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Los Angeles County, California
County of Los Angeles
LA Skyline Mountains2.jpg Venice, California Beach.jpg
Rodeo Drive Beverly Hills.jpg Santa Catalina NASA EO.jpg
Santa Monica Harbor.jpg Angelesnationalforest.jpg
Vasquez Rocks April 2005.jpg California Poppies1.jpg
Images, from top down, left to right: Downtown Los Angeles in December 2007, Venice, Los Angeles during sunset, Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, CA, Satellite picture of Santa Catalina Island, the Santa Monica Pier, Angeles National Forest, Vasquez Rocks, Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve
Flag of Los Angeles County, California
Official seal of Los Angeles County, California
"L.A. County"
Location of the county in California
Location of the county in California
California's location in the contiguous United States
California's location in the contiguous United States
Country  United States


Region Southern California
Metro area Greater Los Angeles Area
Formed February 18, 1850
Named for Flag of Los Angeles, California.svg City of Los Angeles
 • Total 4,751 sq mi (12,310 km2)
 • Land 4,058 sq mi (10,510 km2)
 • Water 693 sq mi (1,790 km2)
Highest elevation
10,068 ft (3,069 m)
Lowest elevation
0 ft (0 m)
 • Total 9,818,605
 • Estimate 
 • Density 2,066.64/sq mi (797.93/km2)
Time zone UTC-8 (Pacific Time Zone)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-7 (Pacific Daylight Time)
ZIP codes
90001–90899, 91001–93599
Area codes 213, 310/424, 323, 562, 626, 661, 747/818, 909
FIPS code 06-037
GNIS feature ID 277283
GDP $664 billion
LA Today brochure c. 1920f
Chamber of Commerce brochure, c. 1920

Los Angeles County, officially the County of Los Angeles, is the most populous county in both the United States and the state of California, the country's most populous state. Its population is larger than that of 42 individual U.S. states. It has 88 incorporated cities and many unincorporated areas and at 4,083 square miles (10,570 km2), it is larger than the combined areas of the U.S. states of Delaware and Rhode Island. The county is home to more than one-quarter of California residents and is one of the most ethnically diverse counties in the U.S. Its county seat, the City of Los Angeles, is also its most populous city at about four million.


See also: History of Los Angeles

Los Angeles County is one of the original counties of California, created at the time of statehood in 1850. The county originally included parts of what are now Kern, San Bernardino, Riverside and Orange counties. As the population increased, sections were split off to organize San Bernardino County in 1853, Kern County in 1866, and Orange County in 1889.


Los Angeles and adjacent counties

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has an area of 4,751 square miles (12,310 km2), of which 4,058 square miles (10,510 km2) is land and 693 square miles (1,790 km2) (15%) is water. Los Angeles County borders 70 miles (110 km) of coast on the Pacific Ocean and encompasses mountain ranges, valleys, forests, islands, lakes, rivers, and desert. The Los Angeles River, Rio Hondo, the San Gabriel River and the Santa Clara River flow in Los Angeles County, while the primary mountain ranges are the Santa Monica Mountains and the San Gabriel Mountains. The western extent of the Mojave Desert begins in the Antelope Valley, in the northeastern part of the county.

Most of the population of Los Angeles County is located in the south and southwest, with major population centers in the Los Angeles Basin, San Fernando Valley and San Gabriel Valley. Other population centers are found in the Santa Clarita Valley, Pomona Valley, Crescenta Valley and Antelope Valley.

The county is divided west-to-east by the San Gabriel Mountains, which are part of the Transverse Ranges of southern California, and are contained mostly within the Angeles National Forest. Most of the county's highest peaks are in the San Gabriel Mountains, including Mount San Antonio 10,068 feet (3,069 m)) at the Los Angeles-San Bernardino county lines, Mount Baden-Powell 9,399 feet (2,865 m), Mount Burnham 8,997 feet (2,742 m) and Mount Wilson 5,710 feet (1,740 m). Several lower mountains are in the northern, western, and southwestern parts of the county, including the San Emigdio Mountains, the southernmost part of Tehachapi Mountains and the Sierra Pelona Mountains.

