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{{About|the U.S. state}}{{pp-semi-protected|small=yes}}{{pp-move-indef}}{{Use mdy dates|date=October 2018}}{{Coord|37|N|120|W|region:US-CA_type:adm1st_scale:10000000|display=title}}

|anthem="I Love You, California"(File:I Love You, California, performed by the Prince's Orchestra in 1914 for Columbia Records.ogg|center)
|image_map=California in United States.svg
|OfficialLang= |Languages=Language spoken at homeWEB,weblink Languages in California (State), Statistical Atlas, 2018-08-15,weblink 2018-08-15, live,

|LargestCity=Los Angeles
|LargestMetro=Greater Los Angeles
|Latitude=32°32′ N to 42° N
|Longitude=114°8′ W to 124°26′ W
|2010Pop=39,557,045 (2018 est.)WEB,weblink January 4, 2019, January 4, 2019, U.S. Census Bureau, California: Population estimates,
|MedianHouseholdIncome=$71,805 (2017)WEB,weblink The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, Median Annual Household Income, May 19, 2018,
|elevation_max_point=Mount WhitneyThe summit of Mount Whitney is the highest point in the Contiguous United States.
|elevation_min_point=Badwater BasinWEB,weblink USGS National Elevation Dataset (NED) 1 meter Downloadable Data Collection from The National Map 3D Elevation Program (3DEP) – National Geospatial Data Asset (NGDA) National Elevation Data Set (NED), United States Geological Survey, September 21, 2015, September 22, 2015,
|Former=California Republic
|AdmittanceDate=September 9, 1850
|Governor={{nowrap|Gavin Newsom (D)}}
|Lieutenant Governor={{nowrap|Eleni Kounalakis (D)}}
|Legislature=State Legislature
|Upperhouse=State Senate
|Lowerhouse=State Assembly
|Senators=Dianne Feinstein (D)Kamala Harris (D)
|Representative=46 Democrats7 Republicans
|TradAbbreviation=Calif., Cal.
|Country=United States
|MottoEnglish=I have found it
|area_code=209 213 310 323 408 415 510 530 559 562 619 626 650 661 707 714 760 805 818 831 858 909 916 925 949

Name California|Flag=Flag of California.svg|Seal=Seal of California.svg|Mammal={{ubl
|Amphibian=California red-legged frog|Bird=California quail!Location! August(°F)! August(°C)! January(°F)! January(°C)! AnnualPrecipitation(mm/in)
WORK=CALIFORNIA OFFICE OF LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL 2019-02-23, MDY, }}|Dance=West Coast Swing|Fish={hide}ubl
|Fresh water: Golden trout
|Marine: Garibaldi
Eschscholzia californica>California poppy|FolkDance=Square danceSmilodon>Sabre-toothed cat|Gemstone=BenitoiteNassella pulchra>Purple needlegrassZerene eurydice>California dogface butterflyGold>Native gold|Quarter=2005 CA Proof.png|QuarterReleaseDate=2005|Reptile=Desert tortoiseSequoia sempervirens>Coast redwood & Sequoiadendron giganteumHTTP://LEGINFO.LEGISLATURE.CA.GOV/FACES/CODES_DISPLAYSECTION.XHTML?LAWCODE=GOV&SECTIONNUM=422. WORK=CALIFORNIA OFFICE OF LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL 2019-02-23, MDY, }}Serpentine group>SerpentineSan Joaquin (soil)>San Joaquin|Sport=Surfing|Tartan=California State Tartan|Route Marker=California 1.svg}}California is a state in the Pacific Region of the United States. With 39.6 million residents across a total area of about {{convert|163696|sqmi|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.WEB,weblink American FactFinder – Results, U.S. Census Bureau,, October 24, 2017, 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.WEB,weblink GDP by State {{!, U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) | |access-date=September 19, 2018}} If it were a country, California would be the fifth-largest economy in the world (larger than the United Kingdom, France, or India),WEB,weblink Report for Selected Countries and Subjects,, November 29, 2017, and the 36th-most populous {{as of|2017|lc=y}}.WEB,weblink World Population Prospects – Population Division – United Nations,, October 24, 2017, 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 $907 billion respectively {{as of|2017|lc=y}}), after the New York metropolitan area.WEB,weblink GDP by Metropolitan Area {{!, U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA)||language=en|access-date=September 19, 2018}} The San Francisco Bay Area PSA had the nation's highest gross domestic product per capita in 2017 (~$94,000) among large primary statistical areas, and is home to three of the world's ten largest companies by market capitalizationWEB,weblink Global Top 100 Companies 2018, PwC Global, and four of the world's ten richest people.NEWS,weblink Bloomberg Billionaires Index,, October 24, 2017, 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,WEB,weblink Happy 25th anniversary, World Wide Web,, and the personal computer,WEB,weblink The most important invention from every state, Chris, Weller, Business Insider, among others.WEB,weblink Some People Don't Know These 10 Things Came From Southern California, OnlyInYourState, WEB,weblink 15 Things the world needs to be thanking California for, Matador Network, 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.WEB,weblink California Gross domestic product (GDP) (millions of current dollars), U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis, July 19, 2015, 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.WEB,weblink Fruits and Vegetables In America, Life in the USA: The Complete Guide for Immigrants and Americans, Essman, Elliot, September 30, 2018, {{self-published inline|(can't find: GetWiki:DATE)
|certain=y|reason=This is basically a wiki, by Essman and a handful of other random people.|date=October 2019}}WEB,weblink The C-Free Diet, Brian, Palmer, July 10, 2013, Slate (magazine), Slate, WEB,weblink CDFA – Statistics, California Department of Food and Agriculture,, NEWS,weblink California farms produce a lot of food – but what and how much might surprise you, July 27, 2017, Orange County Register, 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.NEWS,weblink California's most destructive wildfire should not have come as a surprise, Bettina, Boxall, Paige, St. John, Los Angeles Times, November 10, 2018, November 11, 2018, WEB,weblink Advancing Drought Science and Preparedness across the Nation, National Integrated Drought Information System, November 11, 2018, What is now California was first settled by various Native Californian tribes before being explored by a number of European expeditions during the 16th and 17th centuries. The Spanish Empire then claimed and conquered it. In 1804 it was included in Alta California province, within Spanish New Spain Viceroyalty. The area became a part of Mexico in 1821 following its successful war for independence but was ceded to the United States in 1848 after the Mexican–American War. The western portion of Alta California was then organized and admitted as the 31st state on September 9, 1850. The California Gold Rush starting in 1848 led to dramatic social and demographic changes, with large-scale emigration from the east and abroad with an accompanying economic boom.{{toclimit|3}}


The Spaniards gave the name Las Californias to the peninsula of Baja California and to Alta California, the region that became the present-day states of California, Nevada, and Utah, and parts of Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and Wyoming.Stewart, George (1945). Names on the Land: A Historical Account of Place-Naming in the United States. New York: Random House. pp. 11–17.The name likely derived from the mythical island California in the fictional story of Queen Calafia, as recorded in a 1510 work The Adventures of Esplandián by Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo.BOOK,weblink California Place Names: The Origin and Etymology of Current Geographical Names, Gudde, Erwin G., Bright, William, University of California Press, 2010, 2004, 978-0-520-26619-3, 59–60, This work was the fifth in a popular Spanish chivalric romance series that began with Amadis de Gaula.BOOK, California: Land of New Beginnings, Lavender, David, University of Nebraska Press, 1987, 978-0-8032-7924-7, 27, 15315566, WEB,weblink Online Etymology Dictionary, June 24, 1957, Douglas, Harper, July 2, 2010, NEWS,weblink What bizarre error gave California its name?, December 27, 2010, Everything After Z by, February 20, 2018, Queen Calafia's kingdom was said to be a remote land rich in gold and pearls, inhabited by beautiful black women who wore gold armor and lived like Amazons, as well as griffins and other strange beasts.BOOK, Putnam, Ruth, Herbert Ingram, Priestley, California: The name,weblink 1917, University of California, Berkeley, 356–361, Appendix A: Etymology of the Word 'California': Surmises and Usage, JOURNAL, Vogeley, Nancy, April 20, 2001, How Chivalry Formed the Myth of California, Modern Language Quarterly, 62, 2, 165–188,weblink 10.1215/00267929-62-2-165, In the fictional paradise, the ruler Queen Calafia fought alongside Muslims and her name may have been chosen to echo the title of a Muslim leader, the Caliph. It is possible the name California was meant to imply the island was a Caliphate.BOOK, The Etymologicon: A Circular Stroll Through the Hidden Connections of the English Language, Forsyth, Mark, Penguin Group/Berkley Books, 2011, 978-0-425-26079-1, New York, 223, Shortened forms of the state's name include CA, Cal., Calif., and US-CA.


(File:California tribes & languages at contact.png|thumb|A map of California tribal groups and languages at the time of European contact)

The first inhabitants

Settled by successive waves of arrivals during the last 10,000 years, California was one of the most culturally and linguistically diverse areas in pre-Columbian North America. Various estimates of the native population range from 100,000 to 300,000.{{sfn|Starr|2007|page=13}} The Indigenous peoples of California included more than 70 distinct ethnic groups of Native Americans, ranging from large, settled populations living on the coast to groups in the interior. California groups also were diverse in their political organization with bands, tribes, villages, and on the resource-rich coasts, large chiefdoms, such as the Chumash, Pomo and Salinan. Trade, intermarriage and military alliances fostered many social and economic relationships among the diverse groups.

Colonial and Spanish periods

File:Coat of arms of Californias.svg|thumb|left|upright|The coat of arms granted to The Californias by Viceroy Antonio de MendozaAntonio de MendozaFile:Mission San Diego de Alcala in 1848.jpg|thumb|Mission San Diego de Alcalá drawn as it was in 1848. Established in 1769, it was the first of the California Missions. ]]File:Vue de l’etablissement russe de la Bodega, à la Côte de la Nouvelle Albion, en 1828.jpg|thumb|The Russian Empire established their largest settlement in California at Fort Ross in 1812.]]The first European to explore the coast as far north as the Russian River was a Spanish sailing expedition, led by Spanish captain Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo, in 1542. Some 37 years later English explorer Francis Drake also explored and claimed an undefined portion of the California coast in 1579. Spanish traders made unintended visits with the Manila galleons on their return trips from the Philippines beginning in 1565.WEB,weblink Page 1580 of the 1778 edition of Encyclopædia Britannica (second edition),, July 15, 2011, October 28, 2011, BOOK, Carlson, Jon D., 2011, Myths, State Expansion, and the Birth of Globalization: A Comparative Perspective, {{google books, y, uebJAAAAQBAJ40, 40, |publisher=Palgrave Macmillan |page=40 |isbn=978-1-137-01045-2 |access-date=August 21, 2014}}BOOK, Hoover, Mildred Brooke, Kyle, Douglas E., 1990, Historic Spots in California, {{google books, y, p2WrAAAAIAAJ, 359, |publisher=Stanford University Press |page=359 |isbn=978-0-8047-1734-2 |access-date=August 21, 2014}} The first Asians to set foot on what would be the United States occurred in 1587, when Filipino sailors arrived in Spanish ships at Morro Bay.BOOK, Linda C., Tillman, James Joseph, Scheurich, The Handbook of Research on Educational Leadership for Equity and Diversity, {{google books, y, vSKAAAAAQBAJ, 202, |date=August 21, 2013|publisher=Routledge|isbn=978-1-135-12843-2|page=202}}BOOK, Huping Ling, Asian America: Forming New Communities, Expanding Boundaries, {{google books, y, K-DdvbJM_gQC, 109, |date=April 29, 2009|publisher=Rutgers University Press|isbn=978-0-8135-4867-8|page=109}} Sebastián Vizcaíno explored and mapped the coast of California in 1602 for New Spain.Despite the on-the-ground explorations of California in the 16th century, Rodríguez's idea of California as an island persisted. That depiction appeared on many European maps well into the 18th century.WEB,weblink California as an Island in Maps – Online Exhibits, Stanford University Libraries, June 15, 2016, After the Portolà expedition of 1769–70, Spanish missionaries began setting up 21 California Missions on or near the coast of Alta (Upper) California, beginning in San Diego. During the same period, Spanish military forces built several forts (presidios) and three small towns (pueblos). The San Francisco Mission grew into the city of San Francisco, and two of the pueblos grew into the cities of Los Angeles and San Jose. Several other smaller cities and towns also sprang up surrounding the various Spanish missions and pueblos, which remain to this day.The Spanish colonization began decimating the natives through epidemics of various diseases for which the indigenous peoples had no natural immunity, such as measles and diphtheria.WEB,weblink California Indian History – Native American Caucus,, The establishment of the Spanish systems of government and social structure, which the Spanish settlers had brought with them, also technologically and culturally overwhelmed the societies of the earlier indigenous peoples.During this same period, Russian ships also explored along the California coast and in 1812 established a trading post at Fort Ross. Russia's early 19th-century coastal settlements in California were positioned just north of the northernmost edge of the area of Spanish settlement in San Francisco Bay, and were the southernmost Russian settlements in North America. The Russian settlements associated with Fort Ross were spread over an area stretching from Point Arena to Tomales Bay.Historical Atlas of California

California under Mexican rule

{{multiple image
|caption2=Map showing Alta California in 1838 when it was a sparsely populated Mexican provincesource: Encyclopædia Britannica 7th edition, 1842, "Mexico"
}}In 1821, the Mexican War of Independence gave Mexico (including California) independence from Spain. For the next 25 years, Alta California remained as a remote, sparsely populated, northwestern administrative district of the newly independent country of Mexico.After Mexican independence from Spain, the missions, which controlled most of the best land in the state, were secularized by 1834 and became the property of the Mexican government. The governor granted many square leagues of land to others with political influence. These huge ranchos or cattle ranches emerged as the dominant institutions of Mexican California. The ranchos developed under ownership by Californios (Hispanic residents native born in California) who traded cowhides and tallow with Boston merchants. Beef did not become a commodity until the 1849 gold Rush.From the 1820s, trappers and settlers from the United States and the future Canada arrived in Northern California. These new arrivals used the Siskiyou Trail, California Trail, Oregon Trail and Old Spanish Trail to cross the rugged mountains and harsh deserts in and surrounding California.The early government of the newly independent Mexico was highly unstable, and in a reflection of this, from 1831 onwards, California also experienced a series of armed disputes, both internal and with the central Mexican government.BOOK, Altman, Linda Jacobs, California, {{google books, y, rAgL-tgWOecC, 117, |access-date=March 16, 2013 |date=2005 |publisher=Marshall Cavendish |isbn=978-0-7614-1737-8 |page=117}}BOOK, Testimonios: Early California Through the Eyes of Women, 1815–1848, {{google books, y, DuvFpaRwJlgC, 425, |access-date=March 16, 2013 |date=2006 |publisher=Heyday |isbn=978-1-59714-033-1 |page=425}} During this tumultuous political period Juan Bautista Alvarado was able to secure the governorship during 1836–1842.BOOK, Kevin, Starr, California: A History, {{google books, y, Zd3L-BAN_04C, 17, |date=2007|publisher=Modern Library|isbn=978-0-8129-7753-0|pages=17–}}BOOK, Mildred Brooke, Hoover, Douglas E., Kyle, Historic Spots in California, {{google books, y, AYMPR6xAj50C, 316, |access-date=March 16, 2013 |date=2002 |publisher=Historic Spots in California |isbn=978-0-8047-7817-6 |page=316}}BOOK, Conway, J. D., Monterey: Presidio, Pueblo, and Port, The Making of America Series, {{google books, y, vz1jyn7Ti3oC, 53, |access-date=March 16, 2013 |date=2003 |publisher=Arcadia Publishing |isbn=978-0-7385-2423-8 |pages=53–55}} The military action which first brought Alvarado to power had momentarily declared California to be an independent state, and had been aided by American and British residents of California,BOOK, Billington, Ray Allen, Ridge, Martin, Martin Ridge (historian), Westward Expansion: A History of the American Frontier, {{google books, y, YoV-k7VcyZ0C, 203, |access-date=February 16, 2013 |date=2001 |publisher=University of New Mexico Press |isbn=978-0-8263-1981-4 |page=203}} including Isaac Graham.BOOK, Hart, James David, A Companion to California, {{google books, y, teJCPQtWfOMC315, 315, |access-date=March 16, 2013 |date=1987 |publisher=University of California Press |isbn=978-0-520-05544-5 |page=315}}BOOK, Harlow, Neal, California Conquered: The Annexation of a Mexican Province, 1846–1850, {{google books, y, pApgP6lBVbMC, 27, |access-date=March 16, 2013 |date=1989 |publisher=University of California Press |isbn=978-0-520-06605-2 |page=27}} In 1840, one hundred of those residents who did not have passports were arrested, leading to the Graham affair.One of the largest ranchers in California was John Marsh. After failing to obtain justice against squatters on his land from the Mexican courts, he determined that California should become part of the United States. Marsh conducted a letter-writing campaign espousing the California climate, the soil, and other reasons to settle there, as well as the best route to follow, which became known as "Marsh's route." His letters were read, reread, passed around, and printed in newspapers throughout the country, and started the first wagon trains rolling to California.Lyman, George D. and John Marsh, Pioneer: The Life Story of a Trail-Blazer on Six Frontiers, pp. 237–39, The Chautauqua Press, Chautauqua, New York, 1931. He invited immigrants to stay on his ranch until they could get settled, and assisted in their obtaining passports.Lyman and Marsh, pp. ix, 209, 231, 238–39, 246–51, 266–67, 268–71.After ushering in the period of organized emigration to California, Marsh helped end the rule of the last Mexican governor of California, thereby paving the way to California's ultimate acquisition by the United States.Lyman and Marsh 1931, pp. 250–62.

