About California State
California is the third-largest State in the US, covering a total area of 163,696 square miles. It lies on the west coast and is bordered by the Pacific Ocean to the west, Nevada, and Arizona to the east, and Oregon to the north. California also shares an international border to the south with the Mexican state of Baja California. Also known as the 'Golden State’, this region features a diverse landscape ranging from redwood forest, Sierra Nevada Mountains, the Mojave Desert, and beautiful beaches with rugged cliffs.
History of California
The first European to ‘discover’ California was Spanish seafarer Juan Cabrillo, in 1541. The first mission (Spanish church) was established in the region 1769. The area was initially owned by Mexico until they surrendered it to the United States in 1847, under John C. Fremont’s leadership. It received official statehood three years later on September 9, 1850.
The fate of the area turned on January 24th, 1848, when James W. Marshall discovered gold at Sutter’s Mill, triggering the famous California Gold Rush that brought settlers by the hordes looking for gold. By 1964, census reports showed that California had passed New York in population, to become the most populated state. Many of the 19th-century settlers were immigrants coming from Asia and the Pacific Islands.
Geography of California
California is the third biggest state after Alaska and Texas. The total length of California from north to south is approximately 800 miles. Known for its vast sandy beaches and plenty of sunshine, California is much more…it has a diverse landscape of striking contrasts, with eight major geographical territories; The San Diego Ranges, Klamath Mountains, Central Valley, Coastal ranges, Sierra Nevada, Los Angeles Ranges, Basin and Range Region, and the Cascade Mountains.
California Travel Destinations
In California, there are numerous places to visit. Some popular spots are:
Disneyland is a theme park in Anaheim, California, that attracts millions of visitors each year. The venue was opened in 1955 to celebrate America’s small-town and hometown values. In 2001, the parking lot of Disneyland was turned into a new, albeit smaller par, called Disney's California Adventure.
Disney park features fun activities that are suitable for kids of all ages (this means adults too). Visitors can interact with their favorite cartoon characters such as Mickey Mouse, Little Mermaid, Popeye, and many others.
An exclusive community within Los Angeles, lying on the slopes of Santa Monica Mountains, Hollywood was officially incorporated as part of Los Angeles in 1910. Today, it serves as a major film and TV studios center. The region is highly regarded in America as a symbolic center of US motion-picture industry. Hollywood attracts many visitors who come to see places such as the Sunset Strip, the Dolby Theatre, Hollywood Blvd., and Mann’s Chinese Theatre.
3. Golden Gate Bridge
The Golden Gate is one of the largest and most magnificent constructions projects in America; millions of people come here every year to see its 200-foot drop. The bridge is made up of 746-foot orange towers, vast sweeping cables, and is aptly positioned at the mouth of San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean. Since its opening in 1937, it’s estimated that 1.5 billion people have crossed the bridge’s 1.7-mile span.
Major Cities and Counties of California
1. San Bernardino County
San Bernardino is located in the southern part of California and has a population of 2,035,210, which makes it the fifth most populous county in the state. Its capital and county seat also goes by the same name San Bernardino. This county covers a total area of 20,105 square miles and is part of the Inland Empire.
2. Los Angeles County
Popularly known as LA, it’s one of the State’s original 27 counties founded on February 18th, 1850. Los Angeles is the most populous county in the US, with a population of over 10 million people. At 4,058 square miles, its larger than Rhode Island and Delaware. The county’s capital is Los Angeles (City) which by itself has a population of over four million people.
3. Fresno County
Fresno County is located in central California and has a population of 930,450 as of 2010. Its county seat/capital is the city of Fresno and is the 5th largest city in California. Fresno was originally the homeland of native Mono and Yokuts people. Europeans ‘discovered’ the area as Spaniard missionaries were looking for a suitable base to start their operations.
Following the Mexican-American war in 1846, Fresno became part of the US.
4. Alameda County
Formed on March 25th, 1853, Alameda County covers an area of 821 square miles. With a population of 1,510,271, it is the seventh most populous county in California. Oakland is the largest city and is the county seat of Alameda.
Know about 58 Counties in California...
People and Culture of California
California’s cultural roots are diverse and come from Spain, Mexico, and the eastern United States. Due to the influx of immigration, it has foods, traditions, and languages, from different parts of the world. According to statistics, 57.4% of inhabitants speak English, 28.4% Spanish, 1.6% Chinese, 2.2% Tagalog, and the remaining percentage speaks in 13-14 other world languages. There are various native tribes in California such as Cahuilla, Achomawi, Chumash, and Saklan. In terms of food, shrimp, swordfish, Dungeness crab, and clams are popular in the region.
