Los Angeles Metropolitan Area
The Los Angeles Metropolitan Area comprises of the entire Southern part of California. Situated on the West Coast of the United States it is also known as the Southland. By population, the Los Angeles metropolitan area is currently the 18th largest metropolitan area in the world and the 2nd largest in the United States. Los Angeles is also the third-largest economic power center by GDP in the world, with an economy of more than one trillion dollars.
The US Office of Management and Budget defines the metropolitan area of Los Angeles as consisting of Los Angeles and Orange Counties. Based on the concept of the labor market and employment core areas, this designation is used by the United States Census Bureau and other government agencies. The area is known in government parlance as the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area, and has a total landmass of 33,955 square miles or 87,945 kilometers squared.
Most Populated Area
Los Angeles had a population of 9,819,000 in 2010, making it the most populated city in the US. Los Angeles County is known as the most populous county in the United States, with 10,163,507 people as of 2017. Orange County has the third-largest population with 3,190,400 people, according to the 2017 US Board of Census estimates. The Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim corridor had a population of 12,150,996 in 2010, making it the most highly populated metropolitan area in the Western United States.
The greater Los Angeles area also includes Ventura, Riverside and San Bernardino counties. In 2017 the greater Los Angeles Area had a combined estimated population of 18,788,800. This number included 854,223 people from Ventura County and the 4,580,670 from Riverside and San Bernardino Counties, California.
The Metropolitan area consists of several urbanized cores. The principal among them is the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim urbanized corridor. This corridor consists of the city of Los Angeles with a population of 3,990,456, followed by Long Beach with a population of 467,354 and Anaheim with a population of 352,005. These are followed by the fourth most populous city, Santa Ana, which has a population of 332,725. Irvine has a population of 282,572, and Santa Clarita was inhabited by 210,089 according to estimates by the 2018 United States Census Bureau.
Glendale, Huntington Beach, Garden Grove, Lancaster, Palmdale, Pomona, all have populations ranging from 201,361 to 152,361 people. Torrance, Pasadena, Fullerton, Orange, East Los Angeles, El Monte, Costa Mesa, Downey, Inglewood, West Covina, Norwalk, Burbank all have populations between 150,000 and 100,000.
The towns and urban areas that provide significant opportunities for employment include the following:
- Los Angeles
- Long Beach
- Santa Ana
- Costa Mesa
- Burbank, Carson
- Santa Monica
- Newport Beach
- Monterey Park
- Fountain Valley
Utilities and Infrastructure
Several power companies provide electricity to the region. The largest of these is Southern California Edison and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. These are followed by Burbank water and power, Glendale water and power, Pasadena water and power, and various other suppliers of utilities to the region.
The area only has one nuclear power plant called the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station, and the Los Angeles Department of water and power and Sothern California Edison are both supplied by this power plant.
Natural Gas is supplied by the California Gas Company and the City of Long Beach Gas Company. Orange County is provided a supply of gas by the San Diego Gas and Electric Company. The Los Angeles Metropolitan area is served by several cable companies such as Charter Communications and Cox Communications, while phone and internet services are provided by AT&T, Frontier Communication, and Charter Spectrum.
Los Angeles International Airport is the 2nd biggest airport in the United States and is the primary airport in the area. It is the fourth busiest airport in the world and handled 87,534,384 people in 2018. As well as being a primary gateway into and out of the United States, it also serves as a connection point to passengers coming and going from other airports.
Built on 3500 acres, Los Angles International Airport is abbreviated as LAX and is owned by the government of Los Angeles through the Los Angeles World Airports. It is the largest airport on the west coast and is designated as a hub by Alaska, American, Delta, and United Airlines.
Roads, Bridges and Transit Systems
Los Angeles Area has only one suspension bridge and one cable-stayed bridge. The area is served by an extensive network of interstate highways, US highways, and California State Highways. The Los Angeles County Metro provides a mass transit system to the city, operating four light rail and two subway lines. Heavy rail transportation is provided by Amtrak and Metrolink.
