What Is Considered Los Angeles? A Detailed Look At The City’S Boundaries

Los Angeles is a sprawling metropolis that encompasses a huge geographic area. With its world-famous beaches, iconic neighborhoods, diverse communities and endless entertainment options, LA captures the imagination of people around the globe.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Los Angeles is made up of the city of Los Angeles as well as dozens of independent municipalities like Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, and many more. The Los Angeles metropolitan area spans over 4,800 square miles.

In this comprehensive guide, we will take an in-depth look at exactly what geographic regions and communities make up the Greater Los Angeles area. We will examine the official city boundaries, the different municipalities that are part of LA County, and the outlying areas that are commonly considered part of the LA metropolitan region.

The Official City of Los Angeles Boundaries

Los Angeles, often referred to as the “City of Angels,” is a sprawling metropolis located in Southern California. To better understand what is considered Los Angeles, let’s take a detailed look at the city’s official boundaries.

Los Angeles City Limit

The official boundaries of the City of Los Angeles are defined by its city limit, which encompasses an area of approximately 502.7 square miles. The city limit stretches from the Pacific Ocean in the west to the San Gabriel Mountains in the east, and from the city of Beverly Hills in the north to the Port of Los Angeles in the south.

It is worth noting that some neighboring cities and unincorporated areas may be adjacent to, but not within, the official city limit.

The Los Angeles city limit consists of a diverse range of neighborhoods and communities, each with its own unique characteristics and attractions. From the glitz and glamour of Hollywood to the vibrant cultural scene in Downtown Los Angeles, there is something for everyone within the city’s boundaries.

Los Angeles City Council Districts

In addition to the city limit, Los Angeles is also divided into 15 City Council districts. These districts are represented by elected officials who serve as the voice of their respective communities within the city.

Each district has its own boundaries, which are drawn based on population and other factors.

The City Council districts play a crucial role in local governance, addressing the needs and concerns of their constituents and making decisions that impact their communities. They are responsible for a wide range of issues, including public safety, transportation, housing, and land use.

If you want to find out which City Council district you belong to or learn more about the boundaries of each district, you can visit the official website of the City of Los Angeles. There, you will find detailed maps and information about each district, as well as contact information for your local councilmember.

Understanding the official boundaries of Los Angeles is important as it helps to define the city’s jurisdiction and the areas under its governance. It also provides insight into the diverse range of neighborhoods and communities that make up this vibrant and dynamic city.

Los Angeles County

Los Angeles County is the most populous county in the United States, encompassing a vast area of Southern California. It is home to the city of Los Angeles, as well as numerous other cities, towns, and unincorporated areas.

The county is known for its diverse population, vibrant culture, and thriving economy.

Independent Municipalities

Los Angeles County is made up of many independent municipalities, each with its own local government and services. Some of the most well-known cities in the county include:

  • Los Angeles: The city of Los Angeles is the largest in the county and the second most populous city in the United States. It is a global city, known for its entertainment industry, cultural institutions, and diverse neighborhoods.
  • Long Beach: Located south of downtown Los Angeles, Long Beach is the seventh most populous city in California. It is known for its coastal attractions, including the Queen Mary ocean liner and the Aquarium of the Pacific.
  • Glendale: Situated in the eastern part of the county, Glendale is known for its vibrant Armenian community and its beautiful parks, including Forest Lawn Memorial Park, where many celebrities are buried.
  • Pasadena: Located northeast of downtown Los Angeles, Pasadena is famous for its annual Rose Parade and Rose Bowl game. It is also home to the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).

Unincorporated Areas

In addition to the independent municipalities, Los Angeles County also has several unincorporated areas. These areas are governed directly by the county and do not have their own local governments. Some of the notable unincorporated areas include:

  • East Los Angeles: This densely populated area is known for its vibrant Latino culture and its historic landmarks, such as the iconic East Los Angeles College.
  • Marina del Rey: Situated along the coast, Marina del Rey is a popular boating and recreational area. It is home to one of the largest man-made small boat harbors in the world.
  • Altadena: Nestled in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains, Altadena is known for its scenic beauty and its historic architecture, including the famous Balian Mansion.

These unincorporated areas provide a unique blend of urban and rural living, with a diverse mix of residential, commercial, and natural spaces.

Greater Los Angeles Metropolitan Region

The Greater Los Angeles Metropolitan Region is a vast and diverse area that encompasses not only the city of Los Angeles itself but also its surrounding counties and commuter cities. Understanding the boundaries of this region is important for anyone looking to explore or relocate to Los Angeles.

Adjacent Counties

The Greater Los Angeles Metropolitan Region is bordered by several counties that contribute to its overall cultural and economic landscape. These counties include:

  • Orange County: Located to the south of Los Angeles County, Orange County is known for its beautiful beaches, affluent communities, and vibrant entertainment industry.
  • Ventura County: Situated to the northwest of Los Angeles County, Ventura County offers a more relaxed and scenic atmosphere, with its stunning coastline and picturesque mountains.
  • San Bernardino County: To the east of Los Angeles County, San Bernardino County is the largest county in the United States and offers a diverse range of landscapes, from sprawling deserts to lush forests.
  • Riverside County: Also located to the east of Los Angeles County, Riverside County is known for its booming population, affordable housing, and outdoor recreational opportunities.

These adjacent counties contribute to the overall character of the Greater Los Angeles Metropolitan Region, with each offering its own unique attractions and amenities.

Commuter Cities

Within the Greater Los Angeles Metropolitan Region, there are numerous commuter cities that serve as residential areas for those who work in the city but prefer a quieter lifestyle. Some of these commuter cities include:

  • Long Beach: Located to the south of downtown Los Angeles, Long Beach is known for its coastal charm, thriving arts scene, and diverse population.
  • Pasadena: Situated northeast of Los Angeles, Pasadena is famous for its historic architecture, world-renowned Rose Parade, and the prestigious California Institute of Technology.
  • Burbank: Located in the San Fernando Valley, Burbank is the home of major film and television studios, including Warner Bros. and Walt Disney Studios.
  • Santa Monica: Positioned west of downtown Los Angeles, Santa Monica is renowned for its beautiful beaches, lively pier, and trendy shopping and dining scene.

These commuter cities offer a more suburban feel while still providing easy access to the amenities and opportunities of Los Angeles. They are popular choices for those seeking a balance between urban convenience and a quieter, family-friendly environment.

For more information on the boundaries and characteristics of the Greater Los Angeles Metropolitan Region, you can visit the official website of the City of Los Angeles or the Los Angeles County website.


Los Angeles encompasses a vast geographic area, with millions of residents living in diverse communities across LA City, LA County, and the surrounding region. While the official city boundaries are relatively compact at just 498 square miles, the influence and identity of LA extends far beyond those limits. With endless options for entertainment, culture, cuisine and outdoor activities throughout Greater Los Angeles, there is always something new to explore in this sprawling, iconic metropolis.

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