California Republic and American invasion

File:Original_Todd_bear_flag.jpg|right|thumb|The original of Todd's Bear FlagBear FlagIn 1846, a group of American settlers in and around Sonoma rebelled against Mexican rule during the Bear Flag Revolt. Afterwards, rebels raised the Bear Flag (featuring a bear, a star, a red stripe and the words "California Republic") at Sonoma. The Republic's only president was William B. Ide,WEB,weblink William B. Ide Adobe SHP, California State Parks, December 25, 2009, who played a pivotal role during the Bear Flag Revolt. This revolt by American settlers served as a prelude to the later American military invasion of California, and was closely coordinated with nearby American military commanders.The California Republic was short lived;WEB,weblink Bear Flag Revolt, 2015,, June 5, 2015, WEB,weblink The United States and California, 1998, Early California History: An Overview, Library of Congress, June 5, 2015, the same year marked the outbreak of the Mexican–American War (1846–48).WEB,weblink The U.S. Mexican War, 1999, The Border, KPBS, June 5, 2015, BOOK, Matthew Kachur, Jon Sterngass, The Mexican-American War, {{google books, y, 1g2ReKdEZfIC, 25, |date=July 1, 2006 |publisher=World Almanac Library |isbn=978-0-8368-7290-3 |pages=25–26}}BOOK, Thomas M. Leonard, James K. Polk: A Clear and Unquestionable Destiny, {{google books, y, NQugPgduF0kC, 141, |date=2001 |publisher=Rowman & Littlefield|isbn=978-0-8420-2647-5|pages=141–143}} When Commodore John D. Sloat of the United States Navy sailed into Monterey Bay and began the military occupation of California by the United States, Northern California capitulated in less than a month to the United States forces.BOOK, Spencer Tucker (Militärhistoriker), The Encyclopedia of the Mexican-American War: A Political, Social, and Military History, {{google books, y, FZVQcZpic-8C, 55, |date=2013|publisher=ABC-CLIO|isbn=978-1-85109-853-8|pages=55–56}} After a series of defensive battles in Southern California, the Treaty of Cahuenga was signed by the Californios on January 13, 1847, securing American control in California.BOOK, The Quarterly, {{google books, y, 3cE1AAAAIAAJ, 199, |date=1907|publisher=Historical Society of Southern California|pages=199–201}}BOOK, Hunt Janin, Ursula Carlson, The California Campaigns of the U.S.-Mexican War, 1846–1848, {{google books, y, _ImhCAAAQBAJ, 149, |date=April 20, 2015|publisher=McFarland|isbn=978-1-4766-2093-0|pages=149–151}}

Early American statehood period

{{See also|Admission to the Union|List of U.S. states by date of admission to the Union}}{{multiple image
|image1=Chinese Gold Miners b.jpg
|caption1=Miners during the California Gold Rush
|image2=Henry Clay Senate3.jpg
|caption2=California being Admitted to the Union under the Compromise of 1850
|image3=SanFranciscoharbor1851c sharp.jpg
|caption3=Merchant ships at San Francisco harbor; c. 1850–51
|caption4=Guidon of the California 100 Company (Company A) during the Civil War
|image5=The Last Spike 1869.jpg|thumb|right|250px|
|caption5=Depiction of the 1869 completion of the first transcontinental railway. The Last Spike (1881) by Thomas Hill.
}}Following the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (February 2, 1848) that ended the war, the westernmost portion of the annexed Mexican territory of Alta California soon became the American state of California, and the remainder of the old territory was then subdivided into the new American Territories of Arizona, Nevada, Colorado and Utah. The lightly populated and arid lower region of old Baja California remained as a part of Mexico. In 1846, the total settler population of the western part of the old Alta California had been estimated to be no more than 8,000, plus about 100,000 Native Americans, down from about 300,000 before Hispanic settlement in 1769.BOOK, Thomas J., Osborne, Pacific Eldorado: A History of Greater California, {{google books, y, FvA3jL4CFCMC, |date=November 29, 2012|publisher=Wiley|isbn=978-1-118-29217-4}}In 1848, only one week before the official American annexation of the area, gold was discovered in California, this being an event which was to forever alter both the state's demographics and its finances. Soon afterward, a massive influx of immigration into the area resulted, as prospectors and miners arrived by the thousands. The population burgeoned with United States citizens, Europeans, Chinese and other immigrants during the great California Gold Rush. By the time of California's application to the US Congress for statehood in 1850, the settler population of California had multiplied to 100,000. By 1854, over 300,000 settlers had come.WEB, California Gold Rush, 1848–1864,weblink Learn, a site designed for the California Secretary of State, July 22, 2008, dead,weblink" title="">weblink July 27, 2011, Between 1847 and 1870, the population of San Francisco increased from 500 to 150,000.WEB,weblink 1870 Fast Facts, United States Census Bureau, {{date, 2019-03-05, |archive-url=weblink|archive-date={{date|2019-03-05}}|url-status=live}} California was suddenly no longer a sparsely populated backwater, but seemingly overnight it had grown into a major US population center.The seat of government for California under Spanish and later Mexican rule had been located in Monterey from 1777 until 1845.WEB,weblink Introduction, Early History of the California Coast, National Park Service, August 26, 2012, Pio Pico, last Mexican governor of Alta California, had briefly moved the capital to Los Angeles in 1845. The United States consulate had also been located in Monterey, under consul Thomas O. Larkin.In 1849, a state Constitutional Convention was first held in Monterey. Among the first tasks of the Convention was a decision on a location for the new state capital. The first full legislative sessions were held in San Jose (1850–1851). Subsequent locations included Vallejo (1852–1853), and nearby Benicia (1853–1854); these locations eventually proved to be inadequate as well. The capital has been located in Sacramento since 1854BOOK, Wilson, Dotson, Ebbert, Brian S., 2006, California's Legislature, 2006,weblink Sacramento, California State Assembly, 70700867, with only a short break in 1862 when legislative sessions were held in San Francisco due to flooding in Sacramento.Once the state's Constitutional Convention had finalized its state constitution, it applied to the US Congress for admission to statehood. On September 9, 1850, as part of the Compromise of 1850, California was officially admitted into the United States as an undivided free state. Its status as a 'free state' prevented the expansion of slavery to the Pacific Coast, which was a foremost concern for the pre-Civil War US Congress. Within the state of California, Sep 9 remains as an annually celebrated legal holiday known as California Admission Day.During the American Civil War (1861–1865), California was able to send gold shipments eastwards to Washington in support of the Union cause;10 Facts: California during the Civil War Civil War Trust. Downloaded September 9, 2017. however, due to the existence of a large contingent of pro-South sympathizers within the state, the state was not able to muster any full military regiments to send eastwards to officially serve in the Union war effort. Still, several smaller military units within the Union army were unofficially associated with the state of California, such as the "California 100 Company", due to a majority of their members being from California.At the time of California's admission into the Union, travel between California and the rest of the continental United States had been a time consuming and dangerous feat. Nineteen years afterwards, in 1869, shortly after the conclusion of the Civil War, a more direct connection was developed with the completion of the First Transcontinental Railroad in 1869. California was then easy to reach.Much of the state was extremely well suited to fruit cultivation and agriculture in general. Vast expanses of wheat, other cereal crops, vegetable crops, cotton, and nut and fruit trees were grown (including oranges in Southern California), and the foundation was laid for the state's prodigious agricultural production in the Central Valley and elsewhere.

Indigenous peoples under early American administration

File:Yokayo-People-at-Ukiah-California-1916.JPG|thumb|right|Group of California indigenous people ]]Under earlier Spanish and Mexican rule, California's original native population had precipitously declined, above all, from Eurasian diseases to which the indigenous people of California had not yet developed a natural immunity.WEB,weblink Destruction of the California Indians, California Secretary of State, April 15, 2012, dead,weblink" title="">weblink December 7, 2011, Under its new American administration, California's harsh governmental policies towards its own indigenous people did not improve. As in other American states, many of the native inhabitants were soon forcibly removed from their lands by incoming American settlers such as miners, ranchers, and farmers. Although California had entered the American union as a free state, the "loitering or orphaned Indians" were de facto enslaved by their new Anglo-American masters under the 1853 Act for the Government and Protection of Indians.WEB,weblink INDIANS of CALIFORNIA – American Period,, March 21, 2012, {{unreliable source?|date=July 2012}} There were also massacres in which hundreds of indigenous people were killed.Between 1850 and 1860, the California state government paid around 1.5 million dollars (some 250,000 of which was reimbursed by the federal government)WEB,weblink California Militia and Expeditions Against the Indians, 1850–1859,, March 21, 2012, to hire militias whose purpose was to protect settlers from the indigenous populations. In later decades, the native population was placed in reservations and rancherias, which were often small and isolated and without enough natural resources or funding from the government to sustain the populations living on them. As a result, the rise of California was a calamity for the native inhabitants. Several scholars and Native American activists, including Benjamin Madley and Ed Castillo, have described the actions of the California government as a genocide.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, see also Benjamin Madley, American Genocide: The California Indian Catastrophe, 1846–1873, Yale University Press, 2012., May 11, 2012,


File:Hollywood-Studios-1922.jpg|thumb|HollywoodHollywoodFile:HP garage front.JPG|thumb|The "Birthplace of Silicon Valley" garage, where Stanford University graduates William Hewlett and David PackardDavid PackardMigration to California accelerated during the early 20th century with the completion of major transcontinental highways like the Lincoln Highway and Route 66. In the period from 1900 to 1965, the population grew from fewer than one million to the greatest in the Union. In 1940, the Census Bureau reported California's population as 6.0% Hispanic, 2.4% Asian, and 89.5% non-Hispanic white.WEB, California – Race and Hispanic Origin: 1850 to 1990, U.S. Census Bureau,weblink dead,weblink" title="">weblink December 24, 2014, To meet the population's needs, major engineering feats like the California and Los Angeles Aqueducts; the Oroville and Shasta Dams; and the Bay and Golden Gate Bridges were built across the state. The state government also adopted the California Master Plan for Higher Education in 1960 to develop a highly efficient system of public education.Meanwhile, attracted to the mild Mediterranean climate, cheap land, and the state's wide variety of geography, filmmakers established the studio system in Hollywood in the 1920s. California manufactured 8.7 percent of total United States military armaments produced during World War II, ranking third (behind New York and Michigan) among the 48 states.Peck, Merton J. & Scherer, Frederic M. The Weapons Acquisition Process: An Economic Analysis (1962) Harvard Business School p. 111 California however easily ranked first in production of military ships during the war (transport, cargo, [merchant ships] such as Liberty ships, Victory ships, and warships) at drydock facilities in San Diego, Los Angeles, and the San Francisco Bay Area.WEB,weblink Shipbuilding Essay—World War II in the San Francisco Bay Area: A National Register of Historic Places Travel Itinerary,, WEB,weblink Richmond Shipyard Number Three: World War II in the San Francisco Bay Area: A National Register of Historic Places Travel Itinerary,, WEB,weblink Rosie the Riveter National Historical Park, Kaiser Shipyards, PDF,, WEB,weblink Saving the Bay – The Greatest Shipbuilding Center in the World, KQED, August 11, 2010, YouTube, After World War II, California's economy greatly expanded due to strong aerospace and defense industries,NEWS, How California Lost its Mojo, Bill Watkins,weblink Fox and Hound Daily, October 10, 2012, June 25, 2013, BOOK, Nancy Kleniewski, Alexander R. Thomas, Cities, Change, and Conflict: A Political Economy of Urban Life, {{google books, y, dWuQ70MtnIQC, 91, |access-date=June 26, 2013|date=March 1, 2010|publisher=Cengage Learning|isbn=978-0-495-81222-7|pages=91–92}} whose size decreased following the end of the Cold War.WEB,weblink Aerospace States' Incentives to Attract The Industry, Rosa Maria Moller, May 2008,, California Research Bureau, June 25, 2013, 24–25, WEB,weblink The Aerospace Industry in Southern California, Robert A. Kleinhenz, Kimberly Ritter-Martinez, Rafael De Anda, Elizabeth Avila, August 2012,, June 25, 2013, 10, In 1987, California accounted for one in four aerospace jobs nationally, and in Los Angeles County, the share was one in ten. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, the Department of Defense (DOD) sharply curtailed procurement spending. In 1995, DOD spending fell below $50 billion for the first time since 1982. Nowhere in the country were the changes in Pentagon outlays more apparent than in Southern California., dead,weblink" title="">weblink May 12, 2013, BOOK, Eric John Heikkila, Rafael Pizarro, Southern California and the World, {{google books, y, upaN7waaW7AC, 18, |access-date=June 25, 2013 |date=January 1, 2002 |publisher=Greenwood Publishing Group |isbn=978-0-275-97112-0 |page=18}}BOOK, James Flanigan, Smile Southern California, You're the Center of the Universe: The Economy and People of a Global Region, {{google books, y, T-_FMngVdI4C, 25, |access-date=June 25, 2013 |date=2009 |publisher=Stanford University Press |isbn=978-0-8047-5625-9 |page=25}} Stanford University and its Dean of Engineering Frederick Terman began encouraging faculty and graduates to stay in California instead of leaving the state, and develop a high-tech region in the area now known as Silicon Valley.NEWS,weblink Searching for Silicon Valley, Markoff, John, April 17, 2009, The New York Times, February 26, 2011, As a result of these efforts, California is regarded as a world center of the entertainment and music industries, of technology, engineering, and the aerospace industry, and as the United States center of agricultural production.{{sfn|Cohen|2003|pages=115–116}} Just before the Dot Com Bust, California had the fifth-largest economy in the world among nations.BOOK, Clark Davis, David Igler, The Human Tradition in California, {{google books, y, 6QxvAAAAQBAJ, 11, |date=August 1, 2002 |publisher=Rowman & Littlefield Publishers |isbn=978-1-4616-4431-6 |page=11}}NEWS, Treanor, Jill, July 17, 2001, Pink slip season in Silicon Valley,weblink The Guardian, United Kingdom, April 22, 2015, This micro-economy – the world's fifth largest economy in its own right – started to feel the pain of the new technology meltdown first., Yet since 1991, and starting in the late 1980s in Southern California, California has seen a net loss of domestic migrants in most years. This is often referred to by the media as the California exodus.NEWS, Taylor, Lisa, March 30, 1997, Getting Out: The Great California Exodus: Remember us? We left Southern California looking for cheaper housing, employment opportunities and a better way of life. Well ... We're Ba-aack!,weblink Los Angeles Times, April 22, 2015, During the 20th century, two great disasters happened in California. The 1906 San Francisco earthquake and 1928 St. Francis Dam flood remain the deadliest in U.S history.BOOK, Krech, Shepard, III, Merchant, Carolyn, McNeill, John Robert, Encyclopedia of World Environmental History, 3: O-Z, Index, 2004, Routledge, 978-0-415-93735-1, 540–, {{google books, y, Dmky95hwKr0C, 540, |access-date=November 23, 2012}}Although air pollution problems have been reduced, health problems associated with pollution have continued. The brown haze known as "smog" has been substantially abated after the passage of federal and state restrictions on automobile exhaust.William Deverell, and Greg Hise, eds. Land of Sunshine: An Environmental History of Metropolitan Los Angeles (2005).James E. Krier, and Edmund Ursin, Pollution and Policy: A Case Essay on California and Federal Experience with Motor Vehicle Air Pollution, 1940–1975 (1978)An energy crisis in 2001 led to rolling blackouts, soaring power rates, and the importation of electricity from neighboring states. Southern California Edison and Pacific Gas and Electric Company came under heavy criticism.Severin Borenstein, "The Trouble With Electricity Markets: Understanding California's Restructuring Disaster", Journal of Economic Perspectives, Winter 2002, Vol. 16 Issue 1, pp. 191–211 (in JSTOR)Housing prices in urban areas continued to increase so that a modest home that in the 1960s cost $25,000, cost half a million dollars or more in urban areas by 2005. More people commuted longer hours to afford a home in more rural areas while earning larger salaries in the urban areas. Speculators bought houses they never intended to live in, expecting to make a huge profit in a matter of months, then rolling it over by buying more properties. Mortgage companies were compliant, as everyone assumed the prices would keep rising. The bubble burst in 2007-8 as housing prices began to crash and the boom years ended. Hundreds of billions in property values vanished and foreclosures soared as many financial institutions and investors were badly hurt.Robert M. Hardaway, The Great American Housing Bubble: The Road to Collapse (2011) p. 22Stephen D. Cummings and Patrick B. Reddy, California after Arnold (2009) p. 102


