The City of Los Angeles holds many distinctions. L.A. is the entertainment capital of the world, a cultural mecca boasting more than 100 museums, many of them world-class, and a paradise of idyllic weather. From tourist attractions like the Walk of Fame’s collection of stars (numbering more than 2,614 and growing by one or two a month) to career opportunities like those presented in the expanding tech industry, Los Angeles is the place to be. It is the only city in North America to have hosted the Summer Olympics twice - and by 2028 the third time. Downtown L.A. is the largest government center outside of Washington, D.C. Los Angeles has the only remaining wooden lighthouse in the state (located in San Pedro’s Fermin Park) and the largest historical theater district on the National Register of Historic Places (located Downtown on Broadway).
Los Angeles is on the leading edge of several growth industries. The Los Angeles metropolitan area, with more than 23,000 art jobs, is the country's leading artistic center, surpassing the previous champion, New York. In other words, Los Angeles has both a larger concentration and absolute number of artists than New York. The L.A. five-county area is also a major tech center, with more than 700,000 people at work in health services/biomedical activities and 190,000 people in aerospace. Here are some more facts and figures about Los Angeles: the city, the county and the region.
Visitation & Tourism Stats (2018)
Total Visitors to Los Angeles County 50 million
Domestic Visitors 42.5 million
International Visitors 7.5 million
Total Visitor Direct Spending $23.9 billion
Total Economic Impact $36.6 billion
Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, Office of Travel and Tourism Industries; TNS Global Travels America Survey; CIC Research
Top International Markets: (2018)
South Korea 335,000
Middle East 138,000
Source: Tourism Economics
City of Los Angeles: 472 square miles
County of Los Angeles: 4,084 square miles
Los Angeles Five-County Area: 34,135 square miles
(Los Angeles, Riverside, Ventura, Orange and San Bernardino counties)
There are 88 incorporated cities in Los Angeles County ranging from Vernon (population 123) to Los Angeles city (population 4 million).
Source: LACity.org, LACounty.org, California State Association of Counties – counties.org
City of Los Angeles: 4.0 Million
County of Los Angeles: 10.2 Million
Los Angeles Five-County Area: 18.8 Million
(Los Angeles, Riverside, Ventura, Orange and San Bernardino)
Source: California Department of Finance, Demographic Research Visit
Los Angeles County is the first in the nation to reach 10 million residents. If the Los Angeles five-county area were a state, it would surpass all states in total population size with the exception of California, Texas, New York and Florida. The County of Los Angeles alone would be the seventh most populated state.
The diverse, multiethnic population of Los Angeles today distinguishes the city as the cultural hub of the Pacific Rim. People from more than 140 countries, speaking 224 different identified languages, currently call Los Angeles home. Los Angeles does not have a majority population.
Hispanic or Latino (of any race): 48.6 percent
White, non-Hispanic: 26.1 percent
Asian/Pacific Islander: 15.4 percent
African-American: 9.0 percent
American Indian/Others: 1.4 percent
Source: U.S. Census Bureau – 2018 American Community Survey
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 75 miles of coastline and altitudes ranging from 9 feet below sea level at Wilmington to 10,080 feet above sea level atop Mt. San Antonio. Area Rivers include the Los Angeles, Rio Hondo, San Gabriel, and Santa Clara rivers.
Sept. 4, 1781 is the city’s official birthdate, when 44 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. The Spanish named the new settlement El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reina de Los Angeles, or The Town of Our Lady the Queen of the Angels. After the territory changed hands from Spain to Mexico, the town was officially declared a city in 1835. Los Angeles became part of the U.S. in January 1847.
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 are no unpleasant seasons in Los Angeles.
Annual precipitation: 15 inches Average high temperature: 74° F
Avg. sunny/partly sunny days: 292 days Average low temperature: 56° F
Source: National Weather Service Forecast Office at noaa.gov
Los Angeles is the world's premier center for the entertainment industry, home to a handful of the planet's most famous studios. In addition, L.A. is a tour de force in tourism and international trade, as well as having an increasing strength in digital media, technology, fashion and the arts, solidifying the diversification of the region's economy. A manufacturing powerhouse, Los Angeles also is home to the largest twin-port complexes in the Western Hemisphere, processing more than 40 percent of the goods entering to and from the United States and providing directly and indirectly hundreds of thousands of middle-class jobs to the region. Jobs in health care and tourism are on a particular growth spurt, indicating the region's increasing reliance on services and as an attractive place to visit and live.
