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Southern California (sometimes known as SoCal; es, Sur de California) is a geographic and cultural region that generally comprises the southern portion of the U.S. state of
California California is a in the . With over 39.3million residents across a total area of approximately , it is the and the U.S. state by area. It is also the in North America and the in the world. The area and the are the nation's second and ...

California
. It includes the
Los Angeles metropolitan area Greater Los Angeles, with a 2019 population of 18,710,563, is the second-largest urban region area in the United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a ...
, the second most populous
urban agglomeration An urban area, or built-up area, is a human settlement In geography, statistics and archaeology, a settlement, locality or populated place is a community in which people live. The complexity of a settlement can range from a small number o ...
in the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country in . It consists of 50 , a , five major , 326 , and some . At , it is the world's . The United States shares significan ...

United States
. The region generally contains ten of California's 58 counties:
Imperial Imperial is that which relates to an empire, emperor, or imperialism. Imperial or The Imperial may also refer to: Places United States * Imperial, California * Imperial, Missouri * Imperial, Nebraska * Imperial, Pennsylvania * Imperial, Texas * ...
,
Kern KERN (1180 kHz) is a commercial AM radio station , Sweden , Norway Radio broadcasting is transmission of audio signal, audio (sound), sometimes with related metadata, by radio waves intended to reach a wide audience. In terrestrial radio bro ...
,
Los Angeles Los Angeles ( ; xgf, Tovaangar; es, Los Ángeles, , ), commonly referred to by the L.A., is the in . With a 2020 population of 3,898,747, it is the in the , following . Los Angeles is known for its , ethnic and cultural diversity, a ...
,
Orange Orange most often refers to: *Orange (colour), occurs between red and yellow in the visible spectrum *Orange (fruit), the fruit of the tree species '' Citrus'' × ''sinensis'' ** Orange blossom, its fragrant flower *Some other citrus or citrus-li ...
, Riverside,
San Bernardino San Bernardino (; Spanish for "Saint Bernardino") is a city located in the Inland Empire region of Southern California Southern California (popularly known as SoCal; es, Sur de California) is a geographic and cultural region that generally ...
,
San Diego San Diego ( , ; ) is a city in the U.S. state In the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United States, primarily located in Nor ...
, Santa Barbara,
San Luis Obispo San Luis Obispo (, ; SLO for short) is a city in the U.S. state of California and county seat of San Luis Obispo County, approximately north of Los Angeles and south of San Francisco. Located in Southern California's Central Coast (Californi ...
and
Ventura Ventura (Italian language, Italian, Portuguese language, Portuguese and Spanish language, Spanish for "fortune") may refer to: Places ; Brazil * Boa Ventura de São Roque, a municipality in the state of Paraná, southern Brazil * Boa Ventura, P ...
counties. The
Colorado Desert California's Colorado Desert is a part of the larger Sonoran Desert. It encompasses approximately , including the heavily irrigation, irrigated Coachella Valley, Coachella and Imperial Valley, Imperial valleys. It is home to many unique flora and ...
and the
Colorado River The Colorado River ( es, Río Colorado) is one of the principal rivers (along with the Rio Grande) in the Southwestern United States and northern Mexico. The river drains an expansive, arid drainage basin, watershed that encompasses parts of ...

Colorado River
are located on southern California's eastern border with
Arizona Arizona ( ; nv, Hoozdo Hahoodzo ; ood, Alĭ ṣonak) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ' ...

Arizona
, and San Bernardino County shares a border with
Nevada Nevada (, ) is a in the region of the United States. It is bordered by to the northwest, to the northeast, to the west, to the southeast, and to the east. Nevada is the , the , and the of the U.S. states. Nearly three-quarters of Neva ...

Nevada
to the northeast. Southern California's southern border with
Baja California Baja CaliforniaSometimes informally referred to as ('North Lower California') to distinguish it from both the Baja California Peninsula, of which it forms the northern half, and Baja California Sur, the adjacent state that covers the southern h ...
is part of the
Mexico–United States border The Mexico–United States border ( es, frontera México–Estados Unidos) is an Border, international border separating Mexico and the United States, extending from the Pacific Ocean in the west to the Gulf of Mexico in the east. The border t ...
. Over time,
droughts A drought is an event of prolonged shortages in the water supply, whether atmospheric (below-average precipitation In meteorology Meteorology is a branch of the atmospheric sciences which includes atmospheric chemistry and atmospheric ...
and
wildfires A wildfire, bushfire, wildland fire or rural fire is an unplanned, unwanted, uncontrolled fire BBQ. Fire is the rapid oxidation of a material in the exothermic chemical process of combustion, releasing heat, light, and various reaction ...
have increased in frequency and become less seasonal and more year-round, further straining the region's
water security Water security has been defined as "the reliable availability of an acceptable quantity and quality of water for health, livelihoods and production, coupled with an acceptable level of water-related risks". It is realised to the degree that water s ...
.


Constituent metropolitan areas

Southern California includes the heavily built-up urban area which stretches along the Pacific coast from
Ventura Ventura (Italian language, Italian, Portuguese language, Portuguese and Spanish language, Spanish for "fortune") may refer to: Places ; Brazil * Boa Ventura de São Roque, a municipality in the state of Paraná, southern Brazil * Boa Ventura, P ...
through
Greater Los Angeles 300px, Downtown Los Angeles in 2016 Greater Los Angeles, with a 2019 population of 18,710,563, is the second-largest urban region area in the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S ...
down to
Greater San Diego San Diego County, officially the County of San Diego, is a county (United States), county in the southwestern corner of the U.S. state, state of California, in the United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, 2010 census, the population wa ...

Greater San Diego
(the contiguous urban area in fact continuing into
Tijuana, Mexico Tijuana ( ,"Tijuana"
(US) and
) is a city of both Inland Empire The Inland Empire (IE) is a metropolitan area and region in Southern California Southern California (popularly known as SoCal; es, Sur de California) is a geographic and cultural region that generally comprises the southern portion of the U ...

Inland Empire
and
Coachella Valley , map_image = Wpdms shdrlfi020l coachella valley.jpg , map_caption = Coachella Valley , location = California California is a U.S. state, state in the Western United States. With over 39.3million residents across a total area of appro ...

Coachella Valley
(
Palm Springs Palm Springs is a desert resort city in Riverside County, California, United States, within the Colorado Desert's Coachella Valley. The city covers approximately , making it the largest city in Riverside County by land area. With multiple plots ...

Palm Springs
area). It encompasses eight metropolitan areas (MSAs), three of which together form the Greater Los Angeles
Combined Statistical Area Combined statistical area (CSA) is a United States Office of Management and Budget The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is the largest office within the Executive Office of the President of the United States (EOP). OMB's most prominent ...
(CSA) with over 18 million people, the second-biggest CSA after the New York CSA. These three MSAs are: the
Los Angeles metropolitan area Greater Los Angeles, with a 2019 population of 18,710,563, is the second-largest urban region area in the United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a ...
(
Los Angeles Los Angeles ( ; xgf, Tovaangar; es, Los Ángeles, , ), commonly referred to by the L.A., is the in . With a 2020 population of 3,898,747, it is the in the , following . Los Angeles is known for its , ethnic and cultural diversity, a ...
and
Orange Orange most often refers to: *Orange (colour), occurs between red and yellow in the visible spectrum *Orange (fruit), the fruit of the tree species '' Citrus'' × ''sinensis'' ** Orange blossom, its fragrant flower *Some other citrus or citrus-li ...
counties, with 13.3 million people), the
Inland Empire The Inland Empire (IE) is a metropolitan area and region in Southern California Southern California (popularly known as SoCal; es, Sur de California) is a geographic and cultural region that generally comprises the southern portion of the U ...
( (Riverside and
San Bernardino San Bernardino (; Spanish for "Saint Bernardino") is a city located in the Inland Empire region of Southern California Southern California (popularly known as SoCal; es, Sur de California) is a geographic and cultural region that generally ...
counties, including the
Coachella Valley , map_image = Wpdms shdrlfi020l coachella valley.jpg , map_caption = Coachella Valley , location = California California is a U.S. state, state in the Western United States. With over 39.3million residents across a total area of appro ...

