Los Angeles

Coordinates: 34°03′N 118°15′W / 34.050°N 118.250°W / 34.050; -118.250
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Los Angeles
Calle Olvera
PDT)
ZIP Codes
List
  • 90001–90084, 90086–90089, 90091, 90093–90097, 90099, 90101–90103, 90174, 90185, 90189, 90291–90293, 91040–91043, 91303–91308, 91311, 91316, 91324–91328, 91330, 91331, 91335, 91340, 91342–91349, 91352–91353, 91356–91357, 91364–91367, 91401–91499, 91504–91505, 91601–91609[15]
Area codes213, 323, 310, 424, 818, 747, 626
FIPS code06-44000
GNIS feature IDs1662328, 2410877
Websitelacity.gov

Los Angeles,

metropolitan area of 13.2 million people. Greater Los Angeles
, which includes the Los Angeles and Riverside–San Bernardino metropolitan areas, is a sprawling metropolis of over 18 million residents.

The majority of the city proper lies in a basin in Southern California adjacent to the Pacific Ocean in the west and extending partly through the Santa Monica Mountains and north into the San Fernando Valley, with the city bordering the San Gabriel Valley to its east. It covers about 469 square miles (1,210 km2),[6] and is the county seat of Los Angeles County, which is the most populous county in the United States with an estimated 9.86 million residents as of 2022.[16] It is the fourth-most visited city in the U.S. with over 2.7 million visitors as of 2022.[17]

The area that became Los Angeles was originally inhabited by the indigenous Tongva people and later claimed by Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo for Spain in 1542. The city was founded on September 4, 1781, under Spanish governor Felipe de Neve, on the village of Yaanga.[18] It became a part of Mexico in 1821 following the Mexican War of Independence. In 1848, at the end of the Mexican–American War, Los Angeles and the rest of California were purchased as part of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo and became part of the United States. Los Angeles was incorporated as a municipality on April 4, 1850, five months before California achieved statehood. The discovery of oil in the 1890s brought rapid growth to the city.[19] The city was further expanded with the completion of the Los Angeles Aqueduct in 1913, which delivers water from Eastern California.

Los Angeles has a diverse economy with a broad range of industries. Los Angeles is best known as the home of the

Summer Olympics in 1932 and 1984, and will also host in 2028. Despite a business exodus from Downtown Los Angeles since the COVID-19 pandemic, the city's urban core is evolving as a cultural center with the world's largest showcase of architecture designed by Frank Gehry.[24]

Toponymy

On September 4, 1781, a group of 44 settlers known as "

Guinness Book of World Records rendered it as "El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles de Porciúncula";[26] other sources have shortened or alternate versions of the longer name.[27]

The local English pronunciation of the name of the city has varied over time. A 1953 article in the

respelling under its masthead for several years.[32] This did not find favor.[33]

Since the 1930s, /lɔːs ˈænələs/ has been most common.[34] In 1934, the United States Board on Geographic Names decreed that this pronunciation be used by the federal government.[32] This was also endorsed in 1952 by a "jury" appointed by Mayor Fletcher Bowron to devise an official pronunciation.[28][32]

Common pronunciations in the United Kingdom include /lɒs ˈænɪlz, -lɪz, -lɪs/ loss AN-jil-eez, -⁠iz, -⁠iss.[35] Phonetician Jack Windsor Lewis described the most common one, /lɒs ˈænɪlz/ , as a spelling pronunciation based on analogy to Greek words ending in -‍es, "reflecting a time when the classics were familiar if Spanish was not".[36]

History

Indigenous history

Yaanga, a prominent Tongva village, stood in the area before the Spanish founded Los Angeles.

The settlement of Indigenous Californians in the modern Los Angeles Basin and the San Fernando Valley was dominated by the Tongva (now also known as the Gabrieleño since the era of Spanish colonization). The historic center of Tongva power in the region was the settlement of Yaanga (Tongva: Iyáangẚ), meaning "place of the poison oak", which would one day be the site where the Spanish founded the Pueblo de Los Ángeles. Iyáangẚ has also been translated as "the valley of smoke".[37][38][39][40][18]

Spanish rule

Maritime explorer

Franciscan missionary Juan Crespí reached the present site of Los Angeles on August 2, 1769.[42]

The Spanish founded Mission San Fernando Rey de España in 1797.

In 1771, Franciscan

Roman Catholic archdiocese in the United States. Two-thirds of the Mexican or (New Spain) settlers were mestizo or mulatto, a mixture of African, indigenous and European ancestry.[44] The settlement remained a small ranch town for decades, but by 1820, the population had increased to about 650 residents.[45] Today, the pueblo is commemorated in the historic district of Los Angeles Pueblo Plaza and Olvera Street, the oldest part of Los Angeles.[46]

Mexican rule

Californio statesman Pío Pico, who served as the last Mexican governor of California
, played an influential role in the development of Los Angeles in the late Mexican and early American eras.

New Spain achieved its independence from the Spanish Empire in 1821, and the pueblo now existed within the new Mexican Republic. During Mexican rule, Governor Pío Pico made Los Angeles the regional capital of Alta California.[47] By this time, the new republic introduced more secularization acts within the Los Angeles region.[48] In 1846, during the wider Mexican-American war, marines from the United States occupied the pueblo. This resulted in the siege of Los Angeles where 150 Mexican militias fought the occupiers which eventually surrendered.[49]

Mexican rule ended during following the American

Mexican-American War. Americans took control from the Californios after a series of battles, culminating with the signing of the Treaty of Cahuenga on January 13, 1847.[50] The Mexican Cession was formalized in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo
in 1848, which ceded Los Angeles and the rest of Alta California to the United States.

