Largest Cities in California: Top 10 by Population

June 6, 2024

California is known for its diverse and populous cities, each offering unique characteristics and experiences. Here’s a look at the top 10 largest cities in California by population:

Los Angeles

Los Angeles is the most populated city in California, with an estimated population of 3,820,914. Known for its entertainment industry, it hosts numerous iconic landmarks like Hollywood, Griffith Observatory, and Venice Beach. The city’s diverse cultural scene and sprawling metropolis offer countless opportunities and experiences.

Los Angeles skyline at sunset.green palm tree and city view

San Diego

San Diego is the second largest city with a population of 1,388,320. Famous for its beautiful beaches, parks, and World-Renowned San Diego Zoo, this coastal city enjoys a vibrant cultural life and a strong military presence.

vehicles on road beside buildings during daytime

San Jose

San Jose, located in the heart of Silicon Valley, boasts a population of 969,655. This tech hub is known for its significant contributions to the tech industry and is home to numerous tech companies and startups. Its Mediterranean climate and cultural diversity make it a prime destination for tech enthusiasts and professionals.

cars parked on parking lot during daytime

San Francisco

San Francisco has a population of 808,988 and is known for its steep hills, historic cable cars, and iconic Golden Gate Bridge. As a cultural and financial hub, the city offers a diverse array of arts, cuisine, and history.

San Francisco's downhill winding street

Fresno

Fresno, with a population of 545,716, is known for its affordability and growth in high-tech and professional companies. This central Californian city is an agricultural powerhouse and provides access to multiple national parks.

Sacramento

Sacramento, the state capital, has a population of over 500,000. Known for its historic sites and government-related industries, it is an essential administrative center in California. The city is also recognized for its farm-to-fork dining scene and vibrant culture.

Sacramento white bridge over river during daytime

Long Beach

Long Beach is notable for its thriving port and aeronautical industry, playing a crucial role in international trade. The city offers strong cultural diversity and a robust economy supported by tourism and manufacturing industries.

silhouette of city skyline during sunset

Oakland

Oakland, with a diverse economy, is a major port city. Known for its arts, music, and culinary scenes, it is also considered one of the most racially and economically diverse cities in the nation. Population-wise, it remains one of California’s largest cities.

Bakersfield

Bakersfield stands out for its more affordable cost of living while offering robust job opportunities in oil, agriculture, and manufacturing industries. With a growing population, the city is known for its country music heritage and family-friendly community atmosphere.

Anaheim

Anaheim is probably best known for Disneyland Resort, attracting millions of visitors annually. With a population that continues to grow, Anaheim is also known for its sports teams and large convention center, contributing to the city's economic development.

fireworks display during night time

This overview showcases the unique aspects of the largest cities in California, highlighting their population, cultural significance, and economic contributions.

City Population (2023) Key Characteristics
Los Angeles 3,820,914 Entertainment industry, Hollywood, Griffith Observatory, Venice Beach
San Diego 1,388,320 Beaches, parks, San Diego Zoo, military presence
San Jose 969,655 Silicon Valley, tech industry, Mediterranean climate
San Francisco 808,988 Steep hills, cable cars, Golden Gate Bridge, cultural hub
Fresno 545,716 Agricultural powerhouse, affordability, access to national parks
Sacramento 500,000+ State capital, historic sites, farm-to-fork dining
Long Beach (Population not provided) Thriving port, aeronautical industry, cultural diversity
Oakland (Population not provided) Major port city, arts, music, culinary scenes, diversity
Bakersfield (Population not provided) Affordable living, job opportunities in oil, agriculture, and manufacturing
Anaheim (Population not provided) Disneyland Resort, sports teams, large convention center

What are the five largest cities in California?

The five largest cities in California by population are Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, San Francisco, and Fresno. Each of these cities offers distinct cultural and economic contributions.

How many people live in Los Angeles?

Los Angeles has an estimated population of 3,820,914, making it the most populated city in California. The city is renowned for its entertainment industry and iconic landmarks such as Hollywood and Venice Beach.

What is San Diego known for?

San Diego, with a population of 1,388,320, is famous for its beautiful beaches, parks, and the World-Renowned San Diego Zoo. It also has a vibrant cultural life and a strong military presence.

Why is San Jose significant?

San Jose is significant due to its role as a tech hub located in Silicon Valley. With a population of 969,655, it is home to numerous tech companies and startups, contributing significantly to the tech industry.

What makes San Francisco unique?

San Francisco, with a population of 808,988, is unique for its steep hills, historic cable cars, and the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. The city is a cultural and financial hub, known for its diverse arts, cuisine, and history.

What industries are prominent in Fresno?

Fresno, with a population of 545,716, is known for its affordability and growth in high-tech and professional companies. It's also an agricultural powerhouse, providing access to multiple national parks.

What distinguishes Sacramento as a city?

Sacramento, the state capital, has a population of over 500,000. Known for its historic sites and government-related industries, it is a key administrative center, also recognized for its farm-to-fork dining scene and vibrant culture.

Why is Long Beach important?

Long Beach is notable for its thriving port and aeronautical industry, playing a crucial role in international trade. The city also has strong cultural diversity and a robust economy supported by tourism and manufacturing industries.

What makes Oakland stand out?

Oakland, a major port city with a diverse economy, is known for its arts, music, and culinary scenes. It is one of the most racially and economically diverse cities in the nation, being among California’s largest cities population-wise.

What is notable about Bakersfield?

Bakersfield stands out for its affordable cost of living and robust job opportunities in oil, agriculture, and manufacturing industries. With a growing population, it’s known for its country music heritage and family-friendly community atmosphere.

Why is Anaheim famous?

Anaheim is best known for Disneyland Resort, which attracts millions of visitors annually. It also has a growing population and is known for its sports teams and large convention center, contributing to the city's economic development.

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JJ Sterling
As the co-founder of Urban Splatter and an architecture graduate from Chicago, I thrive on crafting a digital nexus where architectural innovation intersects with boundless digital opportunity. My academic roots in the Windy City's rich architectural tapestry inspire a unique vision for Urban Splatter's journey into the ever-evolving digital frontier of design. Join us as we navigate the exciting confluence of structure, style, and technology.

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