The official U.S. census that took place in 2020 showed that Los Angeles had a population of 3,898,747.
Los Angeles sits in one of the most ethnically diverse counties in the United States. The City of Angels is a global city, and the Los Angeles Combined Statistical Area (CSA) is the third largest in the world, after Greater Tokyo and New York. It's also the 66th most populous city proper in the world, and the metropolitan area is the 18th largest.
According to the 2020 Census, the Los Angeles metropolitan area had a population of more than 13.2 million residents, while the larger metropolitan region had an estimated population of 18.1 million. This makes it the second largest metro region in the United States after the New York metro area, and one of the largest urban agglomerations on earth.
The Greater Los Angeles Area also referred to as Southland, refers to both the urbanized area and the Combined Statistical Area. It covers 5 counties, including Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Orange, Riverside and Venture counties, and it's been one of the fastest-growing areas of the country for most of the century, although its growth has slowed over the last decade.
Los Angeles Population Diversity
Based on the 2020 census data, Los Angeles had a density of 8,304.2 people per square mile (3,206.3/square kilometer). Los Angeles is the second-most populous urban area, and is also one of the single most densely populated areas in the United States. The Los Angeles Times created an interactive map showing L.A.'s 272 neighborhoods, which showed the most densely populated areas as:
- Koreatown (42,611/square mile)
- Westlake (38,214/square mile)
- East Hollywood (31,095/square mile)
- Pico-Union (25,352/square mile)
- Maywood (23,638/square mile)
- Harvard Heights (23,473/square mile)
- Hollywood (22,193/square mile)
- Walnut Park (22,028/square mile)
- Palms (21,870/square mile)
- Adams-Normandie (21,848/square mile)
Los Angeles Demographics
Los Angeles is an incredibly diverse city, home to people from over 140 countries who speak 224 languages that have been identified. Ethnic communities like Koreatown, Chinatown, Thai Town, Little Ethiopia, and Little Tokyo show what a multilingual and cultural city Los Angeles is today.
Mexicans comprise the largest ethnic group of Latinos in Los Angeles with 31.9% of the population, followed by Salvadorans (6%) and Guatemalans (3.6%). While the Latino population is spread throughout the city and its metropolitan area, it's most heavily concentrated in East Los Angeles, which has a very long established Central American and Mexican American community.
The largest Asian ethnic groups include Filipinos (3.2%) and Koreans (2.9%), which are mostly concentrated in Koreatown and Historic Filipinotown, respectively. Chinese people, who account for 1.8% of the city's population, live primarily outside of the city limits, although they have a significant presence in Chinatown. Both Thaitown and Chinatown are home to many Thais and Cambodians in Los Angeles, while Japanese people makeup 0.9% of the city's population and live primarily in Little Toyko in downtown Los Angeles and the Sawtelle area of West Los Angeles.
Los Angeles and its greater area are also home to a relatively substantial Middle Eastern population, most notably Iranians and Armenians, who live mostly in Tehrangeles and Little Armenia, respectively.
The African American population of Los Angeles is most dense in South Los Angeles, particularly the Watts and Crenshaw neighborhoods. Given the substantial immigration from Central America and Mexico, Latinos and Hispanics have now outnumbered black people in the city, although the black population in L.A. was higher than the Hispanic population in 1970. Many neighborhoods that were once predominantly African American, such as Compton, are now becoming Hispanic communities.
The United States as a whole has seen a great deal of Hispanic population growth over the last thirty years. The Hispanic population of the U.S. has grown from 14.6 million in 1980 to 52 million in 2011, and Hispanics remain concentrated most heavily in Florida and the Southwest. Today, 9% of all Hispanics in the country live in Los Angeles County, and it's here that the population has grown the most since 1980.
Los Angeles Population Growth
California's population as a whole is expected to grow more slowly in the coming decades, which means it will benefit from a slower but healthy growth rate of about 1% each year. The decline in the state's growth rate is attributed to a sharp decline in immigration to the area. This is a much more natural growth rate than the city has seen for much of the last century.
From 2010 to 2020, Los Angeles grew by 2.8%, a little behind the United States' 8.5% average growth in the same period.
The last census counts in the state were 2% lower than previous projections, and most of the difference was attributed to Los Angeles County. Today, the Inland Empire of California is seeing the most explosive growth, not Los Angeles.
It's projected that the population of Los Angeles County will increase 3.5 million by 2050, and it will remain the largest county and city in the state. By 2060, the county will have a population of 11.5 million.