Post-Conquest era

The Treaty of Cahuenga, signed in 1847 by Californio Andrés Pico and American John C. Frémont, ended the U.S. Conquest of California.

Southern Pacific line from New Orleans to Los Angeles in 1876 and the Santa Fe Railroad in 1885.[51] Petroleum was discovered in the city and surrounding area in 1892, and by 1923, the discoveries had helped California become the country's largest oil producer, accounting for about one-quarter of the world's petroleum output.[52]

By 1900, the population had grown to more than 102,000,[53] putting pressure on the city's water supply.[54] The completion of the Los Angeles Aqueduct in 1913, under the supervision of William Mulholland, ensured the continued growth of the city.[55] Because of clauses in the city's charter that prevented the City of Los Angeles from selling or providing water from the aqueduct to any area outside its borders, many adjacent cities and communities felt compelled to join Los Angeles.[56][57][58]

In the early 20th century, Hollywood studios, like Paramount Pictures, helped transform Hollywood into the world capital of film and helped solidify LA as a global economic hub.

Los Angeles created the first municipal

tanneries. Los Angeles City Council also designated seven industrial zones within the city. However, between 1908 and 1915, the Los Angeles City Council created various exceptions to the broad proscriptions that applied to these three residential zones, and as a consequence, some industrial uses emerged within them. There are two differences between the 1908 Residence District Ordinance and later zoning laws in the United States. First, the 1908 laws did not establish a comprehensive zoning map as the 1916 New York City Zoning Ordinance did. Second, the residential zones did not distinguish types of housing; they treated apartments, hotels, and detached-single-family housing equally.[59]

In 1910, Hollywood merged into Los Angeles, with 10 movie companies already operating in the city at the time. By 1921, more than 80 percent of the world's film industry was concentrated in L.A.[60] The money generated by the industry kept the city insulated from much of the economic loss suffered by the rest of the country during the Great Depression.[61] By 1930, the population surpassed one million.[62] In 1932, the city hosted the Summer Olympics.

Post-WWII

shipyards
in the country.

During

Victory Ships on Terminal Island, and the Los Angeles area was the headquarters of six of the country's major aircraft manufacturers (Douglas Aircraft Company, Hughes Aircraft, Lockheed, North American Aviation, Northrop Corporation, and Vultee). During the war, more aircraft were produced in one year than in all the pre-war years since the Wright brothers flew the first airplane in 1903, combined. Manufacturing in Los Angeles skyrocketed, and as William S. Knudsen, of the National Defense Advisory Commission put it, "We won because we smothered the enemy in an avalanche of production, the like of which he had never seen, nor dreamed possible."[63]

After the end of World War II Los Angeles grew more rapidly than ever, sprawling into the San Fernando Valley.[64] The expansion of the state owned Interstate Highway System during the 1950s and 1960s helped propel suburban growth and signaled the demise of the city's privately owned electrified rail system, once the world's largest.
As a consequence of World War II, suburban growth, and population density, many amusement parks were built and operated in this area.[65] An example is Beverly Park, which was located at the corner of Beverly Boulevard and La Cienega before being closed and substituted by the Beverly Center.[66]

In the second half of the 20th century, Los Angeles substantially reduced the amount of housing that could be built by drastically downzoning the city. In 1960, the city had a total zoned capacity for approximately 10 million people. By 1990, that capacity had fallen to 4.5 million as a result of policy decisions to ban housing through zoning.[67]

Racial tensions led to the Watts riots in 1965, resulting in 34 deaths and over 1,000 injuries.[68]

Opening ceremony of the 1984 Summer Olympics at the LA Coliseum

In 1969, California became the birthplace of the Internet, as the first

Stanford Research Institute in Menlo Park.[69]

In 1973,

Hillside Stranglers murder cases in 1977–1978.[70]

In early 1984, the city surpassed Chicago in population, thus becoming the second largest city in the United States.

In 1984, the city hosted the Summer Olympic Games for the second time. Despite being boycotted by 14 Communist countries, the 1984 Olympics became more financially successful than any previous,[71] and the second Olympics to turn a profit; the other, according to an analysis of contemporary newspaper reports, was the 1932 Summer Olympics, also held in Los Angeles.[72]

Wilshire Grand Center, built in 2017, is the tallest building in California and in the Western United States.

Racial tensions erupted on April 29, 1992, with the acquittal by a

large-scale riots.[73][74]

In 1994, the magnitude 6.7

Northridge earthquake shook the city, causing $12.5 billion in damage and 72 deaths.[75] The century ended with the Rampart scandal, one of the most extensive documented cases of police misconduct in American history.[76]

21st century

In 2002, Mayor James Hahn led the campaign against secession, resulting in voters defeating efforts by the San Fernando Valley and Hollywood to secede from the city.[77]

In 2022, Karen Bass became the city's first female mayor, making Los Angeles the largest U.S. city to have ever had a woman as mayor.[78]

Los Angeles will host the 2028 Summer Olympics and Paralympic Games, making Los Angeles the third city to host the Olympics three times.[79][80]

Geography

Topography

Satellite view of Los Angeles

The city of Los Angeles covers a total area of 502.7 square miles (1,302 km2), comprising 468.7 square miles (1,214 km2) of land and 34.0 square miles (88 km2) of water.[81] The city extends for 44 miles (71 km) from north to south and for 29 miles (47 km) from east to west. The perimeter of the city is 342 miles (550 km).

Los Angeles is both flat and hilly. The highest point in the city proper is

Boyle Heights, the Crenshaw district around the Baldwin Hills, and the San Pedro
district.

