Watts is a neighborhood in southern Los Angeles, California. It is located within the South Los Angeles region, bordering the cities of Lynwood and South Gate to the east and southeast, respectively, and the unincorporated community of Willowbrook to the south.
Founded in the late nineteenth century as a ranching community, the arrival of the railroads and the construction of Watts Station saw the rapid development of Watts as an independent city, but in 1926 it was consolidated with Los Angeles. By the 1940s, Watts transformed into a primarily working class African-American neighborhood, but from the 1960s developed a reputation as a low-income, high-crime area, following the Watts riots and the increasing influence of street gangs. Watts has become a predominantly Hispanic neighborhood with a significant African American minority, and remains one of the most impoverished neighborhoods in Los Angeles despite falling crime rates since the 1990s.