Greater Los Angeles AreaEdit

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia For the metropolitan area consisting of Los Angeles and Orange Counties, see Los Angeles metropolitan area.

Greater Los Angeles

Los Angeles-Long Beach-Riverside CSA

Metropolitan region

Los Angeles


Long Beach



Country United States
State California
Principal cities Los Angeles
- Long Beach
- Santa Ana
- Anaheim
- Irvine
- Burbank
- Glendale
- Huntington Beach
- Santa Clarita
- Lancaster
- Ventura
- Oxnard
- Thousand Oaks
- Riverside
- San Bernardino
- Ontario
•Metro 33,954 sq mi (87,490 km2)
Elevation 0 – 11,499 ft (0 – 3,505 m)
Population (2010)
Metropolitan region 17,877,006
•Density 526.5/sq mi (203.3/km2)
Ranked 2nd in the US
Time zone PST (UTC-8)
•Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
Area code(s) 213, 323310, 424, 442, 562,626, 657, 661, 714, 760, 805,818, 909, 949, 951

The Greater Los Angeles Area or the Southland is a term used for theCombined Statistical Area (a group of interacting metropolitan areas) sprawling over five counties in the southern part of California, namely Los Angeles, Orange,San Bernardino, Riverside, and Ventura counties. It has been one of the fastest growing regions in the United States for decades, first in Los Angeles County, then in Orange County, and currently in the Inland Empire area. As of 2005, the official estimate of the population of the Los Angeles metropolitan area is more than 12.9 million, while in 2009 the larger five-county region had a population of over 17.6 million. Either definition makes it the second-largest core-based statistical area in the country, behind the New York metropolitan area.[1]

The agglomeration of the urbanized Greater Los Angeles area surrounds the urban core of the county of Los Angeles, California. The urban term[clarification needed] is defined to refer to the more-or-less continuously urbanized area stretching from Ventura to the southern border of Orange County, and from the Pacific Ocean to the Inland Empire. The Greater Los Angeles area is generally taken to include the Los Angeles metropolitan area, the Inland Empire, and Ventura County – all part of the Census Bureau defined Combined Statistical Area. The term "Greater Los Angeles" does not include San Diego and Imperialcounties, whose urbanized areas are not geographically continuous with the urbanized area surrounding Los Angeles. Rather, San Diego is part of the San Diego–Tijuana urban area.

The United States Census Bureau has designated the five county region as theLos Angeles-Long Beach-Riverside, CA combined statistical area, with a January 1, 2009 population estimate of 17,786,419.[2] According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the Los Angeles metropolitan area has a total area of 4,850 square miles (12,561.442 km2), while the wider combined statistical area covers 33,954 square miles (87,940.456 km2), making it the largest metropolitan region in the United States by land area. However, more than half of this area lies in the sparsely populated eastern areas of Riverside and San Bernardino counties.


 [hide] *1 Geography


[4][5]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.===[edit]Urban form===

[6][7]Skyscrapers in Downtown Los Angeles

Los Angeles has a long-standing reputation for sprawl. The area is in fact sprawling, but according to the 2000 Census, the "Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana" Urbanized Area(but not counting the portions of the Inland Empire in the Greater Los Angeles area) had apopulation density of 7,068 inhabitants per square mile (2,729 /km2), covering 1,668 square miles (4,320 km2) of land area, making it the most densely-populated Urbanized Area (as defined by the United States Census Bureau) in the United States.[3] For comparison, the"New York–Newark" Urbanized Area as a whole had a population density of 5,309 per square mile (2,050 /km2), covering 3,353 square miles (8,684 km2) of land area.

