Los Angeles, often called simply L.A., is the largest city in the state of California and the second-largest in the United States. It is an alpha world city, has a 2005 estimated population of 3.8 million people, and spans 498 square miles. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the Los Angeles metropolitan area has a total area of 4,850 square miles and is home to roughly 13 million people by 2005 estimates.
Los Angeles was founded in 1781 and incorporated as a municipality on April 4, 1850, twenty-two months after the end of the Mexican-American War, and five months before California achieved statehood. It is the county seat of Los Angeles County.