Los Angeles is the second-most populous city in the United States, after New York City. With an estimated population of four million, Los Angeles is the largest and most populous city in the state of California and the cultural, financial, and commercial center of Southern California.
Los Angeles is located in a large basin bounded by the Pacific Ocean on one side and by mountains as high as 10,000 feet on the others. The city proper, which covers about 469 square miles, is the seat of Los Angeles County, the most populated county in the country. Los Angeles is the principal city of the Los Angeles metropolitan area; with a population of 13.1 million residents it is the second largest in the United States after that of New York City. It is part of the Los Angeles-Long Beach combined statistical area, also the second most populous in the nation with a 2015 estimated population of 18.7 million.
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.