I got the inspiration to create this map after seeing states with a smaller population tham Los Angeles County map. I had already known that Los Angeles County was one of the most populous counties in the US, but I didn't realize it had more residents than almost every US state with the exception of a handful. After some research, I discovered that Los Angeles county was in fact the MOST populous US county (10+ million people). As of 2017, almost 1 in 30 American lives in Los Angeles county.
Once you realize that Los Angeles county has a ton of people, it wouldn't surprise you to learn that the county's economy is pretty big too, which I discovered after doing some research. Los Angeles county's GDP was larger than all US states outside California except, Texas, New York, Florida, Illinois and Pennsylvania.
During my research, I found when it comes to estimating the size of Los Angeles County's economy, many people also include the economy of Orange County as well. This is because Los Angeles County and Orange County border each other and have intertwined services, industry, and infrastructure. Together they form what is known as the Los Angeles metropolitan area, the second most populous metropolitan area in the US after only the New York metropolitan area. But the more impressive fact is that the Los Angeles metropolitan area's GDP is larger than every US state outside California with only two exceptions: New York and Texas.
LA Metropolitan Area and US States' GDP (millions of dollars) in 2016
|4||Los Angeles metropolitan area||1,001,677|
|35||District of Columbia||126,478|
You might also be wondering how Los Angeles's economy got to be so big (aside from having a big population). One reason is because the city has one of the largest, if not the largest, entertainment industry in the world. All six major film studios (Paramount Pictures, 21st Century Fox, Sony, Warner Bros, Universal Pictures, and Walt Disney Studios) are based in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. They rake in billions in revenue every year and contribute a significant deal to the region's GDP. But this is only part of the answer.
Although Los Angeles is famous worldwide as the capital of entertainment, the city's economy is in fact very diverse with a strong lineup of companies in many different sectors. They include the Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach, the two busiest container ports in the United States. Some of the best schools in the world are located in this region including Caltech, UCLA, and USC. Tech/gaming companies have made a home for itself in the LA area as well and include big names like Activision Blizzard, Riot Games, Hulu, and Snapchat. And it would be a travesty to not mention Space X, whose headquarters are in LA and is one of the leading private space companies in the world.