Los Angeles County includes San Clemente Island and Santa Catalina Island, which are part of the Channel Islands archipelago off the Pacific Coast.

Lakes and reservoirs

  • Baldwin Lake
  • Bouquet Reservoir
  • Castaic Lake
  • Crystal Lake
  • Elizabeth Lake
  • Holiday Lake
  • Hollywood Reservoir
  • Hughes Lake
  • Jackson Lake
  • Malibou Lake
  • Morris Reservoir
  • Munz Lakes
  • Lake Palmdale
  • Puddingstone Reservoir
  • Pyramid Lake
  • Quail Lake
  • Silver Lake Reservoir
  • Stone Canyon Reservoir
  • Tweedy Lake

Major divisions of the county

National protected areas

  • Angeles National Forest (part)
  • Los Padres National Forest (part)
  • Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area (part)


Los Angeles County had a population of 9,818,605 in the 2010 United States Census. The racial makeup of Los Angeles County was 4,936,599 (50%) White, 1,346,865 (13.7%) Asian, 856,874 (9%) African American, 72,828 (0.7%) Native American, 26,094 (0.3%) Pacific Islander, 2,140,632 (21.8%) from other races, and 438,713 (4.5%) from two or more races.

Non-Hispanic whites numbered 2,728,321, or 28% of the population. Hispanic or Latino residents of any race numbered 4,687,889 (48%); 36% of Los Angeles County's population was of Mexican ancestry; 3.7% Salvadoran, and 2.2% Guatemalan heritage.

The county has a large population of Asians, being home to the largest concentration of immigrants who are Burmese, Cambodian, Chinese, Filipino, Indian, Indonesian, Korean, Sri Lankan, Taiwanese, and Thai in the world. The largest Asian groups of the 1,346,865 (13.7%) Asians in Los Angeles County are 4.0% Chinese, 3.3% Filipino, 2.2% Korean, 1.0% Japanese, 0.9% Vietnamese, 0.8% Indian, and 0.3% Cambodian.

Historical population
Census Pop.
1850 3,530
1860 11,333 221.0%
1870 15,309 35.1%
1880 33,381 118.0%
1890 101,454 203.9%
1900 170,298 67.9%
1910 504,131 196.0%
1920 936,455 85.8%
1930 2,208,492 135.8%
1940 2,785,643 26.1%
1950 4,151,687 49.0%
1960 6,038,771 45.5%
1970 7,041,980 16.6%
1980 7,477,421 6.2%
1990 8,863,164 18.5%
2000 9,519,338 7.4%
2010 9,818,605 3.1%
Est. 2015 10,170,292 3.6%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790–1960 1900–1990
1990–2000 2010–2015

Race and ancestry

Population, race, and income (2011)
Total population 9,787,747
  White 5,126,367 52.4%
  Black or African American 844,048 8.6%
  American Indian or Alaska Native 49,329 0.5%
  Asian 1,347,782 13.8%
  Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander 26,310 0.3%
  Some other race 2,064,759 21.1%
  Two or more races 329,152 3.4%
 Hispanic or Latino (of any race) 4,644,328 47.5%
Per capita income $27,954
Median household income $56,266
Median family income $62,595

The racial makeup of the county is 48.7% White, 11.0% African American, 0.8% Native American, 10.0% Asian, 0.3% Pacific Islander, 23.5% from other races, and 4.9% from two or more races. 44.6% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race. The largest European-American ancestry groups are German (6%), Irish (5%), English (4%) and Italian (3%). 45.9% of the population reported speaking only English at home; 37.9% spoke Spanish, 2.22% Tagalog, 2.0% Chinese, 1.9% Korean, 1.87% Armenian, 0.5% Arabic, and 0.2% Hindi.

The county has the largest Native American population of any county in the nation: according to the 2000 census, it has more than 153,550 people of indigenous descent, and most are from Latin America.