Surrounding the city are much higher mountains. Immediately to the north lie the San Gabriel Mountains, which is a popular recreation area for Angelenos. Its high point is Mount San Antonio, locally known as Mount Baldy, which reaches 10,064 feet (3,068 m). Further afield, the highest point in southern California is San Gorgonio Mountain, 81 miles (130 km) east of downtown Los Angeles,[84] with a height of 11,503 feet (3,506 m).

The

drainage channel. It was straightened and lined in 51 miles (82 km) of concrete by the Army Corps of Engineers to act as a flood control channel.[85] The river begins in the Canoga Park district of the city, flows east from the San Fernando Valley along the north edge of the Santa Monica Mountains, and turns south through the city center, flowing to its mouth in the Port of Long Beach at the Pacific Ocean. The smaller Ballona Creek flows into the Santa Monica Bay at Playa del Rey
.

Vegetation

Playa del Rey

Los Angeles is rich in native plant species partly because of its diversity of habitats, including beaches,

Date Palms, and California Fan Palms
are common in the Los Angeles area, although only the last is native to California, though still not native to the City of Los Angeles.

Los Angeles has a number of official flora:

Geology

Mount Lukens, in the San Gabriel Mountains, is the highest point in LA.

Los Angeles is subject to earthquakes because of its location on the

UCERF California earthquake forecast, which models earthquake occurrence in California. Parts of the city are also vulnerable to tsunamis; harbor areas were damaged by waves from Aleutian Islands earthquake in 1946, Valdivia earthquake in 1960, Alaska earthquake in 1964, Chile earthquake in 2010 and Japan earthquake in 2011.[93]

Cityscape

The skyline of Downtown Los Angeles

The city is divided into many different districts and neighborhoods,[94][95] some of which were incorporated cities that have merged with Los Angeles.[96] These neighborhoods were developed piecemeal, and are well-defined enough that the city has signage which marks nearly all of them.[97]

Overview

View of the Downtown Los Angeles skyline from Griffith Park

The city's street patterns generally follow a grid plan, with uniform block lengths and occasional roads that cut across blocks. However, this is complicated by rugged terrain, which has necessitated having different grids for each of the valleys that Los Angeles covers. Major streets are designed to move large volumes of traffic through many parts of the city, many of which are extremely long; Sepulveda Boulevard is 43 miles (69 km) long, while Foothill Boulevard is over 60 miles (97 km) long, reaching as far east as San Bernardino. Drivers in Los Angeles suffer from one of the worst rush hour periods in the world, according to an annual traffic index by navigation system maker, TomTom. LA drivers spend an additional 92 hours in traffic each year. During the peak rush hour, there is 80% congestion, according to the index.[98]

Los Angeles is often characterized by the presence of

Warner Center, Century City, Koreatown, Miracle Mile, Hollywood, and Westwood, skyscrapers and high-rise buildings are not common in Los Angeles. The few skyscrapers built outside of those areas often stand out above the rest of the surrounding landscape. Most construction is done in separate units, rather than wall-to-wall. However, Downtown Los Angeles itself has many buildings over 30 stories, with fourteen over 50 stories, and two over 70 stories, the tallest of which is the Wilshire Grand Center. Also Los Angeles is increasingly becoming a city of apartments rather than single-family dwellings, especially in the dense inner city and Westside neighborhoods.[citation needed
]

Climate

Los Angeles (Downtown)
Climate chart (explanation)
J
F
M
A
M
J
J
A
S
O
N
D
 
 
3.3
 
 
68
49
 
 
3.6
 
 
68
50
 
 
2.2
 
 
70
52
 
 
0.7
 
 
72
55
 
 
0.3
 
 
74
58
 
 
0.1
 
 
77
61
 
 
0
 
 
82
65
 
 
0
 
 
84
65
 
 
0.1
 
 
83
64
 
 
0.6
 
 
79
60
 
 
0.8
 
 
73
53
 
 
2.5
 
 
67
48
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation totals in inches
Source: NOAA[99]
Metric conversion
J
F
M
A
M
J
J
A
S
O
N
D
 
 
84
 
 
20
9
 
 
92
 
 
20
10
 
 
57
 
 
21
11
 
 
18
 
 
22
13
 
 
8.1
 
 
23
15
 
 
2.3
 
 
25
16
 
 
0.5
 
 
28
18
 
 
0
 
 
29
19
 
 
3.3
 
 
28
18
 
 
15
 
 
26
16
 
 
20
 
 
23
12
 
 
63
 
 
20
9
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm

Los Angeles has a two-season semi-arid climate (Köppen: BSh) with dry summers and very mild winters, but it receives more annual precipitation than most semi-arid climates, narrowly missing the boundary of a Mediterranean climate (Köppen: Csb on the coast, Csa otherwise).[100] Daytime temperatures are generally temperate all year round. In winter, they average around 68 °F (20 °C).[101] Autumn months tend to be hot, with major heat waves a common occurrence in September and October, while the spring months tend to be cooler and experience more precipitation. Los Angeles has plenty of sunshine throughout the year, with an average of only 35 days with measurable precipitation annually.[102]

Temperatures in the coastal basin exceed 90 °F (32 °C) on a dozen or so days in the year, from one day a month in April, May, June and November to three days a month in July, August, October and to five days in September.[102] Temperatures in the San Fernando and San Gabriel Valleys are considerably warmer. Temperatures are subject to substantial daily swings; in inland areas the difference between the average daily low and the average daily high is over 30 °F (17 °C).[103] The average annual temperature of the sea is 63 °F (17 °C), from 58 °F (14 °C) in January to 68 °F (20 °C) in August.[104] Hours of sunshine total more than 3,000 per year, from an average of 7 hours of sunshine per day in December to an average of 12 in July.[105]

Due to the mountainous terrain of the surrounding region, the Los Angeles area contains a large number of distinct microclimates, causing extreme variations in temperature in close physical proximity to each other. For example, the average July maximum temperature at the Santa Monica Pier is 70 °F (21 °C) whereas it is 95 °F (35 °C) in Canoga Park, 15 miles (24 km) away.[106] The city, like much of the Southern Californian coast, is subject to a late spring/early summer weather phenomenon called "June Gloom". This involves overcast or foggy skies in the morning that yield to sun by early afternoon.[107]

Lake Hollywood in the Santa Monica Mountains

More recently, statewide

La Niña episodes. A series of rainy days can bring floods to the lowlands and mudslides to the hills, especially after wildfires
have denuded the slopes.

