Having an understanding of when, where, and why people settle in an area is crucial in explaining the growth course of a city. However, this cannot be done by looking at a city in isolation. Its surrounding region has a tremendous impact on its development. The purpose of this thesis is to examine the growth of Los Angeles from a regional perspective, called the Los Angeles city-system, which consists of Los Angeles and its hinterland. Connections are made between the history and the geography of the Los Angeles city-system by examining the spatial distribution of population within the region between 1769 and 2000. The Hoover Index of Population Concentration is used to determine the population concentration, and major shifts in the concentration are illuminated by the geography and historical events of the Los Angeles area. The main factors contributing to the changing concentration were the region's physical geography, the introduction of transportation innovations, the region's economic structure, historical and political events, and migration trends. It was found that the counties in closest proximity to Los Angeles County are becoming more alike, while the more peripheral counties are becoming more different. This has led to a greater understanding of urban/periphery growth economics.
College and Department
Family, Home, and Social Sciences; Geography
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Cosby, Kerri L., "From Mission to Megacity: The Changing Concentration of the Los Angeles City-system" (2004). All Theses and Dissertations. 27.
Population concentration, Hoover Index, Los Angeles, Southern California, population growth, regional growth