Deinstitutionalization has dramatically reduced the state psychiatric hospital population in California from 37,000 in 1955 to only 2,500 at the present time. In 1980 and 1982 the California Department of Mental Health conducted two surveys to assess demographic characteristics, psychiatric diagnosis, health status, and behavioral traits of state hospital patients. The results indicate that most patients are young, male, and diagnosed as schizophrenic and frequently engage in dangerous behaviors. The various patient subpopulations exhibited few differences in diagnostic distribution, although Hispanics did have a significantly higher rate of substance use. The author posits that the current hospital population constitutes a "hard core" of patients who may be difficult to place in community treatment facilities.