Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles is the most populous city in California and the second most populous in the United States, after New York City, with a population of 3.8 million. It is the focal point of the larger Los Angeles-Long Beach-Riverside Combined Statistical Area, which contains nearly 17.8 million people and which is one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. Los Angeles is also the seat of Los Angeles County, the most populated and one of the most multicultural counties in the United States. The city's inhabitants are referred to as "Angelenos" (Template:IPAc-en).
Often known by its initials, LA, and nicknamed the City of Angels, Los Angeles is a world center of business, international trade, entertainment, culture, media, fashion, science, technology, and education. It 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. Los Angeles has been ranked the third richest city and fifth most powerful and influential city in the world, behind only New York City in 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 economic center in the world, after the Greater Tokyo Area and the New York metropolitan area. As the home base of Hollywood, it is known as the "Entertainment Capital of the World", leading the world in the creation of motion pictures, television production, video games, and recorded music. The importance of the entertainment business to the city has led many celebrities to call Los Angeles and its surrounding suburbs home. Los Angeles hosted the 1932 and 1984 Summer Olympics. Los Angeles is also home to renowned universities such as the University of Southern California and the University of California, Los Angeles.
Los Angeles was founded on September 4, 1781 by Spanish governor Felipe de Neve. It became a part of Mexico in 1821 following the Mexican War of Independence. In 1848, at the end of the Mexican–American War, Los Angeles and the rest of California were purchased as part of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, thereby becoming part of the United States. Los Angeles was incorporated as a municipality on April 4, 1850, five months before California achieved statehood.
Los Angeles enjoys a Mediterranean climate, with an average of 35 days with measurable precipitation annually.<ref name=weatherbase/>
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (AKA "LACMTA" or "Metro", even "MTA") operates a vast fleet of buses. As of 2009, the LACMTA operated the second-largest bus fleet in North America<ref>Template:Cite journal</ref>, with a total of 2,911 buses.
The Los Angeles coastal area was first settled by the Tongva (or Gabrieleños) and Chumash Native American tribes thousands of years ago. The first Europeans arrived in 1542 in an expedition organized by the viceroy of New Spain and commanded by Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo, a Portuguese-born explorer who claimed the area of southern California for the Spanish Empire. However, he continued with his voyage up the coast and did not establish a settlement.<ref>Willard, Charles Dwight, The Herald's History of Los Angeles (Los Angeles: Kingsley-Barnes & Neuner, 1901): 21–24. The next contact would not come until 227 years later, when Gaspar de Portolà, along with Franciscan missionary Juan Crespí, reached the present site of Los Angeles on August 2, 1769. Crespí noted that the site had the potential to be developed into a large settlement.
In 1771, Franciscan friar Junípero Serra built the Mission San Gabriel Arcangel near Whittier Narrows, in what is now called San Gabriel Valley. After a 1776 flood, the mission was moved to its present site in San Gabriel In 1777, the new governor of California, Felipe de Neve, recommended to Antonio María de Bucareli y Ursúa, viceroy of New Spain, that the site noted by Juan Crespí be developed into a pueblo. The town was officially founded on September 4, 1781, by a group of forty-four settlers known as "Los Pobladores". Tradition has it that on this day they were escorted by four Spanish colonial soldiers, two priests from the Mission and Governor de Neve. The town was named El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles del Río de Porciúncula (The Town of Our Lady the Queen of the Angels on the Porciúncula River). These pueblo settlers came from the common Hispanic culture that had emerged in northern Mexico among a racially mixed society. Two-thirds of the settlers were mestizo or mulatto, and therefore, had African, Amerindian, and European ancestry. More importantly, they were intermarrying. "Of the first forty-six pobladores (settlers), 26 were African or part-African. The remainder further demonstrates the city's multiracial beginnings: one was a Chinese from Manila, two were español, and the rest were Indian or part-Indian. ... The families settling Los Angeles were racially mixed, revealing that intermarriage was already absorbing the African stock". Forbes, Jack D. "The Early African Heritage in California" in Lawrence Brooks de Graaf, Kevin Mulroy, and Quintard Taylor, eds., Seeking El Dorado: African Americans in California (Los Angeles: Autry Museum of Western Heritage, 2001), 79. The settlement remained a small ranch town for decades, but by 1820 the population had increased to about 650 residents. Today, the pueblo is commemorated in the historic district of Los Angeles Pueblo Plaza and Olvera Street, the oldest part of Los Angeles.<ref>Acuna, Rodolfo, Anything But Mexican: Chicanos in Contemporary Los Angeles (New York: Version, 1996): 22.
New Spain achieved its independence from the Spanish Empire in 1821, and the pueblo continued as a part of Mexico. During Mexican rule, Governor Pío Pico, made Los Angeles Alta California's regional capital. Mexican rule ended during the Mexican–American War: Americans took control from the Californios after a series of battles, culminating with the signing of the Treaty of Cahuenga on January 13, 1847.
Railroads arrived with the completion of the Southern Pacific line to Los Angeles in 1876.<ref>Mulholland, Catherine, William Mulholland and the Rise of Los Angeles (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000): 15.</ref> Oil was discovered in 1892, and by 1923 Los Angeles was producing one-quarter of the world's petroleum.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>
By 1900, the population had grown to more than 102,000 people,<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> putting pressure on the city's water supply.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> 1913's completion of the Los Angeles Aqueduct, under the supervision of William Mulholland, assured the continued growth of the city.
In the 1920s, the movie and aviation industries flocked to Los Angeles, with continuing growth ensuring that the city suffered less during the Great Depression. In 1932, with population surpassing one million,<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> the city hosted the Summer Olympics.