Los Angeles' sprawl may originate in the region's 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 7,500 people per square mile) when compared to some other large American cities such as New York City (27,500), San Francisco (17,000), and Chicago (11,800).[4] However, what gives the entire Los Angeles metro region a high density is the fact that many of the city's suburbs and satellites cities have high density rates.[5] 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 regarding earthquakes. 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.[6]

[8]A flat land area in the greater Los Angeles area completely filled with houses, buildings, roads, and freeways

Suburban areas surround the city of Los Angeles on all sides. In fact, the city proper has just a few miles of its land actually bordering the Pacific Ocean; some smaller geographically-sized suburbs and satellite cities tend to have large portions of their territory bordering the ocean. 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. Much of the working class whites migrated to this area during the 1960s and 1970s out of East and Central Los Angeles.[7] 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 fullfreeway 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.[8] 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.[9] Median home prices in the Conejo Valley for instance, now range from $700,000 to $2.2 million.[10]

The Los Angeles area continues to grow, principally on the periphery where new, cheaper, undeveloped areas are being sought.[11] 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.[12] 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.[13]

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


The term "Greater Los Angeles" can be used to denote the metropolitan area or the consolidated area. The term "Southland" is more nebulous and can refer to either. Additionally, the Southland is used more so in local media than by residents. 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.[14]

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. And 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.[15]Western Riverside County and San Bernardino County have become commuter regions characteristic of other suburban counties throughout the nation. Most residents in these counties commute to Los Angeles County and Orange County for employment.[16]


[10][11]Los Angeles Basin at dawn

Some areas are 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. Or, the San Fernando Valley: lying north-northwest of downtown ("The Valley") is a 15 miles (24 km) wide basin ringed by mountains.

Some other areas of Los Angeles include the Westside; South L.A. (formerly known as South Central L.A.); and the San Pedro/Harbor City area. Adjoining areas that are outside the actual city boundaries of the incorporated city of Los Angeles include the South Bay, theGateway Cities, the San Gabriel Valley and the Foothills. The San Pedro/Harbor City area was annexed by the city of Los Angeles so the city could have access to and control over the Port of Los Angeles. It is connected to the rest of L.A. only by a narrow corridor that generally follows the Harbor Freeway. Many Angelenos consider the Eastside to be the area east of the Los Angeles River, south of Glendale and Pasadena, and north of the Gateway Cities, including the area of unincorporated Los Angeles County that includes East Los Angeles.

City boundaries within Greater Los Angeles are quite complicated. For example, Beverly Hills and West Hollywood are completely surrounded by the City of Los Angeles with the exception of a small border shared between the two cities. Another example is Culver City completely surrounded by L.A. except for where it shares boundaries with the unincorporated communities of Ladera Heights andBaldwin Hills. Both Santa Monica and Marina del Rey are surrounded by L.A. as well, with regard to their ocean side. San Fernando in the northern corner of the San Fernando Valley is also an incorporated city entirely surrounded by L.A. territory.

Despite the large footprint of the City of L.A., 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 is that of which cannot be easily developed; geographic features such as the Santa Monica Mountains, San Gabriel Mountains ranges, and the Mojave Desert. Developed land in these regions is observed on the fringes of incorporated cities, some of which are fully developed.

[edit]Census statisticsEdit

[12][13]Southland map showing CSA, MSA's, and UA's===[edit]Combined Statistical Area===

The Los Angeles Combined Statistical Area includes cities in Los Angeles County and Orange County as well as cities in the western edge of the Inland Empire, such as Ontario and Riverside, and streching to Redlands; in addition to cities in Ventura County.

[edit]Metropolitan Statistical AreaEdit

Further information: Table of United States Metropolitan Statistical Areas

The Los Angeles metropolitan area comprises Los Angeles County (9,862,049), andOrange County (3,010,759). The metropolitan division to which Los Angeles County belongs to is known as the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, CA Metropolitan Division, while Orange County belongs to the Santa Ana-Anaheim-Irvine, CA Metropolitan Division. The total population for the Los Angeles metropolitan area is 12,872,808.[17]

In addition to the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area, the following Metropolitan Statistical Areas are also included in the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Riverside, CA Combined Statistical Area (total pop. 17,786,419):[17] Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area (797,740), comprised solely ofVentura County and the Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area (4,115,871) made up of Riverside County, California (2,100,516) and San Bernardino County, California (2,015,355).