Coachella Valley
cities, with 4.3 million people), and the Oxnard–Thousand Oaks–Ventura metropolitan area (0.8 million people). In addition, Southern California contains the
San Diego metropolitan area San Diego County, officially the County of San Diego, is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary, L. Brookes (ed.), 2005, Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd, Edinburgh ...
with 3.3 million people,
Bakersfield Bakersfield is a charter city in Kern County, California California is a U.S. state, state in the Western United States. With over 39.3million residents across a total area of approximately , it is the List of states and territories of ...
metro area with 0.9 million, and the Santa Barbara,
San Luis Obispo San Luis Obispo (, ; SLO for short) is a city in the U.S. state of California and county seat of San Luis Obispo County, approximately north of Los Angeles and south of San Francisco. Located in Southern California's Central Coast (Californi ...
, and El Centro (Imperial County) metropolitan areas. The Southern California
Megaregion A megalopolis (), sometimes called a megapolis; also megaregion, city cluster or supercity, is a group of two or more roughly adjacent metropolitan area A metropolitan area or metro is a region consisting of a densely populated core city, ur ...
(or
megalopolis A megalopolis (), sometimes called a megapolis; also megaregion, city cluster or supercity, is a group of two or more roughly adjacent metropolitan area A metropolitan area or metro is a region consisting of a densely populated core city, ur ...

megalopolis
) is larger still, extending northeast into
Las Vegas Las Vegas (; for "The Meadows"), often known simply as Vegas, is the in the United States, the most populous city in the of , and the of . The city anchors the metropolitan area and is the largest city within the greater . Las Vegas is ...

Las Vegas
,
Nevada Nevada (, ) is a in the region of the United States. It is bordered by to the northwest, to the northeast, to the west, to the southeast, and to the east. Nevada is the , the , and the of the U.S. states. Nearly three-quarters of Neva ...

Nevada
and south across the
Mexican Mexican may refer to: Mexico and its culture *Being related to, from, or connected to the country of Mexico, in North America ** Being related to the State of Mexico, one of the 32 federal entities of Mexico ** Culture of Mexico *** Mexican cuisi ...

Mexican
border into
Tijuana Tijuana ( ,"Tijuana"
(US) and
) is a city of both Baja California, Ba ...

Tijuana
.


Significance

Within southern California are two major cities,
Los Angeles Los Angeles ( ; xgf, Tovaangar; es, Los Ángeles, , ), commonly referred to by the L.A., is the in . With a 2020 population of 3,898,747, it is the in the , following . Los Angeles is known for its , ethnic and cultural diversity, a ...

Los Angeles
and
San Diego San Diego ( , ; ) is a city in the U.S. state In the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United States, primarily located in Nor ...

San Diego
, as well as three of the country's largest metropolitan areas. With a population of approximately 4 million, Los Angeles is the most populous city in California and the second most populous in the United States. South of Los Angeles and with a population of approximately 1.4 million is San Diego, the second most populous city in the state and the eighth most populous in the nation. The counties of
Los Angeles Los Angeles ( ; xgf, Tovaangar; es, Los Ángeles, , ), commonly referred to by the L.A., is the in . With a 2020 population of 3,898,747, it is the in the , following . Los Angeles is known for its , ethnic and cultural diversity, a ...
,
San Diego San Diego ( , ; ) is a city in the U.S. state In the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United States, primarily located in Nor ...
,
Orange Orange most often refers to: *Orange (colour), occurs between red and yellow in the visible spectrum *Orange (fruit), the fruit of the tree species '' Citrus'' × ''sinensis'' ** Orange blossom, its fragrant flower *Some other citrus or citrus-li ...
, Riverside, and
San Bernardino San Bernardino (; Spanish for "Saint Bernardino") is a city located in the Inland Empire region of Southern California Southern California (popularly known as SoCal; es, Sur de California) is a geographic and cultural region that generally ...
are the five most populous in the state, and are among the top 15 most populous counties in the United States. The
motion picture A film, also called a movie, motion picture or moving picture, is a work of visual art used to simulate experiences that communicate ideas, stories, perceptions, feelings, beauty, or atmosphere through the use of moving images. These image ...

motion picture
,
television Television, sometimes shortened to TV or telly, is a telecommunication Media (communication), medium used for transmitting moving images in grayscale, black-and-white or in color, and in two or 3D television, three dimensions and sound. The ...
and
music industry The music industry consists of the individuals and organizations that earn money by s and s, creating and selling and , presenting , as well as the organizations that aid, train, represent and supply creators. Among the many individuals and ...
are centered in the Los Angeles area in southern California.
Hollywood Hollywood is a neighborhood A neighbourhood (British English, Hiberno-English, Hibernian English, Australian English and Canadian English) or neighborhood (American English; American and British English spelling differences, see spelling ...

Hollywood
, a district of Los Angeles, gives its name to the American motion picture industry, which is synonymous with the neighborhood name. Headquartered in southern California are
The Walt Disney Company The Walt Disney Company, commonly just Disney (), is an American multinational entertainment Entertainment is a form of activity that holds the attention and Interest (emotion), interest of an audience or gives pleasure and delight. It ...
(which owns
ABC ABC are the first three letters of the Latin script known as the alphabet. ABC or abc may also refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Broadcasting * American Broadcasting Company, a commercial U.S. TV broadcaster ** Disney–ABC Television ...
),
Sony Pictures Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. (commonly known as Sony Pictures or SPE, and formerly known as Columbia Pictures Entertainment Inc.) is an American diversified multinational mass media and entertainment studio conglomerate Conglomerate or congl ...
,
Universal Pictures Universal Pictures (legally Universal City Studios LLC, also known as Universal Studios, or simply Universal; common : Uni, and formerly named Universal Film Manufacturing Company and Universal-International Pictures Inc.) is an American and ...
,
MGM Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. (also known as Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures or MGM) is an American media company, founded in 1924, that produces and distributes feature films and television programs. It is based in Beverly Hills, California ...
,
Paramount Pictures Paramount Pictures Corporation (common : Par) is an American film and television and company and a subsidiary of . It is the fifth oldest in the world, the second oldest film studio in the United States (behind ), and the sole member of the ...

Paramount Pictures
and
Warner Bros Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. (commonly known as Warner Bros. and abbreviated as WB) is an American diversified multinational mass media and entertainment headquartered at the in , , and a subsidiary of 's through its Studios & Networks d ...

Warner Bros
. Universal, Warner Bros. and Sony also run major record companies. Southern California is also home to a large homegrown surf and skateboard culture. Companies such as
Vans Vans is an American manufacturer of Skate shoe, skateboarding shoes and related apparel, started in Anaheim, California, and owned by VF Corporation. The company also sponsors surfing, surf, snowboarding, BMX, and motocross teams. From 1996 to 20 ...

Vans
,
Volcom Volcom is a lifestyle brand A lifestyle brand is a brand that attempts to embody the values, aspirations, interests, Propositional attitude, attitudes, or opinions of a group or a culture for marketing purposes.page 16 Lifestyle brands seek to in ...
,
Quiksilver Quiksilver is a brand A brand is a name, term, design, symbol or any other feature that identifies one seller's good or service as distinct from those of other sellers. Brands are used in business Business is the activity of making on ...
,
No Fear No Fear is an American lifestyle clothing brand that was created in 1989 by Mark Simo, Brian Simo, Boris Said, and Marty Moates. No Fear Inc. products are sold at various retail stores ancompany owned stores It also offers No Fear energy dri ...
, Stussy,
RVCA RVCA is a Costa Mesa, California-based clothing company owned by Boardriders. Etymology The logotype for RVCA portrays the letter A without a crossbar, resembling an uppercase lambda Lambda (; uppercase , lowercase ; el, λάμ(β)δα, ...
and
Body Glove Body Glove is an American brand of watersports apparel and accessories that was founded in 1953 by twin brothers Bill and Bob Meistrell. The brothers are often credited with inventing the first practical wetsuit in the early 1950s at the back of ...
are all headquartered here. Skateboarder
Tony Hawk Anthony Frank Hawk (born May 12, 1968), nicknamed Birdman, is an American professional Skateboarding, skateboarder, entrepreneur, and the owner of the skateboard company Birdhouse Skateboards, Birdhouse. He completed the first documented "900 (s ...

