As the United States’ third largest state by area and the most populated, it’s no surprise that California has a multitude of cities spread across its geographic regions, which include mountains, deserts, and coastlines. There are a total of 482 municipalities in California spread across 58 different counties. The municipalities are governed under mayor-council, council-manager, or commission systems, with most of the state’s largest cities being run by councils of 5 to 15 members with a governor overseeing city departments. Over half of the state’s total population resides in just five of the counties: Orange, Riverside, Los Angeles, San Diego and San Bernardino.
The state of California has three cities that exceed population counts of over one million: Los Angeles, San Diego and San Jose. Los Angeles, which has a population that’s quickly approaching 4 million as of 2017, is not just the largest city by population in the state but is also the second largest city by population in the entire nation. The state also has two cities that have populations that exceed 500,000: Fresno, and San Francisco. The state has a total of 70 cities with populations of at least 100,000, but less than one million, while it has 127 cities whose populations range between 10,000 and 100,000.