The post-war years saw an even greater boom, as urban sprawl expanded the city into the San Fernando Valley.<ref>Bruegmann, Robert, Sprawl: A Compact History (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005): 133.</ref> In 1960, non-Hispanic whites made up 82% of the population of Los Angeles County.<ref>"Mexico North?". Washington Times. March 30, 2006.</ref> In 1969, Los Angeles became one of the birthplaces of the Internet, as the first ARPANET transmission was sent from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) to SRI in Menlo Park.<ref>Was L.A. really Internet's ground zero?Template:Dead link</ref>
In 1984, the city hosted the Summer Olympic Games for the second time. Despite being boycotted by 14 Communist countries, the 1984 Olympics became the most financially successful in history, and only the second Olympics to turn a profit – the other being the 1932 Summer Olympics, also held in Los Angeles.
During the remaining decades of the 20th century, the city was plagued by increasing gang warfare, drug trades, and police corruptionTemplate:Dubious. Racial tensions erupted again in 1992 with the Rodney King controversy and the large-scale riots that followed the acquittal of his police attackers. In 1994, the 6.7 Northridge earthquake shook the city, causing $12.5 billion in damage and 72 deaths.<ref>Reich, Kenneth, "Study Raises Northridge Quake Death Toll to 72", Los Angeles Times December 20, 1995: B1.</ref>
Voters defeated efforts by the San Fernando Valley and Hollywood to secede from the city in 2002.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>
Gentrification and urban redevelopment have occurred in many parts of the city, most notably Hollywood, Koreatown, Silver Lake, Echo Park and Downtown.<ref>Welcome to Gentrification CityTemplate:Dead link, LA Weekly</ref>
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (AKA "LACMTA" or "Metro", even "MTA") operates a vast fleet of buses. As of 2009, the LACMTA operated the second-largest bus fleet in North America<ref>Template:Cite journal</ref>, with a total of 2,911 buses. Template:Historical populations According to the 2010 Census, the racial and ethnic composition of Los Angeles was as follows:<ref name="census2010">Template:Cite web</ref>
- White: 49.8% (Non-Hispanic Whites: 28.7%)
- Black or African American: 9.6%
- Native American: 0.7%
- Asian: 11.3%
- Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander: 0.1%
- Two or more races: 4.6%
- Hispanic or Latino (of any race): 48.5%
According to the 2006–2008 American Community Survey, the top ten European ancestries were the following:
- German: 4.5% (170,483)
- Irish: 3.9% (146,658)
- English: 3.5% (129,684)
- Italian: 2.8% (100,145)
- Russian: 2.6% (98,737)
- Polish: 1.6% (59,774)
- French: 1.2% (45,127)
- Scottish: 0.8% (28,931)
- Swedish: 0.6% (23,227)
- Scotch-Irish: 0.6% (22,651)
Current estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau put the city's population at 3,833,995. The California Department of Finance estimates the population at 4,094,764 as of January 1, 2009.<ref name="dof.ca.gov">Template:Cite web</ref> The 2000 censusTemplate:GR recorded 3,694,820 people, 1,275,412 households, and 798,719 families residing in the city, with a population density of 7,876.8 people per square mile (3,041.3/km2). There were 1,337,706 housing units at an average density of 2,851.8 per square mile (1,101.1/km2). Los Angeles has become a multiethnic and multicultural city, with major new groups of Latino and Asian immigrants in recent decades. From a metropolitan area that in 1960 was over 80% non-Hispanic white, Los Angeles has been transformed into a city that now has a "majority-minority" population.<ref>"Racial and Ethnic Tensions in American Communities: Poverty, Inequality, and Discrimination. Volume V: The Los Angeles Report". U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.</ref> As of the 2000 US Census, the racial distribution in Los Angeles was 46.9% White American, 11.2% African American, 10.5% Asian American, 0.8% Native American, 0.2% Pacific Islander, 25.7% from other races, and 5.2% from two or more races. 46.5% of the population was Hispanic or Latino (of any race).<ref name="census_data">Template:Cite web</ref>
The census indicated that 42.2% spoke English, 41.7% Spanish, 2.4% Korean, 2.3% Tagalog, 1.7% Armenian, 1.5% Chinese (including Cantonese and Mandarin) and 1.3% Persian as their first language.<ref>Modern Language Association Data Center Results of Los Angeles, California Modern Language Association</ref>
According to the census, 33.5% of households had children under 18, 41.9% were married couples, 14.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.4% were non-families. 28.5% of households were made up of individuals and 7.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.83 and the average family size 3.56.<ref name="GR2"/>
The age distribution was: 26.6% under 18, 11.1% from 18 to 24, 34.1% from 25 to 44, 18.6% from 45 to 64, and 9.7% who were 65 or older. The median age was 32. For every 100 females there were 99.4 males. For every 100 females aged 18 and over, there were 97.5 males.<ref name="GR2"/>
The median income for a household was $36,687, and for a family was $39,942. Males had a median income of $31,880, females $30,197. The per capita income was $20,671. 22.1% of the population and 18.3% of families were below the poverty threshold|poverty line. 30.3% of those under the age of 18 and 12.6% of those aged 65 or older were below the poverty line. Los Angeles has had a high degree of income disparity as compared to the rest of the country. Recently, however, income disparity has declined. The median household income of the wealthiest neighborhood was $207,938, while in the poorest it was $15,003.
The Los Angeles crime family dominated organized crime in the city during the Prohibition in the United States and reached its peak during the 1940s and 1950s as part of the American Mafia but has gradually declined since then with the rise of various black and Hispanic gangs.
According to the Los Angeles Police Department, the city is home to 26,000 gang members, organized into 250 gangs.Among them are the Crips, Bloods, Hoovers, Sureños, Maravilla, 18th Street, Mara Salvatrucha, and Asian street gangs. This has led to the city being referred to as the "Gang Capital of America".