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Los Angeles - Entertainment capital of the world

The city of Los Angeles holds many distinctions. L.A. is the entertainment capital of the world, a cultural mecca boasting more than 300 museums and a paradise of good weather. From tourist attractions like the Walk of Fame's collection of stars (numbering 2,221 as of April 7, 2003 and growing by one or two a month) to career opportunities like those presented in the expanding biotech industry, Los Angeles is the place to be. It is the only city in the world to host the Summer Olympics twice. Downtown L.A. is the largest government center outside of Washington, D.C. Los Angeles has the only remaining wooden lighthouse in the world (it is located in Fermin Park in San Pedro). Los Angeles has the largest historical theater district on the National Register of Historic Places (located Downtown on Broadway).

Los Angeles is on the leading edge of the growth industries. The L.A. metropolitan area's "Digital Coast" fills more multimedia jobs (133,000) than Silicon Valley and New York City combined. The L.A. metropolitan area, with more than 122,000 jobs in the fashion industry, has surpassed New York's fashion district workforce. Here are some more facts and figures about Los Angeles, the city, the county, and the region.

City of Los Angeles: 467 square miles
County of Los Angeles: 4,081 square miles
Los Angeles Five-County Area: 34,149 square miles

There are 88 incorporated cities in Los Angeles County ranging from Vernon (population 95) to Los Angeles (population 3.8 million).

Los Angeles spans a widely diverse geographic area. Primarily a desert basin, the area is surrounded by the San Gabriel Mountain range, and divided by the Santa Monica Mountains. Los Angeles County has 81 miles of coastline and altitudes ranging from nine feet below sea level at Wilmington to 10,080 above sea level atop Mt. San Antonio. Area rivers include the Los Angeles, Rio Hondo, San Gabriel and Ventura rivers.

Southern California's climate has often been described as "perfect" and with good reason. Most days are sunny and warm, with gentle ocean breezes in the summer. The humidity is low with little rain. In fact, there aren't any unpleasant seasons in Los Angeles.

Annual precipitation: 14.79 inches
Average days of rain: 34.2 days
Average sunny/partly sunny days: 291.7 days
Average mean temperature: 66.3º F

September 4, 1781 is the city's official birthdate, when 44 "vecinos pobladores"-village settlers from the Mexican provinces of Sonora and Sinaloa-made their home in what is now Downtown Los Angeles. Two of the 44 settlers were Spaniards, while the others were Indians, Blacks and Mestizos (of mixed ancestry). Here to greet the pobladores was a tribe of Indians called Yangna. The Spanish named the new settlement "El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reina de Los Angeles" or the town of the Queen of the Angels. After the territory changed hands from Spain to Mexico, the town was officially declared a city in 1835. In August of 1846, American soldiers entered Los Angeles and the Stars and Stripes have flown over the city since January 1847.

City of Los Angeles: 3.8 million
County of Los Angeles: 9.8 million
Los Angeles Five-County Area: 16.8 million
(Los Angeles, Riverside, Ventura, Orange and San Bernardino Counties)

If the Los Angeles 5-county Destination Marketing Area were a state, it would surpass all states in total population size with the exception of California, New York and Texas. The county of Los Angeles alone would rank as the 9th most populated state, just behind Michigan, with 9.9 million.

Los Angeles ranks as the second largest city in the nation behind New York City.

The diverse multi-ethnic population of Los Angeles today distinguishes the city as the cultural hub of the Pacific Rim. People from about 140 countries, speaking approximately 86 different languages, currently call Los Angeles home.

Hispanic: 44.6 percent
White: 31.1 percent
Asian/Pacific Islander: 12.6 percent
African-American: 9.7 percent
American Indian/Others: 0.5 percent

Overnight visitors to Los Angeles County: 24.8 million
Visitor-related spending: $13.6 billion
Tourist Employment 508,300 jobs

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) 56,223,843
Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport 4,620,683
Long Beach Airport 1,453,412
Ontario International Airport 6,517,050

(Fiscal year '01) 1 million

Amtrak (Fiscal year '02) 1.4 million

The Los Angeles County coastline, stretching from Malibu to Long Beach, is 81 miles long.


The leading businesses in the five-county area for 2001 are:
1.Business and Professional Management Services
3.Health Sciences/Biomedical
4.Direct International Trade
5.Wholesale Trade (excluding autos, apparel, furniture and toys)
6.Technology, including Aerospace
7.Motion Picture/TV Production

California is the 5th largest economy if it were a separate country. The L.A. five-county area would be No. 10, just behind Brazil and ahead of Mexico. L.A. County would be No. 16, falling between the Netherlands and Taiwan and ahead of such countries as Argentina, Switzerland and Belgium.

California is the leading supplier of entertainment to the world, and Los Angeles County produces the vast majority of the state's entertainment output. The motion picture industry generates over $31 billion annually.

Los Angeles is the No. 1 import/export port in the United States; there is $146 billion of trading activity in the Los Angeles customs district (including the Port of Los Angeles, Port of Long Beach, LAX and smaller ports). Major exports include integrated circuits, aircraft and space craft, computers, aircraft parts and parts for office machines. Major imports are computers, passenger vehicles, integrated circuits, office machine parts and reception apparatus.

Los Angeles is home to 176 colleges and universities, including such prestigious institutions as the University of Southern California (USC), UCLA, Pepperdine, Occidental, Loyola Marymount, and the Art Center College of Design.


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