Los Angeles (i/lɔːs ˈændʒələs/, /lɔːs ˈæŋɡələs/ or i/lɒs ˈændʒəliːz/, Spanish: Los Ángeles [los ˈaŋxeles] meaning The Angels), officially the City of Los Angeles, often known by its initials L.A., is the most populous city in the U.S. state of California and the second-most populous in the United States, after New York City, with a population at the 2010 United States Census of 3,792,621. It has a land area of 469 square miles (1,215 km2), and is located in Southern California.
The city is the focal point of the larger Los Angeles–Long Beach–Santa Ana metropolitan statistical area and Greater Los Angeles Area region, which contain 13 million and over 18 million people in Combined statistical area respectively as of 2010, making it one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world and the second-largest in the United States. Los Angeles is also the seat of Los Angeles County, the most populated and one of the most ethnically diverse counties in the United States, while the entire Los Angeles area itself has been recognized as the most diverse of the nation’s largest cities. The city’s inhabitants are referred to as Angelenos.
Los Angeles was founded on September 4, 1781, by Spanish governor Felipe de Neve. 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, thereby becoming part of the United States. Los Angeles was incorporated as a municipality on April 4, 1850, five months before California achieved statehood.
Nicknamed the City of Angels, Los Angeles is a global city, with strengths in business, international trade, entertainment, culture, media, fashion, science, sports, technology, education, medicine and research and has been ranked sixth in the Global Cities Index and 9th Global Economic Power Index. The city is home to renowned institutions covering a broad range of professional and cultural fields and is one of the most substantial economic engines within the United States. The Los Angeles combined statistical area (CSA) has a gross metropolitan product (GMP) of $831 billion (as of 2008), making it the third-largest in the world, after the Greater Tokyo and New York metropolitan areas. Los Angeles includes Hollywood and leads the world in the creation of television productions, video games, and recorded music; it is also one of the leaders in motion picture production. Additionally, Los Angeles hosted the Summer Olympic Games in 1932 and 1984.
Los Angeles spans a widely diverse geographic area. Primarily a desert basin, the area is surrounded by the San Gabriel Mountain range and divided by the Santa Monica Mountains. Los Angeles County has 75 miles of coastline and altitudes ranging from 9 feet below sea level at Wilmington to 10,080 feet above sea level atop Mt. San Antonio. Area Rivers include the Los Angeles, Rio Hondo, San Gabriel, and Santa Clara rivers.
Southern California’s climate has often been described as “perfect” and with good reason. Most days are sunny and warm, with gentle ocean breezes in the summer. The humidity is low with little rain. In fact, there are no unpleasant seasons in Los Angeles.
If the Los Angeles six-county area were a state, it would surpass all states in total population size with the exception of California and Texas. The County of Los Angeles alone would be the ninth most populated state, behind Michigan, with 9.9 million, and ahead of Georgia, with 9.8 million people. Los Angeles ranks as the second largest city in the nation.The diverse, multiethnic population of Los Angeles today distinguishes the city as the cultural hub of the Pacific Rim. In fact, Los Angeles is one of only two U.S. cities without a majority population. People from 140 countries, speaking approximately 86 different languages, currently call Los Angeles home.