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Los Angeles is the second most populous city in the United States, the most populous city in the state of California and the western US, with a population of 3.83 million within its administrative limits on a land area of 498.3 square miles. The urban area of Los Angeles extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of over 14.8 million and it is the 14th largest urban area in the world, affording it megacity status. The Los Angeles–Long Beach–Santa Ana metropolitan area is home to nearly 12.9 million residents while the broader Los Angeles-Long Beach-Riverside area contains nearly 17.8 million people. Los Angeles is also the seat of Los Angeles County, the most populated and one of the most multicultural counties in the United States. Los Angeles' inhabitants are referred to as Angelenos.
Los Angeles was founded on September 4, 1781, by Spanish governor Felipe de Neve as El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles del Río de Porciúncula (The Village of Our Lady, the Queen of the Angels of the river of Porziuncola). Los Angeles 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 the rest of California were purchased as part of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, thereby becoming part of the United States.
Often known by its initials, L.A., and nicknamed the City of Angels, Los Angeles is a world center of business, global trade, entertainment, culture, media, fashion, science, technology, and education. Los Angeles 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. In 2008, Los Angeles was named the world's eighth most economically powerful city by Forbes.com, third in the U.S. behind New York City and Chicago. The Los Angeles area has a gross metropolitan product of $831 billion as of 2008, making it the third largest economic center in the world, after the Greater Tokyo Area and the New York metropolitan area. As the home base of Hollywood, Los Angeles is known as the Entertainment Capital of the World, leading the world in the creation of motion pictures, television production, video games, and recorded music. Los Angeles enjoys a Mediterranean climate, with an average of 35 days with measurable precipitation annually.