California is the 3rd largest state in the United States in area, after Alaska and Texas.WEB,weblink 2000 Census of Population and Housing, April 2004, US Census Bureau, 29, December 25, 2009, California is often geographically bisected into two regions, Southern California, comprising the 10 southernmost counties,JOURNAL, {{google books, y, p04zAQAAMAAJ, 1, |pages=38–9 |title=Figures Show California's Motoring Supremacy |journal=Touring Topics |volume=8 |number=2 |date=March 1916}}BOOK, {{google books, y, EXdAAQAAQBAJ, 46, |page=46 |title=Surfing about Music |last=Cooley |first=Timothy J. |publisher=University of California Press |date=2014 |isbn=978-0-520-95721-3}} and Northern California, comprising the 48 northernmost counties.NEWS, September 7, 2014,weblink Westward Tilt: Northern California, Neil, Morgan, Lodi News-Sentinel, Lodi, California, April 19, 1963, BOOK, {{google books, y, Kr8rAQAAMAAJ, 6, |page=6 |title=Kent Guide Manual (Harrison Narcotic Law) and Professional Registry |editor=John E. Kent |publisher=The Service Press |date=1917 |location=San Francisco}} It is bordered by Oregon to the north, Nevada to the east and northeast, Arizona to the southeast, the Pacific Ocean to the west and it shares an international border with the Mexican state of Baja California to the south (with which it makes up part of The Californias region of North America, alongside Baja California Sur).In the middle of the state lies the California Central Valley, bounded by the Sierra Nevada in the east, the coastal mountain ranges in the west, the Cascade Range to the north and by the Tehachapi Mountains in the south. The Central Valley is California's productive agricultural heartland.Divided in two by the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, the northern portion, the Sacramento Valley serves as the watershed of the Sacramento River, while the southern portion, the San Joaquin Valley is the watershed for the San Joaquin River. Both valleys derive their names from the rivers that flow through them. With dredging, the Sacramento and the San Joaquin Rivers have remained deep enough for several inland cities to be seaports.The Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta is a critical water supply hub for the state. Water is diverted from the delta and through an extensive network of pumps and canals that traverse nearly the length of the state, to the Central Valley and the State Water Projects and other needs. Water from the Delta provides drinking water for nearly 23 million people, almost two-thirds of the state's population as well as water for farmers on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley.Suisun Bay lies at the confluence of the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers. The water is drained by the Carquinez Strait, which flows into San Pablo Bay, a northern extension of San Francisco Bay, which then connects to the Pacific Ocean via the Golden Gate strait.The Channel Islands are located off the Southern coast, while the Farallon Islands lie west of San Francisco.The Sierra Nevada (Spanish for "snowy range") includes the highest peak in the contiguous 48 states, Mount Whitney, at {{convert|14505|ft|m}}.NGS, GT1811, Whitney, October 20, 2011, WEB,weblink Elevations and Distances in the United States, United States Geological Survey, 2001, October 21, 2011, dead,weblink" title="">weblink October 15, 2011, Elevation adjusted to North American Vertical Datum of 1988. The range embraces Yosemite Valley, famous for its glacially carved domes, and Sequoia National Park, home to the giant sequoia trees, the largest living organisms on Earth, and the deep freshwater lake, Lake Tahoe, the largest lake in the state by volume.To the east of the Sierra Nevada are Owens Valley and Mono Lake, an essential migratory bird habitat. In the western part of the state is Clear Lake, the largest freshwater lake by area entirely in California. Although Lake Tahoe is larger, it is divided by the California/Nevada border. The Sierra Nevada falls to Arctic temperatures in winter and has several dozen small glaciers, including Palisade Glacier, the southernmost glacier in the United States.About 45 percent of the state's total surface area is covered by forests,BOOK, Laaksonen-Craig, Susanna, Goldman, George, McKillop, William, Forestry, Forest Products, and Forest Products Consumption in California, University of California – Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, 2003, Davis, California, 1,weblink 978-1-60107-248-1, and California's diversity of pine species is unmatched by any other state. California contains more forestland than any other state except Alaska. Many of the trees in the California White Mountains are the oldest in the world; an individual bristlecone pine is over 5,000 years old.BOOK, Lanner, RM, 2007, The Bristlecone Book, Mountain Press, 14, 978-0-87842-538-9, WEB,weblink Oldlist, Rocky Mountain Tree Ring Research, January 8, 2013, In the south is a large inland salt lake, the Salton Sea. The south-central desert is called the Mojave; to the northeast of the Mojave lies Death Valley, which contains the lowest and hottest place in North America, the Badwater Basin at {{convert|−279|ft|m}}. The horizontal distance from the bottom of Death Valley to the top of Mount Whitney is less than {{convert|90|mi|km}}. Indeed, almost all of southeastern California is arid, hot desert, with routine extreme high temperatures during the summer. The southeastern border of California with Arizona is entirely formed by the Colorado River, from which the southern part of the state gets about half of its water.A majority of California's cities are located in either the San Francisco Bay Area or the Sacramento metropolitan area in Northern California; or the Los Angeles area, the Riverside-San Bernardino-Inland Empire, or the San Diego metropolitan area in Southern California. The Los Angeles Area, the Bay Area, and the San Diego metropolitan area are among several major metropolitan areas along the California coast.As part of the Ring of Fire, California is subject to tsunamis, floods, droughts, Santa Ana winds, wildfires, landslides on steep terrain, and has several volcanoes. It has many earthquakes due to several faults running through the state, the largest being the San Andreas Fault. About 37,000 earthquakes are recorded each year, but most are too small to be felt.WEB,weblink Frequently Asked Questions,, April 22, 2011, File:California Topography-MEDIUM.png|A topographic map of CaliforniaFile:Redwood National Park, fog in the forest.jpg|A forest of redwood trees in Redwood National ParkFile:California Köppen.svg|Köppen climate types in CaliforniaFile:MtShasta aerial.JPG|Mount ShastaFile:Californiacentralvalley.jpg|Aerial view of the California Central ValleyFile:Big Sur June 2008.jpg|Big Sur coast, south of Monterey at Bixby BridgeFile:1 yosemite valley tunnel view 2010.JPG|Yosemite National ParkFile:Sherwin Range, Benton Crossing.jpg|Snow on the Sierra Nevada in eastern CaliforniaFile:Death Valley Mesquite Sand Dunes.jpg|Death Valley, in the Mojave DesertFile:Potato Harbor Santa Cruz Island.jpg|Potato Harbor, named for its distinctive ovular and bumpy shape,Riedel, Monique (2009). Best Easy Day Hikes Ventura. Falcon Guides. Pages 35–38. {{ISBN|978-0-7627-5121-1}}. on Santa Cruz IslandFile:North_LagunaBeachCA_photo_D_Ramey_Logan.JPG|The coastline along Laguna Beach in Southern CaliforniaFile:Joshua Tree National Park (California, USA) -- 2012 -- 5663.jpg|Cylindropuntia bigelovii in the Joshua Tree National ParkFile:Providence Mountains 2.jpg|Mojave National PreserveFile:Islands,_Sacramento_River_Delta,_California.jpg|The Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta viewed from above, with the Sacramento River above and San Joaquin River below


{{Further|Climate change in California}}{{more citations needed|section|date=September 2018}}Although most of the state has a Mediterranean climate, due to the state's large size the climate ranges from polar to subtropical. The cool California Current offshore often creates summer fog near the coast. Farther inland, there are colder winters and hotter summers. The maritime moderation results in the shoreline summertime temperatures of Los Angeles and San Francisco being the coolest of all major metropolitan areas of the United States and uniquely cool compared to areas on the same latitude in the interior and on the east coast of the North American continent. Even the San Diego shoreline bordering Mexico is cooler in summer than most areas in the contiguous United States. Just a few miles inland, summer temperature extremes are significantly higher, with downtown Los Angeles being several degrees warmer than at the coast. The same microclimate phenomenon is seen in the climate of the Bay Area, where areas sheltered from the sea experience significantly hotter summers than nearby areas that are close to the ocean.Northern parts of the state have more rain than the south. California's mountain ranges also influence the climate: some of the rainiest parts of the state are west-facing mountain slopes. Northwestern California has a temperate climate, and the Central Valley has a Mediterranean climate but with greater temperature extremes than the coast. The high mountains, including the Sierra Nevada, have an alpine climate with snow in winter and mild to moderate heat in summer.California's mountains produce rain shadows on the eastern side, creating extensive deserts. The higher elevation deserts of eastern California have hot summers and cold winters, while the low deserts east of the Southern California mountains have hot summers and nearly frostless mild winters. Death Valley, a desert with large expanses below sea level, is considered the hottest location in the world; the highest temperature in the world,JOURNAL, El Fadli, K. I., World Meteorological Organization Assessment of the Purported World Record 58 Â°C Temperature Extreme at El Azizia, Libya (September 13, 1922), Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, September 2012, 10.1175/BAMS-D-12-00093.1, 94, 2, 199, etal, 2013BAMS...94..199E, (The 136.4 Â°F (58 Â°C), claimed by 'Aziziya, Libya, on September 13, 1922, has been officially deemed invalid by the World Meteorological Organization.)WEB, World Meteorological Organization World Weather / Climate Extremes Archive,weblink January 10, 2013, dead,weblink" title="">weblink January 4, 2013, {{convert|134|°F|°C|1}}, was recorded there on July 10, 1913. The lowest temperature in California was {{convert|−45|°F}} in 1937 in Boca.{{citation needed|date=March 2019}}The table below lists average temperatures for January and August in a selection of places throughout the state; some highly populated and some not. This includes the relatively cool summers of the Humboldt Bay region around Eureka, the extreme heat of Death Valley, and the mountain climate of Mammoth in the Sierra Nevadas.{|class="wikitable sortable" style="margin:auto;"
Los Angeles >|377/15
Los Angeles International Airport>LAX/LA Beaches 75/64 23/18 65/49 18/9 326/13
San Diego, California>San Diego 76/67 24/19 65/49 18/9 262/10
San Jose, California>San Jose 82/58 27/14 58/42 14/5 401/16
San Francisco, California>San Francisco 67/54 20/12 56/46 14/8 538/21
Fresno, California>Fresno 97/66 34/19 55/38 12/3 292/11
Sacramento, California>Sacramento 91/58 33/14 54/39 12/3 469/18
Oakland, California>Oakland 73/58 23/14 58/44 14/7 588/23
Bakersfield, California>Bakersfield 96/69 36/21 56/39 13/3 165/7
Riverside, California>Riverside 94/60 35/18 67/39 19/4 260/10
Eureka, California>Eureka 62/53 16/11 54/41 12/5 960/38
Death Valley, California>Death Valley 113/84 45/29 64/37 18/3   53/2
Mammoth Lakes, California>Mammoth Lakes 77/45 25/7 40/15 4/ -9 583/23


{{See also|Environment of California}}{{multiple image|align=right|direction=vertical|width=200|image1=Mount Whitney 2003-03-25.jpg|image2=Badwater elevation sign.jpg|footer=Mount Whitney (top) is less than {{convert|90|mi|km}} away from Badwater Basin in Death Valley (bottom).}}California is one of the richest and most diverse parts of the world, and includes some of the most endangered ecological communities. California is part of the Nearctic ecozone and spans a number of terrestrial ecoregions.WEB, (University of Nebraska State: Papers in Entomology)access-date=October 5, 2010, California's large number of endemic species includes relict species, which have died out elsewhere, such as the Catalina ironwood (Lyonothamnus floribundus). Many other endemics originated through differentiation or adaptive radiation, whereby multiple species develop from a common ancestor to take advantage of diverse ecological conditions such as the California lilac (Ceanothus). Many California endemics have become endangered, as urbanization, logging, overgrazing, and the introduction of exotic species have encroached on their habitat.

