The Los Angeles metropolitan area, or Southland, is a term used to refer to the five-county group of metropolitan areas in Southern California. This includes Los Angeles County, Orange County, San Bernardino County, Riverside County, and Ventura County. Even though they form the same metropolitan area, residents of southern Orange County often try to distinguish themselves from Los Angeles. The Inland Empire is sometimes defined as the entirety of San Bernardino and Riverside counties, but the desert and underdeveloped parts of the east of these counties are not considered part of the Los Angeles metropolitan area.
Whittier students, faculty, and staff make the most of everything the area has to offer. The Office of Student Activities coordinates a number of activities to explore Los Angeles, such as trips to museums, parks, and cultural events throughout Southern California. Additionally, many academic courses use the history, politics, cultural evolution, architecture, and terrain of Los Angeles as a backdrop to contextually explore the topic. The economy of the Los Angeles metropolitan area is renowned and largely based on the entertainment industry, with a particular focus on television, movies, interactive games and recorded music.
The Hollywood district of Los Angeles and its surroundings are known as the movie capital of the United States due to their extreme commercial and historical importance to the American film industry. Southern Orange County is part of the Los Angeles metropolitan area and has San Diego Gas & Electric. All major car manufacturers have a design studio or presence in Los Angeles and they remain global leaders in the toy and apparel industries. The blue and gold lines run mainly at ground level with some street, elevated and underground sections in the most densely populated areas of Los Angeles.
The Los Angeles metropolitan area is generally considered to include Los Angeles County, Orange County, San Bernardino County, Riverside County, and Ventura County. Originally, Orange County was an agricultural area that depended on citrus crops, avocados, and oil extraction. It became a Los Angeles dorm community when I-5 (the Santa Ana Highway) connected it to the city in the 1950s. Turning US 101 into a complete highway in the 1960s and subsequent expansions helped facilitate travel to Los Angeles and paved the way for development to the west.
The metropolitan division to which Los Angeles County belongs is known as the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale Metropolitan Division while Orange County belongs to the Santa Ana-Anaheim-Irvine Metropolitan Division. Organized around the city centers of Los Angeles and San Bernardino, it connected cities in Los Angeles County, Orange County, San Bernardino County, and Riverside County. For example, while Los Angeles County and Orange County together form the smallest MSA region, both are home to many sub-areas each with marked demographic, political, and financial distinctions. The combined statistical area of Los Angeles includes cities in Los Angeles County and Orange County as well as cities at the western end of the Inland Empire such as Ontario and Riverside which extend to Redlands as well as cities in Ventura County.
Residents of Orange County often try to identify themselves apart from Los Angeles even though they form part of the same metropolitan area.