According to the 2014 census, California has a total population of 38.8 million people. It’s the country’s most densely inhabited area with a population of around 7,000 individuals per square mile. Los Angeles, Silicon Valley, and San Francisco are some of the most highly populated regions in the state.
Economy of California
California's economy is the sixth-largest in the world and largest for a single state in the US. As of 2015, the state’s GDP was $2.496 trillion, and growing at a pace of 4.1%. Agriculture is a key driving forces with production including vegetables, fruits, nuts, and wines. Dairy products also contribute the largest portion of farming income in the state. Other sectors that contribute to the economy are film production, high tech, and education.
Education in California
Like much of the US, the educational system in the state consists of private and public schools. At the university level, there are many public choices, including the University of California, California State University, and California Community College systems. There are also numerous private colleges and universities, with Stanford being one well-known institution.
The California State University (CSU) is the largest university system in the United States. It is a public university comprising 23 satellite campuses and eight off-campus centers; together they enroll around 460,200 students, 24,400 faculty, and 23,012 staff members. California State University is the largest 4-year system public university in the US. CSU produces around 100,000 graduates every year, with its university system collectively sustaining 150,000 jobs and related expenses reaching $17 billion annually.
National Parks in California
California's state and national parks are home to some of the most iconic views; Giant Redwood Trees, Yosemite, and forests reaching the sea. Here are some examples;
1. Death Valley
The lowest point in the US, found in the south part of the state. The area is famous for its salt/alkali flats, saline pools, as well as unique rock formations. Badwater Basin in Death Valley lies 282 feet below sea level and is the lowest point in the Americas.
2. Mt. Whitney
Rising to 14,505 feet just east of Sequoia National Park, Mt Whitney is the highest point in the contiguous 48 states. There is a scenic highway that connects Mt. Whitney directly with Death Valley, and ironically, the highest point in the contiguous 48 states is only 123 miles from the lowest point, Badwater Basin. The mountain peak is named after the American geologist, Josiah D. Whitney, who measured the mountain in 1864.
3. Volcanic National Park
Covering an area of 106,372 acres, this park is found at the southern border of Cascade Range, and is known for its volcanic peak, vents, and hot springs. Lassen peak reaches a height of 10,469 feet, and even though the region is volcanic, the last major eruption was in 1917.
Other National Parks in California ...
Interstate Highways in California:
North-South interstates: Interstate 5 and Interstate 15.
East-West interstates: Interstate 8, Interstate 10, Interstate 40 and Interstate 80.
State Routes in California
- Route 6, Route 50, Route 101, Route 199 and Route 395.
|California State Quick Facts|
|Joined the Union||September 9, 1850 (31st State)|
|Abbreviation:||CA (Postal Code) | Calif (GPO)|
|State Motto: ||Eureka (I have found it)|
|Area:||Total Area: 163,707 sq.mi (423,999 sq.km.), 3rd|
|Land: 155,973 sq.mi. (403,969 sq.km.), 3rd|
|Water: 7,734 sq.mi. (20,031 sq.km.), 6th|
|Coastline: 840 mi. (1,352 km.), 3rd|
|Shoreline: 3,427 mi. (5,515 km.), 5th|
|Population (2016):||39,295,000; Rank: 1 of 50|
|Largest Cities:||Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, San Francisco, Fresno, Sacramento, Long Beach, Oakland, Bakersfield, Anaheim|
|Border States:||Arizona, Nevada, Oregon|
|Official Languages ||English (Spoken : English 57.4%, Multilingual 32.8%, Spanish 28.5%, Chinese 2.8%, Tagalog 2.2%, Vietnamese 1.43%) |
|Geographic Center:||38 miles east of Madera|
|Highest Point:||Mt. Whitney; 14,505 feet, (4,421 m)|
|Lowest Point:||Badwater Basin in Death Valley ; 282 feet below sea level|
|Song:||I Love You, California|
|Flower:||California Poppy (Eschscholtzia californica) |
|Bird:||California Valley Quail|
|Median Household Income||$64,500|
|Net Migration (2014-2015)||33,530|
Last Updated on: February 21, 2020