Flora and fauna

{{see also|List of California native plants}}{{see also|List of invertebrates of California}}California boasts several superlatives in its collection of flora: the largest trees, the tallest trees, and the oldest trees. California's native grasses are perennial plants.JOURNAL,weblink Restoring California's Native Grasses, Agricultural Research Magazine, David Elstein, May 2004, 52, 5, 17, December 25, 2009, After European contact, these were generally replaced by invasive species of European annual grasses; and, in modern times, California's hills turn a characteristic golden-brown in summer.WEB, (California Invasive Species Advisory Committee)access-date=October 5, 2010, Because California has the greatest diversity of climate and terrain, the state has six life zones which are the lower Sonoran (desert); upper Sonoran (foothill regions and some coastal lands), transition (coastal areas and moist northeastern counties); and the Canadian, Hudsonian, and Arctic Zones, comprising the state's highest elevations.WEB,weblink California: flora and fauna,, 2010, September 7, 2010, Plant life in the dry climate of the lower Sonoran zone contains a diversity of native cactus, mesquite, and paloverde. The Joshua tree is found in the Mojave Desert. Flowering plants include the dwarf desert poppy and a variety of asters. Fremont cottonwood and valley oak thrive in the Central Valley. The upper Sonoran zone includes the chaparral belt, characterized by forests of small shrubs, stunted trees, and herbaceous plants. Nemophila, mint, Phacelia, Viola, and the California poppy (Eschscholzia californica) – the state flower – also flourish in this zone, along with the lupine, more species of which occur here than anywhere else in the world.The transition zone includes most of California's forests with the redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) and the "big tree" or giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum), among the oldest living things on earth (some are said to have lived at least 4,000 years). Tanbark oak, California laurel, sugar pine, madrona, broad-leaved maple, and Douglas-fir also grow here. Forest floors are covered with swordfern, alumnroot, barrenwort, and trillium, and there are thickets of huckleberry, azalea, elder, and wild currant. Characteristic wild flowers include varieties of mariposa, tulip, and tiger and leopard lilies.WEB,weblink Sequoia sempervirens (D. Don) Endl, (U.S. Forest Service), October 7, 2010, The high elevations of the Canadian zone allow the Jeffrey pine, red fir, and lodgepole pine to thrive. Brushy areas are abundant with dwarf manzanita and ceanothus; the unique Sierra puffball is also found here. Right below the timberline, in the Hudsonian zone, the whitebark, foxtail, and silver pines grow. At about {{convert|10500|ft|m}}, begins the Arctic zone, a treeless region whose flora include a number of wildflowers, including Sierra primrose, yellow columbine, alpine buttercup, and alpine shooting star.WEB,weblink Life Zones of the Central Sierra Nevada,, October 5, 2010,weblink" title="">weblink March 1, 2012, Common plants that have been introduced to the state include the eucalyptus, acacia, pepper tree, geranium, and Scotch broom. The species that are federally classified as endangered are the Contra Costa wallflower, Antioch Dunes evening primrose, Solano grass, San Clemente Island larkspur, salt marsh bird's beak, McDonald's rock-cress, and Santa Barbara Island liveforever. {{As of|1997|12}}, 85 plant species were listed as threatened or endangered.In the deserts of the lower Sonoran zone, the mammals include the jackrabbit, kangaroo rat, squirrel, and opossum. Common birds include the owl, roadrunner, cactus wren, and various species of hawk. The area's reptilian life include the sidewinder viper, desert tortoise, and horned toad. The upper Sonoran zone boasts mammals such as the antelope, brown-footed woodrat, and ring-tailed cat. Birds unique to this zone are the California thrasher, bushtit, and California condor.WEB,weblink California Condor, The Cornell Lab of Ornithology, 2009, October 3, 2010, WEB,weblink CalPhotos: Browse Mammal Common Names, (BSCIT University of California, Berkeley), October 2, 2010, October 3, 2010, WEB,weblink Quail Ridge Reserve: UC Davis Natural Reserve System, (University of California at Davis: Natural Reserve System), April 5, 2007, October 5, 2010, In the transition zone, there are Colombian black-tailed deer, black bears, gray foxes, cougars, bobcats, and Roosevelt elk. Reptiles such as the garter snakes and rattlesnakes inhabit the zone. In addition, amphibians such as the water puppy and redwood salamander are common too. Birds such as the kingfisher, chickadee, towhee, and hummingbird thrive here as well.WEB,weblink Black-tailed Deer of California,, 2000, October 7, 2010, The Canadian zone mammals include the mountain weasel, snowshoe hare, and several species of chipmunks. Conspicuous birds include the blue-fronted jay, Sierra chickadee. Sierra hermit thrush, water ouzel, and Townsend's solitaire. As one ascends into the Hudsonian zone, birds become scarcer. While the Sierra rosy finch is the only bird native to the high Arctic region, other bird species such as the hummingbird and Clark's nutcracker. Principal mammals found in this region include the Sierra coney, white-tailed jackrabbit, and the bighorn sheep. {{As of|2003|04}}, the bighorn sheep was listed as endangered by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. The fauna found throughout several zones are the mule deer, coyote, mountain lion, northern flicker, and several species of hawk and sparrow.Aquatic life in California thrives, from the state's mountain lakes and streams to the rocky Pacific coastline. Numerous trout species are found, among them rainbow, golden, and cutthroat. Migratory species of salmon are common as well. Deep-sea life forms include sea bass, yellowfin tuna, barracuda, and several types of whale. Native to the cliffs of northern California are seals, sea lions, and many types of shorebirds, including migratory species.{{as of|2003|April}}, 118 California animals were on the federal endangered list; 181 plants were listed as endangered or threatened. Endangered animals include the San Joaquin kitfox, Point Arena mountain beaver, Pacific pocket mouse, salt marsh harvest mouse, Morro Bay kangaroo rat (and five other species of kangaroo rat), Amargosa vole, California least tern, California condor, loggerhead shrike, San Clemente sage sparrow, San Francisco garter snake, five species of salamander, three species of chub, and two species of pupfish. Eleven butterflies are also endangeredWEB,weblink California's Endangered Insects – Formally Listed Insects,, August 25, 2015, and two that are threatened are on the federal list.WEB,weblink Threatened and Endangered Invertebrates, California Department of Fish and Wildlife,, May 8, 2017, WEB,weblink Species Search Results, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Environmental Conservation Online System, May 8, 2017, Among threatened animals are the coastal California gnatcatcher, Paiute cutthroat trout, southern sea otter, and northern spotted owl. California has a total of {{convert|290821|acre|km2}} of National Wildlife Refuges. {{As of|2010|09}}, 123 California animals were listed as either endangered or threatened on the federal list provided by the US Fish & Wildlife Service.WEB,weblink U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service: Species Reports: Listings and occurrences for California,, September 7, 2010, September 7, 2010, Also, {{as of|2010|alt=as of the same year}}, 178 species of California plants were listed either as endangered or threatened on this federal list.


The most prominent river system within California is formed by the Sacramento River and San Joaquin River, which are fed mostly by snowmelt from the west slope of the Sierra Nevada, and respectively drain the north and south halves of the Central Valley. The two rivers join in the Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta, flowing into the Pacific Ocean through San Francisco Bay. Many major tributaries feed into the Sacramento–San Joaquin system, including the Pit River, Feather River and Tuolumne River.The Klamath and Trinity Rivers drain a large area in far northwestern California. The Eel River and Salinas River each drain portions of the California coast, north and south of San Francisco Bay, respectively. The Mojave River is the primary watercourse in the Mojave Desert, and the Santa Ana River drains much of the Transverse Ranges as it bisects Southern California. The Colorado River forms the state's southeast border with Arizona.Most of California's major rivers are dammed as part of two massive water projects: the Central Valley Project, providing water for agriculture in the Central Valley, and the California State Water Project diverting water from northern to southern California. The state's coasts, rivers, and other bodies of water are regulated by the California Coastal Commission.


{{further|List of regions of California|List of places in California}}{{Columns |width=300px|col1= }}



{{US Census population|1850=92597|1860=379994|1870=560247|1880=864694|1890=1213398|1900=1485053|1910=2377549|1920=3426861|1930=5677251|1940=6907387|1950=10586223|1960=15717204|1970=19953134|1980=23667902|1990=29760021|2000=33871648|2010=37253956|estimate=39557045|estyear=2018ACCESS-DATE=SEPTEMBER 26, 2016 ARCHIVE-URL= HTTPS://WEB.ARCHIVE.ORG/WEB/20140502002520/HTTP://WWW.DOF.CA.GOV/RESEARCH/DEMOGRAPHIC/REPORTS/ESTIMATES/E-1/DOCUMENTS/E-1_2014_PRESS_RELEASE.PDF WEBSITE=POPULATION AND HOUSING UNIT COUNTS, POPULATION ESTIMATES 1790–1990, PAGES 26–27UNITED STATES CENSUS BUREAU, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE ECONOMICS AND STATISTICS ADMINISTRATION>DATE=AUGUST 20, 1993PUBLISHER=AMERICANINDIANTAH.COM URL-STATUS=DEAD ARCHIVE-DATE=MARCH 17, 2012, }}File:Echo Park Lake with Downtown Los Angeles Skyline.jpg|left|thumb|Los Angeles is the second most populous city in the U.S., after New York CityNew York City(File:California population map.png|thumb|left|The population density of California)The United States Census Bureau estimates that the population of California was 39,557,045 on July 1, 2018, a 6.18% increase since the 2010 United States Census. The population is projected to reach 40 million by 2020 and 50 million by 2060.WEB,weblink Demographic Projections, California Department of Finance,, August 17, 2017, Between 2000 and 2009, there was a natural increase of 3,090,016 (5,058,440 births minus 2,179,958 deaths).WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, June 9, 2010, CSV, Table 4. Cumulative Estimates of the Components of Resident Population Change for the United States, Regions, States, and Puerto Rico: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2009, United States Census Bureau, US Census Bureau, December 22, 2009, December 26, 2009, During this time period, international migration produced a net increase of 1,816,633 people while domestic migration produced a net decrease of 1,509,708, resulting in a net in-migration of 306,925 people. The state of California's own statistics show a population of 38,292,687 for January 1, 2009.WEB, E-4 Population Estimates for Cities, Counties and the State, 2001–2009, with 2000 Benchmark, Sacramento, California, California Department of Finance, State of California, Department of Finance, May 2009,weblink December 24, 2009, dead,weblink" title="">weblink November 22, 2009, However, according to the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, since 1990 almost 3.4 million Californians have moved to other states, with most leaving to Texas, Nevada, and Arizona.WEB,weblink The Great California Exodus: A Closer Look, Gray, Tom, Scardamalia, Robert, September 2012,, April 30, 2013, Within the Western hemisphere California is the second most populous sub-national administrative entity (behind the state of São Paulo in Brazil)WEB, Censo 2010: população do Brasil é de 190.732.694 pessoas,weblink September 19, 2011, and third most populous sub-national entity of any kind outside Asia (in which wider category it also ranks behind England in the United Kingdom, which has no administrative functions). California's population is greater than that of all but 34 countries of the world.WEB, International Database – County Rankings, US Census Bureau,weblink December 26, 2009, dead,weblink" title="">weblink February 8, 2010, WEB, Table A.1. Total Population by Sex in 2009 and Sex Ratio by Country in 2009, World Population Prospects: The 2008 Edition, Highlights, United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division, 2009,weblink December 26, 2009, 31–35, dead,weblink" title="">weblink December 29, 2010, The Greater Los Angeles Area is the 2nd-largest metropolitan area in the United States, after the New York metropolitan area, while Los Angeles, with nearly half the population of New York City, is the second-largest city in the United States. Conversely, San Francisco, with nearly one-quarter the population density of Manhattan, is the most densely populated city in California and one of the most densely populated cities in the United States. Also, Los Angeles County has held the title of most populous United States county for decades, and it alone is more populous than 42 United States states.WEB, About Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services, Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services, December 2005,weblink December 26, 2009, dead,weblink" title="">weblink April 17, 2010, NEWS, Barrett, Beth, Baby Slump in L.A. County, Los Angeles Daily News, N4, Los Angeles Newspaper Group, September 19, 2003,weblink December 26, 2009, dead,weblink" title="">weblink July 15, 2010, Including Los Angeles, four of the top 15 most populous cities in the U.S. are in California: Los Angeles (2nd), San Diego (8th), San Jose (10th), and San Francisco (13th). The center of population of California is located in the town of Buttonwillow, Kern County.{{refn|The coordinates of the center of population are at {{Coord|35.458606|-119.355165|display=inline}}.WEB, Population and Population Centers by State: 2000, United States Census 2000, U.S. Census Bureau Geography Division, May 20, 2002,weblink December 26, 2009, dead,weblink" title="">weblink May 8, 2013, |group="note"}}

Cities and towns

{{see also|List of cities and towns in California|List of largest California cities by population}}The state has 482 incorporated cities and towns, of which 460 are cities and 22 are towns. Under California law, the terms "city" and "town" are explicitly interchangeable; the name of an incorporated municipality in the state can either be "City of (Name)" or "Town of (Name)".WEB, CA Codes (gov:34500-34504), California State Senate,weblink January 29, 2010, dead,weblink" title="">weblink August 27, 2009, Sacramento became California's first incorporated city on February 27, 1850.WEB,weblink Instant City: Sacramento, California State Library, January 29, 2010, dead,weblink" title="">weblink January 28, 2010, San Jose, San Diego, and Benicia tied for California's second incorporated city, each receiving incorporation on March 27, 1850.WEB,weblink San Jose at a Glance, City of San Jose, January 29, 2010, WEB, A History of San Diego Government,weblink City of San Diego, January 29, 2010, dead,weblink" title="">weblink May 28, 2010, WEB, California State Parks: 1846 to 1854, California State Parks, May 23, 2007,weblink January 29, 2010, Jurupa Valley became the state's most recent and 482nd incorporated municipality on July 1, 2011.WEB,weblink Jurupa Valley Becomes California's 482nd City, League of California Cities, March 11, 2011, August 21, 2011,weblink" title="">weblink May 6, 2012, WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, September 7, 2012, Jurupa Valley: Rushing to meet a July 1 incorporation, Sandra, Stokley, The Press-Enterprise (California), The Press-Enterprise, June 14, 2011, August 21, 2011, The majority of these cities and towns are within one of five metropolitan areas: the Los Angeles Metropolitan Area, the San Francisco Bay Area, the Riverside-San Bernardino Area, the San Diego metropolitan area, or the Sacramento metropolitan area.{{Largest cities
|name=Largest cities
|stat_ref=Source:WEB,weblink City and Town Population Totals: 2010-2018, U.S. Census Bureau, October 2019, October 18, 2019,
|div_link=Counties of California{{!}}County
|city_1=Los Angeles, California{{!}}Los Angeles
|div_1=Los Angeles County, California{{!}}Los Angeles
|img_1=Los Angeles, Winter 2016.jpg
|city_2=San Diego, California{{!}}San Diego
|div_2=San Diego County, California{{!}}San Diego
|city_3=San Jose, California{{!}}San Jose
|div_3=Santa Clara County, California{{!}}Santa Clara
|city_4=San Francisco, California{{!}}San Francisco
|div_4=San Francisco County, California{{!}}San Francisco
|img_4=San Francisco Skyline-02.jpg
|city_5=Fresno, California{{!}}Fresno
|div_5=Fresno County, California{{!}}Fresno
|city_6=Sacramento, California{{!}}Sacramento
|div_6=Sacramento County, California{{!}}Sacramento
|city_7=Long Beach, California{{!}}Long Beach
|div_7=Los Angeles County, California{{!}}Los Angeles
|city_8=Oakland, California{{!}}Oakland
|div_8=Alameda County, California{{!}}Alameda
|city_9=Bakersfield, California{{!}}Bakersfield
|div_9=Kern County, California{{!}}Kern
|city_10=Anaheim, California{{!}}Anaheim
|div_10=Orange County, California{{!}}Orange
}}{|class="wikitable"|+ Largest metropolitan statistical areas in California| CA Rank| U.S. Rank!Metropolitan statistical areaWEB,weblink OMB Bulletin No. 17-01: Revised Delineations of Metropolitan Statistical Areas, Micropolitan Statistical Areas, and Combined Statistical Areas, and Guidance on Uses of the Delineations of These Areas, United States Office of Management and Budget, August 15, 2017, March 6, 2018, !2018 EstimateWEB,weblink Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas Population Totals: 2010-2018, 2018 Population Estimates, United States Census Bureau, Population Division, October 2019, October 18, 2019, !2010 Census!Change!Counties{{nts|1}}{{nts|2}}|Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA MSA
|Los Angeles, Orange
{{nts|2}}{{nts|12}}|San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA MSA
|Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo
{{nts|3}}{{nts|13}}|Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA MSA
|Riverside, San Bernardino
{{nts|4}}{{nts|17}}|San Diego-Carlsbad, CA MSA
|San Diego
{{nts|5}}{{nts|27}}|Sacramento–Roseville–Arden-Arcade, CA MSA
|El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento, Yolo
{{nts|6}}{{nts|35}}|San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA MSA
|San Benito, Santa Clara
{{nts|7}}{{nts|55}}|Fresno, CA MSA
{{nts|8}}{{nts|62}}|Bakersfield, CA MSA
{{nts|9}}{{nts|67}}|Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA MSA
{{nts|10}}{{nts|76}}|Stockton-Lodi, CA MSA
|San Joaquin
{|class="wikitable sortable"|+ Largest combined statistical areas in California| CA Rank| U.S. Rank!Combined statistical areaWEB,weblink Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2017 – United States – Combined Statistical Area; and for Puerto Rico, United States Census Bureau, Population Division, March 2018, March 31, 2018, !2017 estimateWEB,weblink Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2017 – United States – Combined Statistical Area; and for Puerto Rico, United States Census Bureau, Population Division, March 2018, March 31, 2018, !2010 Census!Change!Counties{{nts|1}}{{nts|2}}|Los Angeles-Long Beach, CA Combined Statistical Area
|Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura
{{nts|2}}{{nts|5}}|San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland, CA Combined Statistical Area {{nts|3}}{{nts|22}}|Sacramento-Roseville, CA Combined Statistical Area
|El Dorado, Nevada, Placer, Sacramento, Sutter, Yolo, Yuba
{{nts|4}}{{nts|49}}|Fresno-Madera, CA Combined Statistical Area
|Fresno, Madera
{{nts|5}}{{nts|62}}|Modesto-Merced, CA Combined Statistical Area
|Merced, Stanislaus
{{nts|6}}{{nts|81}}|Visalia-Porterville-Hanford, CA Combined Statistical Area
|Kings, Tulare
{{nts|7}}{{nts|123}}|Redding-Red Bluff, CA Combined Statistical Area
|Shasta, Tehama


