100 Fascinating & Fun Facts about Los Angeles, California

Los Angeles is one of the great cities of the world. From Hollywood to Disneyland, West coast hip hop to skateboarding and punk rock, the City of Angels has given us so much.

Below you’ll find out the many things Los Angeles is famous for with these interesting LA facts. For even more related tidbits, see these fun California facts!

General Los Angeles Facts

  • Los Angeles is the largest city in the US state of California and 2nd largest city in the United States, between New York City, New York and Chicago, Illinois.
  • Los Angeles County, in which Los Angeles is located, is the largest county in the United States.
  • Los Angeles is similar in size to Salvador, Brazil.
  • The city has long been famous for its urban sprawl and high levels of air pollution. It has similar air pollution levels to Mexico City, one of its sister cities.
  • The city proper is home to 3.9 million people, while the Greater Los Angeles Area, which includes Long Beach and Anaheim, has a population of 13.2 million.
  • Around 47.7% of all Californians live in the Greater Los Angeles Area.
  • Los Angeles is located in Southern California, often called SoCal.
  • The city sits at the same latitude as Tokyo, Japan.
  • The highest temperature ever recorded in Los Angeles was 120°F (48.9°C) in 2020, while the lowest was 2°F (−18.9°C) in 1984.
A sea of urban sprawl surrounding the Los Angeles city center, with smog in the air
Los Angeles’ famous sprawl and air pollution
  • Los Angeles was named El Pueblo de la Reina de Los Angeles in 1781, which is Spanish for “The Town of Our Lady the Queen of the Angels”, referring to the Virgin Mary.
  • The official abbreviation for Los Angeles is LA, while the Los Angeles International Airport code is LAX.
  • Some common nicknames for Los Angeles are L.A., City of Angels, City of Flowers and Sunshine, La-La Land, and Where the Stars Live.
  • Slogans for Los Angeles have included “L.A.’s the Place”, “Together, We’re the Best”, “See My L.A” and “That’s So L.A”.
  • People from Los Angeles are called Angelenos or Los Angelans.
  • 47% of Angelenos are Hispanic or Latin American. In East Los Angeles, the figure is 95%, higher than any other US city (not counting Puerto Rico).
  • Another 15% of Angelenos are Asian.
The official flag of LA
The flag of Los Angeles
  • The Los Angeles flag shows the official City Seal in the center. The background zigzag strips represents three major California crops: green for olive trees, gold for oranges, and red for vineyards vertical zigzag stripes.
  • Los Angeles has 25 sister cities, including Eilat (Israel), Giza (Egypt), Jakarta (Indonesia), and Athens (Greece).

Interesting Facts about Los Angeles Places

  • The tallest building in Los Angeles is Wilshire Grand Center, which has 73 floors and stands 1100 ft (335.3 m) tall. The sail-shaped skyscraper takes up a whole city block and is the tallest building west of Chicago.
  • Other iconic buildings in Los Angeles include the Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Bradbury Building, the Getty Center, the Capitol Records Building, the Playboy Mansion, the Theme Building and many more.
The skyscraper Wilshire Grand Center at night
Wilshire Grand Center, the tallest in LA
  • The Capitol Records Building is considered iconic because it was built in such a way to resemble a stack of vinyl 45 records.
  • Some of the trendiest or most famous neighborhoods in Los Angeles are Downtown, Hollywood (the “Show Busines Capital of the World”, Silver Lake, Echo Park, Bel Air, Hollywood Hills, Beverly Hills, Malibu, and Koreatown, Chinatown, and Little Tokyo.
  • LA’s most famous beaches include Santa Monica, Malibu, Huntington, Redondo, Manhattan, and Venice Beach.
  • The city of Compton in South Central Los Angeles is considered the birthplace of West Coast hip hop and gangsta rap, producing the likes of N.W.A. (including Dr. Dre and Ice Cube) and Coolio.
Ferris wheel on the Santa Monica Pier at night
Santa Monica Pier
  • The Hollywood Walk of Fame is one of the city’s most famous attraction. To date, there are over 2700 stars dedicated to those in the television, film and music industries, spanning 18 city blocks and attracting 10 million annual visitors.
  • Another must-see landmark is the ornate facade of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre and the Forecourt of the Stars. Many famous stars have had their names, handprints and footprints immortalized here.
  • The 45 ft (13.7 m)-tall, 350 feet (106.7 m)-long white letters of the Hollywood Sign has been gracing Mount Lee in the Hollywood Hills since 1923.
  • The sign has been depicted as getting destroyed in numerous Hollywood movies, including Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow, Terminator Salvation, and Sharknado, and San Andreas.
The white letters of the Hollywood sing atop a hill
The Hollywood Sign
  • In 2021, vandals were caught trying to change the word to “Hollyboob”.
  • Disneyland in Anaheim, Greater Los Angeles was the only one built under direct supervision of Walt Disney himself. It has the greatest cumulative attendance of any theme park in the world, though these days its annual attendance is surpassed by Disney World in Florida.
  • Universal Studios Hollywood is one of the oldest and most famous Hollywood studios, plus an amusement park. Its huge globe statue is yet another iconic Los Angeles sight.
  • The Theme Building is a Space Age building at Los Angeles International Airport that looks straight out of the Jetsons.
  • The LA Union Station, which has been seen in many movies from both inside the train station and the outside, is considered “The Last Great American Train Station”.
Los Angeles Union Station, a train station, viewed from above, including a park with trees in front of it
Los Angeles Union Station
  • Madame Tussauds Hollywood is considered the world’s best wax museum. It’s one of the city’s top tourist attractions and includes wax replicas of Barack Obama, Snoop Dog, Leonardo DiCaprio, Spider-Man, and many more.
  • More than 1 million animal bones have been found in the La Brea Tar Pits, including those of ground sloths, saber-toothed cats, dire wolves, horses, and lions.
  • In 2019, Los Angeles gained its first UNESCO World Heritage Site. Hollyhock House is included in the The 20th-Century Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright UNESCO site, which also includes structures in Illinois, Wisconsin, Arizona, Pennsylvania, and New York.
A natural rock arch on a rock islands in the Channel Islands National Park
Channel Islands National Park is off the coast of LA
  • The San Gabriel Mountains northeast of Los Angeles are a National Monument. They have peaks higher than 10,000 ft (3000 m) and protect wildlife such as the endangered California condor.

