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Historical General Population

City & County of Los Angeles, 1850 to 2019

Moya Family in Los Angeles, 1952

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
-- General Population by City in Los Angeles County 1850-1900
-- General Population by City in Los Angeles County 1910-1950
-- General Population by City in Los Angeles County 1960-2010
-- Estimated Population of Los Angeles County 1971-2021



Between the census counts of 1850 and 2010, the population of the city of Los Angeles grew to be 2,356 times larger than its 1850 numer. Los Angeles County's overall population grew to be 2,781 times larger. By comparison, over the same period, the population for the entire state of California grew to be 402 times larger than where it was in 1850.



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
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
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
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
1950 1,970,358 47.5% 4,151,687 39.2% 10,586,223
1960 2,479,015 41.0% 6,039,771 38.4% 15,717,204
1970 2,816,061 40.0% 7,032,075 35.2% 19,971,069
1980 2,966,850 39.7% 7,477,239 31.6% 23,667,902
1990 3,485,567 39.3% 8,863,052 29.7% 29,811,427
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
2000 3,694,820 38.8% 9,519,315 28.1% 33,871,653
2010 3,792,621 38.6% 9,818,605 26.4% 37,253,956
2019 3,966,936 39.5% 10,039,107 25.4% 39,512,233

* See comment box below.
† Annual estimate from data collected by the U.S. Census American Community Survey over the 5-Year period of 2015-2019.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau


Los Angeles County Population, 1850-2010

Chart illustrating data from chart above.

Also see: Historical Populations by City 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 the present-day counties of Orange, Ventura and San Bernardino;(approximately 30,000 square miles). 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 undercount. 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 American Indian.