Tony Hawk
; surfers
Rob Machado Robert Edward Machado (born October 16, 1973) is an Australian-born American professional surfer and environmental activist. Early life Machado attended San Dieguito High School. He describes himself in interviews, vlogs and social media ...
,
Timmy Curran Tim Curran (born August 14, 1977) is a musician, retired professional surfer and a spokesperson for the Surfrider Foundation. During his successful surfing career, he was one of the best surfers on the World Championship Tour, and was consistently ...
, Bobby Martinez, Pat O'Connell, Dane Reynolds, and Chris Ward live in southern California. Some of the most famous surf locations are in southern California as well, including
Trestles Trestles is a collection of surfing spots between northern San Onofre State Beach in San Diego County and southern San Clemente, California, San Clemente in Orange County, California, Orange County in California.Rincon,
The Wedge A wedge is a triangular-shaped simple machine. Wedge, The Wedge, or Wedges may also refer to: Common meanings * Wedge (footwear), a type of shoe * Wedge (golf), a type of golf club Culture Fictional characters * Wedge (Transformers), an Autobo ...
,
Huntington Beach Huntington Beach is a seaside city in Orange County, California, Orange County in Southern California, located southeast of Downtown Los Angeles. The city is named after American businessman Henry E. Huntington. The population was 189,992 durin ...
and Malibu. Some of the world's largest
action sports Action sports, adventure sports or extreme sports are activities perceived as involving a high degree of risk. These activities often involve speed, height, a high level of physical exertion and highly specialized gear. Definition The defini ...
events, including the
X Games The X Games are an annual extreme sport Action sports, adventure sports or extreme sports are physical activity, activities perceived as involving a high degree of risk. These activities often involve speed, height, a high level of phys ...
, Boost Mobile Pro, and the U.S. Open of Surfing, are held in southern California. The region is also important to the world of
yachting Yachting is the use of recreational boats and ships called ''yacht A yacht is a sailing or power vessel used for pleasure, cruising, or racing. There is no standard definition, so the term applies to such vessels that have a cabin with amenit ...
with premier events including the annual
Transpacific Yacht Race The Transpacific Yacht Race (Transpac) is an offshore Yacht racing, yacht race starting off the Pt. Fermin buoy in San Pedro, California and ending off Diamond Head in Hawaii, a distance of around . Started in 1906 by Clarence W. Macfarlane and hos ...
, or ''Transpac'', from Los Angeles to Hawaii. The
San Diego Yacht Club San Diego Yacht Club is a yacht club located in San Diego Bay. It is located in Point Loma across from a spit of land known as Shelter Island. Facilities The San Diego Yacht Club facility has a main dining room and outdoor deck seating, a b ...
held the
America's Cup The America's Cup, informally known as the Auld Mug, is a trophy A trophy is a tangible, durable reminder of a specific achievement, and serves as a recognition or evidence of merit. Trophies are often awarded for , from youth sports to pr ...

America's Cup
, the most prestigious prize in yachting, from 1988 to 1995 and hosted three America's Cup races during that time. The first modern-era
triathlon A triathlon is an endurance multisport raceMultisport may refer to: * Multi-purpose stadium A multi-purpose stadium is a type of stadium designed to be easily used by multiple types of events. While any stadium could potentially host more ...

triathlon
was held in San Diego's Mission Bay in 1974. Since then, southern California, and
San Diego San Diego ( , ; ) is a city in the U.S. state In the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United States, primarily located in Nor ...
in particular, have become a mecca for
triathlon A triathlon is an endurance multisport raceMultisport may refer to: * Multi-purpose stadium A multi-purpose stadium is a type of stadium designed to be easily used by multiple types of events. While any stadium could potentially host more ...

triathlon
and multi-sport racing, products and culture. Southern California is home to many sports franchises and sports networks such as
Fox Sports Net Fox Sports Networks (FSN), formerly known as Fox Sports Net, was the collective name for a group of regional sports channels in the United States. Formed in 1996 by News Corporation, the networks were acquired by The Walt Disney Company ...
. Many locals and tourists frequent the southern California coast for its beaches. Some of southern California's most popular beaches are Malibu,
Laguna Beach Laguna Beach () is a seaside resort A seaside resort is a resort town or resort village, or resort hotel, located on the coast. Sometimes it is also an officially accredited title, that is only awarded to a town when the requirements are met (li ...

Laguna Beach
, La Jolla, and
Hermosa Beach Hermosa Beach is a beachfront city in Los Angeles County, California, United States. Its population was 19,506 at the 2010 United States Census, 2010 U.S. Census. The city is located in the South Bay, Los Angeles, South Bay region of the Greater ...
. The inland desert city of
Palm Springs Palm Springs is a desert resort city in Riverside County, California, United States, within the Colorado Desert's Coachella Valley. The city covers approximately , making it the largest city in Riverside County by land area. With multiple plots ...
is also popular.


Northern boundary

Southern California is not a formal geographic designation, and definitions of what constitutes southern California vary. Geographically, California's north–south midway point lies at exactly 37° 9' 58.23" latitude, around south of San Jose; however, this does not coincide with the popular use of the term. When the state is divided into two areas (northern and southern California), the term ''southern California'' usually refers to the 10 southernmost counties of the state. This definition coincides neatly with the county lines at 35° 47′ 28″ North latitude, which form the northern borders of
San Luis Obispo San Luis Obispo (, ; SLO for short) is a city in the U.S. state of California and county seat of San Luis Obispo County, approximately north of Los Angeles and south of San Francisco. Located in Southern California's Central Coast (Californi ...
,
Kern KERN (1180 kHz) is a commercial AM radio station , Sweden , Norway Radio broadcasting is transmission of audio signal, audio (sound), sometimes with related metadata, by radio waves intended to reach a wide audience. In terrestrial radio bro ...
, and
San Bernardino San Bernardino (; Spanish for "Saint Bernardino") is a city located in the Inland Empire region of Southern California Southern California (popularly known as SoCal; es, Sur de California) is a geographic and cultural region that generally ...
counties. That closely matches the lower one-third of California's span of latitude. Another definition for southern California uses
Point Conception Image:Aerial-PtConceptionLight.jpg, 300px, Aerial photo of lighthouse, looking toward the northwest, taken 4pm 3/5/09 Point Conception (Chumashan languages, Chumash: ''Humqaq'') is a headland along the Gaviota Coast in southwestern Santa Barbara ...
and the
Tehachapi Mountains The Tehachapi Mountains are a mountain range in the Transverse Ranges system of California California is a U.S. state, state in the Western United States. With over 39.3million residents across a total area of approximately , it is the L ...
as geographical landmarks for the northern boundary. Though there is no official definition for the northern boundary of southern California, such a division has existed from the time when Mexico ruled California and political disputes raged between the
Californios Californios are Hispanic people native to the U.S. state of California California is a U.S. state, state in the Western United States. With over 39.3million residents across a total area of approximately , it is the List of states and terr ...
of
Monterey Monterey ( es, Monterrey; Ohlone: ') is a city located in Monterey County on the southern edge of Monterey Bay on the U.S. state of California California is a U.S. state, state in the Western United States. With over 39.3million residen ...
in the upper part and
Los Angeles Los Angeles ( ; xgf, Tovaangar; es, Los Ángeles, , ), commonly referred to by the L.A., is the in . With a 2020 population of 3,898,747, it is the in the , following . Los Angeles is known for its , ethnic and cultural diversity, a ...

