kids encyclopedia robot

Greater Los Angeles facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
Greater Los Angeles

Los Angeles–Long Beach–Anaheim CSA
Combined statistical area
Country United States
State California
Principal city Los Angeles
Other major cities Anaheim
Beverly Hills
Costa Mesa
Garden Grove
Huntington Beach
Laguna Beach
Long Beach
Moreno Valley
Newport Beach
Rancho Cucamonga
San Bernardino
Santa Ana
Santa Clarita
Santa Monica
Thousand Oaks
West Covina
 • Urban
2,281.0 sq mi (5,907.8 km2)
 • Metro
33,954 sq mi (87,940 km2)
Highest elevation
11,499 ft (3,505 m)
Lowest elevation
0 ft (0 m)
 • Combined statistical area 18,710,563
 • Density 549.1/sq mi (212.0/km2)
  Ranked 2nd in the US
Time zone UTC−8 (PST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−7 (PDT)
Area codes 213/323, 310/424, 562, 626, 661, 714/657, 760/442, 805/820, 818/747, 909/840, 949, 951
GDP $1.252 trillion (2017)
GDP per capita $66,635 (2017)
Los Angeles Metropolitan Area
Los Angeles–Long Beach–Anaheim MSA
Map of Los Angeles Metropolitan Area
Country United States
State(s) California
Largest city Los Angeles
 • Total 4,850.3 sq mi (12,562 km2)
Highest elevation
Mount San Antonio 10,068 ft (3,069 m)
Lowest elevation
Wilmington −9 ft (-3 m)
 • Total 18,710,563
 • Rank 2nd in the U.S.
 • Density 2,744/sq mi (1,059/km2)
Time zone UTC–8 (Pacific)
 • Summer (DST) UTC–7 (PDT)
Greater Los Angeles in yellow and peach; urbanized areas in gray; Los Angeles proper lined in blue; Los Angeles metropolitan area lined in red.
Los Angeles Metropolitan Area by Sentinel-2, 2019-03-30 (small version)
Los Angeles Metropolitan Area by Sentinel-2, ESA

Greater Los Angeles is the second-largest metropolitan region in the United States with a population of 18.7 million as of 2020, encompassing five counties in southern California extending from Ventura County in the west to San Bernardino County and Riverside County in the east, with Los Angeles County in the center and Orange County to the southeast. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the Los Angeles–Anaheim–Riverside combined statistical area covers 33,954 square miles (87,940 km2), making it the largest metropolitan region in the United States by land area. Of this, the contiguous urban area is 2,281 square miles (5,910 km2), the remainder mostly consisting of mountain and desert areas. In addition to being the nexus of the global entertainment industry (films, television, and recorded music), Greater Los Angeles is also an important center of international trade, education, media, business, tourism, technology, and sports. It is the 3rd largest metropolitan area by nominal GDP in the world with an economy exceeding $1 trillion in output.

There are three contiguous component metropolitan areas in Greater Los Angeles: the Inland Empire, which can be broadly defined as Riverside and San Bernardino counties; the Ventura/Oxnard metropolitan area (or Ventura County); and the Los Angeles metropolitan area (also known as Metropolitan Los Angeles or Metro LA) consisting of Los Angeles and Orange counties only. The Census Bureau designates the latter as the Los Angeles–Long Beach–Anaheim metropolitan statistical area, the fifth largest metropolitan area in the western hemisphere and the second-largest metropolitan area in the United States, by population. It has a total area of 4,850 square miles (12,561 km2). San Diego–Tijuana, though contiguous with Greater Los Angeles at San Clemente and Temecula, is not part of it, but together both form part of the Southern California Megalopolis.

Throughout the 20th century, Greater Los Angeles was one of the fastest-growing regions in the United States, but growth has slowed since 2000. As of the 2010 U.S. Census, the smaller Los Angeles metro area had a population of nearly 13 million residents. In 2015, the Greater Los Angeles population was estimated to be about 18.7 million, making it the second largest metropolitan region in the country, behind New York, as well as one of the largest megacities in the world. Over time, droughts and wildfires have increased in frequency and become less seasonal and more year-round, further straining the region's water security.



Los Angeles metropolitan area

The Los Angeles metropolitan area is defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget as the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), with a 2017 population of 13,353,907. The MSA is in turn made up of two "metropolitan divisions"

  • Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, CA Metropolitan Division, coterminous with Los Angeles County (2017 population 10,163,507)
  • Anaheim-Santa Ana-Irvine, CA Metropolitan Division, coterminous with Orange County (2017 population 3,190,400)

The MSA is the most populous metropolitan area in the Western United States. It has at its core the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim corridor, an urbanized area defined by the Census Bureau with a population 12,150,996 as of the 2010 Census.

Greater Los Angeles

The U.S. Census Bureau also defines a wider commercial region based on commuting patterns or megalopolis, the Los Angeles-Long Beach, CA Combined Statistical Area (CSA), more commonly known as the Greater Los Angeles Area, with an estimated population of 18,788,800 in 2017. The total land area of the CSA is 33,955 sq. mi (87,945 km2).

The CSA consists of three component metropolitan areas:



Urban form

Many areas are completely filled with houses, buildings, roads, and freeways as observed in Vermont Vista A Los Angeles Neighborhood.

Los Angeles has long been famous for its sprawl, but this has to do more with its status in history as the "poster child" of large cities that grew up with suburban-style patterns of development, rather than how it ranks in sprawl among American metro areas today, now that suburban and exurban-style development is present across the country. In fact, the Los Angeles–Orange County metro area was the most densely populated "urbanized area" (as defined by the United States Census Bureau) in the United States in 2000, with 7,068 inhabitants per square mile (2,729/km2). For comparison, the "New York–Newark" Urbanized Area had a population density of 5,309 per square mile (2,050/km2).