As estimated by the Public Policy Institute of California in 2008, Los Angeles County is home to more than one-third of California's illegal immigrants, who make up more than ten percent of the population.


Map of Los Angeles County showing population density in 2000 by census tract

At the census of 2000, there were 9,519,338 people, 3,133,774 households, and 2,137,233 families residing in the county. The population density was 2,344 people per square mile (905/km²). There were 3,270,909 housing units at an average density of 806 per square mile (311/km²).

There were 3,133,774 households out of which 37% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48% were married couples living together, 15% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32% were non-families. 25% of all households were made up of individuals and 7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.98 and the average family size was 3.61.

In the county, the population was spread out with 28% under the age of 18, 10% from 18 to 24, 33% from 25 to 44, 19% from 45 to 64, and 10% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 97.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.0 males.


Distribution of high income households across LA County
Percent of households with incomes above $150k across LA County census tracts.

The median income for a household in the county was $42,189, and the median income for a family was $46,452. Males had a median income of $36,299 versus $30,981 for females. The per capita income for the county was $20,683. There are 14.4% of families living below the poverty line and 17.9% of the population, including 24.2% of under 18 and 10.5% of those over 64. Los Angeles County has the highest number of millionaires of any county in the nation, totaling 261,081 households as of 2007.

The homeownership rate is 47.9%, and the median value for houses is $409,300. 42.2% of housing units are in multi-unit structures. Los Angeles County has the largest number of homeless people, with "48,000 people living on the streets, including 6,000 veterans."


In 2000, there were hundreds of Christian churches, 202 Jewish synagogues, 145 Buddhist temples, 48 Muslim masjids, 44 Bahai worship centers, 37 Hindu mandirs, 28 Tenrikyo churches and fellowships, 16 Shinto worship centers, and 14 Sikh gurdwaras in the county. The Los Angeles Archdiocese has approximately 5 million members and is the largest in the United States.

Sites of interest

L.A. County Fair at Dusk
L.A. County Fair at dusk, 2008
Photo of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art during its 2005 Ancient Egypt exhibit.

The county's most visited park is Griffith Park, owned by the city of Los Angeles. The county is also known for the annual Rose Parade in Pasadena, the annual Los Angeles County Fair in Pomona, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Los Angeles Zoo, the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, the La Brea Tar Pits, the Arboretum of Los Angeles, and two horse racetracks and two car racetracks (Pomona Raceway and Irwindale Speedway), also the RMS Queen Mary located in Long Beach, and the Long Beach Grand Prix, and miles of beaches—from Zuma to Cabrillo.

Venice Beach is a popular attraction where its Muscle Beach used to find throngs of tourists admiring "hardbodies". Today, it is more arts-centered. Santa Monica's pier is a well known tourist spot, famous for its ferris wheel and bumper car rides, which were featured in the introductory segment of the television sitcom Three's Company. Further north in Pacific Palisades one finds the beaches used in the television series Baywatch. The fabled Malibu, home of many a film or television star, lies west of it.

In the mountain, canyon, and desert areas one may find Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Park, where many old Westerns were filmed. Mount Wilson Observatory in the San Gabriel Mountains is open for the public to view astronomical stars from its telescope, now computer-assisted. Many county residents find relaxation in water skiing and swimming at Castaic Lake Recreation Area – the county's largest park by area – as well as enjoying natural surroundings and starry nights at Saddleback Butte State Park in the eastern Antelope Valley – California State Parks' largest in area within the county. The California Poppy Reserve is located in the western Antelope Valley and shows off the State's flower in great quantity on its rolling hills every spring.


