New York might be the city that doesn't sleep, but Los Angeles still has the largest county in the United States of America.
That was the verdict by the U.S. Census Bureau this week, which said:
Los Angeles, California, is still the nation's most populous county with a July 1, 2014, population surpassing 10.1 million.
Our exact population figure, says the government, is 10,116,705. The Census says we added 63,000 residents, the third highest number in the nation, between July 1, 2013, and July 1, 2014.
Chicago's Cook County, with 5,246,456 hot-dog eaters, is the nation's second largest county. Harris County, Texas (home of Houston), came in second place with 4,441,370 cowboy-boot aficionados. Maricopa County, Arizona (Phoenix), was fourth with 4,087,191. San Diego County was fifth (3,263,431) and Orange County was sixth (3,145,515).
The city of New York, which with its five boroughs is really more analogous to the county of Los Angeles, is still the largest city in America. It has about 8,405,837 people compared with the city of L.A.'s 3,884,307.
But, as we've argued before, a city-to-city comparison just isn't logical here. Anyone who's driven even a few miles around L.A. knows that our “city” is also a collection of smaller municipalities, such as Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Culver City, Inglewood, Burbank, Glendale and Long Beach.
The New York metro area is still our daddy, according to the latest Census figures: 20.1 million people call the area home.
But … that definition of New York's metro area is quite expansive and includes Newark, Jersey City, the NY-NJ-PA Metro Area, Dutchess County, Putnam County, Nassau County, Suffolk County and even White Plains (in Westchester County).
Yes, that definition actually includes a section of Pennsylvania, a part of New Jersey and all or a portion of at least five counties.
If greater Los Angeles were defined similarly, by all Southern California counties and by the contiguous density that reaches nearly to the U.S. border (and beyond, really), we'd have greater New York matched or even beat for population.
Hey, if NYC can have Pennsylvania, we can have Tijuana (population 1.3 million). (The food is better, too.)
The Southern California Association of Governments says it represents about 20 million people. And that's without Tijuana.
We know we're going to win this argument. San Diego wants nothing to do with L.A. and never will. But we also know that SoCal is one giant metropolis.
For now we'll be happy with the fact that L.A. is king of America's counties.