Starting in the year 2010, for the first time since the California Gold Rush, California-born residents make up the majority of the state's population.NEWS, Native-born Californians regain majority status, Teresa Watanabe, Hector Becerra,weblink Los Angeles Times, April 1, 2010, January 19, 2013, Along with the rest of the United States, California's immigration pattern has also shifted over the course of the late 2000s to early 2010s.WEB,weblink Net Migration from Mexico Falls to Zero—and Perhaps Less, Pew Hispanic Center, July 19, 2015, Immigration from Latin American countries has dropped significantly with most immigrants now coming from Asia. In total for 2011, there were 277,304 immigrants. 57% came from Asian countries vs. 22% from Latin American countries.NEWS, Census shows Asians eclipse Latino arrivals to California, Stephen Magagnini, Phillip Reese,weblink Sacramento Bee, January 17, 2013, January 19, 2013, dead,weblink" title="">weblink January 18, 2013, Net immigration from Mexico, previously the most common country of origin for new immigrants, has dropped to zero/less than zero since more Mexican nationals are departing for their home country than immigrating. As a result it is projected that Hispanic citizens will constitute 49% of the population by 2060, instead of the previously projected 2050, due primarily to domestic births.NEWS, Latino mojo,weblink The Economist, June 20, 2015, The state's population of undocumented immigrants has been shrinking in recent years, due to increased enforcement and decreased job opportunities for lower-skilled workers.WEB,weblink Unauthorized Immigrants: 11.1 Million in 2011, December 6, 2012, Pew Research Center's Hispanic Trends Project, August 25, 2015, The number of migrants arrested attempting to cross the Mexican border in the Southwest decreased from a high of 1.1 million in 2005 to 367,000 in 2011.California's Illegal Immigrant Shortage, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, May 3, 2012. Despite these recent trends, illegal aliens constituted an estimated 7.3 percent of the state's population, the third highest percentage of any state in the country,NEWS, Peter, Slevin, New Arizona law puts police in 'tenuous' spot,weblink The Washington Post, Washington, DC, A4, April 30, 2010, Behind Nevada and Arizona. totaling nearly 2.6 million.NEWS, Cutting services to illegal immigrants isn't easy, Michael Gardner,weblink The San Diego Union-Tribune, April 19, 2011, August 8, 2017, In particular, illegal immigrants tended to be concentrated in Los Angeles, Monterey, San Benito, Imperial, and Napa Counties – the latter four of which have significant agricultural industries that depend on manual labor.WEB,weblink Illegal Immigration, Johnson, Hans, Hill, Laura, July 2011, Publications, Public Policy Institute of California, January 15, 2013, More than half of illegal immigrants originate from Mexico. The state of California and some California cities, including Los Angeles, Oakland and San Francisco,NEWS, Officials In Sanctuary Cities Condemn Trump's Proposal To Move Immigrant Detainees,weblink April 15, 2019, have adopted sanctuary policies.WEB,weblink Cities, States Resist — and Assist — Immigration Crackdown in New Ways,, WEB,weblink Report: Nearly Half of Americans Live in Jurisdictions With Sanctuary Policies, May 11, 2018, Fox News Insider, en,

National origins

According to the United States Census Bureau in 2016 the population self-identifies as (alone or in combination):2016 U.S. Census QuickFacts, United States Census Bureau, 2016. By ethnicity, in 2016 the population was 61.1% non-Hispanic (of any race) and 38.9% Hispanic or Latino (of any race). Hispanics are the largest single ethnic group in California. Non-Hispanic whites constituted 37.7% of the state's population. Californios are the Hispanic residents native to California, who are culturally or genetically descended from the Spanish-speaking community which has existed in California since 1542, of varying Mexican American/Chicano, Criollo Spaniard, and Mestizo quoted in Clark, Donald T. (2008). Santa Cruz County Place Names p.442, Scotts Valley, California, Kestrel Press.{{as of|2011}}, 75.1% of California's population younger than age 1 were minorities, meaning that they had at least one parent who was not non-Hispanic white (white Hispanics are counted as minorities).WEB, Exner, Rich, Americans under age 1 now mostly minorities, but not in Ohio: Statistical Snapshot,weblink, Advance Ohio, September 20, 2016, In terms of total numbers, California has the largest population of White Americans in the United States, an estimated 22,200,000 residents. The state has the 5th largest population of African Americans in the United States, an estimated 2,250,000 residents. California's Asian American population is estimated at 4.4 million, constituting a third of the nation's total. California's Native American population of 285,000 is the most of any state.WEB
,weblink" title="">weblink April 30, 2011, California – ACS Demographic and Housing Estimates: 2006–2008
, American Fact Finder
, US Census Bureau
, March 8, 2016,
According to estimates from 2011, California has the largest minority population in the United States by numbers, making up 60% of the state population.WEB
, California QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau
, US Census Bureau
, December 26, 2009, Over the past 25 years, the population of non-Hispanic whites has declined, while Hispanic and Asian populations have grown. Between 1970 and 2011, non-Hispanic whites declined from 80% of the state's population to 40%, while Hispanics grew from 32% in 2000 to 38% in 2011."Whites in state 'below the replacement' level". San Francisco Chronicle. June 5, 2010. It is currently projected that Hispanics will rise to 49% of the population by 2060, primarily due to domestic births rather than immigration. With the decline of immigration from Latin America, Asian Americans now constitute the fastest growing racial/ethnic group in California; this growth is primarily driven by immigration from China, India and the Philippines, respectively.WEB,weblink Asians: America's Fastest Growing Minority, Wendell Cox, NewsGeography, July 19, 2015,
{{col-begin}}{{col-break}}{|class="wikitable sortable mw-collapsible mw-collapsed" style="font-size: 90%;"|+ California Racial Breakdown of Population! Racial composition !! 1970 !! 1990WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, July 25, 2008, Historical Census Statistics on Population Totals By Race, 1790 to 1990, and By Hispanic Origin, 1970 to 1990, For The United States, Regions, Divisions, and States, Campbell Gibson, Kay Jung, September 2002, Population Division, United States Census Bureau, December 27, 2014, !! 2000WEB,weblink California: 2000, August 2002, Census 2000 Profile, United States Census Bureau, December 27, 2014, !! 2010WEB,weblink Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010, 2010, 2010 Census Summary File 1, United States Census Bureau, December 27, 2014, White American>White 89.0% 69.0% 59.5% 57.6%Asian American>Asian 2.8% 9.6% 10.9% 13.0%African American>Black 7.0% 7.4% 6.7% 6.2%Native Americans in the United States>Native 0.5% 0.8% 1.0% 1.0%Native Hawaiian andPacific Islander>other Pacific Islander – – 0.3% 0.4%Race and ethnicity in the United States Census>Some other race 0.7% 13.2% 16.8% 17.0%Multiracial American>Two or more races – – 4.8% 4.9%{{col-break}}{|class="wikitable sortable mw-collapsible mw-collapsed" style="font-size: 90%;"! scope="col" |Ancestry{{refn|group=fn|Underlined entries have sub-ancestries}}! scope="col" |2013 population! scope="col" |Margin of error (+/-)|Total|43,071,506|33,741Afghan American>Afghan|38,136|3,075Albanian American>Albanian|4,792|681Alsatians (people)>Alsatian|730|163American ethnicity>American|1,124,070|10,956Arab American>Arab:|277,573|6,191Egyptian American>Egyptian{{refngroup=fn|Arab sub-ancestry}}|45,540|2,737Iraqi American>Iraqi{{refngroup=fn}}|20,551|1,969Jordanian American>Jordanian{{refngroup=fn}}|14,142|1,731Lebanese American>Lebanese{{refngroup=fn}}|57,008|2,372Moroccan American>Moroccan{{refngroup=fn}}|8,953|959Palestinian American>Palestinian{{refngroup=fn}}|16,340|1,571Syrian American>Syrian{{refngroup=fn}}|23,298|1,749name=Arab|group=fn}}|44,851|2,645name=Arab|group=fn}}|48,890|2,692Armenian American>Armenian|258,260|5,292Assyrian/Chaldean/Syriac Americans>Assyrian/Chaldean/Syriac|35,690|2,687Australian American>Australian|18,803|1,253Austrian American>Austrian|77,113|2,205Basque American>Basque|18,413|1,252Belgian American>Belgian|25,581|1,354Brazilian American>Brazilian|34,776|1,964British American>British|146,221|3,425Bulgarian American>Bulgarian|1,304|Cajun|3,752|858Canadian American>Canadian|88,244|2,687Rusyn American>Carpatho Rusyn|462|151Celtic diaspora (disambiguation)>Celtic|5,910|593Croatian American>Croatian|48,160|1,859Cypriot American>Cypriot|557|204Czech American>Czech|88,563|2,557|Czechoslovakian|23,097|1,164Danish American>Danish|182,221|3,432Dutch American>Dutch|392,589|6,088|Eastern European|66,301|2,688English American>English|2,330,057|15,509Estonian American>Estonian|4,210|636European American>European|542,475|8,588Finnish American>Finnish|50,937|2,012French American>French{{refnexcept Basque}}|726,569|8,629French Canadian American>French Canadian|111,298|2,978German Americans>German|3,315,493|16,348History of Germans in Russia and the Soviet Union>German Russian|2,094|328Greek American>Greek|131,110|3,050Guyanese American>Guyanese|2,947|468Hungarian American>Hungarian|125,280|3,639Icelandic American>Icelander|6,169|777Iranian American>Iranian|213,661|6,417Irish American>Irish|2,612,782|13,767Israeli American>Israeli|28,639|1,889Italian American>Italian|1,525,214|12,309Latvian American>Latvian|10,974|916Lithuanian American>Lithuanian|48,883|1,811Luxembourgian American>Luxemburger|3,040|387Macedonian American>Macedonian|3,093|471Maltese American>Maltese|7,883|1,035New Zealand American>New Zealander|5,047|763|Northern European|46,409|2,030Norwegian American>Norwegian|394,056|5,827|Pennsylvania German|6,217|609Polish American>Polish|504,770|7,165Portuguese American>Portuguese|354,823|5,044Romanian American>Romanian|66,942|2,927Russian American>Russian|433,384|6,662Scandinavian American>Scandinavian|64,166|2,299Scotch-Irish American>Scotch-Irish|240,268|4,345Scottish American>Scottish|520,575|7,414Serbian American>Serbian|17,739|1,434Slavic Americans>Slavic|11,335|948Slovak American>Slovak|24,732|1,564Slovene American>Slovene|8,628|727Soviet people>Soviet Union|195|111African immigration to the United States>Subsaharan African:|269,781|7,329Cape Verdean American>Cape Verdean{{refngroup=fn|Subsaharan African sub-ancestry}}|2,549|532Ethiopian American>Ethiopian{{refngroup=fn}}|28,007|2,467Ghanaian American>Ghanaian{{refngroup=fn}}|3,392|647Kenyan American>Kenyan{{refngroup=fn}}|4,713|970Liberian American>Liberian{{refngroup=fn}}|1,069|400Nigerian American>Nigerian{{refngroup=fn}}|25,498|2,414Senegalese American>Senegalese{{refngroup=fn}}|585|296Sierra Leonean American>Sierra Leonean{{refngroup=fn}}|537|223Somali American>Somalian{{refngroup=fn}}|7,066|1,440South African American>South African{{refngroup=fn}}|10,095|917Sudanese American>Sudanese{{refngroup=fn}}|2,095|510Ugandan American>Ugandan{{refngroup=fn}}|1,694|516Zimbabwean American>Zimbabwean{{refngroup=fn}}|585|244name=SubA|group=fn}}|174,347|6,255name=SubA|group=fn}}|7,549|1,148Swedish American>Swedish|425,092|5,332Swiss American>Swiss|103,574|2,660Turkish American>Turkish|23,206|1,214Ukrainian American>Ukrainian|99,583|4,046Welsh American>Welsh|168,463|3,482West Indian American>West Indian{{refnexcept Hispanic groups}}|79,125|727Bahamian American>Bahamian{{refngroup=fn|West Indian sub-ancestry}}|596|215Barbadian American>Barbadian{{refngroup=fn}}|1,362|308Belizean American>Belizean{{refngroup=fn}}|21,331|1,459Bermudian American>Bermudan{{refngroup=fn}}|370|170British West Indies>British West Indian{{refngroup=fn}}|1,858|485Dutch West Indian American>Dutch West Indian{{refngroup=fn}}|1,960|329Haitian Americans>Haitian{{refngroup=fn}}|7,363|1,046Jamaican American>Jamaican{{refngroup=fn}}|28,675|1,877Trinidadian and Tobagonian American>Trinidadian and Tobagonian{{refngroup=fn}}|5,357|716Virgin Islands American>U.S. Virgin Islander{{refngroup=fn}}|756|288name=WI|group=fn}}|9,221|1,247name=WI|group=fn}}|276|124Yugoslav American>Yugoslavian|33,363|1,830|Other groups|24,394,120|29,987!colspan="3" |Footnotes:{{reflist|group=fn}}{{col-break}}{|class="wikitable sortable mw-collapsible mw-collapsed" style="font-size: 90%;"! Ancestry !! 2010 PopulationWEB,weblink Total Population, 2010, 2010 United States Census, 2010 Census, United States Census Bureau, United States Department of Commerce, May 1, 2013, !! Percentage of Total PopulationNon-Hispanic whites>White, not Hispanic or Latino|15,763,625|42.3%Hispanic and Latino Americans>Hispanic or Latino (of any race)|14,013,719|37.6%Mexican Americans>Mexican|11,423,146|30.6%Salvadoran American>Salvadoran|573,956|1.5%Guatemalan Americans>Guatemalan|332,737|0.8%Puerto Ricans>Puerto Rican|189,945|0.5%Colombian Americans>Colombian|164,416|0.4%Spanish Americans>Spaniard|142,194|0.3%Nicaraguan Americans>Nicaraguan|100,790|0.2%Peruvian Americans>Peruvian|91,511|0.2%Cuban Americans>Cuban|88,607|0.2%Honduran Americans>Honduran|72,795|0.1%Argentine Americans>Argentinean|44,410|0.1%Ecuadorian Americans>Ecuadorian|35,750|0.09%Chilean Americans>Chilean|24,006|0.06%Costa Rican Americans>Costa Rican|22,469|0.06%Panamanian Americans>Panamanian|17,768|0.04%Bolivian Americans>Bolivian|13,351|0.03%Dominican Americans>Dominican|11,455|0.03%Venezuelan Americans>Venezuelan|11,100|0.02%Uruguayan Americans>Uruguayan|4,110|0.01%Paraguayan Americans>Paraguayan|1,228|0.003%Asian Americans>Asian|5,556,592|14.9%Filipino Americans>Filipino|1,474,707|3.9%Chinese Americans>Chinese (except Taiwanese)|1,349,111|3.6%Vietnamese Americans>Vietnamese|647,589|1.7%Indian Americans>Indian|590,445|1.5%Korean Americans>Korean|505,225|1.3%Japanese Americans>Japanese|428,014|1.1%Okinawan people>Okinawan|1,377|0.003%Taiwanese Americans>Taiwanese|109,928|0.2%Cambodian Americans>Cambodian|102,317|0.2%Hmong Americans>Hmong|91,224|0.2%Laotian Americans>Laotian|69,303|0.2%Thai Americans>Thai|67,707|0.1%Pakistani Americans>Pakistani|53,474|0.1%Indonesian Americans>Indonesian|39,506|0.1%Sri Lankan Americans>Sri Lankan|11,929|0.03%Bangladeshi Americans>Bangladeshi|10,494|0.02%Nepalese Americans>Nepalese|6,231|0.01%Malaysian Americans>Malaysian|5,595|0.01%Mongolian Americans>Mongolian|4,993|0.01%Singaporean Americans>Singaporean|1,513|0.004%Black Americans>Black or African American|2,683,914|7.2%Multiracial American>Multiracial (two or more races)|1,815,384|4.8%Native Americans in the United States>American Indian and Alaska Native|723,225|1.9%Native Hawaiians>Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander|286,145|0.7%Polynesians>Polynesian|157,104|0.4%Native Hawaiians>Native Hawaiian|74,932|0.2%Samoan Americans>Samoan|60,876|0.1%Tongan Americans>Tongan|22,893|0.06%Micronesian Americans>Micronesian|49,197|0.1%Chamorro people>Guamanian or Chamorro|44,425|0.1%Melanesians>Melanesian|24,203|0.06%Fijian Americans>Fijian|24,059|0.06%|Total|37,253,956|100%{{col-end}} Non-English Languages Spoken in California by more than 100,000 persons">