Los Angeles
in the lower part of
Alta California Alta California ('Upper California'), also known as ('New California'), among other names, was a province of New Spain, formally established in 1804. Along with the Baja California peninsula, it had previously comprised the province of , but wa ...
. Following the acquisition of California by the United States, the division continued as part of the attempt by several pro-slavery politicians to arrange the division of Alta California at 36 degrees, 30 minutes, the . Instead, the passing of the
Compromise of 1850 The Compromise of 1850 was a package of five separate bills passed by the United States Congress in September 1850 that defused a political confrontation between slave and free states on the status of Mexican Cession, territories acquired in th ...
enabled California to be admitted to the Union as a
free state The Free State ( af, Vrystaat; st, Freistata; xh, iFreyistata; tn, Foreistata; zu, iFuleyisitata; before 1995, the Orange Free State) is a Provinces of South Africa, province of South Africa. Its capital is Bloemfontein, which is also South A ...
, preventing southern California from becoming its own separate
slave state In the United States before 1865, a slave state was a state in which slavery and the slave trade were legal, while a free state was one in which they were not. Between 1812 and 1850, it was considered by the slave states to be politically im ...
. Subsequently, Californians (dissatisfied with inequitable taxes and land laws) and pro-slavery Southerners in the lightly populated "cow counties" of southern California attempted three times in the 1850s to achieve a separate statehood or territorial status separate from Northern California. The last attempt, the Pico Act of 1859, was passed by the
California State Legislature The California State Legislature is a bicameral Bicameralism is a type of legislature A legislature is a deliberative assembly with the authority In the fields of sociology Sociology is the study of society, human social beh ...
and signed by
State Governor A governor is, in most cases, a public official with the power to govern the executive branch The executive is the branch of government exercising authority in and holding Moral responsibility, responsibility for the governance of a State (p ...
John B. Weller. It was approved overwhelmingly by nearly 75 percent of voters in the proposed
Territory of Colorado The Territory of Colorado was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from February 28, 1861, until August 1, 1876, when it was admitted to the Union as the State of Colorado. The territory was organized in the w ...
. This territory was to include all the counties up to the then much larger
Tulare County Tulare County ( ) is a County (United States), county in the U.S. state of California. As of the 2010 United States Census, 2010 census, the population was 442,179. Its county seat is Visalia, California, Visalia. The county is named for Tulare Lak ...
(that included what is now Kings, most of Kern, and part of Inyo counties) and
San Luis Obispo County San Luis Obispo County, officially the County of San Luis Obispo, is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary, L. Brookes (ed.), 2005, Chambers Harrap Publishers ...
. The proposal was sent to
Washington, D.C. ) , image_skyline = , image_caption = Clockwise from top left: the Washington Monument The Washington Monument is an obelisk within the National Mall The National Mall is a Landscape architecture, landscaped ...
with a strong advocate in Senator Milton Latham. However, the secession crisis following the
election An election is a formal group decision-making process by which a population chooses an individual or multiple individuals to hold Public administration, public office. Elections have been the usual mechanism by which modern representative dem ...
of
Abraham Lincoln Abraham Lincoln (; February 12, 1809 – April 15, 1865) was an American statesman and lawyer who served as the 16th president of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state and head of governme ...

Abraham Lincoln
in 1860 and the subsequent
American Civil War The American Civil War (also known by other names Other most often refers to: * Other (philosophy), a concept in psychology and philosophy Other or The Other may also refer to: Books * The Other (Tryon novel), ''The Other'' (Tryon nove ...
led to the proposal never coming to a vote. In 1900, the ''
Los Angeles Times The ''Los Angeles Times'' (abbreviated as ''LA Times'') is a daily newspaper A newspaper is a containing written and is often typed in black ink with a white or gray background. Newspapers can cover a wide variety of fields such as , ...

Los Angeles Times
'' defined southern California as including "the seven counties of Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Orange, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura and Santa Barbara." In 1999, the ''Times'' added a newer county, Imperial, to that list. Southern California was the name of a proposed new state which failed to get on the 2018 California ballot. The ballot measure proposed splitting the existing state into three parts. The state is most commonly divided and promoted by its regional tourism groups, consisting of northern, central, and southern California regions. The two American Automobile Association (AAA) Auto Clubs of the state, the California State Automobile Association, and the Automobile Club of Southern California, choose to simplify matters by dividing the state along the lines where their jurisdictions for membership apply, as either northern or southern California, in contrast to the three-region point of view. Another influence is the geographical phrase ''South of the Tehachapis'', which would split the southern region off at the crest of that transverse range, but in that definition, the desert portions of north Los Angeles County and eastern Kern and San Bernardino Counties would be included in the southern California region due to their remoteness from the central valley and interior desert landscape. In December 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the state government led by Governor Gavin Newsom divided the state into five regions for the purpose of issuing stay-at-home orders. The Southern California region consists of the following counties:
Imperial Imperial is that which relates to an empire, emperor, or imperialism. Imperial or The Imperial may also refer to: Places United States * Imperial, California * Imperial, Missouri * Imperial, Nebraska * Imperial, Pennsylvania * Imperial, Texas * ...
, Inyo,
Los Angeles Los Angeles ( ; xgf, Tovaangar; es, Los Ángeles, , ), commonly referred to by the L.A., is the in . With a 2020 population of 3,898,747, it is the in the , following . Los Angeles is known for its , ethnic and cultural diversity, a ...
, Mono County, California, Mono,
Orange Orange most often refers to: *Orange (colour), occurs between red and yellow in the visible spectrum *Orange (fruit), the fruit of the tree species '' Citrus'' × ''sinensis'' ** Orange blossom, its fragrant flower *Some other citrus or citrus-li ...
, Riverside,
San Bernardino San Bernardino (; Spanish for "Saint Bernardino") is a city located in the Inland Empire region of Southern California Southern California (popularly known as SoCal; es, Sur de California) is a geographic and cultural region that generally ...
,
San Diego San Diego ( , ; ) is a city in the U.S. state In the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United States, primarily located in Nor ...
,
San Luis Obispo San Luis Obispo (, ; SLO for short) is a city in the U.S. state of California and county seat of San Luis Obispo County, approximately north of Los Angeles and south of San Francisco. Located in Southern California's Central Coast (Californi ...
, Santa Barbara and
Ventura Ventura (Italian language, Italian, Portuguese language, Portuguese and Spanish language, Spanish for "fortune") may refer to: Places ; Brazil * Boa Ventura de São Roque, a municipality in the state of Paraná, southern Brazil * Boa Ventura, P ...
.


Urban landscape

Southern California consists of a heavily developed urban environment, home to some of the largest List of urbanized areas in California (by population), urban areas in the state, along with vast areas that have been left undeveloped. It is the third most populated megalopolis in the United States, after the Great Lakes Megalopolis and the Northeast megalopolis, Northeast Megalopolis. Much of southern California is famous for its large, spread-out, suburban communities and use of automobiles and highways. The dominant areas are Los Angeles, Orange County, California, Orange County,
San Diego San Diego ( , ; ) is a city in the U.S. state In the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United States, primarily located in Nor ...

San Diego
, and Riverside, California, Riverside-San Bernardino, California, San Bernardino, each of which are the centers of their respective metropolitan areas, composed of numerous smaller cities and communities. The urban area is also host to an international San Diego–Tijuana metropolitan region, created by the urban area spilling over into
Baja California Baja CaliforniaSometimes informally referred to as ('North Lower California') to distinguish it from both the Baja California Peninsula, of which it forms the northern half, and Baja California Sur, the adjacent state that covers the southern h ...
. Travelling south on Interstate 5 (California), Interstate 5, the main barrier to continued urbanization is Camp Pendleton. The cities and communities along Interstate 15 (California), Interstate 15 and Interstate 215 (California), Interstate 215 are so interrelated that Temecula, California, Temecula and Murrieta, California, Murrieta have as much connection with the
San Diego metropolitan area San Diego County, officially the County of San Diego, is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary, L. Brookes (ed.), 2005, Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd, Edinburgh ...
as they do with the
Inland Empire The Inland Empire (IE) is a metropolitan area and region in Southern California Southern California (popularly known as SoCal; es, Sur de California) is a geographic and cultural region that generally comprises the southern portion of the U ...
. To the east, the United States Census Bureau considers the San Bernardino and Riverside County areas, Riverside-San Bernardino area as a separate metropolitan area from Los Angeles County. Newly developed exurbs formed in the Antelope Valley, north of Los Angeles, the Victor Valley, and the
Coachella Valley , map_image = Wpdms shdrlfi020l coachella valley.jpg , map_caption = Coachella Valley , location = California California is a U.S. state, state in the Western United States. With over 39.3million residents across a total area of appro ...