[edit]Los Angeles–Long Beach–Santa Ana MSAEdit

[14][15]View of the Los Angeles MSA CBD

[edit]Riverside–San Bernardino–Ontario MSAEdit

[16][17]View of the San Bernardino Valley

[edit]Oxnard–Thousand Oaks–Ventura MSAEdit

[18][19]View of the Ventura MSA coast*Oxnard (197,067)


Historical populations
Census 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 9,972,037 28.6%
1980 11,497,486 15.3%
1990 14,531,529 26.4%
2000 16,373,645 12.7%
2010 17,877,006 9.2%
historical data source:[18]

According to the 2000 census, there were 16,373,645 people residing in the Greater Los Angeles Area. The racial makeup of the area was 55.1% White (39.0% White Non-Hispanic), 10.4% Asian, 0.3% Pacific Islander, 7.6% African American, 0.9% Native American, 21.0% from other races, and 4.7% from two or more races. 40.3% of the population were Hispanic of any race. 31.0% of the population (5.068 million) was foreign born; of this, 62.1% came from Latin America, 28.9% from Asia, 6.0% from Europe, and 3.0% from other parts of the world. 20.2% of the population (3.31 million) was born in different states.

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.[citation needed] Citrus production was important to the region's development in the earlier part of the 20th century.[19]

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.[citation needed] 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.[20] But the article's flawed definition of Greater Los Angeles included San Diego, which is actually its ownmetropolitan area. A 1989 article in The New York Times predicted Greater Los Angeles would surpass Greater New York by 2010,[21]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.[22] Percentage growth, however, has been higher in Greater Los Angeles over the past few decades than in Greater New York.

[edit]Regions of the SouthlandEdit

[20][21]California Poppies in Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve

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:[23]

Regions in adjacent counties include:


Presidential Election Results
Year GOP DEM Others
2008 37.3% 2,099,609 60.8%


1.9% 107,147
2004 45.3% 2,490,150 53.4%


1.3% 69,649
2000 41.3% 2,003,114 54.6%


4.1% 198,750
1996 38.3% 1,661,209 51.3%


10.4% 449,706
1992 33.8% 1,657,151 45.0%


21.2% 1,038,448
1988 53.8%


45.0% 2,014,670 1.2% 54,441
1984 60.6%


38.3% 1,650,231 1.1% 48,225
1980 55.5%


35.0% 1,381,285 9.5% 374,993
1976 50.8%


46.7% 1,728,532 2.5% 93,554
1972 57.7%


38.7% 1,573,708 3.6% 146,653
1968 50.3%


43.0% 1,570,478 7.3% 247,280
1964 44.0% 1,578,837 55.9%


0.1% 2,488
1960 50.8%


48.9% 1,612,924 0.3% 10,524

Greater Los Angeles is a politically divided metropolitan area. During the 1970s and 1980s the region leaned toward the Republican Party. Los Angeles County, the most populous of the region, is a Democraticstronghold, although it voted twice for both Richard Nixon (1968, 1972) and Ronald Reagan (1980, 1984). Ventura County, Riverside County, andSan Bernardino County lean towards the Republican Party. Orange County is a Republican stronghold and has been carried by every Republican presidential candidate since 1940.[24]


The Greater Los Angeles Area has the third largest metropolitan economy in the world, behind Greater Tokyo Area and New York Metropolitan Area.[citation needed] A 2010 Greyhill Advisors study indicated that the Los Angeles metropolitan area had a gross metropolitan product of $736 billion.[25] Greater Los Angeles (including Inland Empire and Ventura county) had a $770.6 billion economy.[26]

Greater Los Angeles Area is the home of the US National headquarters of almost all Asian car manufacturers except Nissan and Subaru (Nissan moved to Tennessee); Toyota, Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Suzuki, Hyundai and Kia have set up their National headquarters here.[citation needed]