A Multicultural Melting Pot
According to the 2009 American Community Survey, the median age of people in the Los Angeles Metropolitan Area was 34.6 years.
Native American Population
According to surveys only 0.5 percent of the population identified as America- Indian/Alaskan or native to the Americas. Non-Hispanic Native Americans were 0.2 percent of that population. These comprised of 3872 people from the Cherokee, 1679 people from the Navajo, 1000 people from the Chippewa and only 965 people from the Sioux. Pacific Islanders such as Samoan, Native Hawaiian, Guamanian or Chamorro, Fijian, and Tongan made up about 0.1 or less than 0.1 percent of the population per each group.
Hispanic American Population
The Hispanic population makes up 44.8 percent of the people. This percentage was made up of 35.5 percent Mexicans with 4,570,776 people, Puerto Ricans at 0.4 percent of the community, and 48,780 people and Cubans with 0.4 percent of the people and 47,056 people. Other Hispanic groups such as Costa Rican, Columbian, and Salvadorian made up 1,0095,569 people at 8.5 percent of the population.
African American Population
Seven percent of the population identified as African American, numbering 895,931 thousand people. Out of these 864,737 or 6.7 percent identified as non-Hispanic black. 1.1 percent of the community or 26,134 people choose to be recognized as Sub-Saharan African.
Asian American Population
People with Asian ancestry made up a significant percentage comprising 13.9 percent of the population. This percentage includes 3.5 percent Filipino, 3.0 percent Chinese, 2.1 percent Korean, 2.0 percent Vietnamese, 1 percent Japanese, and 0.9 percent India. Other Asian groups made up 1.3 percent of the population, and these included Pakistanis, Cambodians, Taiwanese, Thai, and people of Laotian descent.
European American Population
56.6 percent of this population identified as White American. Out of these, 32.2 percent were non-Hispanic white, with Western European ancestry from primarily Germany at 6.9 percent, Ireland with 5.3 percent, England with 4.8 percent, Italy with 3.3 percent and France with 1.6 percent.
The Movie Capital of the United States
Hollywood and its surrounding localities are known as the Movie Capital of the United States. Hollywood was the cradle of the motion picture industry, and as well as historical significance, it still has considerable commercial importance in the movie industry. In fact, Hollywood is synonymous with the movie industry, being instantly recognized around the world as the home of moving pictures. The movie industry contributes to the economy and attracts tourism to the Los Angeles Metropolitan Area.
Established studios, entertainment, interactive and recoding companies include the following:
- 20th Century Fox
- Cartoon Network Studios
- CBS television
- Warner Brothers
- Sony Pictures
- Metro Interactive
- The Jim Henson Company
- Fox Sports Net
- The Walt Disney Company
International Shipping; The Port of Los Angeles and Long Beach
The Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach comprise the busiest seaports in the United States. They are also the fifth busiest ports in the world by a global estimate, with the Port of Los Angeles being the 8th busiest port worldwide by container volume. These ports are the hub of international trade on the Western Hemisphere and are essential to facilitating imports and exports across the Pacific Ocean. Top trading partners are China, Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, and South Korea.
The port of Los Angeles is made up of 7,500 acres of land and the waterfront area running 43 miles along the coastline. It is the busiest container port in the United States. The Port of Long Beach is second only to Los Angeles Port in the United States. It occupies 3,200 acres of land and 25 miles of coastline along the Pacific. It provides around 316,000 jobs to the inhabitants of Southern California and trades in about 100 billion dollars’ worth of goods per year.
The seaports contribute to the economy by providing jobs, generating taxes, and facilitating international trade. The ports also indirectly support manufacturing and retail in the Southern California Area.
Hub of Economic Activity
Los Angeles is home to four Fortune 500 companies, including Health Net, a company that provides healthcare, Reliance Steel and Aluminum, a metals distributor, AECOM, an engineering firm, and CB Richard Ellis, a real estate firm.
