Los Angeles, California

Los Angeles, California

According to lawschoolsinusa, Los Angeles is a city and metropolitan area in the United States, located in the state of California. The city has 3,849,000 inhabitants, the metropolitan area has 18,491,000 inhabitants (2021) and is the second largest in the United States. The urban area extends over 5 counties.


City Population
Los Angeles 3,849,000
Long Beach 456,000
Anaheim 346,000
Riverside 317,000
Santa Ana 309,000
Irvine 309,000
San Bernardino 222,000
Moreno Valley 212,000
Fontana 211,000
Oxnard 202,000
Huntington Beach 197,000
Glendale 192,000


The Los Angeles metro area is divided into two statistical agglomerations by the US Census Bureau; Los Angeles/Orange County and Riverside/San Bernardino County. This separation comes from the time when they were clearly two different urban areas, but since the 1980s they have become strongly intertwined. Ventura County can also be considered at the conurbation. These 5 counties together have a population of 18,491,000, after New York City the largest conurbation in the United States. It is also the most populous conurbation in the United States, although the city does not have a densely populated core like New York City, the population density of the suburbs is relatively high, regardless of their distance from the center. The suburbs of major cities in the eastern United States are less densely populated than those of Los Angeles.


Los Angeles is a very expansive metropolitan area, part of the Southern California region. It consists of the Los Angeles Basin, the San Fernando Valley, and flatter areas in the Inland Empire. Orange County is often considered a separate region. Several mountain ranges are located in the urban area, the most famous being the Santa Monica Mountains, which separate the San Fernando Valley from the rest of the metropolitan area. However, the Santa Monica Mountains are not that high, with peaks between 500 and 1,000 meters. In particular, the eastern half of it has urbanized slopes.

Significantly higher are the San Gabriel Mountains, located northeast of Los Angeles. At the foot of it are many suburbs on the south side of the mountain range. The 3,069 meter high Mount San Antonio (Mount Baldy) is the highest point. In winter there is often snow on it, a contrast to the more Mediterranean temperatures that occur in the urbanized lowlands. East of this mountain range are the San Bernardino Mountains, with the 3,506 meter high San Gorgonio Mountain as the highest point, this is also the highest mountain in Southern California. The San Bernardino Mountains have the only ski areas in the Los Angeles metropolitan area.

The Santa Ana Mountains separate Orange County from Riverside County. This is a largely undeveloped mountain range with the 1,734 meter high Santiago Peak as the highest point. The mountain range is a significant obstacle to east-west traffic. North of the San Gabriel Mountains is a vast exurba in the High Desert, with places like Lancaster and Palm Springs. This is a high-altitude desert at 800 to 1,000 meters elevation and is an overflow area for the Los Angeles region.

Road network density

Although the Los Angeles region has a large network of highways, highway capacity is relatively small by population size. The metropolitan area of Los Angeles has as many miles of lane per capita as New York City and several European cities, and the metropolitan area of Los Angeles ranks 31st out of 39 cities with major highway networks. Congestion is therefore the order of the day. The network forms a grid, with a number of interstate highways running diagonally through it, such as Interstate 5 and Interstate 405. There are 5 east-west highways, 4 of which extend into the Inland Empire.

There are no ring roads that bypass the agglomeration, all main highways from north to south in the west are very busy, in the east less so, but that is increasing rapidly due to the large population growth in this region. Some motorways can be called quiet, these are often toll roads or are located on the edge of the agglomeration. Orange County is home to the metro area’s only toll roads. These can be express lanes (toll lanes) or complete toll roads.

The most common road profile in the Los Angeles area is 2×5 lanes, although more lanes are relatively rare and often only available for short stretches. 2×3 is seen as a major bottleneck, like I-5 between Anaheim and Los Angeles for a long time. Many motorways have HOV lanes, which are carpool lanes for cars with more than 2 or 3 people on board. These are also offered discounted toll rates on Orange County toll roads. These HOV lanes can be free, raised or adjacent, physically separated, but often only with a double continuous marking. These HOV lanes have fewer exits and sometimes also exits that are separate from the regular exits.

The metropolitan area of Los Angeles has the worst roads of any metropolitan area in the United States, in 2013 64% of roads (both freeways and regular roads) were in poor condition. The formally separate Riverside-San Bernardino conurbation also scores poorly.

Naming and pronunciation

Los Angeles freeways were previously often referred to by their names, such as the Long Beach Freeway and the San Diego Freeway. Today the song is more important, such as “The One-oh-Five, Four-oh-Five of One-Ten Freeway”. All highways are named, usually after a city or geographic area on the route, but sometimes after individuals, such as the Glenn Anderson Freeway (I-105). The use of the highway names is gradually decreasing, apart from some very well-known names. Toll roads are often referred to as “Transportation Corridors”. Since there are over a thousand connections in the Los Angeles metropolitan area, the exits are named after the intersecting road. So one will see the designation “Manchester Boulevard” and not the neighborhood or suburb in which it is located.

Interestingly, freeways in the Los Angeles area are marked with ‘ the, such as the 5, the 10 or the 405. This is unusual in other parts of California and the United States. Its origins date back to the early 1950s, when new freeways were built on a large scale. These had a name, like the Hollywood Freeway. From 1956, the Interstate Highways a number, and in 1964 the California numbering system was greatly simplified. By this time, many new highways were under construction. To avoid having to learn all kinds of names, the use of road numbers became a lot more common. The names were eventually replaced by the numbers, with the exception that the definite article the remained in use. This is a unique situation in the United States.

Los Angeles, California