  • Battleship USS Iowa, Los Angeles Waterfront in San Pedro
  • SS Lane Victory, Los Angeles Waterfront in San Pedro, just south of the USS Iowa
  • California African American Museum
  • California Science Center, Los Angeles (formerly the Museum of Science and Industry)
  • Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum
  • Hammer Museum
  • Huntington Library, San Marino
  • Long Beach Museum of Art in the historic Elizabeth Milbank Anderson residence
  • Los Angeles Children's Museum
  • Los Angeles County Fire Museum, in Bellflower
  • Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Mid-City, Los Angeles
  • Museum of Contemporary Art, Downtown Los Angeles (founded in 1950); The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, Downtown Los Angeles (founded in 1980)
  • Museum of Jurassic Technology, Culver City
  • Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach
  • Museum of Neon Art
  • Museum of the American West (Gene Autry Museum), in Griffith Park
  • Museum of Tolerance
  • Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
  • Pasadena Museum of California Art, in Pasadena
  • J. Paul Getty Center, Brentwood (Ancient Roman, Greek, and European Renaissance Art)
  • J. Paul Getty Villa, Pacific Palisades, Getty's original house
  • George C. Page Museum at La Brea Tar Pits
  • Santa Monica Museum of Art, Santa Monica (Contemporary art)
  • Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena (19th- and early 20th-century art)
  • Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles
  • Southwest Museum


  • Griffith Observatory
  • Huntington Botanical Gardens
  • La Brea Tar Pits
  • Music Center
  • Olvera Street

Music venues

Lightmatter disneyhall5
Disney Concert Hall
  • California Plaza, which comprises:
    • One California Plaza
    • Two California Plaza
  • Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts
  • The Forum
  • Disney Concert Hall
  • Greek Theatre
  • Pantages Theatre
  • Hollywood Bowl
  • Hollywood Palladium
  • House of Blues Sunset Strip
  • John Anson Ford Amphitheatre
  • The Orpheum Theatre
  • The Roxy Theatre
  • Royce Hall (UCLA)
  • The Music Box
  • El Rey Theatre
  • Staples Center
  • The Troubadour
  • The Wiltern
  • Whisky a Go Go
  • Gibson Amphitheatre

Amusement parks

Other attractions

  • U.S. Bank Tower
  • Central Los Angeles Library
  • Watts Towers
  • Wayfarers Chapel
  • Fo Guang Shan Hsi Lai Temple

Other areas

Angeles National Forest
  • Ridge Route
  • Angeles National Forest
  • Mount Wilson Observatory
  • Malibu Creek State Park
  • Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Park
  • Plant 42's Blackbird Airpark and Heritage Airpark
  • Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve
  • Cortes Bank
  • Santa Catalina Island
  • Mojave Desert
  • Saddleback Butte State Park
  • Antelope Valley Indian Museum State Historic Park
  • Arthur B. Ripley Desert Woodland State Park


Major highways

  • I-5 (CA).svg Interstate 5
  • I-5 Bus.
  • I-10
  • I-105 (CA).svg Interstate 105
  • I-405 (CA).svg Interstate 405
  • I-605 (CA).svg Interstate 605
  • I-110 (CA).svg Interstate 110
  • I-210 (CA).svg Interstate 210
  • I-710 (CA).svg Interstate 710
  • US 101 (CA).svg U.S. Route 101
  • California 1.svg State Route 1
  • California 2.svg State Route 2
  • California 14.svg State Route 14
  • California 18.svg State Route 18
  • California 19.svg State Route 19
  • California 22.svg State Route 22
  • California 23.svg State Route 23
  • California 27.svg State Route 27
  • California 39.svg State Route 39
  • California 47.svg State Route 47
  • California 57.svg State Route 57
  • California 60.svg State Route 60
  • California 66.svg State Route 66
  • California 71.svg State Route 71
  • California 72.svg State Route 72
  • California 90.svg State Route 90
  • California 91.svg State Route 91
  • California 103.svg State Route 103
  • California 107.svg State Route 107
  • California 110.svg State Route 110
  • California 118.svg State Route 118
  • California 126.svg State Route 126
  • California 134.svg State Route 134
  • California 138.svg State Route 138
  • California 170.svg State Route 170
  • California 187.svg State Route 187
  • California 210.svg State Route 210
  • California 213.svg State Route 213


Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), located in the Westchester district, is the primary commercial airport for commercial airlines in the county and the Greater Los Angeles Area. LAX is operated by Los Angeles World Airports, an agency of the City of Los Angeles. Other important commercial airports in Los Angeles County include:

  • Long Beach Municipal Airport operated by the City of Long Beach
  • Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, operated by the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority

The following general aviation airports also are located in Los Angeles County:

County operated airports (Department of Public Works, Aviation Division)
City operated airports
  • Van Nuys Airport in Van Nuys, also operated by LAWA. Van Nuys Airport sees significant executive jet air traffic.
  • LA/Palmdale Regional Airport in Palmdale. The airport is a separate facility on the grounds of Air Force Plant 42.
  • Santa Monica Airport in Santa Monica, which also has major executive jet traffic.
  • Hawthorne Municipal Airport, also known as Jack Northrop Field, in Hawthorne
  • Zamperini Field in Torrance

Besides the non-flying Los Angeles Air Force Base in El Segundo, the U.S. Air Force has two airports in Los Angeles County:

  • Portions of Edwards Air Force Base, located at the northern edge of the county, and
  • Air Force Plant 42 in Palmdale, sharing runways with LA/Palmdale Regional.


Los Angeles is a major freight railroad transportation center, largely due to the large volumes of freight moving in and out of the county's port facilities. The ports are connected to the downtown rail yards and to the main lines of Union Pacific and Burlington Northern Santa Fe headed east via a grade-separated, freight rail corridor known as the Alameda Corridor.

Passenger rail service is provided in the county by Amtrak, Los Angeles Metro Rail and Metrolink.

Amtrak has the following intercity Amtrak service at Union Station in the city of Los Angeles.

Union Station is also the primary hub for Metrolink commuter rail, which serves much of the Greater Los Angeles Area.

Light rail, subway (heavy rail), and long-distance bus service are all provided by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro).


The county's two main seaports are the Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach. Together they handle over a quarter of all container traffic entering the United States, making the complex the largest and most important port in the country, and the third-largest port in the world by shipping volume.

The Port of Los Angeles is the largest cruise ship center on the West Coast, handling more than 1 million passengers annually.

The Port of Long Beach is home to the Sea Launch program, which uses a floating launch platform to insert payloads into orbits that would be difficult to attain from existing land-based launch sites.

Ferries link the Catalina Island city of Avalon to the mainland.



There are 88 incorporated cities in Los Angeles County. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, the most populous are:

Unincorporated areas

Census designated places

Other communities

See: Los Angeles Almanac MAP: Unincorporated Areas and Communities of Los Angeles County
See also: List of districts and neighborhoods of Los Angeles

Population ranking

The population ranking of the following table is based on the 2010 census of Los Angeles County.

