California boasts the largest population in the United States, with approximately 39.2 million residents. Its cities are known for being both large and densely populated. Here, we will explore the top ten largest cities in California.
California is the most populous state in the United States, and it is home to some of the largest and most vibrant cities in the country. From the sprawling metropolis of Los Angeles to the scenic coastal town of San Francisco, the state offers a diverse range of living experiences for its residents.
In this context, this article provides an overview of the largest cities in California, including Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, San Francisco, Fresno, Sacramento, Long Beach, Oakland, Bakersfield, and Anaheim. Each of these cities has its unique characteristics and features, from their cultural landmarks and bustling downtown areas to their stunning natural landscapes and thriving arts scenes.
Together, they represent the rich and diverse cultural tapestry of California, making it one of the most exciting places to live, work, and visit in the world.
10 Largest Cities in California
- Los Angeles
- San Diego
- San Jose
- San Francisco
- Long Beach
1. Los Angeles
Unsurprisingly, Los Angeles is the largest city in California with a population of almost 4 million people. Known for its bustling film industry, beautiful beaches, and popular tourist attractions, Los Angeles is situated in one of the most densely populated areas in the United States. Additionally, it has a massive footprint of approximately 468.9 square miles, making it the largest city in the state by far.
2. San Diego
With a population of around 1.4 million inhabitants, San Diego is the second-largest city in California. Located just 26 minutes away from the Mexican border, it is also the southernmost metropolitan area in the state. San Diego spans approximately 325.9 square miles of land, making it the least densely populated city on this list. However, due to its significant population and vast size, it is still considered the second-largest city in California overall.
3. San Jose
San Jose is not only California’s third-largest city, but it also holds the title of being the largest city in Silicon Valley. Situated at the southern tip of San Francisco Bay, the region boasts beautiful natural scenery, high-end museums, theaters, and parks, making it a popular destination for locals. San Jose is home to almost 1 million people and spans over 178 square miles.
4. San Francisco
San Francisco is widely recognized as one of the largest cities in California, known for its iconic Golden Gate Bridge, thriving economy, and innovative cuisine. It is a popular destination for foodies, outdoor enthusiasts, and business professionals alike. Despite its relatively small footprint of 46.90 square miles, the city has a significant population of around 815,000 people, making it one of the most densely populated areas in California.
Fresno is a crucial agricultural hub and the largest farming community in California, situated between the cities of San Francisco and Los Angeles. The region boasts rich soil, flourishing orchards, and some of the freshest produce in the state. With a population of approximately 544,510 people and an area of 115 square miles, Fresno is the most populated city in the California Central Valley.
Sacramento is not only the capital of California but also the state’s sixth-largest city. Situated north of San Francisco Bay, it is a preferred destination for those seeking a vibrant city with a relaxed atmosphere. The region offers a mix of top-quality restaurants, wineries, breweries, and outdoor activities, contributing to its local population of approximately 525,000 people. With a land area of approximately 98 square miles, Sacramento boasts one of the largest circumferences among California’s cities.
7. Long Beach
Long Beach is not the largest city in California. It is, however, one of the largest cities in the state, ranking seventh in terms of population size. As of 2021, Long Beach has a population of approximately 467,000 residents. Its significant size is attributed to several factors, including its desirable coastal location, thriving port, and diverse economy. Additionally, Long Beach is known for its rich cultural and historical heritage, with numerous museums, galleries, and cultural centers throughout the city.
Oakland is another prominent city in California, known for its iconic Lake Merritt, which is a natural saltwater lake. The city is a hub for outdoor recreational activities, family-friendly environments, exquisite dining, and a vibrant nightlife scene. Despite having an area of only 55.9 square miles, Oakland has a population of approximately 434,000 residents, making it one of California’s densely populated areas and an ideal destination for those seeking big-city living.
Bakersfield, located in central California, is one of the largest cities in the region, situated about two hours from Los Angeles. The city has gained recognition as a hub of country music development, featuring a plethora of music venues, dance halls, and country music inspiration. Being located near Interstate 5, the city is popular among commuters, tourists, and travelers. With a population of approximately 408,000 people, Bakersfield is an excellent option for those seeking a metropolitan area with a thriving music scene.
Anaheim, situated in Orange County, is known for being one of California’s most densely populated cities. Its main attraction is Disneyland Resort, drawing many visitors every year. Additionally, the city is home to the Anaheim Convention Center, Los Angeles Angels baseball team, and the Anaheim Ducks ice hockey team. This combination of attractions makes it a desirable and family-friendly place to reside. With well-maintained streets and a welcoming environment, Anaheim has a population of approximately 346,000 people, ranking it among the most populous cities in California.
Largest Cities in California Comparison
|Rank||City Name||Population||Area (mi2)|
|1||Los Angeles||3.9 Million||468.96|
|2||San Diego||1.4 Million||325.88|