Demographics, Geography, & Government of Los Angeles

Demographics, Geography, & Government of Los Angeles

Los Angeles is a city filled with incredible opportunities and dreamers willing to take advantage of these opportunities, world-renowned landmarks, arguably some of the country’s worst rush-hour traffic, and so much more. From having some of the country’s best beaches to the dazzling lights of Hollywood, the City of Angeles offers unique and unforgettable experiences to tourists and citizens alike.

Whether you are thinking of moving to Los Angeles or planning a visit, getting to know the city beforehand will help you know and better appreciate what it has to offer.


Diversity is entrenched in the very fabric of the city. Not only is Los Angeles the place filled with stars, but it can also be considered a cultural mecca.

  • Race and Ethnicity

California is known to be a minority-majority state. That means that the combined population of the various minority races in the state exceeds the population of the majority race. Los Angeles is the same. While the status or compositions of the different racial and ethnic groups in the city will likely change over time, the existence of a diverse population will very likely remain a constant for a very long time.

The United States Census Bureau estimates the population of Los Angeles city to be about 3,979,576 as of 2019. The breakdown of this population according to their race or ethnicity is given as:

  • 52.1% – White
  • 9% – African American
  • 6% – Asian
  • 7% – American Indian and Alaska Native
  • 6% – Asian
  • 2% – Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islanders
  • 8% – Two or More races
  • 6% – Other Race

Besides English, more than 90 different languages are spoken by Los Angeles residents. These include Spanish, Cantonese, Hebrew, Korean, Russian, and Vietnamese, among others. Some radio stations in the city use different foreign languages. There are also foreign-language newspapers available.

  • Gender

There are more females in the city than males. About 50.5% of the population is female, while the male composition is said to be about 49.5% of the Los Angeles population.

  • Age

The age group with the biggest population are those in the 25 to 34 range. Meanwhile, the median age in the city is 35.9.

  • 7% – 0 to 4 years old
  • 4% – 5 to 9 years old
  • 8% – 10 to 14 years old
  • 6% – 15 to 19 years old
  • 3% – 20 to 24 years old
  • 3% – 25 to 34 years old
  • 4% – 35 to 44 years old
  • 1% -45 to 54 years old
  • 7% – 60 to 64 years old
  • 3% – 65 to 75 years old
  • 9% – 75 to 84 years old
  • 8% – 85 years old and up


The city of Los Angeles covers a total area of 502.7 square miles, including 468.7 square miles of land and 34 square miles of water. It extends for 44 miles north-south and 29 miles east-west. The city’s perimeter extends for 342 miles.

Los Angeles is composed of flat areas and hilly parts. There is Mt. Lukens in San Fernando Valley, which is about 5,074 feet high. On the eastern end of the city lies the Santa Monica Mountains. It stretches from downtown Los Angeles to the Pacific Ocean. Other hilly areas include Mt. Washington, Boyle Heights, Crenshaw district, Baldwin Hills, and San Pedro district.

The city is also surrounded by other mountains including San Gabriel Mountains in the north. Mt. San Antonio, which reaches 10,064 feet, is the highest point in this part. Meanwhile, San Gorgonio Mountain is the highest point in the Greatest Los Angeles area at 11,503 feet high.

The primary drainage channel of the city is the Los Angeles River. It also serves as the flood control channel. Los Angeles River starts from Canoga Park, flows east of San Fernando Valley, through the edge of the Santa Monica Mountains, passes through the center of the city, and ends at the mouth of Long Beach Port at the Pacific Ocean. Meanwhile, there is a smaller body of water — Ballona Creek — flowing into Santa Monica Bay.

Government Administration

In the City of Los Angeles, the form of government is a Mayor-Council Commission. That means the residents elect a mayor, a city attorney, and a city controller. These people serve for four years. Additionally, the residents of Los Angeles also elect 15 members of the City Council. These individuals represent the 15 districts in Los Angeles. They also serve four-year terms.

Meanwhile, the members of the Boards and Commissions are appointees of the Mayor. However, the approval of the City Council is necessary to confirm the appointment.

In total, there are 44 different departments and bureaus in the city of Los Angeles. Each of them is headed by General Managers. The Mayor appoints these General Managers with the approval of the City Council, similar to the members of the Boards and Commissions.

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