California Counties
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California Counties

The state of California is divided into fifty-eight counties. On January 4, 1850, the California constitutional committee recommended the formation of 18 counties. They were Benicia, Butte, Fremont, Los Angeles, Mariposa, Monterey, Mount Diablo, Oro, Redding, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, San Joaquin, San Jose, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Sonoma, and Sutter. The last California county to have been established is Imperial County in 1907.

Los Angeles County, California

Los Angeles County Education, Geography, and History

Los Angeles, Califronia CourthouseLos Angeles County, also known as L.A. County, officially the County of Los Angeles, is a county in the state of California. As of the 2010 US Census, the county has a population of 9,818,605, making it the most populous county. Los Angeles County alone is more populous than 43 individual states. The county seat is the city of Los Angeles. The county was created February 18, 1850. Los Angeles county name came from the words los angeles literally mean "the angels"and are a contraction of the original name Pueblo del Rio de Nuestra Senora la Reina de Los Angeles de Porciuncula (the Town of the River of Our Lady, Queen of the Angeles).

Los Angeles County is included in the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area, the second-largest metropolitan area.

Etymology - Origin of Los Angeles County Name

The words los angeles literally mean "the angels" and are a contraction of the original name Pueblo del Rio de Nuestra Senora la Reina de Los Angeles de Porciuncula (the Town of the River of Our Lady, Queen of the Angeles). In 1781, Governor Felipe de Neve issued orders for the establishment of the pueblo on El Rio Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles. The pueblo in time became known as the Ciudad de Los Angeles (City of the Angels), and it is from this contraction that the present name is derived.


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts 

Los Angeles County History

Los Angeles County was one of the original counties of California, created at the time of statehood on February 18, 1850. The county was founded as one of the 27 original counties, several months before California was admitted to the Union.  Parts of the county's territory were given to San Bernardino County in 1853, to Kern County in 1866 and to Orange County in 1889. The people of Los Angeles County on April 1, 1850 asserted their newly won right of self-government and elected a three-man Court of Sessions as their first governing body. A total of 377 votes were cast in this election. In 1852 the Legislature dissolved the Court of Sessions and created a five-member Board of Supervisors. In 1913 the citizens of Los Angeles County approved a charter recommended by a board of freeholders which gave the County greater freedom to govern itself within the framework of state law.

Los Angeles, which had been designated as the official "seat"of County government, was incorporated as a city. It had a reputation as one of the toughest towns in the West. "A murder a day" only slightly exaggerated the town's crime problems, and suspected criminals were often hanged by vigilante groups. Lawlessness reached a peak in 1871, when, after a Chinese immigrant accidentally killed a white man, an angry mob stormed into the Chinatown district, murdering 16 people. Then civic leaders and concerned citizens began a successful campaign to bring law and order to the town.

More at History of Los Angeles County

Geography: Land and Water

With 4,061 square miles (10,517 km2), Los Angeles County borders 70 miles (110 km) of coast on the Pacific Ocean and includes many other natural landscapes including soaring mountain ranges, deep valleys, forests, islands, lakes, rivers, and desert. The county encompasses the following rivers: Los Angeles River, Rio Hondo, the San Gabriel River and the Santa Clara River. The main mountain ranges are the Santa Monica Mountains and the San Gabriel Mountains. The county also includes the westernmost part of the Mojave Desert, and San Clemente Island and Santa Catalina Island in the Pacific Ocean.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Northeast: San Bernardino County
  • Southeast: Orange County
  • Southwest: North Pacific Ocean
  • West: Ventura County
  • Northwest: Kern County


The Los Angeles County Office of Education provides a supporting role for school districts in the area. The county office also operates two magnet schools, the International Polytechnic High School and Los Angeles County High School for the Arts. There are a number of private schools in the county, most notably those operated by the Los Angeles Archdiocese.

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