Languages{|class"wikitable sortable mw-collapsible mw-collapsed" style"margin-left:1em; float:right"|+ Non-English Languages Spoken in California by more than 100,000 persons

! Language !! Population({{as of|2016|lc=y}})WEB,weblink California, Modern Language Association, August 11, 2013, Spanish language>Spanish|10,672,610 speakersChinese language>Chinese|1,231,425Tagalog language>Tagalog|796,451Vietnamese language>Vietnamese|559,932Korean language>Korean|367,523Persian language>Persian|203,770Armenian language>Armenian|192,980Arabic language>Arabic|191,954Hindi language>Hindi|189,646Russian language>Russian|155,746Punjabi language>Punjabi|140,128Japanese language>Japanese|139,430French language>French|123,956English serves as California's de jure and de facto official language. In 2010, the Modern Language Association of America estimated that 57.02% (19,429,309) of California residents age 5 and older spoke only English at home, while 42.98% spoke another primary language at home. According to the 2007 American Community Survey, 73% of people who speak a language other than English at home are able to speak English well or very well, with 9.8% not speaking English at all.WEB,weblink Language Use in the United States: 2007, Hyon B. Shin, Robert A. Kominski, April 2010,, U.S. Census Bureau, May 27, 2013, Like most U.S. states (32 out of 50), California law enshrines English as its official language, and has done so since the passage of Proposition 63 by California voters. Various government agencies do, and are often required to, furnish documents in the various languages needed to reach their intended audiences.WEB, What other languages is the written or audio test available inDriver License and Identification (ID) Card Information, California Department of Motor Vehicles,, WEB, Wesson, Herb, Herb Wesson, AB 800 Assembly Bill – Bill Analysis, 3, California State Assembly, In 1986, California voters amended the state constitution to provide that the: The {{sic, Legislature and officials of the State of California shall take all steps necessary to insure that the role of English as the common language of the State of California is preserved and enhanced. The Legislature shall make no law which diminishes or ignores the role of English as the common language of California. |date=July 17, 2001 |url=weblink |access-date=December 27, 2009 |url-status=dead |archive-url=weblink" title="">weblink |archive-date=November 23, 2010}}NEWS, Hull, Dana, English already is 'official' in California, San Jose Mercury News, May 20, 2006, In total, 16 languages other than English were spoken as primary languages at home by more than 100,000 persons, more than any other state in the nation. New York State, in second place, had 9 languages other than English spoken by more than 100,000 persons.WEB, MLA Data Center,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, June 19, 2006, August 10, 2013, The most common language spoken besides English was Spanish, spoken by 28.46% (9,696,638) of the population. With Asia contributing most of California's new immigrants, California had the highest concentration nationwide of Vietnamese and Chinese speakers, the second highest concentration of Korean, and the third highest concentration of Tagalog speakers.California has historically been one of the most linguistically diverse areas in the world, with more than 70 indigenous languages derived from 64 root languages in 6 language families.MAP
, Coyote Press
, Native Tribes, Groups, Language Families and Dialects of California in 1770
, 1966
, December 27, 2009, MAP
, California State Parks
, California Indians Root Languages and Tribal Groups
,weblink 1994
, December 27, 2009, A survey conducted between 2007 and 2009 identified 23 different indigenous languages of Mexico that are spoken among California farmworkers.WEB
, Indigenous Farmworker Study – Indigenous Mexicans in California Agriculture. Section V. Language and Culture
, 2013
, July 1, 2013
, All of California's indigenous languages are endangered, although there are now efforts toward language revitalization.The following are a list of the indigenous languages: Root languages of California: Athabaskan Family: Hupa, Mattole, Lassik, Wailaki, Sinkyone, Cahto, Tolowa, Nongatl, Wiyot, Chilula; Hokan Family: Pomo, Shasta, Karok, Chimiriko; Algonquian Family: Whilkut, Yurok; Yukian Family: Wappo; Penutian Family: Modok, Wintu, Nomlaki, Konkow, Maidu, Patwin, Nisenan, Miwok, Coast Miwok, Lake Miwok, Ohlone, Northern Valley Yokuts, Southern Valley Yokuts, Foothill Yokuts; Hokan Family: Esselen, Salinan, Chumash, Ipai, Tipai, Yuma, Halchichoma, Mohave; Uto-Aztecan Family: Mono Paiute, Monache, Owens Valley Paiute, Tubatulabal, Panamint Shoshone, Kawaisu, Kitanemuk, Tataviam, Gabrielino, Juaneno, Luiseno, Cuipeno, Cahuilla, Serrano, ChemehueviAs a result of the state's increasing diversity and migration from other areas across the country and around the globe, linguists began noticing a noteworthy set of emerging characteristics of spoken American English in California since the late 20th century. This variety, known as California English, has a vowel shift and several other phonological processes that are different from varieties of AmericanEnglish used in other regions of the United States.JOURNAL, Bucholtz, Mary, et all, Hella Nor Cal or Totally So Cal?: The Perceptual Dialectology of California, Journal of English Linguistics, December 2007, 35, 4, 325–352, 10.1177/0075424207307780,weblink November 4, 2010,,


File:Hollywood Sign (Zuschnitt).jpg|upright=0.8|thumb|The Hollywood SignHollywood SignFile:Venice_Sunset_by_Gustavo_Gerdel.jpg|thumb|right|Sunset at Venice BeachVenice BeachThe culture of California is a Western culture and most clearly has its modern roots in the culture of the United States, but also, historically, many Hispanic Californio and Mexican influences. As a border and coastal state, Californian culture has been greatly influenced by several large immigrant populations, especially those from Latin America and Asia.WEB, Park, Bborie, A World of Opportunity – Which New Languages Davis Students Would Like to Study and Why, UC Davis Student Affairs Research and Information, December 2003,weblink December 27, 2009,weblink" title="">weblink June 11, 2010, dead, {{Failed verification|date=March 2015}}California has long been a subject of interest in the public mind and has often been promoted by its boosters as a kind of paradise. In the early 20th century, fueled by the efforts of state and local boosters, many Americans saw the Golden State as an ideal resort destination, sunny and dry all year round with easy access to the ocean and mountains. In the 1960s, popular music groups such as The Beach Boys promoted the image of Californians as laid-back, tanned beach-goers.The California Gold Rush of the 1850s is still seen as a symbol of California's economic style, which tends to generate technology, social, entertainment, and economic fads and booms and related busts.


{{bar box|title=Religion in California (2014)left1=religion float=right|bars={{bar percent|Protestantism|dodgerblue|32}}{{bar percent|Roman Catholicism|purple|28}}{{bar percent|No religion|black|27}}{{bar percent|Judaism|blue|2}}{{bar percent|Buddhism|yellow|2}}{{bar percent|Hinduism|orange|2}}{{bar percent|Islam|green|1}}{{bar percent|Mormonism|pink|1}}{{bar percent|Other|grey|5}}}}File:San-diego-mission-chuch.JPG|thumb|Mission San Diego de Alcalá, one of the first Spanish missions in CaliforniaSpanish missions in CaliforniaThe largest religious denominations by number of adherents as a percentage of California's population in 2014 were the Catholic Church with 28 percent, Evangelical Protestants with 20 percent, and Mainline Protestants with 10 percent. Together, all kinds of Protestants accounted for 32 percent. Those unaffiliated with any religion represented 27 percent of the population. The breakdown of other religions is 1% Muslim, 2% Hindu and 2% Buddhist.WEB,weblink America's Changing Religious Landscape, Appendix D: Detailed Tables, May 12, 2015, Pew Research Center, June 5, 2015, This is a change from 2008, when the population identified their religion with the Catholic Church with 31 percent; Evangelical Protestants with 18 percent; and Mainline Protestants with 14 percent. In 2008, those unaffiliated with any religion represented 21 percent of the population. The breakdown of other religions in 2008 was 0.5% Muslim, 1% Hindu and 2% Buddhist.WEB, Religious Affiliation by State in the U.S,weblink U.S Religious Landscape Study, Pew Research Center, June 24, 2010, 103, The American Jewish Year Book placed the total Jewish population of California at about 1,194,190 in 2006.Ira M. Sheskin and Arnold Dashefsky, "Jewish Population of the United States, 2006", American Jewish Year Book 2006, Volume 106 weblink According to the Association of Religion Data Archives (ARDA) the largest denominations by adherents in 2010 were the Roman Catholic Church with 10,233,334; The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with 763,818; and the Southern Baptist Convention with 489,953.WEB,weblink The Association of Religion Data Archives | State Membership Report,, December 16, 2013, The first priests to come to California were Roman Catholic missionaries from Spain. Roman Catholics founded 21 missions along the California coast, as well as the cities of Los Angeles and San Francisco. California continues to have a large Roman Catholic population due to the large numbers of Mexicans and Central Americans living within its borders. California has twelve dioceses and two archdioceses, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and the Archdiocese of San Francisco, the former being the largest archdiocese in the United States.A Pew Research Center survey revealed that California is somewhat less religious than the rest of the US: 62 percent of Californians say they are "absolutely certain" of their belief in God, while in the nation 71 percent say so. The survey also revealed 48 percent of Californians say religion is "very important", compared to 56 percent nationally.NEWS, Helfand, Duke, State has a relaxed view on religion – Survey finds Californians are less certain about the existence of God than others in the U.S, Los Angeles Times, June 24, 2008,weblink December 27, 2009,


California has twenty major professional sports league franchises, far more than any other state. The San Francisco Bay Area has seven major league teams spread in its three major cities: San Francisco, San Jose, and Oakland, while the Greater Los Angeles Area is home to ten major league franchises. San Diego and Sacramento each have one major league team. The NFL Super Bowl has been hosted in California 11 times at four different stadiums: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, the Rose Bowl, Stanford Stadium, and San Diego's Qualcomm Stadium. A twelfth, Super Bowl 50, was held at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara on February 7, 2016.WEB, Naranjo, Candice, The Super Bowl is Coming to Levi's Stadium in 2016,weblink KRON 4, March 28, 2014,weblink" title="">weblink March 29, 2014, dead, California has long had many respected collegiate sports programs. California is home to the oldest college bowl game, the annual Rose Bowl, among others.California is the only U.S. state to have hosted both the Summer and Winter Olympics. The 1932 and 1984 Summer Olympics were held in Los Angeles. Squaw Valley Ski Resort in the Lake Tahoe region hosted the 1960 Winter Olympics. Los Angeles will host the 2028 Summer Olympics, marking the fourth time California hosts the Olympic Games.NEWS,weblink Los Angeles Makes Deal to Host the 2028 Summer Olympics, Nagourney, Adam, Adam Nagourney, Longman, Jeré, July 31, 2017,weblink August 2, 2017, live, The New York Times, Multiple games during the 1994 FIFA World Cup took place in California, with the Rose Bowl hosting eight matches including the final, while Stanford Stadium hosted six matches.File:LA Coliseum gate.jpg|right|thumb|upright|Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum hosted the Olympic Games in 1932 and 1984.]]Below is a list of major league sports teams in California:{|class="wikitable sortable"! Team! Sport! League|Los Angeles Rams|American football|National Football League (NFL)|Oakland Raiders|American football|National Football League|Los Angeles Chargers|American football|National Football League|San Francisco 49ers|American football|National Football League|Los Angeles Dodgers|Baseball|Major League Baseball (MLB)|Los Angeles Angels|Baseball|Major League Baseball|Oakland Athletics|Baseball|Major League Baseball|San Diego Padres|Baseball|Major League Baseball|San Francisco Giants|Baseball|Major League Baseball|Golden State Warriors|Basketball|National Basketball Association (NBA)|Los Angeles Clippers|Basketball|National Basketball Association|Los Angeles Lakers|Basketball|National Basketball Association|Sacramento Kings|Basketball|National Basketball Association|Los Angeles Sparks|Basketball|Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA)|Anaheim Ducks|Ice hockey|National Hockey League (NHL)|Los Angeles Kings|Ice hockey|National Hockey League|San Jose Sharks|Ice hockey|National Hockey League|Los Angeles GalaxyAssociation football>Soccer|Major League Soccer (MLS)|San Jose Earthquakes|Soccer|Major League Soccer|Los Angeles Football Club|Soccer|Major League Soccer