Venice Beach on the South Coast of California

Both freezing temperatures and snowfall are extremely rare in the city basin and along the coast, with the last occurrence of a 32 °F (0 °C) reading at the downtown station being January 29, 1979;[103] freezing temperatures occur nearly every year in valley locations while the mountains within city limits typically receive snowfall every winter. The greatest snowfall recorded in downtown Los Angeles was 2.0 inches (5 cm) on January 15, 1932.[103][110] While the most recent snowfall occurred in February 2019, the first snowfall since 1962,[111][112] with snow falling in areas adjacent to Los Angeles as recently as January 2021.[113] Brief, localized instances of hail can occur on rare occasions, but are more common than snowfall. At the official downtown station, the highest recorded temperature is 113 °F (45 °C) on September 27, 2010,[103][114] while the lowest is 28 °F (−2 °C),[103] on January 4, 1949.[103] Within the City of Los Angeles, the highest temperature ever officially recorded is 121 °F (49 °C), on September 6, 2020, at the weather station at Pierce College in the San Fernando Valley neighborhood of Woodland Hills.[115] During autumn and winter, Santa Ana winds sometimes bring much warmer and drier conditions to Los Angeles, and raise wildfire risk.

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 95
(35)
95
(35)
99
(37)
106
(41)
103
(39)
112
(44)
109
(43)
106
(41)
113
(45)
108
(42)
100
(38)
92
(33)
113
(45)
Mean maximum °F (°C) 83.0
(28.3)
82.8
(28.2)
85.8
(29.9)
90.1
(32.3)
88.9
(31.6)
89.1
(31.7)
93.5
(34.2)
95.2
(35.1)
99.4
(37.4)
95.7
(35.4)
88.9
(31.6)
81.0
(27.2)
101.5
(38.6)
Mean daily maximum °F (°C) 68.0
(20.0)
68.0
(20.0)
69.9
(21.1)
72.4
(22.4)
73.7
(23.2)
77.2
(25.1)
82.0
(27.8)
84.0
(28.9)
83.0
(28.3)
78.6
(25.9)
72.9
(22.7)
67.4
(19.7)
74.8
(23.8)
Daily mean °F (°C) 58.4
(14.7)
59.0
(15.0)
61.1
(16.2)
63.6
(17.6)
65.9
(18.8)
69.3
(20.7)
73.3
(22.9)
74.7
(23.7)
73.6
(23.1)
69.3
(20.7)
63.0
(17.2)
57.8
(14.3)
65.8
(18.8)
Mean daily minimum °F (°C) 48.9
(9.4)
50.0
(10.0)
52.4
(11.3)
54.8
(12.7)
58.1
(14.5)
61.4
(16.3)
64.7
(18.2)
65.4
(18.6)
64.2
(17.9)
59.9
(15.5)
53.1
(11.7)
48.2
(9.0)
56.8
(13.8)
Mean minimum °F (°C) 41.4
(5.2)
42.9
(6.1)
45.4
(7.4)
48.9
(9.4)
53.5
(11.9)
57.4
(14.1)
61.1
(16.2)
61.7
(16.5)
59.1
(15.1)
53.7
(12.1)
45.4
(7.4)
40.5
(4.7)
39.2
(4.0)
Record low °F (°C) 28
(−2)
28
(−2)
31
(−1)
36
(2)
40
(4)
46
(8)
49
(9)
49
(9)
44
(7)
40
(4)
34
(1)
30
(−1)
28
(−2)
Average rainfall inches (mm) 3.29
(84)
3.64
(92)
2.23
(57)
0.69
(18)
0.32
(8.1)
0.09
(2.3)
0.02
(0.51)
0.00
(0.00)
0.13
(3.3)
0.58
(15)
0.78
(20)
2.48
(63)
14.25
(362)
Average rainy days (≥ 0.01 in) 6.1 6.3 5.1 2.8 1.9 0.5 0.4 0.1 0.4 2.2 2.8 5.5 34.1
Mean monthly sunshine hours 225.3 222.5 267.0 303.5 276.2 275.8 364.1 349.5 278.5 255.1 217.3 219.4 3,254.2
Percent possible sunshine 71 72 72 78 64 64 83 84 75 73 70 71 73
Average ultraviolet index 2.9 4.2 6.2 8.1 9.2 10.4 10.8 10.0 8.1 5.4 3.5 2.6 6.7
Source 1: NOAA (sun 1961–1977)[116][99][117][118]
Source 2: UV Index Today (1995 to 2022)[119]
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 91
(33)
92
(33)
95
(35)
102
(39)
97
(36)
104
(40)
97
(36)
98
(37)
110
(43)
106
(41)
101
(38)
94
(34)
110
(43)
Mean maximum °F (°C) 81.2
(27.3)
80.1
(26.7)
80.6
(27.0)
83.1
(28.4)
80.6
(27.0)
79.8
(26.6)
83.7
(28.7)
86.0
(30.0)
90.7
(32.6)
90.9
(32.7)
87.2
(30.7)
78.8
(26.0)
95.5
(35.3)
Mean daily maximum °F (°C) 66.3
(19.1)
65.6
(18.7)
66.1
(18.9)
68.1
(20.1)
69.5
(20.8)
72.0
(22.2)
75.1
(23.9)
76.7
(24.8)
76.5
(24.7)
74.4
(23.6)
70.9
(21.6)
66.1
(18.9)
70.6
(21.4)
Daily mean °F (°C) 57.9
(14.4)
57.9
(14.4)
59.1
(15.1)
61.1
(16.2)
63.6
(17.6)
66.4
(19.1)
69.6
(20.9)
70.7
(21.5)
70.1
(21.2)
67.1
(19.5)
62.3
(16.8)
57.6
(14.2)
63.6
(17.6)
Mean daily minimum °F (°C) 49.4
(9.7)
50.1
(10.1)
52.2
(11.2)
54.2
(12.3)
57.6
(14.2)
60.9
(16.1)
64.0
(17.8)
64.8
(18.2)
63.7
(17.6)
59.8
(15.4)
53.7
(12.1)
49.1
(9.5)
56.6
(13.7)
Mean minimum °F (°C) 41.8
(5.4)
42.9
(6.1)
45.3
(7.4)
48.0
(8.9)
52.7
(11.5)
56.7
(13.7)
60.2
(15.7)
61.0
(16.1)
58.7
(14.8)
53.2
(11.8)
46.1
(7.8)
41.1
(5.1)
39.4
(4.1)
Record low °F (°C) 27
(−3)
34
(1)
35
(2)
42
(6)
45
(7)
48
(9)
52
(11)
51
(11)
47
(8)
43
(6)
38
(3)
32
(0)
27
(−3)
Average rainfall inches (mm) 2.86
(73)
2.99
(76)
1.73
(44)
0.60
(15)
0.28
(7.1)
0.08
(2.0)
0.04
(1.0)
0.00
(0.00)
0.11
(2.8)
0.49
(12)
0.82
(21)
2.23
(57)
12.23
(311)
Average rainy days (≥ 0.01 in) 6.1 6.3 5.6 2.6 1.7 0.5 0.5 0.1 0.5 2.0 3.2 5.4 34.5
Average
relative humidity
(%)
63.4 67.9 70.5 71.0 74.0 75.9 76.6 76.6 74.2 70.5 65.5 62.9 70.8
Average dew point °F (°C) 41.4
(5.2)
44.4
(6.9)
46.6
(8.1)
49.1
(9.5)
52.7
(11.5)
56.5
(13.6)
60.1
(15.6)
61.2
(16.2)
59.2
(15.1)
54.1
(12.3)
46.8
(8.2)
41.4
(5.2)
51.1
(10.6)
Source: NOAA (relative humidity and dew point 1961–1990)[116][120][121][122]