Many other companies, including American Apparel, City National Bank, Latham & Watkins, Capital Group, Tutor Perini, Guess, The Coffee Bean, and Tea Leaf and Korean Air’s US passenger, and cargo operations are located in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. All these companies and many more contribute to the local and national economy, provide employment opportunities, generate taxes and increase international trade.
3rd Largest Economic Center in the World
According to 2017 estimates, the Los Angeles Area has an economy worth around 1.044 trillion dollars. This amount is more than the combined economic output of many countries. After the New York-Newark-Bridgeport Area and the Greater Tokyo Area, the Southland Combined Statistical Area is known to be the third-largest center of economic output in the world.
The commercial and industrial production of the Southlands far exceeds inland counties that make up the area known as the Inland Empire. The rapidly increasing land values at the California coast are a cause for concern as they may impact further increases in gross domestic product and impede further economic expansion.
Entertainment, Tourist Attractions, and Culture
The area is known as the entertainment capital of the world primarily due to Hollywood’s supremacy in the entertainment sector around the world. Record and music labels, television shows, sporting events, amusement parks, and conventions also contribute to making the Los Angeles Metropolitan Area popular with tourists from around the world.
One of the prime tourist attractions that attract domestic as well as foreign tourism is the amusement and theme parks such as Adventure City, Disneyland, Six Flags Mountain, Disney’s California Adventure and Universal Studios Hollywood.
A variety of water parks provide water-based fun activities, including at Six Flags Hurricane Harbor, Raging Waters, Knott’s Soak City, the USA, and Wild Rivers.
California can boast plenty of sun-kissed beaches such as Capistrano Beach, Long Beach, Malibu Beach, Los Angeles Beach, Santa Monica Beach, Seal Beach and Newport beach. As well as sunbathers, surfers, swimmers, and enthusiasts of water sports also populate the California beaches.
Shopping malls in the Los Angeles Area include the South Coast Plaza, which is one of the biggest shopping malls by square footage in the country. It is also the most visited mall on the West Coast. Other popular malls and shopping areas include The Grove, Westfield Century City, Third Street Promenade, and Hollywood and Highland. Hollywood and Highland are located on the iconic Hollywood Boulevard. Hollywood Boulevard is itself a tourist attraction in its own right with its world-famous Walk of Fame. Other famous malls and shopping experiences can be found at The Americana outdoor mall, Westfield Topanga and the Village, Santa Monica Place, or the Glenfield Galleria.
Studios to Visit
Many people come specially to visit the studios found in the area. These include 20th Century Fox, Hollywood Center Studios, Charlie Chaplin Studios, Cartoon Network Studios, Nickelodeon Animation Studios, Old Warner Brothers Studio, Paramount Studio, Golden Oak Ranch, Universal Studios and Walk Disney Studios.
The Aquarium on the Pacific is a 5-acre aquarium at Long Beach. The aquarium is visited by about 1.5 million people a year. It is an educational and entertaining tourist attraction and employs about 1,875 people. The Aquarium on the Pacific offers the opportunity to see a variety of marine wildlife in its natural habitat.
As well as the Aquarium on the Pacific visitors can take in the Ocean Institute. The Ocean Institute is an educational center at Dana Point. It offers immersion-style ocean science and maritime history programs for K12 students and their teachers. It is also open to the general public at selected times. Visitors can see marine wildlife and ocean exhibits, and the Institute partners with the Lazy W Ranch, which teaches students about the ecosystem.
Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens is located in 133 acres in Los Angeles and encompasses the Botanical Gardens. The botanical gardens contain 800 different species of plants. The zoo includes exhibits of chimpanzees, elephants, and a gorilla reserve.
Orange county zoo is located in the city of Orange and is a part of the Irvine Regional Park. It sits on 8 acres of land and includes exhibits of black bears, cougars, bald eagles, red-tailed hawks and other animals and birds.