Coachella Valley
with the Imperial Valley. Also, population growth was high in the Bakersfield, California, Bakersfield-Kern County, Santa Maria, California, Santa Maria and San Luis Obispo, California, San Luis Obispo areas.


Climate

Most of southern California has a Mediterranean climate, Mediterranean-like climate, with warm and dry summers, mild and wet winters, where cool weather and freezing temperatures are rare. Southern California contains other types of climates, including semi-arid, desert climate, desert and mountain climate, mountain, with infrequent rain and many sunny days. Summers are hot or warm, and dry, while winters are mild, and rainfall is low to moderate depending on the area. Although heavy rain can occur, it is unusual. This climatic pattern was alluded to in the hit song "It Never Rains (In Southern California)". While snow is very rare in lower elevations, mountains above receive plentiful snowfall in the winter.


Natural landscape

Southern California consists of one of the more varied collections of geologic, topographic, and natural ecosystem landscapes in a diversity outnumbering other major regions in the state and country. The region spans from Pacific Ocean Channel Islands of California, islands, shorelines, beaches, and coastal plains, through the Transverse Ranges, Transverse and Peninsular Ranges with their peaks, and into the large and small interior valleys, to the vast deserts of California. :Introductory categories include: *:Beaches of Southern California, Beaches of southern California *:Mountain ranges of Southern California, Mountain ranges of Southern California *:Rivers of Southern California, Rivers of Southern California *:Deserts of California, Deserts of California *:Parks in Southern California, Parks in Southern California


Geography

Southern California is divided into: *The South Coast (California), Coastal Region, which is densely populated and includes the coastal interior valleys west of the coastal mountains with all of Orange County and portions of San Diego, Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo counties. *A related Phytochorion, florist province term is the California Floristic Province#Cismontane region, Cismontane Region on the coastal side of the Transverse Ranges, Transverse and Peninsular Ranges, Peninsular mountain ranges, with the term "southern California" popularly referring to this more populated and visited zone. *The Desert Region, which is larger and sparsely populated with portions of Kern, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside, Imperial, and San Diego counties. The division between the Coastal Region and the Inland Empire/Imperial Valley winds along the backs of coastal mountain ranges such as the Santa Ana Mountains. *A related floristic province term is the California Floristic Province#Transmontane region, Transmontane Region on the rain shadow side of the same mountain ranges, with the term ''southern California'' including this zone geographically and when distinguishing all the 'southland' from northern California.


Geographic features

* Angeles National Forest (Los Angeles, San Bernardino, & Ventura Counties) * Antelope Hills, California, Antelope Hills (Kern County) * Antelope Valley (Los Angeles & Kern Counties) * Arroyo Seco (Los Angeles County), Arroyo Seco (Los Angeles County) * Bacon Hills (Kern County) * Baldwin Hills (mountain range), Baldwin Hills (Los Angeles County) * Ballona Wetlands (Los Angeles County) * Big Bear Lake (San Bernardino County) * Bissell Hills (Kern County) * Black Hills (Kern County) * Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve, Bolsa Chica Estuary (Orange County) * Buena Vista Hills (Kern County), Buena Vista Hills (Kern County) * Buena Vista Lake (Kern County) * Cajon Pass (San Bernardino County) * Calico Mountains (California), Calico Mountains (San Bernardino County) * Channel Islands of California, Channel Islands (Santa Barbara, Ventura & Los Angeles Counties) * Castaic Lake (Los Angeles County) * Chino Hills (Orange, Los Angeles, Riverside & San Bernardino Counties) *
Coachella Valley , map_image = Wpdms shdrlfi020l coachella valley.jpg , map_caption = Coachella Valley , location = California California is a U.S. state, state in the Western United States. With over 39.3million residents across a total area of appro ...

Coachella Valley
(Riverside County) *
Colorado Desert California's Colorado Desert is a part of the larger Sonoran Desert. It encompasses approximately , including the heavily irrigation, irrigated Coachella Valley, Coachella and Imperial Valley, Imperial valleys. It is home to many unique flora and ...
(San Bernardino, Riverside, Imperial, & San Diego Counties) *
Colorado River The Colorado River ( es, Río Colorado) is one of the principal rivers (along with the Rio Grande) in the Southwestern United States and northern Mexico. The river drains an expansive, arid drainage basin, watershed that encompasses parts of ...

Colorado River
(San Bernardino, Riverside & Imperial Counties, Baja California & Sonora) * Conejo Valley (Los Angeles & Ventura Counties) * Cucamonga Valley (San Bernardino & Riverside Counties) * Cuyamaca Mountains (San Diego County) * Death Valley (San Bernardino & Inyo Counties) * Diablo Range (Kern County) * Elk Hills (Kern County) * Elkhorn Hills (San Luis Obispo County) * El Mirage Lake (San Bernardino County) * El Paso Mountains (Kern County) * Greenhorn Mountains (Kern County) * High Desert (California), High Desert (Los Angeles, Kern, Inyo, & San Bernardino Counties) * Horned Toad Hills (Kern County) * Imperial Valley (California), Imperial Valley (Imperial County) * Irish Hills (California), Irish Hills (San Luis Obispo County) * In-Ko-Pah Mountains (San Diego County) * Inland Empire (CA), Inland Empire (Riverside & San Bernardino Counties) * Jacumba Mountains (San Diego County) * Jawbone Canyon (Kern County) * Kern River (Kern County) * La Jolla Cove (San Diego County) * Laguna Mountains (San Diego County) * Lake Arrowhead, California, Lake Arrowhead (San Bernardino County) * Lake Casitas (Ventura County) * Lake Elsinore (Riverside County) * Lake Isabella (Kern County) * Lake Perris (Riverside County) * Lake Piru (Ventura County) * Lakeview Mountains (Riverside County) * Lake Webb (Kern County) * Little San Bernardino Mountains (Riverside & San Bernardino Counties) * Little Signal Hills (Kern County) * Los Angeles Basin (Los Angeles & Orange Counties) * Los Angeles River (Los Angeles County) * Los Padres National Forest (Kern, Los Angeles, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, & Ventura Counties) * Lost Hills (Kern County) * Low Desert (Imperial, San Diego, Riverside & San Bernardino Counties) * Mojave Desert (Los Angeles, Kern & San Bernardino Counties) * Mojave River (San Bernardino County) * Mount San Antonio (Los Angeles County) * New River (California), New River (Imperial County, Mexicali Municipality) * Nine Sisters (San Luis Obispo County) * Ojai, California, Ojai Valley (Ventura County) * Orange Coast (Orange County) * Oxnard Plain (Ventura County) * Palomar Mountain (San Diego County) * Palo Verde Valley (Riverside & Imperial Counties) * Palos Verdes Hills, Palos Verdes Peninsula (Los Angeles County) * Panamint Range (Inyo County) * Peninsular Ranges (San Diego, Riverside, & Orange Counties) * Pleito Hills (Kern County) * Point Loma, San Diego, California, Point Loma (San Diego County) * Point Mugu (Ventura County) * Point of Rocks (Kern County, California), Point of Rocks (Kern County) * Pomona Valley (Los Angeles & San Bernardino Counties) * Providence Mountains (San Bernardino County) * Puente Hills (Los Angeles County) * Pyramid Lake (Los Angeles County, California), Pyramid Lake (Los Angeles County) * Rand Mountains (Kern County) * Rio Hondo (California), Rio Hondo (Los Angeles County) * Rosamond Hills (Kern County) * Saddleback Valley (Orange County) * Salton Sea (Imperial & Riverside Counties) * San Andreas Fault (All Counties) * San Bernardino Mountains (San Bernardino County) * San Bernardino National Forest (Riverside & San Bernardino Counties) * San Bernardino Valley (San Bernardino County) * San Diego Bay (San Diego County) * San Diego River (San Diego County) * San Emigdio Mountains (Los Angeles, Ventura, & Kern Counties) * San Fernando Valley (Los Angeles County) * San Gabriel Mountains (Los Angeles & San Bernardino Counties) * San Gabriel River (California), San Gabriel River (Los Angeles County) * San Gabriel Valley (Los Angeles County) * San Jacinto Mountains (Riverside County) * San Jacinto River (California), San Jacinto River (Riverside County) * San Joaquin Valley (Kern County) * San Luis Rey River (San Diego County) * San Pedro Bay (California), San Pedro Bay (Los Angeles County) * San Rafael Mountains (Santa Barbara County) * Santa Ana Mountains (Orange & Riverside Counties) * Santa Ana River (San Bernardino, Riverside & Orange Counties) * Santa Ana Valley (Orange County) * Santa Catalina Island, California, Santa Catalina Island (Los Angeles County) * Santa Clara River (California), Santa Clara River (Ventura County) * Santa Clara River Valley (Ventura County) * Santa Clarita Valley (Los Angeles County) * Santa Margarita River (Riverside, Orange & San Diego Counties) * Santa Monica Bay (Los Angeles County) * Santa Monica Mountains (Los Angeles & Ventura Counties) * Santa Rosa Mountains (California), Santa Rosa Mountains (Riverside, Imperial & San Diego Counties) * Santa Susana Mountains (Los Angeles & Ventura Counties) * Santa Ynez Mountains (Santa Barbara & Ventura Counties) * Santa Ynez Valley (Santa Barbara County) * Scodie Mountains (Kern County) * Sequoia National Forest (Kern County) * Shale Hills (Kern County) * Sierra Nevada (U.S.), Sierra Nevada (Kern County) * Sierra Pelona Mountains (Los Angeles & Kern Counties) * Simi Hills (Los Angeles & Ventura Counties) * Simi Valley (Ventura County) * Sweetwater River (California), Sweetwater River (San Diego County) *
Tehachapi Mountains The Tehachapi Mountains are a mountain range in the Transverse Ranges system of California California is a U.S. state, state in the Western United States. With over 39.3million residents across a total area of approximately , it is the L ...
(Kern & Los Angeles Counties) * Tejon Hills (Kern County) * Temescal Mountains (Riverside County) * Telephone Hills (Kern County) * Temblor Range (Kern & San Luis Obispo Counties) * Tijuana River (San Diego County) * Topatopa Mountains (Ventura County) * Turtle Mountains (California), Turtle Mountains (San Bernardino County) * Ventura River (Ventura County) * Verdugo Mountains (Los Angeles County) * Victor Valley (San Bernardino County)


