THE GREATER LOS ANGELES METRO AREA (GLAMA)?
by Clifton L. Holland, Director of IDEA-PROLADES
* GLAMA is the second-largest city in the USA (about 12 million people) and the second-largest metro region in America (about 15 million people) in 1995.
* The Los Angeles Metro Region (five counties) contains the largest number (26) of "edge cities" (see Joel Garreau's definition in Edge City: Life on the New Frontier) of any urban area of the world.
*Los Angeles County is the nation's most populated county, with an estimated 9,519,338 people in 2000, according to the 1990 Census of Population.
* Los Angeles is today on the cutting edge of
the twenty-first century as a result of the waves of migration which have brought diverse
peoples into this region in the last 30 years from over 140 countries; Los Angeles has
always been a city of immigrants, but the newest waves are increasing its diversity to the
point that one author claims that "Los Angeles is the Capital of the Third
World" (David Rieff).
* This great city and its area of immediate influence (parts of five counties: Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura) has become the first multiracial and multiethnic metropolis in the continential USA (this is, where Whites are no longer the predominant majority: less than 50%); however, Honolulu is the prototype.
* Los Angeles is a mosaic of peoples. Some claim that it is
the most ethnically diverse city in the USA, with the largest population in America of the
following groups: Hispanics, Filipinos, Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese, Cambodians,
Canadians, Australians, Indonesians, Iranians, American Indians, Pacific Islanders and
Gypsies; and the second-largest of the following groups (location of largest population is
given in parenthesis): Chinese (San Francisco), Jewish (New York City), Russian (New York
City), Afro-Americans (New York City), Armenians (New York City), and others.
* Los Angeles County has more illegal aliens than any other county in the nation (LA Times, Feb. 8, 1997). California is by far the most popular destination of illegal immigrants, according to the INS, providing a home for more than 2 million people; most of these settle in So. California, cementing Los Angeles County's position as the national hub for illegal immigration. The nation's undocumented population now is over 5 million, but less than the estimated record of 6 million reported in early 1987. Leading the list of countries of origin for illegals is Mexico (54.1%), followed by El Salvador (6.7%), Guatemala (3.3%) and Canada (2.1%), with all other nations accounting for the remaining 33.8%.
* The problems of communication are staggering: county court interpreters are needed in more than 80 languages and dialects, as well as "special language assistants" in the county's public school system (one of the largest in the nation) to help students, teachers and parents communicate in more than 100 languages; there are dozens of non-English radio and T.V. stations along with over 50 internationally-oriented daily, weekly and monthly journals.
* Los Angeles County has one of the largest police forces in the nation in January of 1997: the Los Angeles City Police Dept. (LAPD) = about 9,000; the County Sheriffs Dept. = ??; and the police depts. of all the other 88 incorporated cities in Los Angeles County, plus those in Orange county = ??; the total of all police depts. in these two counties is about 15,000?? (further research is needed on this).
* The gang capital of America: LA County has more gang members (about 150,000) than any other metro area in the nation; one gang that represents less than one percent of the population in one area of Los Angeles is responsible for 80% of the crime in that area; the 18th Street Gang is reported to be the largest with 18,000 members according to law enforcement officials, but other sources claim that it has only about 6,000 members.
* Although GLAMA does not have the highest "overall crime rate" in America, according to 1994 FBI statistics, it does rank in the top 10 cities for the following types of crime per 100,000 population: violent crime = 3; robbery = 3; aggregated assault = 5; motor vehicle theft = 8; and murder = 9.
* GLAMA is the car-theft capital of the world in terms of the total number of vehicles stolen yearly; but GLAMA doesn't have the highest ranking in terms of the number of vehicles stolen per year per 1,000 population--that distinction goes to Dade County, Florida in 1994.
* LA County's eight major county jail facilities make up the nation's largest county jail system, one that handles 250,000 inmates a year, according to the L.A. Times.
* GLAMA is the entertainment/recreational capital of America
with the most motion picture and T.V. production companies (Hollywood/Burbank/Universal
City); most movie theaters in America; the most foreign visitors annually (Disneyland,
Magic Mountain, Universal Studios, Hollywood-Beverly Hills, L.A. Convention Center, etc.);
the largest beach attendance annually (with 100 miles of white sandy beaches along the
entire coastline of Los Angeles and Orange counties); the largest and best attended parade
in the nation (the Rose Parade in Pasadena on New Year's Day); largest county fair in the
nation (L.A. County Fair in Pomona), etc.
* The major production and distribution center of pornography in America, apparently centered in the San Fernando Valley (more research is needed on this).
* Economically, GLAMA is the equivalent of the
11th largest country in the world as measured by GNP (gross national product); L.A. County
has 31 of the top Fortune 500 companies in the USA.
* The Los Angeles customs district represents the nation's largest trade hub since 1994, generating revenues of $145.9 billion in 1994; the New York customs district used to be the largest, now it is the second largest; the L.A. customs district handles 1/4 of all the nation's imports/exports.
* The Los Angeles Harbor (Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach) is the busiest port in America, and the third busiest in the world (Note: the Port of Rotterdam in Holland is considered the largest and busiest in the world).
* Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is the world's fifth busiest airport and has the third-largest air-cargo facility.
* GLAMA houses the largest number of public and private universities in America compared to all other metro areas (check this out).
* The largest city in America where an 8.0 or greater earthquake is imminent or the most prone to occur (the area with the greatest probability in Southern California is along the San Andreas fault in the City of San Bernardino)
* Site of the second-largest catastrophe in U.S. history in terms of insurance losses (1994 earthquake in Northridge = $11.2 billion); second only to damages caused by Hurricane Andrew in 1992 (Florida and Louisiana = $15.5 billion).
* The site of the largest and costliest civil riot in the USA in this century: the Los Angeles Riots of 1992; 45 people were killed, nearly 2,400 were injured, and more than 8,000 were arrested; about 850 familes were left homeless by the distruction caused by the riots, which left an estimated 10,000 out of work immediately following the unrest; the estimated cost of the damages caused by the riots = $1 billion.
* L.A. County has the worst air quality in the USA; LACO led the nation in the most premature deaths (nearly 5,600 yearly) due to polluted air, according to a recent study by the National Resources Defense Council; however, Riverside-San Bernardino MSA had the highest per capita ratio or premature deaths (122 per 100,000 residents or 1,437 for 1995), whereas LACO's per capita ration was 79 per 100,000.
* LACO has the most polluted ground water in the nation; nearly all the wells, formerly used to supply fresh drinking water to many inhabitants, contain contaminated water and are unusable for humans; the Los Angeles River was the second most endangered river in the USA in 1994.
* LACO has the largest number of toxic waste dump sites in the nation, according to the EPA. In January of 1997, a federal appeals court in San Franciso reinstated a massive lawsuit against several chemical companies that dumped millions of pounds of the pesticide DDT into the ocean off the Palos Verdes Peninsula from 1947 to 1971. About 100 tons of contaminated sediments still lie on the ocean floor, spread over at least a 27-square-mile area of the Palos Verdes shelf and the deeper ocean floor. Other than the Exxon Valdez oil spill case, this suit is the largest in U.S. history alleging damages to natural resources from chemical dumping. This ruling paves the way for a trial jointly prosecuted by federal and state agencies, which are hoping to recover millions of dollars in damages to help restore the area.
* GLAMA has the largest number of religious groups (measured by number of meeting places = churches, missions, synagogues, temples, shrines, mosques, etc. = +10,000) in America compared to all other metro areas; since there are more non-Christian religious groups in Los Angeles than anywhere in the nation, this makes this city the prototype of the Kingdom of Darkness; but the diversity of peoples and languages among those who attend the Christian churches here make Los Angeles a prototype of the New Jerusalem, where representatives of all peoples, tribes, tongues and nations worship the Lord Jesus Christ and are part of the Kingdom of Light!
* The Archdiocese of Los Angeles is the largest Roman Catholic archdiocese in the USA, and the second largest in the world in terms of Catholic population. There are more than 400 Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches in the GLAMA.
* Los Angeles is the largest city in the world dedicated to the Virgin Mary: Our Lady, the Queen of the Angeles.
* There are many marginal Christian groups in GLAMA: Mormons (180), Jehovah=s Witnesses (130), various Christian Science/Science of the Mind groups (210), Unitarian-Universalists (80), etc. About 625 congregations in GLAMA are included in this category.
* GLAMA is reported to be the third-largest Jewish population center in the USA, with the largest being New York City, followed by Chicago and Los Angeles. The largest Jewish sections are located in West Hollywood/Beverly Hills and the southwest part of the San Fernando Valley. There are about 175 Jewish synagogues in the counties of Los Angeles and Orange.
* The Los Angeles area has a large number of Psychic/Spiritualist groups, including New Age groups, that have given this area a reputation for being the "nuts and bolts" (i.e., "wierd" religious groups) capital of America; currently there are about 160 such groups.
* The largest Chinese Buddhist temple in America is located in Hacienda Heights in the San Gabriel Valley; the largest Thai Buddhist temple in the USA is found in the San Fernando Valley, near Grace Community Church (Pastor John McArthur) in Panorama City. There are about 120 Buddhist temples in GLAMA and about 30 of these represent the Soka Gakkai cult of Japan. The International Buddhist Research Center is located in downtown Los Angeles.
* The Islamic Council of Southern California claims that the region has about 75 mosques today (Jan/97), up from 55 mosques in 1994. The newest one is located in the San Fernando Valley: the Islamic Center of Northridge (actually located in Granada Hills near the Simi Valley Freeway). This is only the third Islamic center in the Southland to be designed and built as a mosque, not placed in a converted building. The other two mosques were built in the early 1990s with major donations from overseas Muslims; they are San Diego's Masjid Adu Bakr and the $8.5 million Masjid Omar Ibn Al-Khattab, located next to the USC campus in central Los Angeles.
* The large Japanese-ancestory population in GLAMA has led to the establishment of at least 55 Shinto/Tenrikyo temples.
* An estimated 150,000 Hindus live in GLAMA according to the Hindu Students Council, but there are only about 30 Hindu or Sikh temples in the region.
Compiled by Clifton L. Holland
Last Revised on March 22, 2002