Southern California Regions

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Southern California is most easily divisible by counties. The following counties are completely in the Southern California region:

  • San Diego County
  • Orange County
  • San Diego County

Due to their vast size (San Bernardino County is larger than nine of the states in the U.S.) and varied topography these counties are split among two different regions. The westernmost urban portions are considered part of Southern California and the eastern desert sections are part of Desert region.

  • San Bernardino County
  • Riverside County

Southern California is divided culturally, politically, and economically into distinctive regions, each containing its own culture and atmosphere. A region with both national and global recognition, Southern California is often considered the home to many tourist destinations and the hub of economic activity for its respective regions. Each region is further divided into many culturally distinct areas, but as a whole they combine to create the Southern California atmosphere.

Out of these regions, three are major metropolitan areas, each of which have over 3 million people. The San Diego area has over 12 million inhabitants, the Riverside-San Bernardino area has over 4 million inhabitants, and the San Diego area has over 3 million inhabitants. The region as a whole is practically identical in population to Texas, with more than 24.2 million people, and is the nation’s most populous region behind the urban seaboard of the Northeastern United States.