Southern California

Southern California

Southern California, or So Cal, is defined as the southern portion of the U.S. state of California. Its population centers on the counties of Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, San Bernardino, Riverside and Ventura. The region is home to over 23 million people and is the nation's second most populated region, behind only the BosWash Region in the Northeastern United States.

There is no official definition for the northern boundary of Southern California. However, most definitions in use include all the land south of the Tehachapi Mountains, located about convert|70|mi|km|0|sp=us north of Los Angeles.

On the west of Southern California lies the Pacific Ocean; to the south is the international border between the United States and Mexico; to the east are the Mojave and Colorado Deserts and the Colorado River at the state's border with Arizona and Nevada.


Within its boundaries is a major world city, Los Angeles, and three of the country's largest metropolitan areas. [The three metropolitan areas are: 1) Los Angeles–Long Beach–Santa Ana"(the second largest in the US)", 2) Riverside–San Bernardino–Ontario "(also know as the Inland Empire)" and 3) San Diego–Carlsbad–San Marcos - see: United States metropolitan areas ] Its counties of Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, San Bernardino, and Riverside are in the top 15 most populous counties in the United States.The region is home to Los Angeles International Airport, the third-busiest airport in the United States by passenger volume (see World's busiest airports by passenger traffic) and the 2nd by international passenger volume, Van Nuys Airport (see Busiest airports in the United States by international passenger traffic), the world's busiest general aviation airport, San Diego International Airport, the second busiest single-runway airport in the world, Ontario International Airport, John Wayne International Airport, and LA/Palmdale Regional Airport . Southern California is also home to the Port of Los Angeles, the United States' busiest commercial port, and the adjacent Port of Long Beach. Also of note in the region is the freeway system, which is the world's busiest. Six of the seven lines of the commuter rail system, Metrolink, run out of Downtown Los Angeles, connecting Los Angeles, Ventura, San Bernardino, Riverside, Orange, and San Diego counties with the other line connecting San Bernardino, Riverside, and Orange counties directly, the nation's first suburb-to-suburb commuter rail line.

The Tech Coast is a moniker that has gained use as a descriptor for the region's diversified technology and industrial base as well as its multitude of prestigious and world-renowned research universities and other public and private institutions. Amongst these include five University of California campuses (Los Angeles (UCLA), Irvine, Riverside, Santa Barbara, and San Diego (UCSD) campuses), 10 California State University campuses (Channel Islands, Dominguez Hills, Fullerton, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Pomona (Cal Poly Pomona), Northridge (CSUN), San Bernardino, San Diego (SDSU), and San Marcos campuses), as well as private institutions such as Caltech, the University of Southern California, Pepperdine University, Loyola Marymount University, the Claremont Colleges and the University of San Diego (USD).

Southern California is also the entertainment (motion picture, television, and recorded music) capital of the world and is home to Hollywood, the center of the motion picture industry. Headquartered in Southern California are The Walt Disney Company (which also owns ABC), Sony Pictures, Universal, MGM, Paramount Pictures (parent company of Dreamworks), 20th Century Fox and Warner Brothers, and as well as Univision, Activision, and THQ. Southern California is also home to the world's largest adult entertainment industry, located primarily in the San Fernando Valley. More than 85% of adult film and video production in North America takes place in the area.

Besides the entertainment industry, Southern California is also home to a large surf and skateboard culture. Companies such as Volcom, Quiksilver, O'Neill clothing division, Lost Enterprises, Sector 9 [Sector 9 Incorporated - San Diego, CA] , RVCA, Body Glove and Surfline [Surfline - Huntington Beach, CA] are all headquartered here. Professional skateboarder Tony Hawk, professional surfers Rob Machado, Tim Curran, Bobby Martinez, Pat O'Connell, Dane Reynolds, and Chris Ward, and professional snowboarder Shaun White live in Southern California. Some of the world's legendary surf spots are here as well, including Trestles, Rincon, The Wedge, Huntington Beach, and Malibu, and it is second only to the island of Oahu in terms of famous surf breaks. Brand name skate parks including the Vans Skate Park in Orange, the Etnies Park in Lake Forest, and the YMCA Skate Park in Encinitas are in Southern California. Some of the world's biggest extreme sports events including the X Games [ [,0,5636019.story?coll=la-home-headlines X Games Take a Turn for the Better - Los Angeles Times ] ] , Boost Mobile Pro [cite web|title=Construction Stirs Debate on Effects on ‘Perfect Wave’|url=|work=The New York Times|date=2006-09-13|accessdate=2008-09-13] , and the U.S. Open of Surfing [ [ US Open of Surfing] ] are all in Southern California.

Southern California is home to many successful sports franchises and sports networks such as Fox Sports Net. Teams that are located in the region include the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, San Diego Padres, Los Angeles Kings, Anaheim Ducks, Los Angeles Galaxy, Chivas USA, Los Angeles Riptide, and San Diego Chargers. Southern California also hosts a number of popular NCAA sports programs, such as the UCLA Bruins, the USC Trojans, and the SDSU Aztecs.

With inhabitants from all over the world, Southern California has always been at the forefront of popular culture as well as a pioneer of several subcultures, including the hippie movement, and various musical movements such as skate punk, hardcore punk, and West Coast Rap with its gangster/"g-funk" style. The Los Angeles area in particular has always been one of the most important areas for entertainment, the arts, architecture, and food, all of which reflects the broad influence Los Angeles has on the world's culture.

Northern boundary

The region's northern boundary is subject to a broader degree of interpretation than those of the West, East, and South. The most commonly used physical boundary between "Southern California" and the rest of the state is the Tehachapi Range Fact|date=November 2007, located about convert|70|mi|km|0 north of Los Angeles, and the Transverse Ranges [ [ California's Coastal Mountains] ] in Santa Barbara County west to Point Conception. Seven counties (listed in descending order of population) are included: Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange, San Bernardino, Riverside, Ventura, and Imperial, as well as the southern part of Santa Barbara.

A more inclusive definition coinciding neatly with county lines uses the sixth standard parallel south [ [ Revisions to the California State Implementation Plan, San Joaquin Valley Unified Air Pollution Control District ] ] of Mount Diablo (144 miles south of Mt. Diablo at 35°47′28″N) which forms the northern borders of San Luis Obispo, Kern, and San Bernardino counties as the boundary. The rest of Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and Kern County, California are included as well for a total of ten counties.

ee also

* Greater Los Angeles
* History of the west coast of North America
* Northern California
* Central Valley (California)
* Central Coast of California
* San Angeles
* San Diego-Tijuana Metropolitan Area
* Bajalta California


External links

* [ Historical Society of Southern California]
* [ Southern California Subbuteo Club official site]

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