county seat

Rank City/Town/etc. Municipal type Population (2010 Census)
1 Los Angeles City 3,792,621
2 Long Beach City 462,257
3 Glendale City 191,719
4 Santa Clarita City 176,320
5 Lancaster City 156,633
6 Palmdale City 152,750
7 Pomona City 149,058
8 Torrance City 145,438
9 Pasadena City 137,122
10 East Los Angeles CDP 126,496
11 El Monte City 113,475
12 Downey City 111,772
13 Inglewood City 109,673
14 West Covina City 106,098
15 Norwalk City 105,549
16 Burbank City 103,340
17 Compton City 96,455
18 South Gate City 94,396
19 Carson City 91,714
20 Santa Monica City 89,736
21 Whittier City 85,331
22 Hawthorne City 84,293
23 Alhambra City 83,089
24 Lakewood City 80,048
25 Bellflower City 76,616
26 Baldwin Park City 75,390
27 Lynwood City 69,772
28 Redondo Beach City 66,748
29 Florence-Graham CDP 63,387
30 Pico Rivera City 62,942
31 Montebello City 62,500
32 Monterey Park City 60,269
33 Gardena City 58,829
34 Huntington Park City 58,114
35 South Whittier CDP 57,156
36 Arcadia City 56,364
37 Diamond Bar City 55,544
38 Paramount City 54,098
39 Hacienda Heights CDP 54,038
40 Rosemead City 53,764
41 Glendora City 50,073
42 Cerritos City 49,041
43 Rowland Heights CDP 48,993
44 La Mirada City 48,527
45 Covina City 47,796
46 Azusa City 46,361
47 Altadena CDP 42,777
48 Bell Gardens City 42,072
49 Rancho Palos Verdes City 41,643
50 La Puente City 39,816
51 San Gabriel City 39,718
52 Culver City City 38,883
53 Monrovia City 36,590
54 Willowbrook CDP 35,983
55 Temple City City 35,558
56 Bell City 35,477
57 Manhattan Beach City 35,135
58 Claremont City 34,926
59 West Hollywood City 34,399
60 Beverly Hills City 34,109
61 San Dimas City 33,371
62 Lawndale City 32,769
63 Westmont CDP 31,853
64 La Verne City 31,063
65 Walnut City 29,172
66 Maywood City 27,395
67 South Pasadena City 25,619
68 West Whittier-Los Nietos CDP 25,540
69 Cudahy City 23,805
70 San Fernando City 23,645
71 Calabasas City 23,058
72 Valinda CDP 22,822
73 Lennox CDP 22,753
74 West Puente Valley CDP 22,636
75 West Carson CDP 21,699
76 Duarte City 21,321
77 South San Jose Hills CDP 20,551
78 Agoura Hills City 20,330
79 Lomita City 20,256
80 La Cañada Flintridge City 20,246
81 South El Monte City 20,116
82 La Crescenta-Montrose CDP 19,653
83 Hermosa Beach City 19,506
84 Castaic CDP 19,015
85 Stevenson Ranch CDP 17,557
86 El Segundo CDP 16,654
87 Artesia City 16,522
88 Santa Fe Springs City 16,223
89 Walnut Park CDP 15,966
90 Vincent CDP 15,922
91 Avocado Heights CDP 15,411
92 East Rancho Dominguez CDP 15,135
93 East San Gabriel CDP 14,874
94 Hawaiian Gardens City 14,254
95 Palos Verdes Estates City 13,438
96 San Marino City 13,147
97 Commerce City 12,823
98 Malibu City 12,645
99 Lake Los Angeles CDP 12,328
100 Sun Village CDP 11,565
101 View Park-Windsor Hills CDP 11,075
102 Signal Hill City 11,016
103 Sierra Madre City 10,917
104 Quartz Hill CDP 10,912
105 Citrus CDP 10,866
106 Del Aire CDP 10,001
107 East Whittier (formerly East La Mirada until 2012) CDP 9,757
108 Charter Oak CDP 9,310
109 Marina del Rey CDP 8,866
110 West Athens CDP 8,729
111 Alondra Park CDP 8,592
112 Topanga CDP 8,289
113 Westlake Village City 8,270
114 South San Gabriel CDP 8,070
115 Rolling Hills Estates City 8,067
116 Acton CDP 7,596
117 South Monrovia Island CDP 6,777
118 Ladera Heights CDP 6,498
119 East Pasadena CDP 6,144
120 West Rancho Dominguez CDP 5,669
121 Mayflower Village CDP 5,515
122 La Habra Heights City 5,325
123 Avalon City 3,728
124 North El Monte CDP 3,723
125 Agua Dulce CDP 3,342
126 Rose Hills CDP 2,803
127 Val Verde CDP 2,468
128 Desert View Highlands CDP 2,360
129 San Pasqual CDP 2,041
130 Rolling Hills City 1,860
131 Hidden Hills City 1,856
132 Elizabeth Lake CDP 1,756
133 Leona Valley CDP 1,607
134 Irwindale City 1,422
135 Littlerock CDP 1,377
136 Hasley Canyon CDP 1,137
137 Bradbury City 1,048
138 Santa Susana (mostly in Ventura County) CDP 1,037
139 Green Valley CDP 1,027
140 Lake Hughes CDP 649
141 Industry City 219
142 Vernon City 112

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