Los Angeles ( (listen); Spanish: Los Ángeles; Spanish for "The Angels"), officially the City of Los Angeles and often known by its initials L.A., is the most populous city in California; the second most populous city in the United States, after New York City; and the third-most populous city in North America, after Mexico City and New York City. With an estimated population of nearly four million people, Los Angeles is the cultural, financial, and commercial center of Southern California. The city is known for its Mediterranean climate, ethnic diversity, Hollywood, the entertainment industry, and its sprawling metropolis.
Los Angeles lies in a basin, adjacent to the Pacific Ocean, with mountains as high as 10,000 feet (3,000 m), and deserts. The city, which covers about 469 square miles (1,210 km2), is the county seat of Los Angeles County, the most populous county in the United States. The Los Angeles metropolitan area (MSA) is the second-largest metropolitan area in the nation with a population of 13.1 million people. The Greater Los Angeles metropolitan area (CSA) is the second-most populous CSA metropolitan area with a 2015 estimate of 18.7 million people.Los Angeles has a diverse economy and hosts businesses in a broad range of professional and cultural fields. It is also famous for its movie, television, and recording industry. A global city, it has been ranked 6th in the Global Cities Index and 9th in the Global Economic Power Index. The Los Angeles metropolitan area also has a gross metropolitan product of $1.0 trillion (as of 2017), making it the third-largest city by GDP in the world, after the Tokyo and New York City metropolitan areas. Los Angeles hosted the 1932 and 1984 Summer Olympics and will host the 2028 Summer Olympics.
Historically home to the Chumash and Tongva, Los Angeles was claimed by Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo for Spain in 1542, along with the rest of what would become Alta California. The city was officially founded on September 4, 1781, by Spanish governor Felipe de Neve. It became a part of Mexico in 1821 following the Mexican War of Independence. In 1848, at the end of the Mexican–American War, Los Angeles and the rest of California were purchased as part of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, and thus became part of the United States. Los Angeles was incorporated as a municipality on April 4, 1850, five months before California achieved statehood. The discovery of oil in the 1890s brought rapid growth to the city. The completion of the Los Angeles Aqueduct in 1913, which delivers water from Eastern California, later assured the city's continued rapid growth.
Previous to the 1950s, Los Angeles' name had multiple pronunciations, but the soft "G" pronunciation is universal today. Some early movies or video shows it pronounced with a hard "G" (). Sam Yorty was one of the last public figures who still used the hard "G" pronunciation.