Southern California

Southern California
Southern California Images top from bottom, left to right: San Diego Skyline, Downtown Los Angeles, Village of La Jolla, Santa Monica Pier, Surfer at Black's Beach, Hollywood Sign, Disneyland, Hermosa Beach Pier
Red: The eight traditionally included counties. Light red: San Luis Obispo and Kern counties in the expanded 10-county definition.
Red: The eight traditionally included counties.
Light red: San Luis Obispo and Kern counties in the expanded 10-county definition.
Country United States
State California
Counties Imperial
Kern
Los Angeles
Orange
Riverside
San Bernardino
San Diego
San Luis Obispo
Santa Barbara
Ventura
Largest city Los Angeles
Population
(2016)
23,800,500

Southern California (colloquially and locally known as SoCal) is a geographic and cultural region that generally comprises California's southernmost counties, and is the second most populous urban agglomeration in the United States.[1][2] The region is traditionally described as eight counties, based on demographics and economic ties: Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Santa Barbara, and Ventura.[3] The more extensive 10-county definition, which includes Kern and San Luis Obispo counties, is also used and is based on historical political divisions.[1]

The 8-county and 10-county definitions are not used for the greater Southern California Megaregion, one of the 11 megaregions of the United States. The megaregion is more expansive, extending east into Las Vegas, Nevada and south across the Mexican border into Tijuana.[4]

Southern California includes the heavily built-up urban area which stretches along the Pacific coast from Ventura through the Greater Los Angeles area and the Inland Empire, and down to Greater San Diego. Southern California's population encompasses eight metropolitan areas: the Los Angeles metropolitan area (Los Angeles and Orange counties), the Inland Empire (Riverside and San Bernardino counties), the Palm Springs and Indio metropolitan area (Coachella Valley), the San Diego metropolitan area, the Oxnard–Thousand Oaks–Ventura metropolitan area, the Santa Barbara metropolitan area, the San Luis Obispo metropolitan area, and the El Centro area. The Los Angeles area has over 12 million inhabitants, while the Riverside-San Bernardino area has over 4 million inhabitants and the San Diego area has over 3 million inhabitants. For Combined Statistical Area (CSA) purposes, the five counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Ventura, are all combined to make up the Greater Los Angeles area with over 17.5 million people, the second-most populous U.S. combined statistical area, after the New York metropolitan area. With over 22 million people, southern California contains roughly 60 percent of California's population.

The Colorado Desert and the Colorado River are located on southern California's eastern border with Arizona, and the Mojave Desert is located north on California's Nevada border. Southern California's southern border is part of the Mexico–United States border.

Significance

Sunset in Venice, a district in Los Angeles

Within southern California are two major cities, Los Angeles and San Diego, as well as three of the country's largest metropolitan areas.[5] With a population of 4,042,000, 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 1,307,402 is San Diego, the second most populous city in the state and the eighth most populous in the nation.

Three Arch Bay in Laguna

The counties of Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, San Bernardino, and Riverside are the five most populous in the state, and are in the top 15 most populous counties in the United States.[6]

The motion picture, television, and music industry are centered in the Los Angeles area in southern California. 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 (which owns ABC), Sony Pictures, Universal Pictures, MGM, Paramount Pictures, 20th Century Fox, and 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, Volcom, Quiksilver, No Fear, RVCA, and Body Glove are all headquartered here. Skateboarder Tony Hawk; surfers Rob Machado, Tim Curran, 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, Rincon, The Wedge, Huntington Beach, and Malibu. Some of the world's largest action sports events, including the X Games,[7] Boost Mobile Pro,[8] and the U.S. Open of Surfing, are held in southern California. The region is also important to the world of yachting with premier events including the annual Transpacific Yacht Race, or Transpac, from Los Angeles to Hawaii. The San Diego Yacht Club held the 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 was held in Mission Bay, San Diego, California in 1974. Since then, southern California, and San Diego in particular have become a mecca for triathlon and multi-sport racing, products and culture.

Southern California is home to many sports franchises and sports networks such as Fox Sports Net.

Many locals and tourists frequent the southern California coast for its beaches. The inland desert city of Palm Springs is also popular.

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