Los Angeles (pronounced /l?s ?ænd??l?s/ los-AN-j?-l?s; Spanish pronunciation: [los ?a?xeles]) is the largest city in the state of California and the Western United States as well as second largest in the United States. Often abbreviated as L.A. and nicknamed The City of Angels, Los Angeles is rated an alpha world city, has an estimated population of 3.8 million and spans over 498.3 square miles (1,290.6 km2) in Southern California. Additionally, the Los Angeles metropolitan area is home to nearly 12.9 million residents, who hail from all over the globe and speak 224 different languages. Los Angeles is the seat of Los Angeles County, the most populated and one of the most diverse counties in the United States. Its inhabitants are known as “Angelenos” (/ænd???li?no?z/).
Los Angeles was founded September 4, 1781, by Spanish governor Felipe de Neve as El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles de la Porciúncula (The Village of Our Lady, the Queen of the Angels of Porziuncola). It became a part of Mexico in 1821, following its independence from Spain. In 1848, at the end of the Mexican-American War, Los Angeles and California were purchased as part of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, thereby becoming part of the United States; Mexico retained the territory of Baja California. Los Angeles was incorporated as a municipality on April 4, 1850, five months before California achieved statehood.
Los Angeles is one of the world’s centers of business, international trade, entertainment, culture, media, fashion, science, technology, and education. It is home to renowned institutions covering a broad range of professional and cultural fields, and is one of the most substantial economic engines within the United States. Los Angeles leads the world in producing popular entertainment — such as motion picture, video games, television, and recorded music — which forms the base of its international fame and global status.