Environmental issues

External audio
audio icon "Fighting Smog in Los Angeles", Distillations Podcast, 2018 Science History Institute

Owing to geography, heavy reliance on automobiles, and the Los Angeles/Long Beach port complex, Los Angeles suffers from air pollution in the form of smog. The Los Angeles Basin and the San Fernando Valley are susceptible to atmospheric inversion, which holds in the exhausts from road vehicles, airplanes, locomotives, shipping, manufacturing, and other sources.[123] The percentage of small particle pollution (the kind that penetrates into the lungs) coming from vehicles in the city can get as high as 55 percent.[citation needed]

Viewable smog in Los Angeles in December 2005

The smog season lasts from approximately May to October.

mass transit
, and other measures.

The number of Stage 1 smog alerts in Los Angeles has declined from over 100 per year in the 1970s to almost zero in the new millennium.[126] Despite improvement, the 2006 and 2007 annual reports of the American Lung Association ranked the city as the most polluted in the country with short-term particle pollution and year-round particle pollution.[127] In 2008, the city was ranked the second most polluted and again had the highest year-round particulate pollution.[128] The city met its goal of providing 20 percent of the city's power from renewable sources in 2010.[129] The American Lung Association's 2013 survey ranks the metro area as having the nation's worst smog, and fourth in both short-term and year-round pollution amounts.[130]

Los Angeles is also home to the nation's largest urban

oil field. There are more than 700 active oil wells within 1,500 feet (460 m) of homes, churches, schools and hospitals in the city, a situation about which the EPA has voiced serious concerns.[131]

The city has an urban

loci they do not demonstrate that this produces a real difference which helps the bobcats to survive future mange outbreaks.[132]

Demographics

Historical population
CensusPop.Note
18501,610
18604,385172.4%
18705,72830.6%
188011,18395.2%
189050,395350.6%
1900102,479103.4%
1910319,198211.5%
1920576,67380.7%
19301,238,048114.7%
19401,504,27721.5%
19501,970,35831.0%
19602,479,01525.8%
19702,811,80113.4%
19802,968,5285.6%
19903,485,39817.4%
20003,694,8206.0%
20103,792,6212.6%
20203,898,7472.8%
2023 (est.)3,820,914[133]−2.0%
United States Census Bureau[134]
2010–2020, 2021[7]

The 2010 U.S. census[135] reported Los Angeles had a population of 3,792,621.[136] The population density was 8,092.3 people per square mile (3,124.5 people/km2). The age distribution was 874,525 people (23.1%) under 18, 434,478 people (11.5%) from 18 to 24, 1,209,367 people (31.9%) from 25 to 44, 877,555 people (23.1%) from 45 to 64, and 396,696 people (10.5%) who were 65 or older.[136] The median age was 34.1 years. For every 100 females, there were 99.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.6 males.[136]