Los Angeles' reputation for sprawl is due to the fact that the city grew from relative obscurity to one of the country's ten largest cities (i.e. 10th largest city in 1920), at a time when suburban patterns of growth first became possible due to electric streetcars and automobiles. The city was also the first large American city where, in the 1920s, major clusters of regional employment, shopping, and culture were already being built outside the traditional downtown areas – in edge cities such as Mid-Wilshire, Miracle Mile and Hollywood. This pattern of growth continued ever outward, more so when the freeway system was built starting in the 1950s; thus Greater Los Angeles was the earliest large American metropolitan area with a decentralized structure. Its major commercial, financial, and cultural institutions are geographically dispersed rather than being concentrated in a single downtown or central area. Also, the population density of Los Angeles proper is low (approximately 8,100 people per square mile) when compared to some other large American cities such as New York (27,500), San Francisco (17,000), Boston (13,300), and Chicago (11,800). Densities are particularly high within a 5-mile radius of downtown, where some neighborhoods exceed 20,000 people per square mile. What gives the entire Los Angeles metro region a high density is the fact that many of the city's suburbs and satellite cities have high density rates. Within its urbanized areas, Los Angeles is noted for having small lot sizes and low-rise buildings. Buildings in the area are low when compared to other large cities, mainly due to zoning regulations. Los Angeles became a major city just as the Pacific Electric Railway spread population to smaller cities much as interurbans did in East Coast cities. In the first decades of the twentieth century, the area was marked by a network of fairly dense but separate cities linked by rail. The ascendance of the automobile helped fill in the gaps between these commuter towns with lower-density settlements.

Starting in the early twentieth century, there was a large growth in population on the western edges of the city moving to the San Fernando Valley and out into the Conejo Valley in eastern Ventura County. Many working class whites migrated to this area during the 1960s and 1970s out of East and Central Los Angeles. As a result, there was a large growth in population into the Conejo Valley and into Ventura County through the US 101 corridor. Making the US 101 a full freeway in the 1960s and expansions that followed helped make commuting to Los Angeles easier and opened the way for development westward. Development in Ventura County and along the US 101 corridor remains controversial, with open-space advocates battling those who feel business development is necessary to economic growth. Although the area still has abundant amount of open space and land, almost all of it was put aside and mandated never to be developed as part of the master plan of each city. Because of this, the area which was once a relatively inexpensive area to buy real estate, saw rising real estate prices well into the 2000s. Median home prices in the Conejo Valley for instance, ranged from $700,000 to $2.2 million in 2003. According to Forbes, "it's nearly impossible" to find reasonably priced real estate in California, and the prices will continue to increase.

The Los Angeles area continues to grow, principally on the periphery where new, cheaper, undeveloped areas are being sought. As such, in these areas, populations as well as housing prices exploded, although the housing bubble popped late in the decade of the 2000s. Riverside and San Bernardino Counties, which contain large swaths of desert, attracted most of the population increase between 2000 and 2006. Growth continues not only outside the existing urbanized area but also adjacent to existing development in the central areas. As in virtually all US core cities, there is now vigorous residential development in the downtown area with both new buildings and renovation of former office buildings. The Los Angeles Downtown News keeps a list of ongoing development projects, updated every quarter.

Changes in house prices for the area are publicly tracked on a regular basis using the Case–Shiller index; the statistic is published by Standard & Poor's and is also a component of S&P's 10-city composite index of the value of the residential real estate market.

Major business districts and edge cities

Greater Los Angeles has numerous traditional downtowns or central business districts, the largest being Downtown Los Angeles. Other important ones are Downtown Long Beach, downtown Pasadena, downtown Glendale, and downtown Burbank, and – with their county, state and federal government facilities – Downtown Santa Ana, Downtown Riverside and Downtown San Bernardino.

However, most of the commercial activity (office space, retail, hotels, entertainment) is found outside traditional downtowns, among the suburban-style development in clusters known as edge cities. In fact, the Los Angeles area is considered the classic example of a metropolitan area that developed in this pattern, because it did so early in history, starting in the 1920s, and was the city to enter into the top ten of American cities while growing in this pattern.


Employment is not only in the downtown area, but consistently occurs outside the central core. As such, many people commute throughout the city and suburbs in various directions for their work and daily activities, with a large portion heading to the municipalities that are outside the city of Los Angeles.

Unlike most metropolitan areas, regional identity remains a contentious issue in the Greater Los Angeles area, with many residents not acknowledging any association with the region as a whole. For example, while Los Angeles County and Orange County together make up the smaller MSA region, the two have a host of sharp demographic, political, and financial distinctions. Orange County residents often attempt to be identified apart from Los Angeles although they make up the same metropolitan area. Also, while only 1.63% of Los Angeles residents commute to Orange County for work, over 6% of Orange County commuters head to Los Angeles for work. Western Riverside County and San Bernardino County have become commuter regions characteristic of other suburban counties throughout the nation. Residents in these counties often commute to Los Angeles County and Orange County for employment.

Component counties, subregions, and cities

Los Angeles County

Los Angeles County, of which Los Angeles is the county seat, is the most populous county in the United States and is home to over a quarter of all California residents. The large size of the city of Los Angeles, as well as its history of annexing smaller towns, has made city boundaries in the central area of Los Angeles County quite complicated. Many cities are completely surrounded by the city of Los Angeles and are often included in the city's areas despite being independent municipalities. For example, Santa Monica and Beverly Hills (which is almost completely surrounded by Los Angeles) are considered part of the Westside, while Hawthorne and Inglewood are associated with South L.A. Adjacent areas that are outside the actual city boundaries of incorporated Los Angeles but border the city itself include the Santa Clarita Valley, the San Gabriel Valley, South Bay, and the Gateway Cities.

Despite the large footprint of the city of Los Angeles, a majority of the land area within Los Angeles County is unincorporated and under the primary jurisdiction of Los Angeles County. Much of this land, however, cannot be easily developed due to planning challenges presented by geographic features such as the Santa Monica Mountains, the San Gabriel Mountains, and the Mojave Desert. Actual land development in these regions occurs on the fringes of incorporated cities, some of which have been fully developed, such as the cities of Palmdale and Lancaster.

