Cities in California
California allows municipal charter cities and counties. There are 58 total counties in California, including the consolidated government of San Francisco. Of those 58:
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.
- San Francisco is a consolidated city-county government, exercising powers and responsibilities of both forms of government.
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.
- 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.
- General law cities: the remaining 361 cities are general law cities.
10 most populated cities
|List of Most Populated Cities in California|
|City||Population||City Type||Next election|
|San Francisco||812,826||Charter as consolidated city-county|
Full list of cities
- See also: List of California cities
|A guide to local ballot initiatives|
- Laws governing local ballot measures in California
- California ballot measures
- Counties in California
- Local Government Types and Numbers Research Spreadsheet
- California State Controller, "Special Districts 2011"
- See California, California Counties
- League of California Cities, "California Residents and Basic Geography"
- US Census Bureau "City and Town Totals: Vintage 2011 (Population figures as of 2011 Census estimates)