonal resort town to now include light industries that bring in more people from other places to settle down, instead of just to visit. Some of the most prominent places for both locals and visitors alike include the Agua Caliente Resort spa, which offers 24-hour gaming, and the Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort and spa which has the best view of the San Jacinto Mountains and hosts the Kraft Nabisco Championship. For retail therapy, fine dining and entertainment, you can visit places like The River shopping complex.
The city has a total area of 24.8 square miles and there are 8,829 households and 14,243 housing units. The median age is 62.3 years. The median income for a household in the city is over $60,000 and the median income for a family is over $80,000.
Rancho Mirage housing consists of over 72% single family homes. There is a large component of mobile homes, 14%, with the remainder in country clubs and condos.
The city has managed to capitalize on the demand for high-quality housing in the Coachella Valley. The city offers diversity for those looking for quality and value when it comes to purchasing residential property, and offers all the essential services for residents. Rancho Mirage has great schools like the Palm Valley Private High School, three elementary schools, two middle schools, two high schools and three preschools under the administration of the Palm Springs Unified School District.