Subregions in Los Angeles County

While there is not official designation for the regions that comprise Greater Los Angeles, one authority, the Los Angeles Times, divides the area into the following regions:

Some of the above areas can be defined as being bounded by natural features such as mountains or the ocean; others are marked by city boundaries, freeways, or other constructed landmarks. For example, Downtown Los Angeles is the area of Los Angeles roughly enclosed by three freeways and one river: the Harbor Freeway (SR 110) to the west, the Santa Ana Freeway (US 101) to the north, the Los Angeles River to the east, and the Santa Monica Freeway (I-10) to the south. Meanwhile, the San Fernando Valley ("The Valley") is defined as the basin consisting of the part of Los Angeles and its suburbs that lie north-northwest of downtown and is ringed by mountains.

Edge cities in Los Angeles County

Central and Western area

San Fernando Valley

Elsewhere in Los Angeles County

Cities in Los Angeles County

With a population of nearly 3.9 million people as of the 2020 Census, the City of Los Angeles is the second most populous city in the United States after New York City, and is the focal point of the Greater Los Angeles Area. As an international center for finance, entertainment, media, culture, education, tourism, and science, Los Angeles is considered one of the world's most powerful and influential global cities.

List of cities with populations of 50,000 or more as of the 2020 U.S. Census:

Orange County

The City of Newport Beach July 2014 photo D Ramey Logan
Aerial view of Newport Beach in Orange County

Orange County was originally an agricultural area dependent on citrus crops, avocados, and oil extraction, and became a bedroom community for Los Angeles when I–5, the Santa Ana Freeway, linked it to the city in the 1950s. The growth of Los Angeles initially fueled population growth in Orange County, but by the 1970s it had become an important economic center in its own right, with tourism and electronics industries, among others. Today, Orange County is known for its tourist attractions, such as Disneyland, Knott's Berry Farm, its several pristine beaches and coastline, and its wealthier areas, featured in television shows such as The O.C. No one of the original downtowns serves as the central urban core for the county, but there are important clusters of business and culture in Downtown Santa Ana and in three edge cities: the Anaheim–Santa Ana edge city from Disneyland to the Orange Crush interchange (Orange, Santa Ana), the South Coast Plaza–John Wayne Airport edge city (Santa Ana, Costa Mesa, Irvine), and Irvine's Spectrum edge city.

Orange County is sometimes figuratively divided into "North County" and "South County", with North Orange County including cities such as Anaheim, Fullerton, and Santa Ana, and is the older, more ethnically diverse and more densely built-up area closer to Los Angeles. South County, defined variously as beginning with either Costa Mesa or Irvine and includes cities to the east and south such as Laguna Beach, Mission Viejo, Newport Beach, and San Clemente, is more residential, affluent, recently developed, and has a mostly white population. Irvine is an exception, as it is a center of employment and is ethnically diverse. A growing alternative dividing marker between north and south is the El Toro Y interchange. Orange Coast or South Coast area is defined instead, consisting of some or all of the cities lining the coast.

Subregions in Orange County

Edge cities in Orange County

Cities in Orange County

Cities in Orange County with a population of 50,000 or more as of the 2020 Census:

Inland Empire

The Inland Empire, consisting of San Bernardino and Riverside Counties, contains fast-growing suburbs of the region, with a large to majority percentage of the working population commuting to either Los Angeles or Orange Counties for work. Originally an important center for citrus production, the region became an important industrial area by the early 20th century. The Inland Empire also became a key transportation center following the completion of Route 66, and later Interstate 10. With the post-World War II economic boom leading to rapid development in Los Angeles and Orange Counties, land developers bulldozed acres of agricultural land to build suburbs in order to accommodate the Los Angeles area's expanding population. The development of a regional freeway system facilitated the expansion of suburbs and human migration linking the Inland Empire and rest of Greater Los Angeles. Despite being primarily suburban, the Inland Empire is also home to important warehousing, shipping, logistics and retail industries, centered on the subregion's major cities of Riverside, San Bernardino and Ontario.

While the Inland Empire is sometimes defined as the entirety of San Bernardino and Riverside Counties, the eastern undeveloped, desert portions of these counties are not considered to be part of Greater Los Angeles. The state of California defines this area to include the cities of Adelanto, Apple Valley, and Victorville to the north, the Riverside–San Diego county line to the south, and the towns of Anza, Idyllwild, and Lucerne Valley, along with the San Bernardino National Forest to the east. However, with clear northern and southern limits to expansion, the region's urban eastern boundaries have become increasingly nebulous as suburban sprawl continues to spread out to form a unified whole with Los Angeles, with further development encroaching past the San Bernardino and San Jacinto Mountains and into the outlying desert areas. As a result, the regional definition of Greater Los Angeles can now be extended to include Barstow and surrounding towns in the northeast, the Morongo Basin in the east-central including Yucca Valley and Twentynine Palms, and the Coachella Valley cities in the southeast. This interconnectivity, provided by one of the most extensive freeway systems in the world, as well as economic, social and media ties, has blended boundaries between these regions and the urbanized Los Angeles and Inland Empire areas.

Subregions in the Inland Empire

Edge cities in the Inland Empire

Cities in the Inland Empire

List of cities with populations of 50,000 or more as of the 2020 U.S. Census:

Sparsely populated areas in the Inland Empire

While the above areas are included in the regional definition of Greater Los Angeles, the U.S. Census Bureau defines Greater Los Angeles, or officially, the Los Angeles-Long Beach Combined Statistical Area, to include both the above-mentioned areas along with the entirety of San Bernardino and Riverside counties. These areas are sparsely developed and are part of the Mojave and Colorado Deserts. To the north, Interstate 15 crosses desolate desert landscape after passing Barstow, linking Greater Los Angeles with Las Vegas, with Baker being the only significant outpost along the route. To the east, lie the Mojave National Preserve and Joshua Tree National Park along with the towns of Needles and Blythe on the California-Arizona border.