Geology


List of major fault zones

Note: Plate boundary faults are indicated with a (#) symbol. * Brawley Seismic Zone * Chino Fault * Elsinore Fault Zone * Elysian Park Fault * Garlock Fault * Hosgri Fault * Imperial Fault Zone * Laguna Salada Fault * Newport–Inglewood Fault * Peninsular Ranges * Puente Hills Fault * Raymond Fault * Rose Canyon Fault * Salton Trough * Salinian Block * San Andreas Fault # * San Cayetano Fault * San Felipe Fault Zone * San Gabriel Fault * San Jacinto Fault Zone * Santa Maria River Fault * Santa Ynez Fault * Shoreline Fault * Ventura Fault * White Wolf Fault * Whittier Fault * Yorba Linda Fault


Earthquakes

Each year, southern California has about 10,000 earthquakes. Nearly all of them are so small that they are not felt. Only several hundred have been greater than Moment magnitude scale, magnitude 3.0, and only about 15–20 have been greater than magnitude 4.0. The magnitude 6.7 1994 Northridge earthquake was particularly destructive, causing a substantial number of deaths, injuries, and structural collapses as well as the most property damage of any earthquake in U.S. history at an estimated $20 billion. Many Fault (geology), faults are able to produce a magnitude greater than 6.7 earthquake, such as the San Andreas Fault, which can produce a magnitude 8.0 event. Other faults include the San Jacinto Fault, the Puente Hills Fault, and the Elsinore Fault Zone. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) has released a California earthquake forecast, which models earthquake occurrence in California.


=List of earthquakes

= This is a partial list of earthquakes in Southern California. For a full list, see List of earthquakes in California. Note: Earthquakes with epicenters in the Los Angeles Metro Area are marked with the (#) symbol. Other earthquakes mentioned means shaking was felt. * 1812 San Juan Capistrano earthquake * 1812 Ventura earthquake * 1857 Fort Tejon earthquake * 1892 Laguna Salada earthquake * 1899 San Jacinto earthquake * 1918 San Jacinto earthquake * 1933 Long Beach earthquake # * 1940 El Centro earthquake * 1948 Desert Hot Springs earthquake * 1971 San Fernando earthquake # * 1979 Imperial Valley earthquake * 1968 Borrego Mountain earthquake * 1986 North Palm Springs earthquake * 1987 Superstition Hills earthquakes * 1987 Whittier Narrows earthquake # * 1991 Sierra Madre earthquake # * 1992 Big Bear earthquake # * 1992 Landers earthquake * 1994 Northridge earthquake # * 2008 Chino Hills earthquake # * 2010 Baja California earthquake * 2019 Ridgecrest earthquakes


Regions


Divisions

Southern California is divided culturally, politically, and economically into distinct regions, each containing its own culture and atmosphere, anchored usually by a city with both national and sometimes global recognition, which is often the hub of economic activity for its respective region and being home to many tourist destinations. Each region is further divided into many culturally distinct areas but as a whole, combine to create the southern California atmosphere. *Southern Coast (California), Coastal southern California *Central Coast (California), Southern Central Coast *Ventura County, California, Ventura County *Oxnard Plain *Los Angeles Basin *Orange County, California, Orange County *San Diego County *Inland southern California *Kern County *Imperial Valley *
Inland Empire The Inland Empire (IE) is a metropolitan area and region in Southern California Southern California (popularly known as SoCal; es, Sur de California) is a geographic and cultural region that generally comprises the southern portion of the U ...
*San Bernardino County *High Desert (California), High Desert (Section)* *Morongo Basin* *San Bernardino Valley *Riverside County, California, Riverside County *San Jacinto Valley *
Coachella Valley , map_image = Wpdms shdrlfi020l coachella valley.jpg , map_caption = Coachella Valley , location = California California is a U.S. state, state in the Western United States. With over 39.3million residents across a total area of appro ...

Coachella Valley
* *Low Desert (Section)* *Deserts of California *High Desert (California), High Desert* *Antelope Valley *Morongo Basin* *Kern County, California, eastern Kern County *Low Desert* *
Coachella Valley , map_image = Wpdms shdrlfi020l coachella valley.jpg , map_caption = Coachella Valley , location = California California is a U.S. state, state in the Western United States. With over 39.3million residents across a total area of appro ...

Coachella Valley
* *Lower Colorado River Valley *Imperial County, California, Imperial County *Imperial Valley *Palo Verde Valley ''*Part of multiple regions''


Population

As of the 2010 United States Census, southern California has a population of 22,680,010. Despite a reputation for high growth rates, southern California's rate grew less than the state average of 10.0 percent in the 2000s. This was due to California's growth becoming concentrated in the northern part of the state as result of a stronger, tech-oriented economy in the San Francisco Bay Area, Bay Area and an emerging Greater Sacramento region. Southern California consists of one Combined Statistical Area, eight Metropolitan Statistical Areas, one international metropolitan area, and multiple metropolitan divisions. The region is home to two extended metropolitan areas that exceed five million in population. These are the Greater Los Angeles Area at 17,786,419, and San Diego–Tijuana at 5,105,768. Of these metropolitan areas, the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana metropolitan area, Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario metropolitan area, and Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura metropolitan area form Greater Los Angeles; while the El Centro metropolitan area and San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos metropolitan area form the Southern Border Region (California), Southern Border Region. North of Greater Los Angeles are the Santa Barbara,
San Luis Obispo San Luis Obispo (, ; SLO for short) is a city in the U.S. state of California and county seat of San Luis Obispo County, approximately north of Los Angeles and south of San Francisco. Located in Southern California's Central Coast (Californi ...
, and
Bakersfield Bakersfield is a charter city in Kern County, California California is a U.S. state, state in the Western United States. With over 39.3million residents across a total area of approximately , it is the List of states and territories of ...
metropolitan areas.