Tourists can visit the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, which has displays of modern as well as traditionally inspired works of art. The Getty Center is also known as the Getty Villa and houses rotating exhibitions and impressionist pieces in a period home beautifully restored. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens have plenty to see for art, culture, and gardening enthusiasts while the Broad has plenty of contemporary art in the free museum, including pieces by Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein. Visitors can also be entertained and educated at The Natural History Museum. This was the first museum building in LA and had an awe-inspiring fin whale skeleton exhibit at the entrance.
Primary & Higher Education
Students from around the world come to study in the Los Angeles Area since it is widely considered to be an educational mecca for higher education. The University of California LA ranks among the top 20 in the United States. While the University of Southern California ranks in the top 100 Universities in the United States. These two are the largest universities in the region.
At the same time, the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, known and renowned as Caltech, and Claremont College, which is well known for its social sciences and humanities programs, both have a high repute for the quality of their education around the world.
The Los Angeles Unified School District serves the primary educational needs of the inhabitants. The Los Angels Unified School District previously had problems with dropouts and underfunding but these have been remedied to a certain extent in recent times. Smaller school districts serve the outlying areas in the region.
Charter Schools that receive less public funding and tap into other sources to cover their costs are often found in Los Angels and offer specialized and focused education in specific areas.
Magnet schools have been established for children who show extraordinary ability in a particular area.
Private schools charge tuition and admission fees as they are not funded by the state, they teach customized curriculums decided on by their boards and governing bodies.
Los Angeles Metropolitan Area has hosted the Olympic Games twice and will be hosting the 2028 summer Olympics in the future. Sporting stadiums and infrastructure are well funded and well provided in this area. The Los Angeles Metropolitan Area has more national championships than any other city in the United States.
Professional sports teams in the area include LA Rams and LA Chargers, who play in the National Football League. LA Lakers and LA Clippers who play for the National Basketball Association and the LA Kings and the Anaheim Ducks who play for the National Hockey League.
Professional Venues that have also hosted the Olympics include Dodger Stadium, Rose Bowl, The Forum, Santa Anita Park, and the Long Beach Marine Stadium.
Events and Conventions
A considerable number of conventions take place annually in the Greater Los Angeles Metropolitan Area. These include anime conventions such as the Anime Expo at Los Angeles Convention Center, video game conventions such as E3, SoCal Retro Gaming Expo, and BlizzCon and a whole host of pop culture and comic conventions.
The most popular comic conventions are WonderCon and the Los Angeles Comic-Con. Disney holds a gathering at the Anaheim Convention Center. Held every two years, this is known as D23 Expo.
Car shows include the LA Auto Show and the OC Auto show held at the Los Angeles and Anaheim Convention Centers. The Los Angeles County Fair is held at Fairplex in Pomona while the Orange County Fair is held at the Orange County fairgrounds in Costa Mesa.
VidCon is a popular YouTube video hosting event that is gaining in popularity and occurs at the Anaheim Convention Center. Another celebration of popular culture is held at KCON, LA. This is a Korean music event which also has increasing importance due to the exploding popularity of Kpop, drama, and culture around the world.
Geology and Natural Resources
California sits on a meeting of plate boundaries of the geologic crust. The meeting point of the Farallon Plate and the North American plate has resulted in the Sierra Nevada mountain range as well as the granite monoliths of Yosemite National Park. The movement of the Pacific Plate and the North American Plate resulted in the San Andreas Fault. Being at the meeting point of continental plates means that lava fields, extinct and active cinder cone volcanos such as Ubehebe Crater in Death Valley and Amboy along Route 60, and the formation of new land formations and rocks can be seen in the area.
Los Angeles Metropolitan Area is thought to sit on this newly formed land and rocks, which is estimated to be about 20 million years old. It is still part of an active volcanic and earthquake zone and the area is being lifted at the rate of 2 mm per year due to the buckling of the Earth’s crust. Considerable investment into an early warning system for Earthquakes has been made. However, many believe that it is difficult to predict where an Earthquake will hit next with any degree of precision.