The 75-mile Los Angeles County coastline is home to Southern California’s greatest beaches, stretching from Malibu to Long Beach. L.A.’s coastal regions boast some of the best surf spots, amazing oceanfront dining and trendy shops. Each seaside town is unique, offering distinctive landmarks such as Santa Monica’s famous pier, Venice’s iconic Muscle Beach, and Malibu’s stunning shorelines and Getty Villa. Further south is San Pedro — home to the Battleship USS Iowa, and the hip and chic beach towns that make-up South Bay-Manhattan, Hermosa and Redondo.
Arts & Culture
With various museums and exhibits, Los Angeles is full of inspiring art and diverse cultural experiences. In fact, Los Angeles has more museums and theatres than any other city in the U.S., making it the perfect place to be immersed in arts and culture. Los Angeles is home to more than 105 museums, 225 theaters, 55 magnificent structures by the world’s top architects and 16 of the world’s most beautiful gardens. It also boasts more than 1,500 theatrical productions annually. The city also has one of the premier contemporary art museums in the world, the Broad, located in Downtown L.A., and also one of the largest collections of cars in the nation at the Peterson Automotive Museum.
Los Angeles is home to some of the most dynamic dining experiences a destination can offer. From quaint to red-carpet dishes, from celebrity chefs and top-rated cuisine to short order legends and bar-stool gourmet, the possibilities are endless in L.A. Each region of L.A. offers a variety of dining options that appeal to any palette and price point. L.A. is so diverse, it’s possible to dine around the world without ever leaving the city.
Los Angeles is now one of the few cities in the world rated by the Michelin Guide (in the California edition), underscoring the importance that the city has become to the global dining scene, rivaling some of the top destinations in the planet for cuisine.
Visitors can also participate in dineLA Restaurant Week, held every winter and summer. It's the largest restaurant week in the country, serving 400-plus restaurants. The 12 consecutive-day, non-ticketed dining event, showcases Los Angeles as a premier dining destination and highlights the diversity of culinary experiences L.A. offers.
Los Angeles has inspired “California-cool” fashion trends all over the world. From the high fashion shops on Rodeo Drive to the chic boutiques of the beach cities, Los Angeles offers shopping for every style. Top shopping enclaves include Rodeo Drive, the Fashion District in Downtown L.A., The Grove, Beverly Center, Hollywood & Highland, Americana at Brand in Glendale, Westfield Century City, Robertson Boulevard, Melrose Avenue, The Citadel Outlets, Third Street Promenade and Santa Monica Place. Throughout L.A., visitors will find eclectic shopping neighborhoods, museum gift shops and several outlets for bargain shoppers.
As the sixth largest hotel market in the U.S., Los Angeles offers 1,008 hotels with more than 98,600 hotel rooms. Accommodations are conveniently located near prized attractions, museums and public transportation, ranging from value to luxury and simplistic to trendy. Los Angeles’ hotel community continues to grow along with the tourism industry.
Some of the world’s best-known and most iconic landmarks and attractions call Los Angeles home: the Hollywood Sign; Griffith Observatory; the Getty Center; the Walt Disney Concert Hall at the Music Center in Downtown L.A.; the Hollywood Walk of Fame; the TCL Chinese Theatre; Space Shuttle Endeavour at the California Science Center; the Battleship USS Iowa located at the Port of Los Angeles in San Pedro; Air Force One at the Ronald Reagan Library; and Universal Studios Hollywood, with its dynamic immersive experience, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™.
Southern California is famous for its near-perfect weather and Los Angeles has plenty of outdoor activities to allow visitors to enjoy the sunshine. Plus, Los Angeles is one of few cities in the world where it’s possible to ski in the morning and surf in the afternoon.
Los Angeles is home to Griffith Park, the largest city park in the country, with 400 square feet of recreational space and 50 miles of hiking trails that lead to some of the most spectacular views of the city and Hollywood Sign. Visitors can hike to the Griffith Observatory or even travel on horseback to experience the best sights. Runyon Canyon also offers great space for visitors to hike, bike and walk. The 106-acre park sits in the middle of Hollywood and offers several great hiking trails and a dog park.
With over 431 miles of bikeways, including 120 new miles created within the city of Los Angeles in the last two years, and increased Metro transit options it’s easier than ever to get around and experience Los Angeles Car Free. L.A. Tourism has launched a Car Free L.A. initiative that encourages travelers to explore the city in a fresh and healthy new way – via foot, bike and public transportation using tested themed self-guided itineraries. Visitors can also see L.A. without having to get behind the wheel with guided tour options such as Bikes and Hikes L.A. and Starline Tours Hop-On, Hop-Off tours.
With famous venues like the Staples Center at L.A. LIVE, home to the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers, NHL’s L.A. Kings, and Dodger’s Stadium, where the Los Angeles Dodgers serve as a main attraction sports fans flock to in L.A. Los Angeles is also home to several esteemed universities that have large sports followings such as USC and UCLA.
