It can be hard to wrap your head around just how large Los Angeles really is. After all, with so many segments that are or are not officially part of the city, even just understanding the outline of the city limits presents a challenge, let alone getting a sense of how that compares to other cities. To help you understand the scale of Los Angeles, we used mapping data from MAPfrappe to create overlays of LA’s 503 square miles on some other cities with which you might be familiar.
New York City, 469 square miles
Almost the same size, as of 2013 New York City fit 8.3 million people within its city limits. That compares to just about 4 million in LA (but a total of more than 10 million when you include all of LA County).
San Francisco, 47 square miles
The City by the Bay famously measures in at just seven by seven, yet it still ranks 13th in the US’s most populous cities (LA is second in the country) thanks to a density much higher than some larger municipalities.
London, 671 square miles
London and Los Angeles have almost the same number of residents, however, London was founded in 43 AD and LA didn’t come along until 1781, so they did kind of get a head start.
Paris, 40 square miles
Paris, like San Francisco, is a technically small city within a larger area known as the Île-de-France région. Nonetheless, 2,229,621 people lived within those 40 square miles as of 2013.
Chicago, 234 square miles
Last year, Chicago reported the largest drop in population of any US city, but with 2.7 million residents, it’s still holding on to the title of third most populous.
Washington, DC, 68 square miles
Only 658,893 people reside within the petite Federal District, meaning the seat of national government is effectively a large neighborhood by LA standards.