Homes, condos and land for sale and rent in Los Angeles, CA
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Los Angeles geography
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Brief information about Los Angeles
The city is the focal point of the larger Los Angeles metropolitan area and the Greater Los Angeles Area region, which contain 13 million and over 18 million people, respectively, as of 2010, making it one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world as well as the second-largest in the United States and the densest urban area in the United States. Los Angeles is the seat of Los Angeles County, the most populated county in the United States. The city’s inhabitants are referred to as Angelenos.
Nicknamed the “City of Angels”, Los Angeles is a global city with a diverse economy in entertainment, culture, media, fashion, science, sports, technology, education, medicine and research. It has been ranked 6th in the Global Cities Index and 9th in the 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 and recorded music; it is also one of the leaders in motion picture production.
More broadly, the city is divided into the following areas: Downtown Los Angeles, East Los Angeles and Northeast Los Angeles, South Los Angeles, the Harbor Area, Greater Hollywood, Wilshire, the Westside, and the San Fernando and Crescenta Valleys.
The city’s street pattern generally follows a grid plan, with uniform block lengths and occasional roads that cut across blocks. However, this is complicated by rugged terrain, which has necessitated having different grids for each of the valleys that Los Angeles covers. Major streets are designed to move large volumes of traffic through many parts of the city; many of them are extremely long: Sepulveda Boulevard is 43 miles (69 km) long, while Foothill Boulevard is over 60 miles (97 km) long, reaching as far east as San Bernardino. Drivers in Los Angeles suffer from one of the worst rush hour periods in the world, according to an annual traffic index by navigation system maker, TomTom. L.A. drivers spend an additional 92 hours in traffic each year. During the peak rush hour there is 80% congestion, according to the index.
Los Angeles is strongly characterized by the presence of low-rise buildings. Outside of a few centers such as Downtown, Warner Center, Century City, Koreatown, Miracle Mile, Hollywood and Westwood, skyscrapers and high-rise buildings are not common. The few skyscrapers that are built outside of those areas often stand out above the rest of the surrounding landscape. Most construction is done in separate units, rather than wall-to-wall. That being said, downtown Los Angeles itself has many buildings over 30 stories, with fourteen over 50 stories, and two over 70 stories (the tallest buildings west of Chicago-see List of tallest buildings in Los Angeles). Also, Los Angeles is increasingly becoming a city of apartments rather than single family dwellings, especially in the dense inner city and Westside neighborhoods.
According to the 2010 Census, the racial makeup of Los Angeles included: 1,888,158 Whites (49.8%), 365,118 African Americans (9.6%), 28,215 Native Americans (0.7%), 426,959 Asians (11.3%), 5,577 Pacific Islanders (0.1%), 902,959 from other races (23.8%), and 175,635 (4.6%) from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 1,838,822 persons (48.5%).
Non-Hispanic whites were 28.7% of the population in 2010, compared to 86.3% in 1940. People of Mexican ancestry make up the largest ethnic group of Latinos at 31.9% of Los Angeles’ population, followed by those of Salvadoran (6.0%) and Guatemalan (3.6%) heritage. The Latino population is spread throughout the city of Los Angeles and its metropolitan area but it is most heavily concentrated in the East Los Angeles, Northeast Los Angeles and Northwest Los Angeles regions, which has a long established Mexican-American and Central American community.
The largest Asian ethnic groups are Filipinos (3.2%) and Koreans (2.9%), which have their own established ethnic enclaves−Koreatown in the Wilshire Center and Historic Filipinotown. Chinese people, which make up 1.8% of Los Angeles’ population, reside mostly outside of Los Angeles city limits and rather in the San Gabriel Valley of eastern Los Angeles County, but make a sizable presence in the city, notably in Chinatown. Chinatown and Thaitown are also home to many Thais and Cambodians, which make up 0.3% and 0.1% of Los Angeles’ population, respectively. Japanese comprise 0.9% of L.A.’s population, and have an established Little Tokyo in the city’s downtown, and another significant community of Japanese Americans is located in the Sawtelle district of West Los Angeles. Vietnamese make up 0.5% of Los Angeles’ population. Indians make up 0.9% of the city’s population.
The city has many departments and appointed officers, including the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), the Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners, the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD), the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA), the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT), and the Los Angeles Public Library (LAPL).
The Charter of the City of Los Angeles ratified by voters in 1999 created a system of advisory neighborhood councils that would represent the diversity of stakeholders, defined as those who live, work or own property in the neighborhood. The neighborhood councils are relatively autonomous and spontaneous in that they identify their own boundaries, establish their own bylaws, and elect their own officers. There are currently about 90 neighborhood councils.
Residents of Los Angeles elect supervisors for the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th supervisorial districts.
Private colleges in the city include the American Film Institute Conservatory, Alliant International University, Syracuse University (Los Angeles Campus), American Academy of Dramatic Arts (Los Angeles Campus), American Jewish University, The American Musical and Dramatic Academy – Los Angeles campus, Antioch University’s Los Angeles campus, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, Emperor’s College, Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising’s Los Angeles campus (FIDM), Los Angeles Film School, Loyola Marymount University (LMU is also the parent university of Loyola Law School located in Los Angeles), Marymount College, Mount St. Mary’s College, National University of California, Occidental College (“Oxy”), Otis College of Art and Design (Otis), Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc), Southwestern Law School, University of Southern California (USC), and Woodbury University.
The community college system consists of nine campuses governed by the trustees of the Los Angeles Community College District: East Los Angeles College (ELAC), Los Angeles City College (LACC), Los Angeles Harbor College, Los Angeles Mission College, Los Angeles Pierce College, Los Angeles Valley College (LAVC), Los Angeles Southwest College, Los Angeles Trade-Technical College and West Los Angeles College.
There are numerous additional colleges and universities outside the city limits in the Greater Los Angeles area.