Open main menu

Introduction

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

California is a U.S. state in the Pacific Region of the United States. With 39.5 million residents, California is the most populous state in the United States 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 8.8 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; its largest county by area, San Bernardino County; and its fifth most densely populated county, San Francisco.

California's $2.8 trillion economy is larger than that of any other state. If it were a country, California would be the 5th largest economy in the world (larger than the U.K. or France), 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 ($1.253 trillion and $878 billion respectively ), after the New York City metropolitan area. The San Francisco Bay Area PSA had the nation's highest GDP per capita in 2017 (~$99,000), and is home to four of the world's ten largest companies by market capitalization and four of the world's ten richest people.

California is considered a global trendsetter in popular culture, innovation, and politics. It is considered the origin of the American film industry, the hippie counterculture, the Internet, and the personal computer, among others. The San Francisco Bay Area and the Greater Los Angeles Area are widely seen as the centers of the global technology and entertainment industries, respectively. California has a very diverse economy: 58% of the state's economy is centered 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 is bordered by 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 redwoodDouglas 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 pervasive features.

Selected article

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.


Selected images

Selected quote

Fred Allen with a dummy
California is a fine place to live - if you happen to be an orange.

Did you know?

Rancho Camulos

Selected biography

Dianne Feinstein
Dianne Goldman Berman Feinstein (born June 22, 1933) is the senior U.S. Senator from California, having held office as a senator since 1992. She is a member of the Democratic Party. Senator Feinstein holds a number of "firsts"; she was the first female President of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, San Francisco's first and only female mayor, the first woman to serve in the Senate from California, one of two female Jewish senators, the first woman to serve on the Senate Judiciary Committee, and the first woman to chair the Rules and Administration committee of that body.

Feinstein was born Dianne Emiel Goldman in San Francisco to Betty Rosenburg, a former model, and Leon Goldman, a nationally renowned surgeon who was the first Jew made tenured physician at the UCSF Medical Center in San Francisco. Feinstein's paternal grandparents were Jewish immigrants from Poland, while her maternal grandparents, who were of the Russian Orthodox faith, left St. Petersburg, Russia after the 1917 Russian Revolution; Feinstein's maternal grandfather was an imperial army officer who was a convert from Judaism to Christianity. Feinstein attended the Convent of the Sacred Heart High School and was given a Catholic religious education, but also attended Hebrew school and was confirmed in the Jewish faith at the age of thirteen, having said that she has "always considered [herself] Jewish".

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)

State symbols:

Things you can do

Things you can do

Selected panorama

The western end of State Route 166
Credit: Emin Eshacker

State Route 166 is a part of the California Freeway and Expressway System and is eligible for the State Scenic Highway System. It starts off in Guadalupe in northwestern Santa Barbara County and heads east towards the largest city on its eastern journey: Santa Maria.

ArchivesRead more...

Categories

The Hollywood Sign

Topics

Counties: AlamedaAlpineAmadorButteCalaverasColusaContra CostaDel NorteEl DoradoFresnoGlennHumboldtImperialInyoKernKingsLakeLassenLos AngelesMaderaMarinMariposaMendocinoMercedModocMonoMontereyNapaNevadaOrangePlacerPlumasRiversideSacramentoSan BenitoSan BernardinoSan DiegoSan FranciscoSan JoaquinSan Luis ObispoSan MateoSanta BarbaraSanta ClaraSanta CruzShastaSierraSiskiyouSolanoSonomaStanislausSutterTehamaTrinityTulareTuolumneVenturaYoloYuba

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

Quality content

Featured articles

Featured lists

A-Class articles

Featured portals

Featured pictures

Subportals

Related portals

Associated Wikimedia

The following Wikimedia Foundation sister projects provide more on this subject:

Wikibooks
Books

Commons
Media

Wikinews 
News

Wikiquote 
Quotations

Wikisource 
Texts

Wikiversity
Learning resources

Wikivoyage 
Travel guides

Wiktionary 
Definitions

Wikidata 
Database

Purge server cache