Cities

Los Angeles (with a population of approximately 3.9 million people) and San Diego (at nearly 1.4 million people) are the two largest cities in all of California and are among the top eight largest cities in the United States. In southern California, there are also 12 cities with more than 200,000 residents and 34 cities over 100,000 residents. Many of southern California's most developed cities lie along or in close proximity to the coast, with the exception of San Bernardino and Riverside.


Counties

*
Imperial Imperial is that which relates to an empire, emperor, or imperialism. Imperial or The Imperial may also refer to: Places United States * Imperial, California * Imperial, Missouri * Imperial, Nebraska * Imperial, Pennsylvania * Imperial, Texas * ...
*
Kern KERN (1180 kHz) is a commercial AM radio station , Sweden , Norway Radio broadcasting is transmission of audio signal, audio (sound), sometimes with related metadata, by radio waves intended to reach a wide audience. In terrestrial radio bro ...
*
Los Angeles Los Angeles ( ; xgf, Tovaangar; es, Los Ángeles, , ), commonly referred to by the L.A., is the in . With a 2020 population of 3,898,747, it is the in the , following . Los Angeles is known for its , ethnic and cultural diversity, a ...
*
Orange Orange most often refers to: *Orange (colour), occurs between red and yellow in the visible spectrum *Orange (fruit), the fruit of the tree species '' Citrus'' × ''sinensis'' ** Orange blossom, its fragrant flower *Some other citrus or citrus-li ...
* Riverside *
San Bernardino San Bernardino (; Spanish for "Saint Bernardino") is a city located in the Inland Empire region of Southern California Southern California (popularly known as SoCal; es, Sur de California) is a geographic and cultural region that generally ...
*
San Diego San Diego ( , ; ) is a city in the U.S. state In the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United States, primarily located in Nor ...
*
San Luis Obispo San Luis Obispo (, ; SLO for short) is a city in the U.S. state of California and county seat of San Luis Obispo County, approximately north of Los Angeles and south of San Francisco. Located in Southern California's Central Coast (Californi ...
* Santa Barbara *
Ventura Ventura (Italian language, Italian, Portuguese language, Portuguese and Spanish language, Spanish for "fortune") may refer to: Places ; Brazil * Boa Ventura de São Roque, a municipality in the state of Paraná, southern Brazil * Boa Ventura, P ...


Economy


Industries

Southern California has a diverse economy and is one of the largest economies in the United States. It is dominated by and heavily dependent upon the abundance of petroleum, as opposed to other regions where automobiles are not nearly as dominant, due to the vast majority of transport that runs on this fuel. Southern California is famous for tourism and the entertainment industry. Other industries include software, automotive, ports, finance, biomedical, and regional logistics. The region was a leader in the housing bubble from 2001 to 2007 and has been heavily impacted by the housing crash. Since the 1920s, motion pictures, petroleum, and aircraft manufacturing have been major industries. In one of the richest agricultural regions in the U.S., cattle and citrus were major industries until farmlands were turned into suburbs. Although military spending cutbacks have had an impact, aerospace continues to be a major factor.


Major central business districts

Southern California is home to many major business districts. Central business districts (CBD) include Downtown Los Angeles, Downtown Riverside, Downtown San Bernardino, Downtown San Diego, and the South Coast Metro. Within the Los Angeles Area are the major business districts of Pasadena, California, Downtown Pasadena, Burbank, California, Downtown Burbank, Santa Monica, California, Downtown Santa Monica, Glendale, California, Downtown Glendale and Downtown Long Beach. Los Angeles itself has many business districts, such as Downtown Los Angeles and those lining Wilshire Boulevard including Mid-Wilshire, the Miracle Mile, Los Angeles, Miracle Mile, Downtown Beverly Hills and Westwood, Los Angeles, Westwood; others include Century City, Los Angeles, Century City and Warner Center, Los Angeles, Warner Center in the San Fernando Valley. The area of Santa Monica and Venice (and perhaps some of Culver City) is informally referred to as "Silicon Beach" because of the concentration of financial and marketing technology-centric firms located in the region. The San Bernardino-Riverside Area maintains the business districts of Downtown San Bernardino, Hospitality Lane District, San Bernardino, California, Hospitality Business/Financial Centre, University District, San Bernardino, University District which are in the cities of San Bernardino and Riverside. In Orange County, has highly developed suburban business centers (also known as edge cities) including the Anaheim–Santa Ana edge city along I-5; and another, the South Coast Plaza–John Wayne Airport edge city that stretches from the South Coast Metro to the Irvine Business Complex; Newport Center, Newport Beach, California, Newport Center; and Irvine Spectrum. Downtown Santa Ana is an important government, arts and entertainment, and retail district. Downtown San Diego is the CBD of San Diego, though the city is filled with business districts. These include Carmel Valley, San Diego, Carmel Valley, Del Mar Heights, San Diego, Del Mar Heights, Mission Valley, San Diego, Mission Valley, Rancho Bernardo, San Diego, Rancho Bernardo, Sorrento Mesa, San Diego, Sorrento Mesa, and University City, San Diego, University City. Most of these districts are located in Northern San Diego and some within North County, San Diego, North County regions.


Theme parks and waterparks

Los Angeles * Dry Town Water Park * Pacific Park * Raging Waters San Dimas * Six Flags Hurricane Harbor * Six Flags Magic Mountain * Universal Studios Hollywood Orange County * Disney California Adventure * Disneyland, Disneyland Park * Knott's Berry Farm * Knott's Soak City Riverside & San Bernardino * Castle Park (amusement park), Castle Park * Wet'n'Wild Palm Springs San Diego * Aquatica San Diego#Aquatica San Diego, Aquatica San Diego * Belmont Park (San Diego), Belmont Park * Legoland California * Legoland Waterpark * San Diego Zoo * San Diego Zoo Safari Park * SeaWorld San Diego


Vinyard-Winery American Viticultural Area (AVA) districts

:California wine AVA-American Viticultural Areas in southern California: *South Coast AVA **Cucamonga Valley AVA **Malibu-Newton Canyon AVA **Ramona Valley AVA **Saddle Rock-Malibu AVA **Temecula Valley AVA *Leona Valley AVA *Central Coast AVA **Arroyo Grande Valley AVA **Edna Valley AVA **San Pasqual Valley AVA **Santa Maria Valley AVA **Santa Ynez Valley AVA **Sta. Rita Hills AVA **York Mountain AVA


Transportation

:''See: :Transportation in Southern California, Transportation in Southern California Southern California is home to Los Angeles International Airport, the second-busiest airport in the United States by passenger volume (see World's busiest airports by passenger traffic) and the third-busiest by international passenger volume (see Busiest airports in the United States by international passenger traffic); San Diego International Airport, the busiest single-runway airport in the world; Van Nuys Airport, the world's busiest general aviation airport; major commercial airports at John Wayne Airport, Orange County, Meadows Field, Bakersfield, LA/Ontario International Airport, Ontario, Hollywood Burbank Airport, Burbank and Long Beach Airport, Long Beach; and numerous smaller commercial and general aviation airports. Six of the seven lines of the commuter rail system, Metrolink (Southern California), Metrolink, run out of Downtown Los Angeles, connecting Los Angeles,
Ventura Ventura (Italian language, Italian, Portuguese language, Portuguese and Spanish language, Spanish for "fortune") may refer to: Places ; Brazil * Boa Ventura de São Roque, a municipality in the state of Paraná, southern Brazil * Boa Ventura, P ...
, San Bernardino, Riverside, Orange, and San Diego counties with the other line connecting San Bernardino, Riverside, and Orange counties directly. Southern California is also home to the Port of Los Angeles, the country's busiest commercial port; the adjacent Port of Long Beach, the country's second busiest container port; and the Port of San Diego.


