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The Inland Empire is a large metropolitan area located in Southeastern California, consisting of two counties, Riverside and San Bernardino counties. With a population of over 4 million people, it is the second largest metropolitan area in Southern California, third in California, 14th largest in the United States and 25th in the Americas. It generally encompasses the urbanized, western areas of those counties. The Inland Empire is centered in the region's oldest cities: Ontario, San Bernardino, and Riverside. These cities were established at about the end of the 19th century and were major centers of agriculture including citrus, dairy, and wine-making. The name "Inland Empire" was first used in the 1950s to distinguish the region from the coastal communities of the Greater Los Angeles Area, and Los Angeles itself.
EmploymentWhile the Inland Empire led the state in job-growth with 275,000 new jobs between 1990 and 2000, most are in comparatively low-tech fields. San Bernardino and Riverside counties are primarily host to service and manufacturing- or warehousing-oriented industries. Food and administrative services employ the most people in the Inland Empire, while for the state of California, the top industries are in administrative services and professional, scientific and