Ventura County

The Ventura coast

Ventura County is mostly suburban and rural and also has developed primarily through the growth of Los Angeles. The northern part of the county, however, remains largely undeveloped and is mostly within the Los Padres National Forest. Central and southern Ventura County formerly consisted of small towns along the Pacific Coast until the expansion of U.S. Route 101 drew in commuters from the San Fernando Valley. Master-planned cities soon began developing, and the county became increasingly urbanized.

Subregions in Ventura County

Edge cities in Ventura County

  • Ventura/Coastal Plain (emerging edge city as of 1991)

Cities in Ventura County

Table of urban area components

Within the metropolitan areas the Census Bureau defines the following urbanized areas:

Urbanized Area 2010
2 Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim 12,150,996
22 Riverside-San Bernardino 1,932,666
69 Mission Viejo-Lake Forest-San Clemente 583,681
87 Murrieta-Temecula-Menifee 441,546
103 Oxnard 367,260
111 Indio-Cathedral City 345,580
112 Lancaster-Palmdale 341,219
114 Victorville-Hesperia 328,454
146 Santa Clarita 258,653
168 Thousand Oaks 214,811
205 Hemet 163,379
254 Simi Valley 125,206
386 Camarillo 71,772
Central Los Angeles and the Westside, as viewed from the Getty Center in the Santa Monica Mountains. San Gabriel Mountains at back left, Downtown Los Angeles skyline at center-left, Century City and Westwood in the foreground and to their right, the 405 Freeway. The Brentwood skyline, the hills of the Palos Verdes Peninsula at back right and the Pacific Ocean at far right.


Historical population
Greater Los Angeles CSA
(Five-county area)
Year Pop. ±%
1900 250,187 —    
1910 648,316 +159.1%
1920 1,150,252 +77.4%
1930 2,597,066 +125.8%
1940 3,252,720 +25.2%
1950 4,934,246 +51.7%
1960 7,751,616 +57.1%
1970 9,981,942 +28.8%
1980 11,497,486 +15.2%
1990 14,531,529 +26.4%
2000 16,373,645 +12.7%
2010 17,877,006 +9.2%
2019 (est.) 18,711,436 +4.7%
Source: U.S. Census Bureau

According to the 2010 census, there were 17,877,006 people living in the Greater Los Angeles Area. The racial makeup of the area was 54.9% White (39.0% White Non-Hispanic), 12.3% Asian, 0.3% Pacific Islander, 7.0% African American, 0.8% Native American, 20.2% from other races, and 4.5% from two or more races. 44.9% of the population (8.0 million) were Hispanic of any race, including 35.7% of the population (6.4 million) which was of Mexican origin. 31.0% of the population (5.5 million) was foreign born; 18.3% (3.3 million) came from Latin America and 9.8% (1.7 million) from Asia.

The explosive growth of the region in the 20th century can be attributed to its favorable Mediterranean climate, the availability of land and many booming industries such as oil, automobile and rubber, motion pictures and aerospace which in turn attracted millions of people from all over the United States and world. Citrus production was important to the region's development in the earlier part of the 20th century.

While the New York metropolitan area is presently the most populous metropolitan area in the United States, it has been predicted in the past that Greater Los Angeles will eventually surpass Greater New York in population. Whether this will happen is yet to be seen, but past predictions on this event have been off the mark. A 1966 article in Time predicted Greater Los Angeles would surpass New York by 1975, and that by 1990, would reach close to the 19 million mark. But the article's flawed definition of Greater Los Angeles included San Diego, which is actually its own metropolitan area. A 1989 article in The New York Times predicted Greater Los Angeles would surpass Greater New York by 2010, but the article predicted the population would be 18.3 million in that year, a number Greater New York has already surpassed as of 2007 by half a million people. As of 2009, the New York metropolitan area had a population of 22.2 million compared to the Greater Los Angeles Area's 18.7 million, about a 3.56 million persons difference. Percentage growth, however, has been higher in Greater Los Angeles over the past few decades than in Greater New York.

Demographics of Los Angeles and Orange counties

County 2017 Estimate 2010 Census Change Area Density
Los Angeles County 10,163,507 9,818,605 &10000000000000003512739+3.51% 4,057.88 sq mi (10,509.9 km2) 2,498/sq mi (964/km2)
Orange County 3,190,400 3,010,232 &10000000000000005985186+5.99% 790.57 sq mi (2,047.6 km2) 4,013/sq mi (1,549/km2)
Total 13,353,907 12,828,837 &10000000000000004092888+4.09% 4,848.45 sq mi (12,557.4 km2) 2,745/sq mi (1,060/km2)
Historical population
Los Angeles MSA
(Los Angeles and Orange Counties)
Year Pop. ±%
1890 115,043 —    
1900 189,994 +65.2%
1910 538,567 +183.5%
1920 997,830 +85.3%
1930 2,327,166 +133.2%
1940 2,916,403 +25.3%
1950 4,367,911 +49.8%
1960 6,742,696 +54.4%
1970 8,462,366 +25.5%
1980 9,410,130 +11.2%
1990 11,273,720 +19.8%
2000 12,365,627 +9.7%
2010 12,828,837 +3.7%
2019 (est.) 13,214,799 +3.0%
Source: State Census data

Age and gender

According to the 2009 American Community Survey, the Los Angeles Metropolitan Area had a population of 12,874,797, of which 6,402,498 (49.7% of the population) were male and 6,472,299 (50.3% of the population) were female. The age composition is shown in the table at right.

Age distribution
Los Angeles and
Orange Counties, 2009
Age % of pop.
Under 5 7.3%
5 to 9 6.6%
10 to 14 7.0%
15 to 19 7.2%
20 to 24 7.0%
25 to 34 15.5%
35 to 44 14.8%
45 to 54 13.9%
55 to 59 5.5%
60 to 64 4.4%
65 to 74 5.6%
75 to 84 3.6%
85 and over 1.6%
Median age 34.6

Median age: 34.6 years


According to the survey, the Los Angeles Metropolitan Area was 54.6% White (32.2% non-Hispanic White alone), 7.0% Black or African American, 0.5% American Indian and Alaska Native, 13.9% Asian, 0.3% Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, 20.6% from Some other race, and 3.2% from Two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race made up 44.8% of the population.

