Portal:California

Seal of California.
Location of California within the United States.
Flag of California.svg

California is a state in the Pacific Region of the United States. With 39.6 million residents across a total area of about 163,696 square miles (423,970 km2), California is the most populous U.S. state and the third-largest by area. The state capital is Sacramento. The Greater Los Angeles Area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nation's second- and fifth-most populous urban regions, with 18.7 million and 9.7 million residents respectively. Los Angeles is California's most populous city, and the country's second-most populous, after New York City. California also has the nation's most populous county, Los Angeles County, and its largest county by area, San Bernardino County. The City and County of San Francisco is both the country's second-most densely populated major city after New York City and the fifth-most densely populated county, behind only four of the five New York City boroughs.

California's economy, with a gross state product of $3.0 trillion, is larger than that of any other U.S. state and is the largest sub-national economy in the world. If it were a country, California would be the fifth-largest economy in the world (larger than the United Kingdom, France, or India), and the 36th-most populous . The Greater Los Angeles Area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nation's second- and third-largest urban economies ($1.29 trillion and $1.03 trillion respectively ), after the New York metropolitan area. The San Francisco Bay Area PSA had the nation's highest gross domestic product per capita in 2018 ($106,757) among large primary statistical areas, and is home to three of the world's ten largest companies by market capitalization and three of the world's ten richest people.

California culture is considered a global trendsetter in popular culture, communication, information, innovation, environmentalism, economics, politics, and entertainment. As a result of the state's diversity and migration, California integrates foods, languages, and traditions from other areas across the country and around the globe. It is considered the origin of the American film industry, the hippie counterculture, fast food, beach and car culture, the Internet, and the personal computer, among others. The San Francisco Bay Area and the Greater Los Angeles Area are widely seen as centers of the global technology and entertainment industries, respectively. California's economy is very diverse: 58% of it is based on finance, government, real estate services, technology, and professional, scientific, and technical business services. Although it accounts for only 1.5% of the state's economy, California's agriculture industry has the highest output of any U.S. state.

California shares a border with Oregon to the north, Nevada and Arizona to the east, and the Mexican state of Baja California to the south. The state's diverse geography ranges from the Pacific Coast in the west to the Sierra Nevada mountain range in the east, and from the redwood and Douglas fir forests in the northwest to the Mojave Desert in the southeast. The Central Valley, a major agricultural area, dominates the state's center. Although California is well-known for its warm Mediterranean climate, the large size of the state results in climates that vary from moist temperate rainforest in the north to arid desert in the interior, as well as snowy alpine in the mountains. Over time, drought and wildfires have become more frequent challenges.

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The Yosemite Valley
Yosemite National Park is a national park largely in Mariposa County, and Tuolumne County, California, United States. The park covers an area of 1,189 mi² (3,081 km²) and reaches across the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada mountain chain. Yosemite is visited by over 3.5 million visitors each year, with most only seeing the seven square miles of Yosemite Valley. Designated a World Heritage Site in 1984, Yosemite is internationally recognized for its spectacular granite cliffs, waterfalls, clear streams, Giant Sequoia groves, and biological diversity. About 89% of the park is designated Wilderness. It was also the first park set aside by the U.S. federal government. Although not the first designated national park, Yosemite was a focal point in the development of the national park idea, largely owing to the work of people like John Muir. Yosemite is one of the largest and least fragmented habitat blocks in the Sierra Nevada, and the park supports a diversity of plants and animals.


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The Nine Sisters chain of peaks
Credit: Basar

The Nine Sisters or the Morros are a chain of nine volcanic peaks and hills between Morro Bay and San Luis Obispo, California. They are popular with photographers and rock climbers. Their volcanic origin makes them of significant geological interest, and they also support a wide variety of plant, animal, and bird life.

State facts

  • Total area: 163,696 mi2
    • Land: 156,002 mi2
    • Water: 7,694 mi2
  • Highest elevation: 14,505 ft (Mount Whitney)
  • Population 39,250,017 (2016 est)
  • Admission to the Union: September 9, 1850 (31st)

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John D. Spreckels
John Diedrich Spreckels (August 16, 1853–June 7, 1926), the son of American industrialist Claus Spreckels, founded a transportation and real estate empire in San Diego, California in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The oldest of eleven children (only four of whom survived to adulthood), Spreckels was born in Charleston, South Carolina, though the family soon moved to New York and then went on to San Francisco, California, where he was raised. The entrepreneur's many business ventures in the City of San Diego, California which included the Hotel del Coronado and the San Diego and Arizona Railway Company, both of which are credited with helping the City develop into a major commercial center.

Spreckels attended Oakland College and then in Hanover, Germany, where he studied chemistry and mechanical engineering in the Polytechnic College until 1872. He returned to California and began working for his father, Claus Spreckels, who had grown extremely wealthy in the sugar business. In 1876 he went to the Hawaiian Islands, where he worked in his father's sugar business, Spreckels Sugar Company.

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The Hollywood Sign

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Van Nuys Boulevard at the Metro Orange Line crossing

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As one went to Europe to see the living past, so one must visit Southern California to observe the future.

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San Francisco at Sunset
Credit: Digon3

The City and County of San Francisco is the fourth most populous city in California and the 14th most populous city in the United States, with a 2007 estimated population of 764,976. One of the most densely populated major American cities, San Francisco is part of the much larger San Francisco Bay Area, which is home to approximately 7.2 million people.

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Economy: California State LotteryCalifornia locations by per capita incomeCoachella Valley Enterprise ZoneSan Jose Assembly PlantShell Development EmeryvilleSilicon ValleySilicon Valley Leadership GroupStanford Research ParkCalifornia unemployment statistics


Government of California: List of California state agenciesAssociation of Monterey Bay Area GovernmentsCalifornia Attorney GeneralCalifornia State Board of EducationCDF Aviation Management ProgramCalPERSCalifornia Air Resources BoardCalifornia Commission for Economic DevelopmentCalifornia Department of Boating and WaterwaysCalifornia Department of Forestry and Fire ProtectionCalifornia Department of InsuranceCalifornia Insurance Commissioner election, 2006California Legislative Analyst's OfficeCalifornia Military DepartmentCalifornia Public Utilities CommissionCalifornia SpeaksCalifornia State Lands CommissionCalifornia State LotteryCalifornia executive branchCaliforniaVolunteersCalifornia State CapitolList of California District AttorneysDistricts in CaliforniaState of California enterprise IT systemsDepartment of Fair Employment and HousingCalifornia Geological SurveyGovernor of California11-99 FoundationCalifornia Institute for Regenerative MedicineCalifornia Insurance CommissionerJoint Powers AuthorityLocal Agency Formation CommissionSecretary of State of CaliforniaList of law enforcement agencies in CaliforniaCalifornia State ControllerCalifornia State PoliceCalifornia Department of TransportationCalifornia State TreasurerWestlands Water District

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