The vast Los Angeles metropolitan area covers five counties (Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Ventura) and encompasses 34,000 sq mi (88,000 sq km) with over 14.5 million people. As Los Angeles rapidly expanded throughout the 20th cent., it absorbed numerous communities and enclosed independent municipalities. Among the communities now part of Los Angeles are Central City, Hollywood, San Pedro, Sylmar, Watts, Westwood, Bel-Air, and Boyle Heights. Independent municipalities surrounded by Los Angeles include Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, and San Fernando. Incorporated cities in the broader metropolitan region with populations of 80,000 or more include Alhambra, Anaheim, Burbank, Downey, El Monte, Fullerton, Garden Grove, Glendale, Huntington Beach, Irvine, Inglewood, Lakewood, Long Beach, Moreno Valley, Norwalk, Oceanside, Ontario, Orange, Oxnard, Pasadena, Pomona, Rancho Cucamonga, Riverside, San Bernardino, Santa Ana, Santa Clarita, Santa Monica, Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks, and Torrance, in addition to Los Angeles itself.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.