Promoted as the "Entertainment Capital of the World" Greater Los Angeles has a large tourist industry. Major attractions include:

[edit]Amusement & theme parksEdit

[22][23]Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland Park*Disneyland


[24][25]Laguna Beach coastline is popular for sunbathers*Malibu


[26][27]Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills*Americana at Brand

[edit]Motion picture studiosEdit

[28][29]Warner Brothers Studios in the San Fernando Valley*CBS Television City


[edit]Zoos and aquariumsEdit

[30][31]Los Angeles Zoo*Aquarium of the Pacific



See also: Los Angeles City Museums[32][33]The Getty Center sits on a hill overlooking Los Angeles*Autry National Center

[edit]Historical MissionsEdit


[edit]BEA economic areaEdit

The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) defines an even larger region known as an "economic area" (EA), which delineates the relevant regional market surrounding a metropolitan area. "BEA's economic areas define the relevant regional markets surrounding metropolitan or micropolitan statistical areas. They consist of one or more economic nodes – metropolitan or micropolitan statistical areas that serve as regional centers of economic activity – and the surrounding counties that are economically related to the nodes." The Los Angeles EA consists of the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Riverside CSA and includes the California counties of Imperial, Kern, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura, as well as La Paz County and Yuma County in Arizona.[29]

[edit]Major business districtsEdit

Greater Los Angeles supports large business districts throughout its urban area. The central business district is located at Downtown Los Angeles. Within the Los Angeles city limits are multiple districts, and other than Bunker Hill, these are Century City and businesses lining Wilshire Boulevard. Other major districts nearby Los Angeles include Downtown Long Beach, downtown Glendale, and downtown Burbank. In the southern reaches of Greater Los Angeles, major business districts include Newport Center, South Coast Metro, and the developing business district in Irvine. To the east major business districts include the respective centers of Downtown Riverside and Downtown San Bernardino.


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 ofLong Beach and Los Angeles, which are the two busiest in the United States, as well as Port Hueneme.[30] Additionally, the region is also served by the Metrorail and Metrolink communter 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 among one of the busiest in the world.[31]Other airports include LA/Ontario International Airport (ONT), John Wayne Airport (SNA), Bob Hope Airport (BUR), Long Beach Municipal Airport (LGB), and Palm Springs International Airport (PSP).


Further information: History of National Football League in Los Angeles

Team Sport League Venue
Los Angeles Dodgers Baseball Major League BaseballNational League Dodger Stadium
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Baseball Major League BaseballAmerican League Angel Stadium of Anaheim
Los Angeles Lakers Basketball National Basketball Association Staples Center
Los Angeles Clippers Basketball National Basketball Association Staples Center
Los Angeles Kings Ice hockey National Hockey League Staples Center
Anaheim Ducks Ice hockey National Hockey League Honda Center
Los Angeles Galaxy Soccer Major League Soccer The Home Depot Center
Chivas USA Soccer Major League Soccer The Home Depot Center
Los Angeles Sparks Basketball Women's National Basketball Association Staples Center

The Greater Los Angeles area also has three well-known horse racing facilities: Santa Anita Park, Los Alamitos Race Course andHollywood 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.

The Los Angeles area media market currently lacks a National Football League team. After the 1994 season, the Los Angeles Ramsmoved to St. Louis, Missouri and the Los Angeles Raiders returned to their original home of Oakland, California (both teams played each other in Anaheim during the 1994 season, with the Raiders winning). There are two competing plans to build a stadium which will become home to an NFL team in the future, one in the City of Industry and one in Downtown Los Angeles.[32] In 2009 the city council of the City of Industry approved[33] the construction of a stadium and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill with an evironmental exemption to support a stadium in that city.[34] In 2011 the Los Angeles City Council approved plans to build Farmers Field in Downtown Los Angeles.[35]

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.[36]

[edit]See alsoEdit

[34] Greater Los Angeles portal
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