There were 1,413,995 housing units—up from 1,298,350 during 2005–2009[136]—at an average density of 2,812.8 households per square mile (1,086.0 households/km2), of which 503,863 (38.2%) were owner-occupied, and 814,305 (61.8%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 2.1%; the rental vacancy rate was 6.1%. 1,535,444 people (40.5% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 2,172,576 people (57.3%) lived in rental housing units.[136]

According to the 2010 United States Census, Los Angeles had a median household income of $49,497, with 22.0% of the population living below the federal poverty line.[136]

Race and ethnicity

Racial and ethnic composition 1940[137] 1970[137] 1990[137] 2010[138] 2020[138]
Hispanic or Latino (of any race) 7.1% 17.1% 39.9% 48.5% 46.9%
White (non-Hispanic) 86.3% 61.1% 37.3% 28.7% 28.9%
Asian (non-Hispanic)
2.2% 3.6% 9.8% 11.1% 11.7%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic)
4.2% 17.9% 14.0% 9.2% 8.3%
Other (non-Hispanic) N/A N/A 0.1% 0.3% 0.7%
Two or more races (non-Hispanic)
N/A N/A N/A 2.0% 3.3%

According to the 2010 census, the racial makeup of Los Angeles included: 1,888,158

two or more races.[136] There were 1,838,822 Hispanic or Latino residents of any race (48.5%). Los Angeles is home to people from more than 140 countries speaking 224 different identified languages.[139] Ethnic enclaves like Chinatown, Historic Filipinotown, Koreatown, Little Armenia, Little Ethiopia, Tehrangeles, Little Tokyo, Little Bangladesh, and Thai Town provide examples of the polyglot
character of Los Angeles.

Percentage of households with incomes above $150k across Los Angeles County census tracts

Non-Hispanic Whites were 28.7% of the population in 2010,[136] compared to 86.3% in 1940.[137] The majority of the Non-Hispanic White population is living in areas along the Pacific coast as well as in neighborhoods near and on the Santa Monica Mountains from the Pacific Palisades to Los Feliz
.

East Los Angeles, Northeast Los Angeles and Westlake. Furthermore, a vast majority of residents in neighborhoods in eastern South Los Angeles towards Downey are of Hispanic origin.[citation needed
]

Map of racial and ethnic distribution in Los Angeles as of the 2010 U.S. Census. Each dot is 25 people:  White  Black  Asian  Hispanic  Other

The largest Asian ethnic groups are

Armenians, Assyrians, and Iranians, many of whom live in enclaves like Little Armenia and Tehrangeles.[citation needed
]

African Americans have been the predominant ethnic group in

Mid-City and Mid-Wilshire have a moderate concentration of African Americans as well.[citation needed] There is a sizeable Eritrean and Ethiopian community in the Fairfax region.[143]

Los Angeles has the second-largest Mexican, Armenian, Salvadoran, Filipino, and Guatemalan populations by city in the world, the third-largest Canadian population in the world, and has the largest Japanese, Iranian/Persian, Cambodian, and Romani (Gypsy) populations in the country.[144] The Italian community is concentrated in San Pedro.[145]

Most of Los Angeles' foreign-born population were born in Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, the Philippines and South Korea.[146]

Religion

Religious affiliation (2014)[147][148]
Christian
65%
Catholic
32%
Protestant
30%
Other Christian
3%
Unaffiliated
25%
Jewish
3%
Muslim
2%
Buddhist
2%
Hindu
1%
Other faiths
1%

According to a 2014 study by the Pew Research Center, Christianity is the most prevalently practiced religion in Los Angeles (65%).[147][148] The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles is the largest archdiocese in the country.[149] Cardinal Roger Mahony, as the archbishop, oversaw construction of the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, which opened in September 2002 in Downtown Los Angeles.[150]

In 2011, the once common, but ultimately lapsed, custom of conducting a procession and Mass in honor of Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles, in commemoration of the founding of the City of Los Angeles in 1781, was revived by the Queen of Angels Foundation and its founder Mark Albert, with the support of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles as well as several civic leaders.[151] The recently revived custom is a continuation of the original processions and Masses that commenced on the first anniversary of the founding of Los Angeles in 1782 and continued for nearly a century thereafter.

Archdiocese of Los Angeles

With 621,000

Pico-Robertson, and Valley Village, while Jewish Israelis are well represented in the Encino and Tarzana neighborhoods, and Persian Jews in Beverly Hills. Many varieties of Judaism are represented in the greater Los Angeles area, including Reform, Conservative, Orthodox, and Reconstructionist. The Breed Street Shul in East Los Angeles, built in 1923, was the largest synagogue west of Chicago in its early decades; it is no longer in daily use as a synagogue and is being converted to a museum and community center.[153][154] The Kabbalah Centre also has a presence in the city.[155]

The

International Church of the Foursquare Gospel was founded in Los Angeles by Aimee Semple McPherson in 1923 and remains headquartered there to this day. For many years, the church convened at Angelus Temple, which, at its construction, was one of the largest churches in the country.[156]

Wilshire Boulevard Temple is one of the largest synagogues in LA.

Los Angeles has had a rich and influential Protestant tradition. The first Protestant service in Los Angeles was a Methodist meeting held in a private home in 1850 and the oldest Protestant church still operating,

, and First Congregational Church.

Second Church of Christ, Scientist

The Los Angeles California Temple, the second-largest temple operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is on Santa Monica Boulevard in the Westwood neighborhood of Los Angeles. Dedicated in 1956, it was the first temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints built in California and it was the largest in the world when completed.[159]

The Hollywood region of Los Angeles also has several significant headquarters, churches, and the

Celebrity Center of Scientology.[160][161]

Because of Los Angeles's large multi-ethnic population, a wide variety of faiths are practiced, including

joss house was founded in the city in 1875.[157] Atheism and other secular beliefs are also common, as the city is the largest in the Western U.S. Unchurched Belt
.

