The County of Los Angeles: An Overview

A Brief Overview of Los Angeles County

The county of Los Angeles is the most populous and diverse county both in California and the entire United States. The county has a complex history and many interesting and important facts, some of which are discussed below.

The Roots Of Los Angeles

The county of Los Angeles was once the land of various indigenous groups that were forced to relocate when the Spanish colonized the land. Gaspar de Portola and a group of missionaries recruited eleven families to settle there and baptized it as “El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de Los Angeles de Porciuncula,” Eventually it was renamed Los Angeles. Other townships grew around the settlement, which now comprises Los Angeles County. After the 1847 Mexican-American war, Los Angeles, along with California, became part of the United States. It was officially established as one of the original 27 counties of California in 1850.

More people migrated to L.A. County during the gold rush. With the construction of the transcontinental railroad, Asian workers also settled in the county. The discovery of oil in the late 1800s triggered another mass migration of people with diverse backgrounds. This migration accounts for the current diverse mix of cultures that persists in the county today.

Native American and Mexican cultures are deeply rooted in this land. The cultures of all other groups of people who have migrated to the county have also enriched its culture. This is evident in many of the buildings and neighborhoods in its cities and, of course, its people.

Important Facts About Los Angeles County

There are many things you may not know about Los Angeles County yet, but which you will surely find interesting. A very random, selection of some interesting facts are:

  1. Downtown Los Angeles contains the largest government center after Washington, D.C.
  2. Los Angeles county is occupied by over 10 million people or about a quarter of the residents of California.
  3. The county comprises 88 cities, 53 census-designated places, and 40 unincorporated communities.
  4. Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures, Warner Brothers, Universal Pictures, and Walt Disney Studios are all based within the County.
  5. Over 50 million tourists, both domestic and international, visit the County yearly.
  6. It is one of the more dangerous counties with 5.59 violent crimes occurring per 1000 residents.
  7. The county houses mountain ranges, forests, valleys, lakes, rivers, deserts, islands, and a 70-mile coastline bordering the Pacific Ocean.
  1. The Santa Monica Pacific Wheel is the only solar-powered Ferris wheel in the world.
  2. 4 of the top 50 universities in the US are located there. California Institute of Technology, University of California, Los Angeles, University of Southern California, and University of California, Berkeley.
  3. The county has numerous high-rise buildings despite being a high seismic zone.
  4. People there spend an average of five days in traffic per year.

Los Angeles’ Cities

There are 88 cities in Los Angeles County, the most populous of which is the city of Los Angeles where you can experience the diversity of the county through its variety of neighborhoods—Chinatown, Little Tokyo, Olvera Street, Little Armenia, Little Ethiopia, Koreatown, Leimert Park, etc.

Next to Los Angeles is Long Beach, the second-largest city in the county by population, which is known for the Grand Prix of Long Beach and the Long Beach Pride (the second largest in the country). To the north of the county is Santa Clarita, which houses the Six Flags Magic Mountain amusement park and the California Institute of the Arts. The fourth most populous city in the county is Glendale, home of the Verdugo Mountains and Porto’s Bakery—a Cuban bakery loved by both residents and visitors.

Don’t Leave Los Angeles Without Visiting These Places

Besides the usual tourist favorites, these destinations will provide a more bona fide experience of Los Angeles County:


Ocean Park

Sunset Point Beach

Topanga Beach


Getty Center

Grammy Museum

La Brea Tar Pits

Warner Brothers Studio Tour

Hiking Trails:

Hollywood Reservoir

Canyon Falls Trail

Charlie Turner’s Trail

Los Angeles River Bike Path

The County’s Local Economy

Although there are numerous other industries in the county, the film industry is a major part of the county’s economy providing over 600,000 jobs and generating over $150 billion in annual revenue. The mining and oil industry is another major industry, generating approximately $32 billion in yearly revenue and employing about 113,000 in direct and indirect jobs. Other sectors of the local economy include manufacturing, which employs over 350,000 workers; education and health services with over a million workers; and leisure and hospitality with over 600,000 workers. It is also the site of many global companies, such as Mattel, Inc. Space X, and Dole Food Company.

Los Angeles County has a diverse population, culture, as well as economy, which is why so many people are attracted to it. There’s so much more to learn and experience about this county and only a visit can come close to helping you see and experience first-hand any of the many wonderful things it has to offer.

The above information was brought to you by:

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