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Historical General Population
City & County of Los Angeles, 1850 to 2010

A young family in East Los Angeles, 1952. Photo courtesy of the Moya Family.

Also see: Historical Resident Population for Spanish & Mexican Period, 1781-1840

Year Population of City of Los Angeles City of Los Angeles Population as Percentage of Los Angeles County Population of Los Angeles County Los Angeles County Population as Percentage of California California Population
1850* 1,610 45.6% 3,530 3.8% 92,597
1860 4,385 38.7% 11,333 3.0% 379,994
1870 5,728 37.4% 15,309 2.7% 560,247
1880 11,183 33.5% 33,381 3.9% 864,694
1890 50,395 49.7% 101,454 8.4% 1,213,398
1900 102,479 60.2% 170,298 11.5% 1,485,053
1910 319,198 63.3% 504,131 21.2% 2,377,549
1920 576,673 61.6% 936,455 27.3% 3,426,861
1930 1,238,048 56.1% 2,208,492 38.9% 5,677,251
1940 1,504,277 54.0% 2,785,643 40.3% 6,907,387
1950 1,970,358 47.5% 4,151,687 39.2% 10,586,223
1960 2,479,015 41.0% 6,039,834 38.4% 15,717,204
1970 2,816,061 40.0% 7,032,075 35.2% 19,971,069
1980 2,950,010 39.5% 7,477,657 31.6% 23,667,764
1990 3,485,398 39.3% 8,863,164 29.8% 29,760,021
2000 3,694,820 38.8% 9,519,338 28.1% 33,871,648
2010 3,792,621 38.6% 9,818,605 26.4% 37,253,956

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

* See comment box below.

Also, Historical Populations by Cities in Los Angeles County


The 1850 Census for Los Angeles County was actually conducted in the first two months of 1851, due to California becoming a state only late in 1850. The census-taker for Los Angeles County was a single individual, John R. Everston, a local who was tasked with covering a county that then encompassed not only present-day Los Angeles County, but also present-day Orange, Ventura and San Bernardino Counties. Considering the size of territory that he had to cover in a short time, despite its sparse population, Everston's count was considered inaccurate and a gross under-count. Since congressional representation depended on census counts, California conducted its own census in 1852 and counted a bit less than 8,000 residents in Los Angeles County, half of whom were Indian.