Long Beach is the second-largest city in the Los Angeles metropolitan area, and was the the fifth-largest city in the state in 2003, with a population of 475,460. It is home to one of the largest ports in the world, as well as a strand of famous beaches. The entire Los Angeles metro area totals more than 13 million residents, with Los Angeles being the largest city and Santa Ana the third-largest.
The greater Los Angeles area experienced high growth in the housing market from the late 1990s to the early 2000s. Long Beach real estate increased 15.6% in value between 2003 and 2004. Average per-capita income did not increase as rapidly and, at $12,152 in 2003, was still only at 53% of the state average ($22,711).
The ports of Long Beach processed more than $235 billion worth of two-way trade in 2003. Expansion plans for the Port of Alameda and LAX International Airport will make the Los Angeles and Long Beach coastal shipping trade even more profitable.
Along with state government, Los Angeles County is Long Beach and the Los Angeles metro area's largest employers. Other large employers include:
Long Beach hosts over 5.5 million visitors each year, and is home to hundreds of festivals, concerts, and community events, many held during the summer months.
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