Commerce is a city located in southeast Los Angeles County, California, United States. The population was 12,823 at the 2010 census, up from 12,568 at the 2000 census. It is usually referred to as the "City of Commerce" to distinguish it from the common noun. It is bordered by Vernon on the west, Los Angeles on the northwest, East Los Angeles on the north, Montebello on the east, Downey and Bell Gardens on the south, and Maywood on the southwest. The Los Angeles River forms part of its southwestern boundary, and the Rio Hondo separates it from Downey. Commerce is served by the Long Beach and Santa Ana freeways, as well as the Metrolink commuter rail service at the Commerce station.
In the 19th century, the area was part of Antonio Maria Lugo's Rancho San Antonio. Its conversion to an industrial area began in 1887, when the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway built its main line through the area. The ranch remained intact until Arcadia Bandini de Stearns Baker, reputedly once the wealthiest woman in Los Angeles, sold some of it around the turn of the 20th century. The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway and Los Angeles and Salt Lake Railroad (later the Union Pacific) both were built through what would become the community, as was the Pacific Electric Railway's Whittier Line.