Homelessness

Homeless tents outside Los Angeles City Hall, 2021

As of January 2020, there are 41,290 homeless people in the City of Los Angeles, comprising roughly 62% of the homeless population of LA County.[162] This is an increase of 14.2% over the previous year (with a 12.7% increase in the overall homeless population of LA County).[163][164] The epicenter of homelessness in Los Angeles is the Skid Row neighborhood, which contains 8,000 homeless people, one of the largest stable populations of homeless people in the United States.[165][166] The increased homeless population in Los Angeles has been attributed to lack of housing affordability[167] and to substance abuse.[168] Almost 60 percent of the 82,955 people who became newly homeless in 2019 said their homelessness was because of economic hardship.[163] In Los Angeles, black people are roughly four times more likely to experience homelessness.[163][169]

Economy

Employment by industry in Los Angeles County in 2015

The economy of Los Angeles is driven by international trade, entertainment (television, motion pictures, video games, music recording, and production), aerospace, technology, petroleum, fashion, apparel, and tourism.[

Washington, D.C.[170] Although a business exodus has occurred away from Downtown Los Angeles since the COVID-19 pandemic, efforts are underway to re-invent the city's urban core as a cultural center with the world's largest showcase of architecture designed by Frank Gehry.[24]

Of the five

major film studios, only Paramount Pictures is within Los Angeles' city limits;[171] it is located in the so-called Thirty-Mile Zone
of entertainment headquarters in Southern California.

Los Angeles is the largest manufacturing center in the United States.[citation needed] The contiguous ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach together comprise the busiest port in the United States by some measures and the fifth busiest port in the world, vital to trade within the Pacific Rim.[citation needed]

The combined Port of Los Angeles-Port of Long Beach is the fifth-busiest port in the world.

The

Los Angeles metropolitan area has a gross metropolitan product of over $1.0 trillion (as of 2018),[23] making it the third-largest economic metropolitan area in the world, after New York and Tokyo.[23] Los Angeles has been classified an "alpha world city" according to a 2012 study by a group at Loughborough University.[172]

The Department of Cannabis Regulation enforces cannabis legislation after the legalization of the sale and distribution of cannabis in 2016.[173] As of October 2019, more than 300 existing cannabis businesses (both retailers and their suppliers) have been granted approval to operate in what is considered the nation's largest market.[174][175]

As of 2018, Los Angeles is home to three

.

Downtown Los Angeles is the central business district of the city.
Largest non-government employers in Los Angeles County, June 2022[178]
Rank Employer Employees
1 Kaiser Permanente 40,303
2 University of Southern California 22,735
3 Northrop Grumman Corp. 18,000
4 Cedars-Sinai Medical Center 16,659
5 Target Corp. 15,888
6 Allied Universal 15,326
7 Providence Health and Services Southern California 14,935
8 Ralphs/Food 4 Less (Kroger Co. Division) 14,000
9 Walmart 14,000
10 Walt Disney Co. 12,200

Arts and culture

The city's historic center at Plaza de Los Ángeles near Calle Olvera

Los Angeles is often billed as the creative capital of the world because one in every six of its residents works in a creative industry[179] and there are more artists, writers, filmmakers, actors, dancers and musicians living and working in Los Angeles than any other city at any other time in world history.[180] The city is also known for its prolific murals.[181]

Landmarks

Spanish Revival style National Historic Landmark

The

Mid-Century Modern
style, among others.

Important landmarks in Los Angeles include the

Movies and the performing arts

Grauman's Chinese Theatre on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

The performing arts play a major role in Los Angeles's cultural identity. According to the USC Stevens Institute for Innovation, "there are more than 1,100 annual theatrical productions and 21 openings every week."[180] The Los Angeles Music Center is "one of the three largest performing arts centers in the nation", with more than 1.3 million visitors per year.[196] The Walt Disney Concert Hall, centerpiece of the Music Center, is home to the prestigious Los Angeles Philharmonic.[197] Notable organizations such as Center Theatre Group, the Los Angeles Master Chorale, and the Los Angeles Opera are also resident companies of the Music Center.[198][199][200] Talent is locally cultivated at premier institutions such as the Colburn School and the USC Thornton School of Music.

Hollywood Bowl in Hollywood Hills

The city's

television industry.[201] The city is home to major film studios as well as major record labels. Los Angeles plays host to the annual Academy Awards, the Primetime Emmy Awards, the Grammy Awards as well as many other entertainment industry awards shows. Los Angeles is the site of the USC School of Cinematic Arts which is the oldest film school in the United States.[202]

Museums and galleries

The Getty Villa is one of the two campuses of the J. Paul Getty Museum, alongside the Getty Center.

There are 841 museums and art galleries in

Gallery Row, and tens of thousands attend the monthly Downtown Art Walk there.[212]

Libraries

Los Angeles Central Library

The

County of Los Angeles Public Library, many of which are within walking distance to residents.[214]

Cuisine

Los Angeles' food culture is a fusion of global cuisine brought on by the city's rich immigrant history and population. As of 2022, the Michelin Guide recognized 10 restaurants granting 2 restaurants two stars and eight restaurants one star.[215]

Latin American immigrants, particularly

cafés. Asian restaurants, many immigrant-owned, exist throughout the city with hotspots in Chinatown,[216] Koreatown,[217] and Little Tokyo.[218]
Los Angeles also carries an outsized offering of vegan, vegetarian, and plant-based options.

