Santa Clarita, officially the City of Santa Clarita, is the third largest city in Los Angeles County, California, United States and the nineteenth 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 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. It is bounded on the west by the Golden State Freeway (I-5). The Antelope Valley Freeway (SR-14) runs northeast–southwest through an irregular east border, and the Newhall Pass is the city's southernmost point.
Santa Clarita is occasionally 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.