Whites are the racial majority; whites (both Hispanic and non-Hispanic) make up 54.6% of the population. Non-Hispanic whites make up under one-third (32.2%) of the population. Approximately 7,028,533 residents are white, of which 4,150,426 are non-Hispanic whites. The top five European ancestries were German: 6.9% (883,124), Irish: 5.3% (786,541), English: 4.8% (619,364), Italian: 3.3% (425,056), and French: 1.6% (204,635).

Asians make up 13.9% of the population, the largest racial minority, since Hispanic/Latino is an ethnicity of any race. Asians of non-Hispanic origin make up 13.7% of the population. Approximately 1,790,140 residents are Asian, of which 1,770,225 are Asians of non-Hispanic origin. The six Asian ancestries mentioned were Filipino: 3.5% (454,086), Chinese: 3.0% (390,192), Korean: 2.1% (274,288), Vietnamese: 2.0% (254,353), Japanese: 1.0% (134,466) and Indian: 0.9% (116,090). "Other Asian" is an additional category that includes people who did not identify themselves as any of the groups above. This group includes people of Cambodian, Laotian, Pakistani, Burmese, Taiwanese, and Thai descent, among others. Approximately 166,665 people are in this category, and they make up 1.3% of the population.

African Americans or Blacks make up 7.0% of the population. Non-Hispanic blacks make up 6.7% of the population. Approximately 895,931 residents are black, of which 864,737 are non-Hispanic blacks. In the survey, 136,024 people identified their ancestry as "Sub-Saharan African", equal to 1.1% of the population.

Native Americans make up 0.5% of the population (68,822), with those of non-Hispanic origin making up 0.2% (26,134). Approximately 3,872 Cherokee, 1,679 Navajo, 1,000 Chippewa, and 965 Sioux reside in the area.

Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders make up 0.3% of the population. Approximately 37,719 residents are Native Hawaiian or of other Pacific Islander ancestries, of which 33,982 are of non-Hispanic origin. The three Pacific Islander ancestries mentioned were Samoan: 0.1% (13,519), Native Hawaiian: 0.1% (6,855), and Guamanian or Chamorro: <0.1% (4,581). "Other Pacific Islander" is an additional category that includes people who did not identify themselves as any of the groups above. This group includes people of Fijian and Tongan descent, among others. Approximately 12,764 people are in this category, and they make up 0.1% of the population.

Multiracial people make up 3.2% of the population, of which 1.8% were of non-Hispanic origin. Approximately 405,568 people are multiracial, of which 228,238 are of non-Hispanic origin. The four multiracial ancestries mentioned were White and Asian: 0.8% (107,585), White and American Indian: 0.4% (55,960), White and Black or African American: 0.4% (53,476), and Black or African American and American Indian: 0.1% (12,661).

Hispanic or Latino origin

Hispanic or Latinos, who may be of any race, are by far, the largest minority group; Hispanics or Latinos make up 44.8% of the population. They outnumber every other racial group. Approximately 5,763,181 residents are Hispanic or Latino. The three Hispanic or Latino ancestries mentioned were Mexican: 35.5% (4,570,776), Puerto Rican: 0.4% (48,780), and Cuban: 0.4%, (47,056). "Other Hispanic or Latino" is an additional category that includes people who did not identify themselves as any of the groups above. This group include people of Costa Rican, Salvadoran, and Colombian descent, among others. Approximately 1,096,569 people are in this category, and they make up 8.5% of the population.

Source: Retrieved on July 29, 2013. Part 1: American FactFinder . Part 2: American FactFinder .


The Greater Los Angeles Area has the third largest metropolitan economy in the world, behind Greater Tokyo Area and New York Metropolitan Area. A 2010 Greyhill Advisors study indicated that the Los Angeles metropolitan area had a gross metropolitan product of $736 billion. As of 2017, the Combined statistical area of Greater Los Angeles (which includes the Los Angeles metropolitan area, the Inland Empire and Ventura County) had a $1.252 trillion economy.

Greater Los Angeles Area is the home of the US national headquarters of almost all Asian major car manufacturers except Nissan, Toyota, and Subaru (Nissan moved to Tennessee; Toyota moved to Texas; Subaru first located in Philadelphia but moved to New Jersey); Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Suzuki, Hyundai and Kia have set up their national headquarters here.

The economy of the Los Angeles metropolitan area is famously and heavily based on the entertainment industry, with a particular focus on television, motion pictures, interactive games, and recorded music – the Hollywood district of Los Angeles and its surrounding areas are known as the "movie capital of the United States" due to the region's extreme commercial and historical importance to the American motion picture industry. Other significant sectors include shipping/international trade – particularly at the adjacent Port of Los Angeles and Port of Long Beach, together comprising the United States' busiest seaport – as well as aerospace, technology, petroleum, fashion and apparel, and tourism.

The City of Los Angeles is home to five Fortune 500 companies: energy company Occidental Petroleum (until 2014 when it moved its headquarters to Houston), healthcare provider Health Net, metals distributor Reliance Steel & Aluminum, engineering firm AECOM, and real estate group CB Richard Ellis. Other companies headquartered in Los Angeles include American Apparel, City National Bank, 20th Century Fox, Latham & Watkins, Univision, Metro Interactive, LLC, Premier America, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, DeviantArt, Guess?, O’Melveny & Myers; Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker, Tokyopop, The Jim Henson Company, Paramount Pictures, Sunkist Growers, Incorporated, Tutor Perini, Fox Sports Net, Capital Group, and The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. Korean Air's US passenger and cargo operations headquarters are in two separate offices in Los Angeles. Entertainment and media giant The Walt Disney Company is headquartered in nearby Burbank.

