New Hampshire-born dentist David Burbank purchased the land that became the township of Burbank in 1867 and established a sheep ranch on it. The township was founded in 1887 and the City of Burbank was incorporated in 1911.
The Lockheed Company was located in Burbank from 1932 until the late 1990s. Burbank saw its greatest growth during World War Two due to Lockheed's wartime manufacturing activities. The Bob Hope Airport (formerly known as the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena airport), is the second-biggest airport in Los Angeles County after LAX and one of the most active in the United States.
A prominent resident of early Burbank was World Heavyweight Boxing Champion James Jeffries.
NBC has its western US operations based there, and it is where the Tonight Show is recorded. In the 1960's the comedy television show Laugh-In was broadcast from what they famously, and ironically, referred to as "Beautiful Downtown Burbank"
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 45.0 km² (17.4 mi²). 44.9 km² (17.4 mi²) of it is land and 0.1 km² (0.0 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 0.12% water.
As of the census of 2000, there are 100,316 people, 41,608 households, and 24,382 families residing in the city. The population density is 2,232.4/km² (5,782.4/mi²). There are 42,847 housing units at an average density of 953.5 persons/km² (2,469.8 persons/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 72.18% White, 2.06% African American, 0.55% Native American, 9.15% Asian, 0.14% Pacific Islander, 9.88% from other races, and 6.04% from two or more races. 24.87% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 41,608 households out of which 28.5% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.8% are married couples living together, 11.5% have a woman whose husband does not live with her, and 41.4% are non-families. 33.6% of all households are made up of individuals and 9.8% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.39 and the average family size is 3.14.
In the city the population is spread out with 22.3% under the age of 18, 7.7% from 18 to 24, 35.4% from 25 to 44, 21.8% from 45 to 64, and 12.8% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 36 years. For every 100 females there are 94.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 90.7 males.
The median income for a household in the city is $47,467, and the median income for a family is $56,767. Males have a median income of $41,792 versus $35,273 for females. The per capita income for the city is $25,713. 10.5% of the population and 8.1% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 13.3% are under the age of 18 and 9.0% are 65 or older.