Orange County is a county located in the Los Angeles metropolitan area in the U.S. state of California. As of the 2010 census, the population was 3,010,232, making it the third-most populous county in California, the sixth most populous in the U.S., and more populous than 21 U.S. states. Although mostly suburban, it is the second most densely populated county in the state, behind San Francisco County. The county’s four most populous cities, Anaheim, Santa Ana (the county seat), Irvine, and Huntington Beach, each have a population exceeding 200,000. Six cities are on the Pacific coast, including Seal Beach, Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, Dana Point, and San Clemente.
Orange County is included in the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim Metropolitan Statistical Area. The county has 34 incorporated cities. Older cities like Santa Ana, Anaheim, and Fullerton have traditional downtowns dating back to the 19th century, while newer commercial development or “edge cities” stretch along I-5 between Disneyland and Santa Ana and between South Coast Plaza and the Irvine Business Complex, and cluster at Irvine Spectrum. Northern and Central Orange County, while single-family homes are still prevalent, is relatively more urbanized and dense, while beyond Irvine, the county is relatively less dense, though still contiguous, suburban and not exurban.
The county is a tourist center, with attractions like Disneyland, Knott’s Berry Farm, and several popular beaches along its more than 40 miles (64 km) of coastline.
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