Santa Clarita is the third largest city in Los Angeles County, California, United States and the nineteeth largest city in the state of California. The 2012 population estimate from the California Department of Finance is 204,951. The city recently annexed a number of unincorporated areas contributing to the large population increase from the 2010 U.S. Census. The 2010 U.S. Census reported the city's population grew 16.7% from the year 2000 to 176,320 residents. It is located about 35 miles (56 km) northwest of downtown Los Angeles, and occupies most of the Santa Clarita Valley. It is a notable example of a U.S. edge city or boomburb. Santa Clarita was ranked as number 18 of the top 100 places to live by Money magazine in 2006.
Santa Clarita was incorporated in 1987 as the union of several previously existing communities, including Canyon Country, Newhall, Saugus, and Valencia, all of which are the land of the former Rancho San Francisco. Its principal boundaries are the Golden State (I-5) and Antelope Valley (SR-14) freeways. Their merger in Newhall Pass at the city's southernmost point gives Santa Clarita a triangular appearance on the map.
Santa Clarita is usually associated with the Six Flags Magic Mountain amusement park, though the park is located just outside city limits in unincorporated Los Angeles County, and the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), located in Valencia.
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