Cities in California

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This page contains a list of cities in California, and other information about local governments.

California allows municipal charter cities and counties. There are 58 total counties in California, including the consolidated government of San Francisco. Of those 58:[1]

There are 482 total municipalities in California. Of those 482, 361 of them are General law municipalities while the remaining 121 are Charter/Home rule cities.[1]

Types of local government

Local government in California consists of:

  • Cities: as of November 2012, California had 482 cities. California's city with the largest population is Los Angeles, with a population of 3,792,621 as of the 2010 census. The city with the smallest population in California is Vernon which, as of the 2010 census, had a population of 112.
  • Counties: California has 58 counties.
  • Public school districts: there are roughly 1,300 public school districts in the state.
  • Special taxing districts: this includes Community Service Districts, Fire Protection Districts, Parks & Recreation Districts, Hospital Districts, and more. As of 2011, there were 4,772 special districts in California.[2]
  • San Francisco is a consolidated city-county government, exercising powers and responsibilities of both forms of government.

Further classifications:

Counties in California are classified in one of two ways:

  • Charter counties: 14 of the 58 counties are governed under a charter. They are Alameda, Butte, El Dorado, Fresno, Los Angeles, Orange, Placer, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, and Tehama.[3]
  • General law counties: the remaining 44 operate under the general law.

Cities in California are classified in one of two ways:

  • Charter cities: as of November 2012, there were 121 charter cities in the state.[4]
  • General law cities: the remaining 361 cities are general law cities.

10 most populated cities

List of Most Populated Cities in California
City[5] Population City Type Next election
Los Angeles 3,819,702 Charter N/A
San Diego 1,326,179 Charter
San Jose 967,487 Charter
San Francisco 812,826 Charter as consolidated city-county
Fresno 501,362 Charter
Sacramento 472,178 Charter
Long Beach 465,576 Charter
Oakland 395,817 Charter
Bakersfield 352,428 Charter
Anaheim 341,361 Charter

Full list of cities

See also: List of California cities
A guide to local ballot initiatives
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As of the 2010 Census, there were 482 incorporated cities and towns in California. A full list of cities in California is available here.

See also