{{See also|List of colleges and universities in California}}File:THS facade.jpg|thumb|Torrance High SchoolTorrance High SchoolPublic secondary education consists of high schools that teach elective courses in trades, languages, and liberal arts with tracks for gifted, college-bound and industrial arts students. California's public educational system is supported by a unique constitutional amendment that requires a minimum annual funding level for grades K–12 and community colleges that grow with the economy and student enrollment figures.WEB, Proposition 98 Primer,, California Legislative Analyst's Office, February 2005,weblink January 29, 2010, In 2016, California's K–12 public school per-pupil spending was ranked 22nd in the nation ($11,500 per student vs. $11,800 for the US average).MAGAZINE,weblink Education Spending Per Student by State, Governing (magazine), Governing, June 1, 2018, July 18, 2018,weblink" title="">weblink July 2, 2018, live, NOTE: Adult education, community services and other nonelementary-secondary program expenditures are excluded., For 2012, California's K–12 public schools ranked 48th in the number of employees per student, at 0.102 (the US average was 0.137), while paying the 7th most per employee, $49,000 (the US average was $39,000).WEB,weblink What Everyone Should Know about Their State's Budget, Gordon, Tracy, Iselin, John, Urban Institute, January 1, 2017, July 16, 2018, This chart includes two places, District of Columbia, and the US average, so the number rankings rank 52 total entities; this needs to be understood when viewing these rankings., WEB,weblink What Everyone Should Know about Their State's Budget, Gordon, Tracy, Iselin, John, Urban Institute, January 1, 2017, July 16, 2018,weblink" title="">weblink February 2, 2017, live, 7, For state and local government spending, we rely primarily on the US Census Bureau's Census of Governments Annual Survey of State and Local Government Finances for fiscal year 2012, as revised and released on October 23, 2015.1 For state and local government employment and payroll, we draw from the US Census Bureau's Census of Governments Government Employment and Payroll survey for full-time equivalent employees in March 2012., NEWS,weblink Why do Californians pay more state and local taxes than Texans?, Woolfolk, John, The Mercury News, San Jose Mercury News, January 15, 2018, July 16, 2018,weblink February 8, 2018, live, California spending per resident on K-12 schools was about average among the states, but while teacher pay was among the highest, the state trailed others in teachers and support staff per student., A 2007 study concluded that California's public school system was "broken" in that it suffered from over-regulation.NEWS, Marshall, Carolyn,weblink Report Says Public Schools in California Are 'Broken' – New York Times, California, The New York Times, March 16, 2007, August 23, 2011, California's public postsecondary education offers three separate systems:
  • The research university system in the state is the University of California (UC), a public university system. As of fall 2011, the University of California had a combined student body of 234,464 students.WEB,weblink Log In - Confluence,, There are ten general UC campuses, and a number of specialized campuses in the UC system, as the UC San Francisco, which is entirely dedicated to graduate education in health care, and is home to the UCSF Medical Center, the highest ranked hospital in California.MAGAZINE, America's Best Hospitals 2007, U.S. News & World Report, July 15, 2007,weblink July 15, 2007,weblink" title="">weblink July 11, 2007, The system was originally intended to accept the top one-eighth of California high school students, but several of the schools have become even more selective.WEB,weblink 85,000 students seek admission to Berkeley's 2017–18 freshman class, Gilmore, Janet, December 19, 2016, Berkeley News, May 8, 2017, WEB,weblink UCLA breaks several records with 2017 freshman applications, Kendall, Rebecca, UCLA Newsroom, en, May 8, 2017, Powell, Farran. "California Students Face Competition for College Options." U.S. News & World Report. N.p., February 6, 2017. Web. May 7, 2017. The UC system was originally given exclusive authority in awarding PhDs, but this has since changed and the CSU is also able to award several Doctoral degrees.
  • The California State University (CSU) system has almost 430,000 students. The CSU was originally intended to accept the top one-third of California high school students, but several of the schools have become much more selective.WEB,weblink Rising number of rejections raises fears that Long Beach is becoming 'elite' university, EdSource, en, May 8, 2017, The CSU was originally set up to award only bachelor's and master's degrees, but has since been granted the authority to award several Doctoral degrees.
  • The California Community Colleges System provides lower division coursework as well as basic skills and workforce training. It is the largest network of higher education in the US, composed of 112 colleges serving a student population of over 2.6 million.
California is also home to such notable private universities as Stanford University, the University of Southern California, the California Institute of Technology, and the Claremont Colleges. California has hundreds of other private colleges and universities, including many religious and special-purpose institutions.

Twin region

California has a twinning arrangement with the region of Catalonia in SpainWEB,weblink Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 71, Senate Office of International Relations, and the Province of Alberta in Canada.WEB,weblink California's Sister State Relationships | Senate Office of International Relations,, September 30, 2018, WEB,weblink Archived copy, September 29, 2018,weblink" title="">weblink September 29, 2018, dead,


{{See also|California locations by per capita income}}(File:Tree Map of Occupations by Share in California (2014).png|thumb|A tree map depicting the distribution of occupations across the state of California)California's economy ranks among the largest in the world. {{as of|2018}}, the gross state product (GSP) was $3.0 trillion ($76,000 per capita), the largest in the United States.WEB,weblink GDP by State – U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA),, California is responsible for 1/7 of the United States' approximate $20 trillion gross domestic product (GDP).WEB,weblink Bureau of Economic Analysis, Analysis, US Department of Commerce, BEA, Bureau of Economic,, EN-US, May 18, 2018, {{as of|2018}}, California's nominal GDP is larger than all but 4 countries (the United States, China, Japan and Germany).Comparison between U.S. states and countries by GDP (nominal)WEB,weblink California Poised to Move Up in World Economy Rankings in 2013, Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy, July 2013, June 14, 2014, In terms of Purchasing Power Parity,WEB,weblink Calif. retains economy that would be 8th largest, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, December 2, 2010, September 2, 2012, it is larger than all but 8 countries (the United States, China, India, Japan, Germany, Russia, Brazil and Indonesia).WEB,weblink GDP, PPP (current international $), World Bank, International Comparison Program database, June 14, 2014, The five largest sectors of employment in California are trade, transportation, and utilities; government; professional and business services; education and health services; and leisure and hospitality. In output, the five largest sectors are financial services, followed by trade, transportation, and utilities; education and health services; government; and manufacturing.WEB,weblink 2011 CalFacts,, April 22, 2011, {{as of|2016|09}}, California has an unemployment rate of 5.5%.California's economy is dependent on trade and international related commerce accounts for about one-quarter of the state's economy. In 2008, California exported $144 billion worth of goods, up from $134 billion in 2007 and $127 billion in 2006.WEB, Trade Statistics, California Chamber of Commerce,weblink January 29, 2010, dead,weblink" title="">weblink February 9, 2010, Computers and electronic products are California's top export, accounting for 42 percent of all the state's exports in 2008.Agriculture is an important sector in California's economy. Farming-related sales more than quadrupled over the past three decades, from $7.3 billion in 1974 to nearly $31 billion in 2004.WEB, Cal Facts 2006 State Economy, Legislative Analyst's Office of California, August 6, 2007,weblink January 29, 2010, This increase has occurred despite a 15 percent decline in acreage devoted to farming during the period, and water supply suffering from chronic instability. Factors contributing to the growth in sales-per-acre include more intensive use of active farmlands and technological improvements in crop production. In 2008, California's 81,500 farms and ranches generated $36.2 billion products revenue.WEB,weblink California Agricultural Production Statistics 2009–2010, (California Department of Food and Agriculture), 2010, October 5, 2010, In 2011, that number grew to $43.5 billion products revenue.WEB,weblink California Agricultural Production Statistics 2011, (California Department of Food and Agriculture), 2013, May 18, 2013,
The Agriculture sector accounts for two percent of the state's GDP and employs around three percent of its total workforce.NEWS, Venton, Danielle, A Better Way for California to Water Its Farms,weblink Wired, June 5, 2015, June 5, 2015, According to the USDA in 2011, the three largest California agricultural products by value were milk and cream, shelled almonds, and grapes.WEB,weblink California Agricultural Statistics: 2011 Crop Year, Vic Tolomeo, Kelly Krug, Doug Flohr, Jason Gibson, October 31, 2012, National Agricultural Statistics Service, United States Department of Agriculture, July 1, 2013, dead,weblink" title="">weblink December 24, 2013,
Per capita GDP in 2007 was $38,956, ranking eleventh in the nation.PRESS RELEASE, State Personal Income 2006, Bureau of Economic Analysis, March 27, 2007,weblink January 29, 2010,weblink" title="">weblink July 4, 2007, dead, Per capita income varies widely by geographic region and profession. The Central Valley is the most impoverished, with migrant farm workers making less than minimum wage. According to a 2005 report by the Congressional Research Service, the San Joaquin Valley was characterized as one of the most economically depressed regions in the United States, on par with the region of Appalachia.WEB, Cowan, Tadlock, California's San Joaquin Valley: A Region in Transition, Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress, December 12, 2005, 2,weblink January 29, 2010, dead,weblink" title="">weblink March 24, 2009, California has a poverty rate of 23.5%, the highest of any state in the country.NEWS, Berlinger, Joshua, A New Poverty Calculation Yields Some Surprising Results, Business Insider,weblink November 12, 2012, October 7, 2013, However, that's using the supplemental poverty measure (SPM); when the poverty rate using the official measure was 13.3% as of 2017.WEB,weblink U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: United States,, en, 2019-08-02, Many coastal cities include some of the wealthiest per-capita areas in the United States. The high-technology sectors in Northern California, specifically Silicon Valley, in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties, have emerged from the economic downturn caused by the dot-com bust.In 2010, there were more than 663,000 millionaires in the state, more than any other state in the nation.NEWS, Walter, Scott, Personality Parade, Parade Magazine, 2, May 2, 2010, In 2010, California residents were ranked first among the states with the best average credit score of 754.WEB,weblink States With the Best Credit Scores, Daniel, Bukszpan, March 29, 2012,, File:California GDP by sector 2017.png |California GDP by sector in 2017WEB,weblink SAGDP2N Gross domestic product (GDP) by state, Bureau of Economic Analysis, 21 Dec 2018, File:USA-World Nominal GDP.PNG |Had California been an independent country in 2018 its gross domestic product would have been ranked fifth in the world.WEB,weblink Archived copy, December 15, 2018,weblink March 23, 2019, dead,

State finances

File:California economic regions map (labeled and colored).svg|thumb|Economic regions of CaliforniaEconomic regions of CaliforniaState spending increased from $56 billion in 1998 to $127 billion in 2011.NEWS, Nunes, Devin, California's Gold Rush Has Been Reversed, The Wall Street Journal, A9, January 10, 2009,weblink January 29, 2010, "California's Brown proposes 'painful' budget cuts". Reuters. January 10, 2011. California, with 12% of the United States population, has one-third of the nation's welfare recipients.NEWS, California's Greek Tragedy, The Wall Street Journal, March 13, 2012,weblink NEWS, Del Beccaro, Thomas, August 19, 2014, California's Economic Collision Course: Immigration and Water,weblink Forbes, August 21, 2014, California has the third highest per capita spending on welfare among the states, as well as the highest spending on welfare at $6.67 billion.NEWS, Is California the welfare capital?: Delving into why California has such a disproportionate share of the nation's recipients, Michael Gardner,weblink U-T San Diego, July 28, 2012, August 6, 2012, In January 2011 the California's total debt was at least $265 billion."How much does California owe?". San Francisco Chronicle. January 19, 2011. On June 27, 2013, Governor Jerry Brown signed a balanced budget (no deficit) for the state, its first in decades; however the state's debt remains at $132 billion.Gov. Brown proudly signs balanced state budget. SFGate (June 27, 2013). Retrieved July 29, 2013.NEWS,weblink California's current debt load: $132 billion, With the passage of Proposition 30 in 2012, California now levies a 13.3% maximum marginal income tax rate with ten tax brackets, ranging from 1% at the bottom tax bracket of $0 annual individual income to 13.3% for annual individual income over $1,000,000. California has a state sales tax of 7.5%, though local governments can and do levy additional sales taxes. Many of these taxes are temporary for a seven-year period (as stipulated in Proposition 30) and afterwards will revert to a previous maximum marginal income tax bracket of 10.3% and state sales tax rate of 7.25%.WEB, California Proposition 30, Sales and Income Tax Increase (2012), Ballotpedia,weblink January 16, 2013, All real property is taxable annually; the tax is based on the property's fair market value at the time of purchase or new construction. Property tax increases are capped at 2% annually, per Proposition 13.



File:Moss Landing Power Plant p1270026.jpg|thumb|Moss Landing Power PlantMoss Landing Power PlantFile:Solar Plant kl.jpg|thumb |Part of the 354 MW SEGS solar complex in northern San Bernardino County, CaliforniaSan Bernardino County, CaliforniaBecause it is the most populous state in the United States, California is one of the country's largest users of energy. However because of its high energy rates, conservation mandates, mild weather in the largest population centers and strong environmental movement, its per capita energy use is one of the smallest of any state in the United States.NEWS, Mufson, Steven, In Energy Conservation, Calif. Sees Light, The Washington Post, February 17, 2007,weblink February 28, 2010, Due to the high electricity demand, California imports more electricity than any other state, primarily hydroelectric power from states in the Pacific Northwest (via Path 15 and Path 66) and coal- and natural gas-fired production from the desert Southwest via Path 46.WEB,weblink California – U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA),, October 20, 2011, October 28, 2011,weblink" title="">weblink December 29, 2010, dead, As a result of the state's strong environmental movement, California has some of the most aggressive renewable energy goals in the United States, with a target for California to obtain a third of its electricity from renewables by 2020.California OKs new transmission for renewables Reuters, December 17, 2009. Currently, several solar power plants such as the Solar Energy Generating Systems facility are located in the Mojave Desert. California's wind farms include Altamont Pass, San Gorgonio Pass, and Tehachapi Pass. Several dams across the state provide hydro-electric power. It would be possible to convert the total supply to 100% renewable energy, including heating, cooling and mobility, by 2050.Mark Z. Jacobson et al.: A roadmap for repowering California for all purposes with wind, water, and sunlight. In: Energy 73 (2014), 875–889, {{DOI|10.1016/}}.The state's crude oil and natural gas deposits are located in the Central Valley and along the coast, including the large Midway-Sunset Oil Field. Natural gas-fired power plants typically account for more than one-half of state electricity generation.California is also home to two major nuclear power plants: Diablo Canyon and San Onofre, the latter having been shut down in 2013. Voters banned the approval of new nuclear power plants since the late 1970s because of concerns over radioactive waste disposal.NEWS, Doyle, Jim, Nuclear power industry sees opening for revival, San Francisco Chronicle, A-1, Hearst Communications, March 9, 2009,weblink January 29, 2010, {{refn|Minnesota also has a moratorium on construction of nuclear power plants, which has been in place since 1994.NEWS, Brunswick, Mark, Minnesota House says no to new nuclear power plants, Star Tribune, Minnesota, Chris Harte, April 30, 2009,weblink January 29, 2010, dead,weblink" title="">weblink October 16, 2012, |group="note"}} In addition, several cities such as Oakland, Berkeley and Davis have declared themselves as nuclear-free zones.


