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746776.  Mon Sep 27, 2010 3:25 am Reply with quote

On the BBC websites QI 'fact' of the day today it is stated that Los Angeles is the second largest Korean, Mexican, Salvadorean, Guatemalan, Filipino city in the world.
Population of Guadalajara, Mexicos second largest city is around 4-5 million. The population of Busan, Koreas second city is 3.6 milliaon, whilst the population of LA is around 4 million. ie the 'fact' of the day is no such thing.

746840.  Mon Sep 27, 2010 8:15 am Reply with quote

When I saw that I assumed they meant they were twinned with the second largest cities in those countries, and it's certainly the case with Busan, but not some of the others.

Now I wonder if they're area or street names in those cities (I happen to know there's a Los Angeles in Guadalahara).

746893.  Mon Sep 27, 2010 12:22 pm Reply with quote

"Los Angeles is the second-largest Mexican, Armenian, Korean, Filipino, Salvadorean and Guatemalan city in the world."

To me, the claim made here is that LA has the second largest number of people of each of these nationalities (or ethnicities, possibly).

Is it true? Well first of all, we need to consider what is meant by Los Angeles. As jra notes, the population of the City of Los Angeles proper is 3.8 million - but then the population of the City of London proper is about 8,000. But when we consider the population of London we generally mean the Greater London Authority area, which has a population of 7.5 million.

Similarly, I suspect that we are here being asked to consider Greater Los Angeles. There are actually several definitions of that term as well - demographers are like that - but the population is in the region of 15 million.

But beyond that I'm running into a brick wall. No source is given for the claim, and neither does Wikipedia give a source for the demographic data it publishes for Greater Los Angeles. (In which it asserts that Greater LA is 40% Hispanic, which might tend to support the initial claim so far as Mexicans are concerned. Especially since all the published figures will only include legal residents; I have little doubt that the true population of Greater LA is several million more than published.)

Anyone have any idea where to go next?

746900.  Mon Sep 27, 2010 12:49 pm Reply with quote

The next step is whoever put the fact up to come up with the source, I suspect it's badly worded.

If we go as per your method, that would mean over 3.6m Koreans in Los Angeles, and that seems a tinsy winsy bit too high :)

746997.  Mon Sep 27, 2010 6:01 pm Reply with quote

Now then, a little progress to report. Thanks to husband, I've obtained some demographic data from the US Census Bureau. This particular data is for the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Riverside, CA Combined Statistical Area (one of the definitions of "Greater Los Angeles") and is from 2008. The data can be seen here. The population of Greater Los Angeles under this definition was 17,666,931.

Of which, 6,299,118 identified as Mexican. The estimated population of the Zona Metropolitana de Guadalajara ("Greater Guadalajara") - Mexico's second city - in 2008 was 4,298,715. Accordingly, the claim that LA has the second most Mexicans of any city in the world is true.

The number of Angelenos identifying as Filipino was 470,748, and the number identifying as Korean was 303,064. In neither case does this come anywhere close to the population of the second city of the country.

The data linked above does not provide figures for Guatemalan or Salvadorean origin. But it does tell us that there were 1,322,495 people who were Hispanic but not Cuban, Mexican, or Puerto Rican. Since the second cities of Guatemala and El Salvador have populations of 473,000 and 330,000 respectively, it is not impossible that LA beats them.

That data is silent on the matter of Armenians, but there are certainly plenty in LA - Glendale, for instance, is one quarter Armenian-American. Since Armenia's second city has a population of only 148,000, I don't rule the claim out.

Comparable claims are made for other cities and nationalities. Chicago and probably London both have more Poles than anywhere bar Warsaw. Boston, London, and Liverpool all have more Irishmen than Cork (Ireland's second city, or third if we include Belfast). There are more Ukrainians in Alberta than in any country bar Ukraine and Russia. And so on.

747006.  Mon Sep 27, 2010 6:57 pm Reply with quote

Sao Paulo is another city famous for it's diversity, and more than 80% of the population there consider themselves as being part of immigrant families.

This means there are possibly 6m Italians living in Sao Paulo and 3m Portugese, with other notable groups being Germans and Japanese.


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