Los Angeles and Orange Counties together have an economy of roughly $1.044 trillion (estimated for 2017), or the total economic output or income of Indonesia's 250 million people; important are coastal California land values and the rents they command, which contribute heavily to GDP earnings, though there are worries that these high land values contribute to the long-term problem of housing affordability and are thus a possible risk to future GDP increase. This is evident when comparing the coast with the Inland Empire, a large component of the five-county combined statistical area (CSA) that nevertheless contributes a far smaller portion to regional gross metropolitan product but still dominates in industry. The Greater Los Angeles CSA is the third-largest economic center in the world, after Greater Tokyo and the New York-Newark-Bridgeport CSA.

The Port of Los Angeles and Port of Long Beach together comprise the fifth-busiest port in the world, being the center of imports and exports for trade on the west Pacific Coast as well as being one of the most significant ports of the western hemisphere. The Port of Los Angeles occupies 7,500 acres (3,035 hectares) of land and water along 43 miles (69 kilometres) of waterfront and is the busiest container port in the United States. The Port is the busiest port in the United States by container volume, the 8th busiest container port in the world. The top trading partners in 2004 were: China ($68.8 billion), Japan ($24.1 billion), Taiwan ($10.8 billion), Thailand ($6.7 billion), & South Korea ($5.6 billion)

The Port of Long Beach is the second-busiest container port in the United States. It adjoins the separate Port of Los Angeles. Acting as a major gateway for U.S.-Asian trade, the port occupies 3,200 acres (1,295 hectares) of land with 25 miles (40 kilometres) of waterfront in the city of Long Beach, California. The seaport has approximately $100 billion in trade and provides more than 316,000 jobs in Southern California. The Port of Long Beach imports and exports more than $100 billion worth of goods every year. The seaport provides the country with jobs, generates tax revenue, and supports retail and manufacturing businesses.

Economic statistics for Los Angeles and Orange Counties

In 2014, the population of the Long Beach–Los Angeles–Anaheim metropolitan statistical area (MSA) reached 13,262,220 and ranked second in the United States – a 1 percent increase from 2013. In 2014, Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim had a per capita personal income (PCPI) of $50,751 and ranked 29th in the country.

In 2014, Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim placed third among the largest exporters in the United States (shipment totaling to $75.5 billion). The metro accounted for 40.8 percent of California's merchandise exports, mainly exporting computer and electronic products ($18.6 billion); transportation equipment ($15.3 billion) and chemicals ($5.6 billion). Nonetheless, the greater Los Angeles metro has immensely benefited from the free trade agreements: greater Los Angeles exported $25.1 billion to the NAFTA region and $776 million in goods to the CAFTA region.

Overall, in 2014 the average wages and salaries reached $57,519 (in 2010, the average wages and salaries reached $54,729). Meanwhile, the median household income in 2014 was $56,935, a 1.4 percent increase from 2013 (average median household income was $56,164).

Note: Dollar items are in current dollars (not adjusted for inflation). Per capita items in dollars; other dollar items in thousands of dollars.

Table 2 (refer below) is a chart of the four highest sectors in the metro area, with health care and social assistance reaching 15.54%.

Industry Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA MSA
NAICS 62 Health care and social assistance 15.54%
NAICS 44–45 Retail trade 11.27%
NAICS 72 Accommodation and food services 10.79%
NAICS 31–33 Manufacturing 10.47%

Table 3 (refer below) displays the location quotient for employment in the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim MSA. Top three sectors include information; art, entertainment, and recreation; and real estate and rental and leasing. (Data obtained from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014. Data measures Location Quotient for sectors in the MSA area. U.S. Total is the base areas.)

Industry Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA MSA
NAICS 99 Unclassified 2.46
NAICS 51 Information 1.88
NAICS 71 Arts, entertainment, and recreation 1.36
NAICS 53 Real estate and rental and leasing 1.29
NAICS 42 Wholesale trade 1.21
NAICS 61 Educational services 1.13
NAICS 54 Professional and technical services 1.11
NAICS 56 Administrative and waste services 1.06
NAICS 81 Other services, except public administration 1.04
NAICS 31–33 Manufacturing 1
NAICS 62 Health care and social assistance 1
NAICS 72 Accommodation and food services 1
NAICS 55 Management of companies and enterprises 0.95
NAICS 48–49 Transportation and warehousing 0.88
NAICS 52 Finance and insurance 0.86
NAICS 44–45 Retail trade 0.85
NAICS 23 Construction 0.76
NAICS 22 Utilities 0.65
NAICS 11 Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting 0.15
NAICS 21 Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction 0.15

Utilities and infrastructure

There are nine electric utility power companies in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. Southern California Edison serves a large majority of the Los Angeles metropolitan area except for Los Angeles city limits, Burbank, Glendale, Pasadena, Azusa, Vernon, Anaheim, and southern Orange County. Southern Orange County is part of the Los Angeles metropolitan area and it is served by San Diego Gas & Electric. There are three natural gas providers in the metropolitan area. Southern California Gas Company serves a large majority of the Los Angeles metropolitan area except for Long Beach and southern Orange County.

The Los Angeles metropolitan area is served by the following utility companies.


  • Southern California Edison (largest electric utility in the Los Angeles metropolitan area)
  • Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (second-largest electric utility in the Los Angeles metropolitan area and the largest within the Los Angeles city limits)
  • Burbank Water and Power
  • Glendale Water and Power
  • Pasadena Water and Power
  • Anaheim Water and Power
  • Azusa Light & Power
  • Vernon Light & Power
  • San Diego Gas & Electric (serves southern Orange County, which is part of the Los Angeles metropolitan area)

The only nuclear power plant that serves the Los Angeles metropolitan area is Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station in the US state of Arizona 46 miles west of Phoenix. LADWP and Southern California Edison get their electricity from it.

Natural gas

  • Southern California Gas Company
  • City of Long Beach Gas Company
  • San Diego Gas & Electric (serves southern Orange County, which is part of the Los Angeles metropolitan area)

Cable television

  • Charter Communications, known as Charter Spectrum (serves a majority of the Los Angeles metropolitan area)
  • Cox Communications (serves parts of Orange County and the Palos Verdes peninsula)

Phone and Internet

Medical facilities

Greater Los Angeles is one of the world's largest patient destinations. The Los Angeles Medical Services provide quality medical services and specialty care services to the populations served in compliance with local, state and federal regulations as well as human rights protection.