Los Angeles Economy and Society Facts

  • The Greater Los Angeles Area has the 2nd largest economy in the United States, between the Greater New York Area and the Greater Chicago Area.
  • Los Angeles is home to two Fortune 500 countries: AECOM and Reliance Steel & Aluminum.
A funicular going uphill surrounded by skyscrapers in Los Angeles
Angels Flight funicular in downtown Los Angeles
  • Other famous companies that started or are headquartered in Los Angeles include Warner Brothers, The Walt Disney Company, 20th Century Studios, MGM Holdings, 7 Studios, American Apparel, Guess clothing, Hot Topic, AEOsports, Forever 21, Trader Joe’s, SpaceX, and Atlantic Records.
  • Los Angeles’ crime rate is about half that of Cleveland, Ohio, but double that of Austin, Texas.
  • South Coast Plaza is Costa Mesa is the largest shopping mall in Greater Los Angeles and on the west coast of the United States.
A plane taking off above palm trees, a bridge, an LAX sign, and a road leading to the airport
Los Angeles International Airport
  • Los Angeles has the second most billionaires in the US, with 25. They have a combined net worth of 98.8 billion USD.
  • The richest person in Los Angeles is Patrick Soon-Shiong, with a net worth of 21.6 billion USD.
  • 13.2% of people in Los Angeles live below the poverty line.
  • Los Angeles has the 2nd highest LGBTQ+ population in the US, 154,000, surpassed only by New York City.
  • 71% of Los Angeles County residents voted for Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election.
  • Los Angeles has 24 newspapers in total. Some of the major ones include The Los Angeles Times, La Opinión (Spanish), and The Hollywood Reporter and Variety.
Close up of a plate of California sushi rolls
California rolls were most likely invented in LA
  • We have LA to thank for inventions like Mickey Mouse, the internet, skateboards, electric guitars, the American version of fortune cookies (though there’s a competing and more widely accepted claim from San Francisco), California Rolls (though there’s a competing claim from Vancouver, Canada), and the supermarket.
  • While countless films have been produced in Hollywood, some of the most famous films actually set in LA include Repo Man, Fletch, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Die Hard, Terminator 2, Beverly Hills Cop, Boyz n the Hood, Clueless, The Big Lebowski, and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
  • TV Shows filmed in Los Angeles include Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Beverly Hills 90210, Modern Family, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, New Girl, Criminal Minds, and Dr. Phil.

Los Angeles Sports Facts

  • Los Angeles has 12 major professional sports teams: Los Angeles Chargers and Los Angeles Rams (NFL), Los Angeles Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers (NBA), Los Angeles Angels and Los Angeles Dodgers (MLB), Anaheim Ducks and Los Angeles Kings (NHL), Los Angeles Sparks (WNBA), Angel City FC (NWSL), Los Angeles FC and LA Galaxy (MLS)
  • The Chargers and the Rams share SoFi Stadium for their home games.
A mosaic of the logos of sports teams from Los Angeles
Pro sports teams from LA
  • The Rams are the only club in the history of the NFL to win championships representing three different cities: Cleveland (1945), Los Angeles (1951) and St. Louis (1999).
  • The Lakers won 33 straight games during the 1971-1972 season. In fact, they hold the record for the NBA’s longest winning streak.
  • 26 Hall of Famers have played for the Lakers, while four of them have coached the team.
  • 23 National League pennants and six World Series championships were won by the Dodgers.
  • Many famous players have played for the Dodgers, including the first African American in the modern Major Leagues: Jackie Robinson.
  • The Kings won two Stanley Cups: in 2012 and 2014.
Sofi Stadium in Los Angeles at night
The New Sofi Stadium (“SoFi Stadium” by Don Norris- is licensed under CC BY 2.0.)
  • More than any other team in the league, the Sparks have qualified 16 times for the WNBA Playoffs in their 20 years in Los Angeles.
  • The Los Angeles FC and LA Galaxy have such a fierce rivalry that it’s been dubbed “El Tràfico” by the supporters of both clubs.
  • The 1932 and 1984 Summer Olympic Games were held in Los Angeles, and the city won the bid to host the 2028 Summer Olympic Games.
  • In 1986, the largest first-time marathon took place in the city–the City of Los Angeles Marathon–with nearly 11,000 participants.
  • In 1994, the FIFA World Cup final match took place at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Los Angeles.