Airports

The following table shows all airports listed by the Federal Aviation Association (FAA) as a hub airport:


Freeways and highways

Sections of the southern California freeway system are often referred to by names rather than by the official numbers.


Public transportation

:''See: :Public transportation in Southern California, Public transportation in Southern California'' *Antelope Valley Transit Authority *Big Blue Bus (Santa Monica) *Gold Coast Transit (Ventura County) *Golden Empire Transit (Bakersfield) *Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority *Metrolink (Southern California), Metrolink *North County Transit District (northern San Diego County) *Omnitrans (southwestern San Bernardino County) *Orange County Transportation Authority *Riverside Transit Agency (western Riverside County) *San Diego Coaster (Oceanside to San Diego) *San Diego Metropolitan Transit System *San Luis Obispo Regional Transit Authority *Santa Barbara, California, Santa Barbara MTD


Communication


Telephone area codes

*Area code 213, 213 – Central Los Angeles *Area code 310, 310 – Westside (Los Angeles County), West Los Angeles, Inglewood, California, Inglewood, Santa Monica, California, Santa Monica, South Bay, Los Angeles, South Bay and Santa Catalina Island, California, Catalina Island *Area code 323, 323 – Overlay with 213 *Area code 424, 424 – Overlay with 310 *Area code 442, 442 – Overlay with 760 *Area code 562, 562 – Long Beach, California, Long Beach, Gateway Cities, and parts of northern Orange County, California, Orange County *Area code 619, 619 – most of San Diego County, California, San Diego County including
San Diego San Diego ( , ; ) is a city in the U.S. state In the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United States, primarily located in Nor ...

San Diego
*Area code 626, 626 – most of San Gabriel Valley including Pasadena, California, Pasadena *Area code 657, 657 – Overlay with 714 *Area code 661, 661 – Bakersfield, California, Bakersfield, Santa Clarita, California, Santa Clarita, and Antelope Valley *Area code 714, 714 – Northern Orange County (including Anaheim, California, Anaheim, Santa Ana, California, Santa Ana, and
Huntington Beach Huntington Beach is a seaside city in Orange County, California, Orange County in Southern California, located southeast of Downtown Los Angeles. The city is named after American businessman Henry E. Huntington. The population was 189,992 durin ...
) *Area code 760, 760 – Northern San Diego County (including Oceanside, California, Oceanside and Escondido, California, Escondido), Imperial County, California, Imperial County,
Coachella Valley , map_image = Wpdms shdrlfi020l coachella valley.jpg , map_caption = Coachella Valley , location = California California is a U.S. state, state in the Western United States. With over 39.3million residents across a total area of appro ...

Coachella Valley
, Blythe, California, Blythe, Twentynine Palms, California, Twentynine Palms, Victor Valley, Barstow, California, Barstow, and Ridgecrest, California, Ridgecrest *Area code 805, 805 – Santa Barbara,
Ventura Ventura (Italian language, Italian, Portuguese language, Portuguese and Spanish language, Spanish for "fortune") may refer to: Places ; Brazil * Boa Ventura de São Roque, a municipality in the state of Paraná, southern Brazil * Boa Ventura, P ...
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San Luis Obispo San Luis Obispo (, ; SLO for short) is a city in the U.S. state of California and county seat of San Luis Obispo County, approximately north of Los Angeles and south of San Francisco. Located in Southern California's Central Coast (Californi ...
Counties *Area code 818, 818 – Eastern Conejo Valley, Crescenta Valley, San Fernando Valley including Glendale, California, Glendale and Burbank, California, Burbank *Area code 820, 820 – Overlay with 805 *Area code 840, 840 – Overlay with 909 *Area code 858, 858 – Overlay with 619 *Area code 909, 909 – Southwestern San Bernardino County, California, San Bernardino County, eastern Los Angeles County, California, Los Angeles County, and portions of northwestern Riverside County, California, Riverside County *Area code 949, 949 – Southern Orange County, California, Orange County (including Irvine, California, Irvine, Newport Beach, California, Newport Beach, Laguna Niguel, California, Laguna Niguel, and San Clemente, California, San Clemente) *Area code 951, 951 – Western Riverside County, California, Riverside County including Riverside, California, Riverside and Temecula, California, Temecula


Colleges and universities

The Tech Coast is a moniker that has gained use as a descriptor for the region's diversified technology and industrial base as well as its multitude of prestigious and world-renowned research universities and other public and private institutions. Amongst these include five University of California campuses (University of California, Irvine, Irvine, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, University of California, Riverside, Riverside, University of California, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, and University of California, San Diego, San Diego), 12 California State University campuses (California State University, Bakersfield, Bakersfield, California State University, Channel Islands, Channel Islands, California State University, Dominguez Hills, Dominguez Hills, California State University, Fullerton, Fullerton, California State University, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California State University, Long Beach, Long Beach, California State University, Northridge, Northridge, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, Pomona, California State University, San Bernardino, San Bernardino, San Diego State University, San Diego, California State University, San Marcos, San Marcos, and California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo); and private institutions such as the California Institute of Technology, Azusa Pacific University, Chapman University, the Claremont Colleges (Claremont McKenna College, Harvey Mudd College, Pitzer College, Pomona College, Scripps College, Claremont Graduate University and Keck Graduate Institute), Loma Linda University, Loyola Marymount University, Occidental College, Pepperdine University, University of Redlands, University of San Diego and the University of Southern California.


Parks and recreation areas

Numerous parks provide recreation opportunities and open space. Locations include: *National Park Service **Cabrillo National Monument **Carrizo Plain National Monument **Castle Mountains National Monument **Cesar E. Chavez National Monument **Channel Islands National Park **Death Valley National Park **Joshua Tree National Park **Mojave National Preserve **Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area *Major State park, State Parks – ''including:'' **Anza-Borrego Desert State Park **Crystal Cove State Park **Cuyamaca Rancho State Park **Chino Hills State Park **Fort Tejon State Historic Park **Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area **Mount San Jacinto State Park **Malibu Creek State Park **Red Rock Canyon State Park (California) **Topanga State Park *Major State Historic Parks – ''including:'' **California Citrus State Historic Park **Presidio of Santa Barbara, El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park **La Purísima Mission State Historic Park **Los Encinos State Historic Park **Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa **Old Town San Diego State Historic Park **Rancho Los Encinos **Santa Susana Pass State Historic Park **Tule Elk State Natural Reserve **Watts Towers **Will Rogers State Historic Park


Sports

Major professional sports teams in southern California include: *National Football League, NFL (American football) Los Angeles Rams, Los Angeles Chargers *National Basketball Association, NBA (Basketball) Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers *Major League Baseball, MLB (Baseball) Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Angels, San Diego Padres *NHL (Ice hockey) Los Angeles Kings, Anaheim Ducks *Major League Soccer, MLS (Soccer) LA Galaxy, Los Angeles FC Southern California also is home to a number of popular NCAA sports programs such as the UCLA Bruins, the USC Trojans, and the San Diego State Aztecs. The Bruins and the Trojans both field football teams in NCAA Division I in the Pac-12 Conference, and there is a longtime UCLA–USC rivalry, rivalry between the schools.


See also

*:History of Southern California, History of Southern California *:California ranchos, California ranchos – ''Southern California Counties categories'' *:Public transportation in Southern California, Public transportation in Southern California *California earthquake forecast *California megapolitan areas *Geography of southern California *Largest cities in southern California *Megaregions of the United States *San Angeles *South Coast (California), South Coast *Southern California Association of Governments


References


Further reading

* * * , focus on planning, infrastructure, water and business. * , on Henry Edwards Huntington (1850–1927), railroad executive and collector, who helped build LA and southern California through the Southern Pacific railroad and trolleys. * *
online
*
excerpt and text search
covers military and industrial roles. *

* * * , a historical geography *
in JSTOR
* , covers 1880s–1940 * *


External links


California Historical Society Collection, 1860–1960
– University of Southern California Libraries, USC Libraries Digital Collections
Historical Society of Southern California
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