Los Angeles and Orange counties have separate medical service department but both work jointly. Government and Private hospitals open normally Monday through Friday, excluding City Holidays but some speciality hospitals are open year-round.

The main healthcare providers in the Los Angeles metropolitan area are Kaiser Permanente, Dignity Healthcare, and Providence Healthcare. LA Care and Care1st are also the main providers for those in the metropolitan area that have Medi-Cal.


Major events include:

Awards ceremonies

Annual county fairs

Annual Conventions

Tourism and attractions

Due to L.A.'s position as The Entertainment Capital of the World, there are many tourist attractions in the area. Consequently, Greater Los Angeles is one of the most visited areas in the world. Here is a breakdown of some of its major attractions:

Amusement parks

Castillo de Disneyland
Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland Park


Laguna Beach condos
Laguna Beach coastline is popular for sunbathers

Shopping centers and districts

Key shopping centers and shopping districts that attract out-of-area visitors are listed here; see also the Table of Shopping Centers in Southern California.

Film and TV studio tours

Water parks

Zoos and aquariums

Los Angeles Zoo


There are over 100 museums in the area, with some of the most widely visited being:

Convention Centers

State parks & beaches

National parks, monuments, & refuges


Area and ZIP codes

Area codes


The Los Angeles metropolitan area is home to the headquarters of several well-known media companies including: the Los Angeles Times, Fox Broadcasting Company, Universal Studios, and The Walt Disney Company. Local television channels broadcasting to the Los Angeles market include KCBS-TV 2 (CBS), KNBC 4 (NBC), KTLA 5 (CW), KABC 7 (ABC), KCAL-TV 9 (Independent/CBS), KTTV 11 (FOX), KCOP 13 (myNetworkTV), KPXN-TV 38/30 (Ion), and KLCS 41/58 (PBS). Radio stations serving the area include: KKJZ, KIIS, KNX (AM), and KMZT.


Primary and Secondary Education

The Los Angeles Unified School District serves the city of L.A., and other school districts serve the surrounding areas. A number of private schools are also located in the region.

Higher Education

Cal State University, Los Angeles
Cal State LA's The Golden Eagle, consisting of two adjoining structures separated by a promenade.

Greater Los Angeles is home to a number of colleges and universities. The University of Southern California and University of California, Los Angeles are among the largest, and the Claremont Colleges and California Institute of Technology are among the most academically renowned. Below is a list of colleges and universities within the Los Angeles Metropolitan Area.


Rush hour on the Harbor Freeway, Downtown

Greater Los Angeles is known for its expansive transportation network. Most notable is its extensive highway system. The area is a junction for numerous interstates coming from the north, east, and south and contains the three principal north–south highways in California: Interstate 5, U.S. Route 101, and California State Route 1. The area is also home to several ports, including the twin ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, which are the two busiest in the United States, as well as Port of Hueneme. Additionally, the region is also served by the Metrorail and Metrolink commuter rail systems that link neighborhoods of Los Angeles with immediate surrounding suburbs and most of the region (excluding the outer region of the Inland Empire) with Oceanside in San Diego County, respectively. Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is the principal international airport of the region and is one of the busiest in the world. Other airports include Ontario International Airport (ONT), John Wayne Airport (SNA), Bob Hope Airport (BUR), Long Beach Municipal Airport (LGB), and Palm Springs International Airport (PSP).

Commercial airports

Airport IATA code County Enplanements (2013)
Los Angeles International Airport LAX Los Angeles 32,425,892
John Wayne Airport SNA Orange County 4,540,628
Ontario International Airport ONT San Bernardino 1,970,538
Hollywood Burbank Airport BUR Los Angeles 1,918,011
Long Beach Airport LGB Los Angeles 1,438,756
San Bernardino International Airport SBD San Bernardino NA

The primary airport serving the LA metro area is Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), one of the busiest airports in the United States. LAX is in southwestern Los Angeles, 16 miles (26 km) from Downtown Los Angeles. LAX is the only airport to serve as a hub for all three U.S. legacy airlines —American, Delta and United.

In addition to LAX, other airports, including Hollywood Burbank Airport, John Wayne Airport, Long Beach Airport, Ontario International Airport, and San Bernardino International Airport also serve the region.


The Los Angeles metropolitan area has only one suspension bridge: Vincent Thomas Bridge in San Pedro, and one cable-stayed bridge: Gerald Desmond Bridge in Long Beach.


  • I-5 (CA).svg Golden State Freeway/Santa Ana Freeway/San Diego Freeway/Montgomery Freeway (Interstate 5)
  • I-10 (CA).svg Santa Monica Freeway/Rosa Parks Freeway/San Bernardino Freeway (Interstate 10)
  • I-15 (CA).svg Escondido Freeway/Temecula Valley Freeway/Corona Freeway/Ontario Freeway/Mojave Freeway (Interstate 15)
  • I-105 (CA).svg Glenn Anderson Freeway/Century Freeway (Interstate 105)
  • I-110 (CA).svg Harbor Freeway (Interstate 110)
  • I-210 (CA).svg Foothill Freeway (Interstate 210)
  • I-215 (CA).svg Escondido Freeway/Armed Forces Freeway/Barstow Freeway (Interstate 215)
  • I-405 (CA).svg San Diego Freeway (Interstate 405)
  • I-605 (CA).svg San Gabriel River Freeway (Interstate 605)
  • I-710 (CA).svg Long Beach Freeway (Interstate 710)

U.S. highways

California state highways

  • State Route 1
  • State Route 2
  • State Route 14
  • State Route 18
  • State Route 19
  • State Route 22
  • State Route 23
  • State Route 27
  • State Route 33
  • State Route 34
  • State Route 39
  • State Route 47
  • State Route 55
  • State Route 57
  • State Route 60
  • State Route 71
  • State Route 72
  • State Route 73
  • State Route 74
  • State Route 83
  • State Route 90
  • State Route 91
  • State Route 107
  • State Route 110
  • State Route 118
  • State Route 126
  • State Route 133
  • State Route 134
  • State Route 138
  • State Route 142
  • State Route 170
  • State Route 187
  • State Route 210
  • State Route 213
  • State Route 241
  • State Route 261

Los Angeles County Metro

Los Angeles County Metro Rail and Metro Liner map
Map of LA County Metro

The Metro Rail is the mass transit rail system of Los Angeles County. It is run by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority and its system runs six rail lines throughout Los Angeles County. Metro Rail currently operates four light rail lines and two rapid transit subway lines, altogether totaling 87.7 miles (141.1 km) of rail, 101 stations, and over 360,000 daily weekday boardings as of December 2012.

