The Greater Los Angeles Area, often referred to as Southern California or simply L.A., comprises Los Angeles, Riverside, and Orange counties, among several others. In 2006, the area had a population of more than 18 million people.
About 3.8 million of those people reside in the city of Los Angeles, known informally as the "City of Angels." The population of Orange County is around 3 million, and Riverside county contains about 1.5 million residents. People flock to Southern California for its warm weather and cosmopolitan lifestyle, as well as its close vicinity to the Pacific Ocean and its thriving entertainment industry.
The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are hugely important to international trade and the global economy, and the area is one of the largest entry points for immigrants to the United States, making Los Angeles one of the most diverse cities in the world.
Major Los Angeles employers include:
- Northrop Grumman
- KB Homes
- Occidental Petroleum Corporation
- Twentieth Century Fox
Los Angeles' economy is driven by the following sectors:
- International trade
According to the U.S. Department of Commerce's Bureau of Economic Analysis, the median personal income in 2004 for a Los Angeles-area resident was $35,188, which is about 6 percent more than the average American's income.
The Los Angeles area continues to grow at a rate of about 7.2 percent, which is 4 percent less than the nation's average growth rate.
For more information on colleges and universities in California, explore our California state page.