The subject of density in Los Angeles has been garnering a significant amount of attention in recent weeks. The Census Bureau recently released new population figures that showed the Los Angeles area (not city) is the densest region in the United States. The figures, which showed the Los Angeles region (#1) ahead of New York (#5) in terms of density, brought a slew of media attention to the issue. The issues of density vs. sprawl, Manhattanization, and city character in Los Angeles were all the subject of speculation in light of the newest density figures.

While the figures perhaps signal some sort of tipping point for LA, it's important to remember that these are regional comparisons and not comparisons of the cities. The City of New York can still boast as being the densest big city in America. In fact, it is 3 times as dense as the City of Los Angeles. But comparisons aside, one thing is clear: Los Angeles is a decidedly urban city. A city to city comparison is an interesting exercise, but for the purposes of the Mobility Element we are interested in the varying densities within the City.

This map depicts the City’s population density in terms of numbers of persons per acre for each of the City's Census blocks.

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