The Los Angeles Convention Center (LACC), located in Downtown Los Angeles, is a world class Convention and exhibition facility that is equipped with sun-drenched spaces and technology to meet every meeting need. As of 2014, the Downtown Los Angeles Central Business District offers 8,700 hotel rooms and additional hotel meeting space near the Convention Center. This includes the JW Marriot Los Angeles at L.A. LIVE and The Ritz-Carlton, Los Angeles adjacent to the LACC.
Convention Center Statistics
Exhibition Space: 720,000 sq. ft.
Meeting Room Space: 147,000 sq. ft.
Number of Meeting Rooms: 64 rooms
On-site parking: 5,600 vehicles
Adjacent Hotel Meeting Space: 100,000+ sq. ft.
Los Angeles International Airport (LAX): 87.5 million
Bob Hope Airport (Burbank): 5.2 million
Long Beach Airport: 3.8 million
Source: Lawa.org, Burbankairport.com, Long Beach Airport - Lgb.org
Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA)
Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) is a unique system of airports owned and operated by the City of Los Angeles. Each of the airports – Los Angeles International (LAX) and Van Nuys (VNY) – plays an integral role in helping to meet the regional demand for passenger, cargo and general aviation service.
Underscoring its status as the gateway to the West Coast and to Asia/Pacific, LAX offers direct flights from more than 100 domestic cities and 40 countries. LAX is the fourth busiest commercial airport in the world, serving 87.5 million passengers a year.
LAX also ranks No. 10 for the most cargo tonnage processed in the world with more than 2 million tonnes of goods processed, a reflection of the critical role the airport plays in global and domestic trade.
Operations began in September 2013 at the new, $1.9 billion Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT) at LAX. With a design inspired by the waves of the Pacific Ocean along L.A.’s coastline, TBIT offers 18 new aircraft boarding gates, half of which can accommodate the larger, new-generation aircraft and a fully modernized customs facility accommodating 4,500 passengers per hour, nearly double the previous level.
A Great Hall with soaring 110-foot-tall ceilings features more than 60 premier dining and luxury shops including 22 local Los Angeles Brands (Fred Segal, Umami, Border Grill), as well as global luxury brands (Hermes, Gucci, Bulgari).
LAX now offers 40 Automated Passport Control (APC) kiosks that will expedite the entry process for international arriving passengers at the Tom Bradley International Terminal. Available in 13 languages, international travelers can submit their customs declaration form and biographic information electronically via APC kiosks. Individuals can complete the process within 90 seconds and a family of three within four minutes.
CRUISE TRAFFIC FOR THE PORT OF LOS ANGELES (2015): 592,335
The Port of Los Angeles and Port of Long Beach combine to make their sea ports complex the largest in the Western Hemisphere, handling more than 40 percent of all inbound containers for the entire United States. With more than 15 million twenty foot equivalent (TEU) containers processed in 2016, the twin ports complex is one of the busiest ports complexes in the world, and can handle the largest container ships in the world.
Amtrak Passenger Stats
AMTRAK PASSENGER BOARDINGS IN ALL LA COUNTY STATIONS IN FY 2013: 1,589,391
Los Angeles Union Station is the 5th busiest station in the national Amtrak System.
L.A. County is an entertainment, manufacturing and international trade behemoth, with a fast growing high-tech and digital media industry cluster largely centered in West L.A. and, increasingly, in the Hollywood area and beyond. With $807 billion in annual output, Los Angeles County ranks among the world’s largest economies. Its GDP, which would rank No. 19 in the world if it were a standalone nation, is larger than Switzerland and Saudi Arabia, and right behind Netherlands and Turkey, underscoring the magnitude of the region's economy.
Los Angeles is home to 113 accredited colleges and universities such as Pepperdine University, Occidental College and Loyola Marymount University, including some of the most famous academically distinguished universities in the world such as the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA); University of Southern California (USC); California Institute of Technology (Caltech); and the Art Center College of Design.
L.A. Tourism operates several Visitor Information Centers, from one at Hollywood and Highland to another in Downtown L.A.'s InterContinental. All offer multilingual staff to answer travel questions.
InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown
900 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90017
Hollywood & Highland
6801 Hollywood Blvd.
Hollywood, CA 90028
800 N. Alameda St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
San Pedro/Los Angeles Waterfront
390 West 7th St.
San Pedro, CA 90731
About the LA Tourism Board
Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board is a private, nonprofit business association whose primary mission is to market and promote Los Angeles as the premier site for leisure travel, meetings and conventions. Los Angeles Tourism is recognized as the City's official tourism marketing organization. For more information about the endless entertainment experiences offered in Los Angeles, go to discoverLosAngeles.com, like us at www.facebook.com/LosAngelesFan or follow us on Twitter and Instagram @discoverLA.