  • The A Line (Blue) – Light Rail
  • The B Line (Red) – Heavy Rail
  • The C Line (Green) – Light Rail
  • The D Line (Purple) – Heavy Rail
  • The E Line (Expo) – Light Rail
  • The G Line (Orange) – Busway
  • The J Line (Silver) – Busway
  • The L Line (Gold) – Light Rail

The systems light rail system is the second busiest LRT system in the United States, after Boston, by number of riders, with 200,300 average weekday boardings during the third quarter of 2012. By 2019, it had become the most heavily ridden light rail system in the country.

Since the region of the city is in close proximity to a major fault area the tunnels were built to resist earthquakes of up to magnitude 7.5. Both subway lines use an electrified third rail to provide power to the trains, rendering these lines unusable on the other three. The Blue and Gold Lines run mostly at grade, with some street-running, elevated, and underground stretches in the more densely populated areas of Los Angeles. The Green Line is entirely grade separated, running in the median of I-105 and then turning southward along an elevated route.

The rail lines run regularly on a 5 am and midnight schedule, seven days a week. Limited service on particular segments is provided after midnight and before 5 am There is no rail service between 2 and 3:30 am Exact times vary from route to route; see individual route articles for more information.

Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA)

Regional and commuter rail

There are two providers of heavy rail transportation in the region, Amtrak and Metrolink. Amtrak provides service to San Diego, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and points in between on the Pacific Surfliner. It also provides long-distance routes, including the Coast Starlight which goes to the San Francisco Bay Area, Portland, Oregon, and Seattle, Washington; the Southwest Chief which goes to Flagstaff, Arizona, Albuquerque, New Mexico, Kansas City, Missouri and Chicago; and the Sunset Limited which provides limited service (three days a week) to Tucson, El Paso, Houston, and New Orleans.

Metrolink provides service to numerous places within Southern California, including all counties in the region. Metrolink operates to 55 stations on seven lines within Southern California which mostly (except for the Inland Empire–Orange County Line) radiate from Los Angeles Union Station.


Professional teams

As a whole, the Los Angeles area has more national championships, all sports combined (college and professional), than any other city in the United States, with over four times as many championships as the entire state of Texas, and just over twice that of New York City. It is the only American city to host the summer Olympic games twice: once in 1932, and more recently in 1984 (Lake Placid hosted the winter Olympic games twice: once in 1932 and once in 1980). Los Angeles will also be the host of the 2028 Summer Olympics, becoming the third city to host three Olympic Games, after London and Paris.

Table of professional teams and venues

Team Sport League Venue
Los Angeles Chargers American football National Football League SoFi Stadium
Los Angeles Rams
Los Angeles Dodgers Baseball Major League Baseball Dodger Stadium
Los Angeles Angels Angel Stadium
Los Angeles Lakers Basketball National Basketball Association Arena
Los Angeles Clippers
Los Angeles Sparks Women's National Basketball Association
Los Angeles Kings Ice hockey National Hockey League
Anaheim Ducks Honda Center
LA Galaxy Soccer Major League Soccer Dignity Health Sports Park
Los Angeles FC Banc of California Stadium
Angel City FC National Women's Soccer League

Other professional venues include:

NCAA Division I college sports

UCLA–USC rivalry, both universities are located in Los Angeles and are members of the Pac-12 Conference. The rivalry between the two is among the more unusual in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I sports, because the campuses are only 12 miles (19 km) apart, and both are located within the same megacity.
  • Cal Baptist University
  • Cal State Fullerton Titans
  • Cal State Northridge Matadors
  • Long Beach State 49ers
  • Loyola Marymount Lions
  • Pepperdine Waves
  • UC Irvine Anteaters
  • UC Riverside Highlanders
  • UCLA Bruins (FBS)
  • USC Trojans (FBS)

Other sports

The Greater Los Angeles area also has three well-known horse racing facilities: Santa Anita Park, Los Alamitos Race Course and the former Hollywood Park Racetrack and three major motorsport venues: Auto Club Speedway, Long Beach street circuit, and Auto Club Raceway at Pomona. In addition, the city of Los Angeles hosted the Summer Olympics in 1932 and 1984.

For over twenty years the Los Angeles area media market lacked a National Football League team. After the 1994 season, the Los Angeles Rams moved to St. Louis, Missouri, and the Los Angeles Raiders returned to their original home of Oakland, California, due to the lack of an up-to-date NFL stadium. After numerous stadium proposals between 1995 and 2016 in an attempt to bring the NFL back, the Oakland Raiders, St. Louis Rams, and San Diego Chargers all submitted plans to relocate back to Los Angeles after the 2015 NFL season. On January 12, 2016, the Rams were approved to move to Los Angeles and build SoFi Stadium with the Chargers or Raiders given the option to join them. On January 12, 2017, the Chargers announced their move to Los Angeles to join the Rams. Both teams share SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California,

The Los Angeles Basin, viewed south from Mulholland Drive. From left to right can be seen the Santa Ana Mountains / Saddleback (horizon), downtown L.A., the Hollywood Bowl (foreground), Mid-Wilshire, Long BeachPalos Verdes (background), Catalina Island (horizon), the Southbay and Pacific Ocean.

Images for kids

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Gran Los Ángeles para niños

kids search engine
Greater Los Angeles Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.