Sports

Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum

Los Angeles and its metropolitan area are the home of eleven top-level professional sports teams, several of which play in neighboring communities but use Los Angeles in their name. These teams include the

Other notable sports teams include the UCLA Bruins and the USC Trojans in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), both of which are Division I teams in the Pac-12 Conference, but will soon be moving to the Big Ten Conference.[230]

Dodger Stadium, home of the LA Dodgers of Major League Baseball

Los Angeles is the second-largest city in the United States but

San Diego Chargers announced on January 12, 2017, that they would also relocate back to Los Angeles (the first since its inaugural season in 1960) and become the Los Angeles Chargers beginning in the 2017 NFL season and played at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California for three seasons.[234] The Rams and the Chargers would soon move to the newly built SoFi Stadium, located in nearby Inglewood during the 2020 season.[235]

Crypto.com Arena, home to the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Kings, and Los Angeles Sparks

Los Angeles boasts a number of sports venues, including

The Forum, SoFi Stadium, Dignity Health Sports Park, the Rose Bowl, Angel Stadium, and the Honda Center are also in adjacent cities and cities in Los Angeles's metropolitan area.[240]

Los Angeles has twice hosted the Summer Olympic Games: in 1932 and in 1984, and will host the games for a third time in 2028.[241] Los Angeles will be the third city after London (1908, 1948 and 2012) and Paris (1900, 1924 and 2024) to host the Olympic Games three times. When the tenth Olympic Games were hosted in 1932, the former 10th Street was renamed Olympic Blvd. Los Angeles also hosted the Deaflympics in 1985[242] and Special Olympics World Summer Games in 2015.[243]

BMO Stadium, home of Los Angeles FC of Major League Soccer

Eight

Rose Bowl
, which happens every New Year's Day.

Los Angeles also hosted eight

final, where the United States won against China on penalty kicks. This was the game where Brandi Chastain took her shirt off after she scored the tournament-winning penalty kick, creating an iconic image. Los Angeles will be one of eleven U.S. host cities for the 2026 FIFA World Cup with matches set to be held at SoFi Stadium.[245]

Los Angeles is one of six North American cities to have won championships in all five of its major leagues (MLB, NFL, NHL, NBA and MLS), having completed the feat with the Kings' 2012 Stanley Cup title.[246]

Government

Los Angeles City Hall, built in 1928, houses the Mayor of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles City Council.

Los Angeles is a

general law city. The current charter was adopted on June 8, 1999, and has been amended many times.[247] The elected government consists of the Los Angeles City Council and the mayor of Los Angeles, which operate under a mayor–council government, as well as the city attorney (not to be confused with the district attorney, a county office) and controller. The mayor is Karen Bass.[248] There are 15 city council districts
.

The city has many departments and appointed officers, including the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD),[249] the Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners,[250] the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD),[251] the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA),[252] the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT),[253] and the Los Angeles Public Library (LAPL).[254]

The charter of the City of Los Angeles ratified by voters in 1999 created a system of advisory neighborhood councils that would represent the diversity of stakeholders, defined as those who live, work or own property in the neighborhood. The neighborhood councils are relatively autonomous and spontaneous in that they identify their own boundaries, establish their own bylaws, and elect their own officers. There are about 90 neighborhood councils.

Residents of Los Angeles elect supervisors for the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th supervisorial districts.

Federal and state representation

In the California State Assembly, Los Angeles is split between fourteen districts.[255] In the California State Senate, the city is split between eight districts.[256] In the United States House of Representatives, it is split among nine congressional districts.[257]

Crime

The LAPD on May Day 2006 in front of the new Caltrans District 7 Headquarters

In 1992, the city of Los Angeles recorded 1,092 murders.[258] Los Angeles experienced a significant decline in crime in the 1990s and late 2000s and reached a 50-year low in 2009 with 314 homicides.[259][260] This is a rate of 7.85 per 100,000 population—a major decrease from 1980 when a homicide rate of 34.2 per 100,000 was reported.[261][262] This included 15 officer-involved shootings. One shooting led to the death of a SWAT team member, Randal Simmons, the first in LAPD's history.[263] Los Angeles in the year of 2013 totaled 251 murders, a decrease of 16 percent from the previous year. Police speculate the drop resulted from a number of factors, including young people spending more time online.[264] In 2021, murders rose to the highest level since 2008 and there were 348.[265]

In 2015, it was revealed that the LAPD had been under-reporting crime for eight years, making the crime rate in the city appear much lower than it really was.[266][267]

The Dragna crime family and Mickey Cohen dominated organized crime in the city during the Prohibition era[268] and reached its peak during the 1940s and 1950s with the "Battle of Sunset Strip" as part of the American Mafia, but has gradually declined since then with the rise of various black and Hispanic gangs in the late 1960s and early 1970s.[268]

According to the

Central American descents, all originated in Los Angeles. This has led to the city being referred to as the "Gang Capital of America".[270]

Education

Colleges and universities

University of California, Los Angeles
University of Southern California
California State University, Los Angeles
American Film Institute
Loyola Marymount University
Occidental College

There are three public universities within the city limits: California State University, Los Angeles (CSULA), California State University, Northridge (CSUN) and University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).[271]

Private colleges in the city include:

The community college system consists of nine campuses governed by the trustees of the Los Angeles Community College District:

There are numerous additional colleges and universities outside the city limits in the Greater Los Angeles area, including the Claremont Colleges consortium, which includes the most selective liberal arts colleges in the U.S., and the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), one of the top STEM-focused research institutions in the world.

Schools

Further reading

General

Architecture and urban theory

Race relations

LGBT

Environment

Social movements

Art and literature

External links