Famous Los Angeles People

  • While thousands of famous people gravitate to Los Angeles, the actors Leonardo DiCaprio, Jake Gyllenhaal, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Beau Bridges, and Shea LaBeouf were actually born in Los Angeles.
  • Actresses Marilyn Monroe, Christina Ricci, Kristen Stewart, Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Aniston, Cameron Diaz, Tyra Banks, Christina Applegate, and Jodie Foster were also born in Los Angeles.
A mosaic of famous people from Los Angeles
Famous Los Angelans Marilyn Monroe, Ronald Raegan, Ice Cube, Angelina Jolie, Tyra Banks, and Henry Rollins
  • The 40th President of the US, Ronald Reagan, was born in Los Angeles.
  • Singers Christina Aguilera, Sarah Hudson, Natalie Cole, Billie Eilish, and Adam Levine were born in Los Angeles.
  • Some of the many, many famous bands from Los Angeles include the Monkees, The Eagles, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Guns N’ Roses, Rage Against the Machine, Motley Crue, Bad Religion, Body Count, N.W.A., L7, Jane’s Addiction, Weezer, NOFX, Black Flag, Tool, and Jurassic 5.
  • Los Angeles has produced 46 Nobel Prize Winners: Eric Betzig and Martin Karplus (Chemistry), Randy Schekman and Leland H. Hartwell (Physiology or Medicine), Lloyd Shapely and Elinor Ostrom (Economics), Arthur B. McDonald and H. David Politzer (Physics), and Ralph Bunche (Peace).

Los Angeles History Facts

  • The Tongva people were the original inhabitants of the Los Angeles area, going back 5000 years. There were around 5000 of them in the Los Angeles basin when Europeans arrived.
  • Spanish explorers passed the area in the late 1500s, then built a mission there in 1771 and a Pueblo in 1781, called El Pueblo de la Reina de Los Angeles.
A small hut, a Traditional Tongva dwelling
Traditional Tongva dwelling
  • Los Angeles attained city status in 1835 and became officially incorporated in 1850.
  • The first discovery of Gold at Placerita Canyon in 1842 prompted the city’s first population boom.
  • The city’s first newspaper, the Los Angeles Star, began publication in 1851.
  • Southern California’s first railroad, the Los Angeles & San Pedro line, began operating in 1869.
  • In 1883, the City Railroad Company was established.
  • In 1892, oil was discovered within the city limits. 
  • The first movie filmed in Hollywood was in 1908, while the first film studio opened on Sunset Boulevard in 1911.
A white street sign for Sunset Boulevard with palm trees in the background
Sunset Boulevard
  • The Hollywood sign was installed in 1923.
  • Los Angeles International Airport first opened in 1928.
  • The Academy Awards began in 1929, and have been hosted in various venues in the city ever since.
  • The population of Los Angeles surpassed 1 million in 1930.
  • Los Angeles hosted the 1932 Summer Olympic Games.
  • In the 1930s, Hollywood reached its “Golden Age”.
  • On July 17, 1955, Disneyland opened its doors to the public.
Amusement parks rides at Disneyland lit up at night
Disneyland
  • The first ever Grammy Awards ceremony was held in 1959 simultaneously in Beverly Hills, LA, and New York City.
  • In the 1964 Watts Riots, 14,000 members of the National Guard had to be called in.
  • Los Angeles hosted the 1984 Summer Olympic Games.
  • The 1991 beating of Rodney King resulted in the 1992 Los Angeles Riots, which saw 63 killed and over 2000 injured.
  • The 1994 Northridge earthquake was the most expensive in Los Angeles history, caused $20 billion in damage and killing 61.
  • The city’s first mayor of Hispanic descent since 1872, Antonio Villaraigosa, was elected in 2005.
A staircase going down into an LA metro station with a large column and hanging lights
The Los Angeles Metro Hollywood Line
  • Several of the city’s cultural landmarks celebrated their milestone anniversaries in 2013: Natural History Museum (100th year), Hollywood Sign (90th year), Fowler Museum (50th year), and Walt Disney Concert Hall (10th year).
  • In 2020, Kobe Bryant, one of the best basketball players of all time, and who played for the Los Angeles Lakers, died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, Greater Los Angeles.
  • In 2021, the SoFi Stadium opened in Inglewood, on the former site of the Hollywood Park Racetrack.