File:Golden Gate Bridge as seen from Battery East.jpg|thumb|right|The Golden Gate BridgeGolden Gate BridgeFile:Glendalefreeway.jpg|thumb|right|Caltrans builds tall "stack" interchanges with soaring ramps that offer impressive views]]California's vast terrain is connected by an extensive system of controlled-access highways ('freeways'), limited-access roads ('expressways'), and highways. California is known for its car culture, giving California's cities a reputation for severe traffic congestion. Construction and maintenance of state roads and statewide transportation planning are primarily the responsibility of the California Department of Transportation, nicknamed "Caltrans". The rapidly growing population of the state is straining all of its transportation networks, and California has some of the worst roads in the United States.WEB, Mieszkowski, Katharine,weblink California Is Tops in Worst Roads – Pulse of the Bay, The Bay Citizen, September 2, 2010, April 22, 2011, NEWS,weblink The Economist, A bridge too far gone, August 9, 2007, The Reason Foundation's 19th Annual Report on the Performance of State Highway Systems ranked California's highways the third-worst of any state, with Alaska second, and Rhode Island first.WEB,weblink 19th Annual Report on the Performance of State Highway Systems (1984–2008),, The state has been a pioneer in road construction. One of the state's more visible landmarks, the Golden Gate Bridge, was the longest suspension bridge main span in the world at {{convert|4200|ft|m}} between 1937 (when it opened) and 1964. With its orange paint and panoramic views of the bay, this highway bridge is a popular tourist attraction and also accommodates pedestrians and bicyclists. The San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge (often abbreviated the "Bay Bridge"), completed in 1936, transports about 280,000 vehicles per day on two-decks. Its two sections meet at Yerba Buena Island through the world's largest diameter transportation bore tunnel, at {{convert|76|ft}} wide by {{convert|58|ft}} high.WEB,weblink The San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge Facts at a glance, California Department of Transportation, April 5, 2012, The Arroyo Seco Parkway, connecting Los Angeles and Pasadena, opened in 1940 as the first freeway in the Western United States.NEWS, Pool, Bob, Pasadena Freeway getting a new look and a new name, Los Angeles Times, June 25, 2010,weblink April 5, 2012, It was later extended south to the Four Level Interchange in downtown Los Angeles, regarded as the first stack interchange ever built.WEB,weblink L.A.'s Famous Four-Level Freeway Interchange, 'The Stack,' Turns 58, KCET, September 22, 2011, April 5, 2012, Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), the 6th busiest airport in the world, and San Francisco International Airport (SFO), the 23rd busiest airport in the world, are major hubs for trans-Pacific and transcontinental traffic. There are about a dozen important commercial airports and many more general aviation airports throughout the state.California also has several important seaports. The giant seaport complex formed by the Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach in Southern California is the largest in the country and responsible for handling about a fourth of all container cargo traffic in the United States. The Port of Oakland, fourth largest in the nation, also handles trade entering from the Pacific Rim to the rest of the country. The Port of Stockton is the farthest inland port on the west coast of the United States.NEWS, July 18, 2005, Steve, Chawkins, Stockton Seeking to Capture Battleship,weblink Los Angeles Times, October 7, 2016, The California Highway Patrol is the largest statewide police agency in the United States in employment with over 10,000 employees. They are responsible for providing any police-sanctioned service to anyone on California's state-maintained highways and on state property.The California Department of Motor Vehicles is by far the largest in North America. By the end of 2009, the California DMV had 26,555,006 driver's licenses and ID cards on file.WEB, State of California – Department of Motor Vehicles, Statistics for Publication, January Through December 2010,weblink February 13, 2011, dead,weblink" title="">weblink April 29, 2011, In 2010, there were 1.17 million new vehicle registrations in force.WEB,weblink California new-car sales up 13.1 percent in 2010, San Jose Mercury News, April 22, 2011, Inter-city rail travel is provided by Amtrak California; the three routes, the Capitol Corridor, Pacific Surfliner, and San Joaquin, are funded by Caltrans. These services are the busiest intercity rail lines in the United States outside the Northeast Corridor and ridership is continuing to set records. The routes are becoming increasingly popular over flying, especially on the LAX-SFO route.NEWS,weblink The San Francisco Chronicle, Michael, Cabanatuan, Calif. Amtrak ridership rising on state trains, January 8, 2011, Integrated subway and light rail networks are found in Los Angeles (Metro Rail) and San Francisco (MUNI Metro). Light rail systems are also found in San Jose (VTA), San Diego (San Diego Trolley), Sacramento (RT Light Rail), and Northern San Diego County (Sprinter). Furthermore, commuter rail networks serve the San Francisco Bay Area (ACE, BART, Caltrain, SMART), Greater Los Angeles (Metrolink), and San Diego County (Coaster).The California High-Speed Rail Authority was created in 1996 by the state to implement an extensive {{convert|800|mi|km|adj=on}} rail system. Construction was approved by the voters during the November 2008 general election,NEWS,weblink The San Francisco Chronicle, Michael, Cabanatuan, Plan for high-speed rail system released, August 17, 2010, with the first phase of construction estimated to cost $64.2 billion.WEB, 2016 Draft Business Plan,weblink, California High Speed Rail, July 19, 2017, Nearly all counties operate bus lines, and many cities operate their own city bus lines as well. Intercity bus travel is provided by Greyhound, Megabus, and Amtrak Thruway Motorcoach.


File:Kluft-Photo-Aerial-I205-California-Aqueduct-Img 0038.jpg|thumb|right|An aerial view of the Delta–Mendota Canal (left) and the California Aqueduct (right), at the Interstate 205 crossing west of Tracy, conveying water from Northern to Southern California]]California's interconnected water system is the world's largest, managing over {{convert|40000000|acre.ft|km3|lk=in}} of water per year, centered on six main systems of aqueducts and infrastructure projects.Hundley, N. (2001). The great thirst: Californians and water. Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press. Water use and conservation in California is a politically divisive issue, as the state experiences periodic droughts and has to balance the demands of its large agricultural and urban sectors, especially in the arid southern portion of the state. The state's widespread redistribution of water also invites the frequent scorn of environmentalists.The California Water Wars, a conflict between Los Angeles and the Owens Valley over water rights, is one of the most well-known examples of the struggle to secure adequate water supplies.BOOK, Reisner, Marc, Cadillac Desert: The American West and its Disappearing Water, Penguin, 1993, Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said: "We've been in crisis for quite some time because we're now 38 million people and not anymore 18 million people like we were in the late 60s. So it developed into a battle between environmentalists and farmers and between the south and the north and between rural and urban. And everyone has been fighting for the last four decades about water.""Why California Is Running Dry". CBS News. December 27, 2009.

Government and politics

State government

File:Sacramento,-California---State-Capitol.jpg|thumb|The California State Capitol in Sacramento, which has served as California's capital since 1854]]File:AB 60 Signing Ceremony (10073731574).jpg|thumb|Democrats Jerry Brown and Eric GarcettiEric GarcettiThe capital of California is located within Sacramento.WEB,weblink § 2 of Article III of the California Constitution, California Office of Legislative Counsel, {{date, 2019-03-05, }}The state is organized into three branches of government – the executive branch consisting of the GovernorWEB,weblink § 1 of Article V of the California Constitution, California Office of Legislative Counsel, {{date, 2019-03-05, }} and the other independently elected constitutional officers; the legislative branch consisting of the Assembly and Senate;WEB,weblink § 1 of Article IV of the California Constitution, California Office of Legislative Counsel, {{date, 2019-03-05, }} and the judicial branch consisting of the Supreme Court of California and lower courts.WEB,weblink § 1 of Article VI of the California Constitution, California Office of Legislative Counsel, {{date, 2019-03-05, }} The state also allows ballot propositions: direct participation of the electorate by initiative, referendum, recall, and ratification.WEB,weblink Article II of the California Constitution, California Office of Legislative Counsel, {{date, 2019-03-05, }} Before the passage of California Proposition 14 (2010), California allowed each political party to choose whether to have a closed primary or a primary where only party members and independents vote. After June 8, 2010, when Proposition 14 was approved, excepting only the United States President and county central committee offices,WEB, Bowen, Debra, Voter-Nominated Offices Information,weblink California Secretary of State, March 16, 2014, dead,weblink" title="">weblink December 24, 2013, all candidates in the primary elections are listed on the ballot with their preferred party affiliation, but they are not the official nominee of that party.WEB, Bowen, Debra, Voter-Nominated Offices Information,weblink California Secretary of State, March 16, 2014, dead,weblink" title="">weblink June 26, 2014, At the primary election, the two candidates with the top votes will advance to the general election regardless of party affiliation. If at a special primary election, one candidate receives more than 50% of all the votes cast, they are elected to fill the vacancy and no special general election will be held.

Executive branch

The California executive branch consists of the Governor of California and seven other elected constitutional officers: Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, State Controller, State Treasurer, Insurance Commissioner, and State Superintendent of Public Instruction. They serve four-year terms and may be re-elected only once.WEB, Article V of the California Constitution,weblink California Office of Legislative Counsel, {{date, 2019-03-06, MDY, }}

Legislative branch

The California State Legislature consists of a 40-member Senate and 80-member Assembly. Senators serve four-year terms and Assembly members two. Members of the Assembly are subject to term limits of three terms, and members of the Senate are subject to term limits of two terms.

Judicial branch

California's legal system is explicitly based upon English common lawWEB,weblink California Civil Code § 22.2, California Office of Legislative Counsel, {{date, 2019-03-06, MDY, }} (as is the case with all other states except Louisiana) but carries a few features from Spanish civil law, such as community property. California's prison population grew from 25,000 in 1980 to over 170,000 in 2007.NEWS, Thompson, Don, Calif. Struggles with sentencing reform, USA Today, December 8, 2007,weblink January 29, 2010, Capital punishment is a legal form of punishment and the state has the largest "Death Row" population in the country (though Oklahoma and Texas are far more active in carrying out executions).WEB,weblink Death Row Inmates by State and Size of Death Row by Year {{!, Death Penalty Information Center||language=en|access-date=May 8, 2017}}WEB,weblink State Execution Rates {{!, Death Penalty Information Center||language=en|access-date=May 8, 2017}}California's judiciary system is the largest in the United States (with a total of 1,600 judges, while the federal system has only about 840). At the apex is the seven Justices of the Supreme Court of California, while the California Courts of Appeal serve as the primary appellate courts and the California Superior Courts serve as the primary trial courts. Justices of the Supreme Court and Courts of Appeal are appointed by the Governor, but are subject to retention by the electorate every 12 years. The administration of the state's court system is controlled by the Judicial Council, composed of the Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court, 14 judicial officers, four representatives from the State Bar of California, and one member from each house of the state legislature.

Local government


{{See also|List of counties in California}}California is divided into 58 counties. Per Article 11, Section 1, of the Constitution of California, they are the legal subdivisions of the state. The county government provides countywide services such as law enforcement, jails, elections and voter registration, vital records, property assessment and records, tax collection, public health, health care, social services, libraries, flood control, fire protection, animal control, agricultural regulations, building inspections, ambulance services, and education departments in charge of maintaining statewide standards.BOOK, When Government Fails: The Orange County Bankruptcy, Mark, Baldassare, 1998, 67–68, Public Policy Institute of California/University of California Press, 978-0-520-21486-6, 97032806, {{google books, y, sDs4WZV0SRsC, 67, |ref=harv}}BOOK, Democracy in California: Politics and Government in the Golden State, Brian P., Janiskee, Ken, Masugi, 2011, 3rd, 105, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 978-1-4422-0338-9, 2011007585, {{google books, y, 23Y3Nxs0qWgC, 105, }} In addition, the county serves as the local government for all unincorporated areas. Each county is governed by an elected board of supervisors.{{sfn|Baldassare|1998|p=50}}

City and town governments

Incorporated cities and towns in California are either charter or general-law municipalities. General-law municipalities owe their existence to state law and are consequently governed by it; charter municipalities are governed by their own city or town charters. Municipalities incorporated in the 19th century tend to be charter municipalities. All ten of the state's most populous cities are charter cities. Most small cities have a council-manager form of government, where the elected city council appoints a city manager to supervise the operations of the city. Some larger cities have a directly-elected mayor who oversees the city government. In many council-manager cities, the city council selects one of its members as a mayor, sometimes rotating through the council membership—but this type of mayoral position is primarily ceremonial.The Government of San Francisco is the only consolidated city-county in California, where both the city and county governments have been merged into one unified jurisdiction. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors also acts as the city council and the Mayor of San Francisco also serves as the county administrative officer.{{citation needed|date=September 2019}}

School districts and special districts

{{see also|List of school districts in California}}About 1,102 school districts, independent of cities and counties, handle California's public education. California school districts may be organized as elementary districts, high school districts, unified school districts combining elementary and high school grades, or community college districts.{{citation|title=Individual State Descriptions: 2007|pages=25–26|series=2007 Census of Governments|date=November 2012|publisher=United States Census Bureau|url=weblink|ref={{harvid|Census|2007}}}}There are about 3,400 special districts in California.BOOK, What's So Special About Special Districts? A Citizen's Guide to Special Districts in California, Kimia, Mizany, April, Manatt, California Senate Local Government Committee, 3,weblink A special district, defined by California Government Code § 16271(d) as "any agency of the state for the local performance of governmental or proprietary functions within limited boundaries", provides a limited range of services within a defined geographic area. The geographic area of a special district can spread across multiple cities or counties, or could consist of only a portion of one. Most of California's special districts are single-purpose districts, and provide one service.

Federal representation

{{See also |California's congressional districts}}The state of California sends 53 members to the House of Representatives,WEB,weblink Directory of Representatives,, March 25, 2014, the nation's largest congressional state delegation. Consequently California also has the largest number of electoral votes in national presidential elections, with 55. California's U.S. Senators are Dianne Feinstein, a native and former mayor of San Francisco, and Kamala Harris, a native, former District Attorney from San Francisco and former Attorney General of California. In 1992, California became the first state to have a Senate delegation entirely composed of women. The current Speaker of the House of Representatives is the representative of California's 12th district, Nancy Pelosi;WEB,weblink California Senators, Representatives, and Congressional District Maps,, 2019-01-15, Kevin McCarthy, representing the state's 23rd district, is the House Minority Leader.

Armed forces

In California, {{as of|lc=y|2009}}, the U.S. Department of Defense had a total of 117,806 active duty servicemembers of which 88,370 were Sailors or Marines, 18,339 were Airmen, and 11,097 were Soldiers, with 61,365 Department of Defense civilian employees. Additionally, there were a total of 57,792 Reservists and Guardsman in California.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, October 17, 2011, Table 508. Military and Civilian Personnel in Installations: 2009, 2012, United States Census Bureau, United States Department of Commerce, June 15, 2013, In 2010, Los Angeles County was the largest origin of military recruits in the United States by county, with 1,437 individuals enlisting in the military.WEB,weblink Military recruitment 2010, June 30, 2011, National Priorities Project, June 15, 2013,
However, {{as of|2002|lc=y}}, Californians were relatively under-represented in the military as a proportion to its population.JOURNAL, Segal, David R., Segal, Mady Wechsler, 2004, America's Military Population, Population Bulletin, 59, 4, 10, 0032-468X,weblink June 15, 2013,
In 2000, California, had 2,569,340 veterans of United States military service: 504,010 served in World War II, 301,034 in the Korean War, 754,682 during the Vietnam War, and 278,003 during 1990–2000 (including the Persian Gulf War).WEB, California – Armed forces,,weblink December 26, 2009, {{as of|2010}}, there were 1,942,775 veterans living in California, of which 1,457,875 served during a period of armed conflict, and just over four thousand served before World War II (the largest population of this group of any state).WEB,weblink Table 7L: VETPOP2011 Living Veterans By State, Period of Service, Gender, 2010–2040, September 30, 2010, Veteran Population, Department of Veterans Affairs, June 15, 2013, California's military forces consist of the Army and Air National Guard, the naval and state military reserve (militia), and the California Cadet Corps.On August 5, 1950, a nuclear-capable United States Air Force Boeing B-29 Superfortress bomber carrying a Mark 4 nuclear bomb crashed shortly after takeoff from Fairfield-Suisun Air Force Base. Brigadier General Robert F. Travis, command pilot of the bomber, was among the dead.The Crash of the B-29 on Travis AFB, CA August 5, 1950,{{multiple image
|footer=United States Armed Forces in California. From left to right: Fort Irwin, Camp Pendleton, NAS North Island, Beale Air Force Base, and Coast Guard Island
|image1=Fort Irwin National Training Center - Welcome sign - 1.jpg
|alt1=Welcome sign at Fort Irwin National Training Center
|image2=Camp Pendleton front gate.jpg
|alt2=The main gate of Camp Pendleton
|image3=US Navy 100506-N-8421M-124 The aircraft carriers USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), USS Nimitz (CVN 68) and USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) are pierside at Naval Air Station North Island.jpg
|alt3=Carl Vinson, Nimitz and Ronald Reagan at North Island Naval Air Station
|alt4=Beale Air Force Base main gate
|image5=Coast Guard Island May 2009.jpg
|alt5=Coast Guard Island in the Oakland Estuary


{|class=wikitable style="float:right; margin-left:1em"! colspan=6 |California registered voters {{as of|2018|January|2|lc=y|df=US}}WEB,weblink pdf Report of Registration as of January 2, 2018 Registration by County, March 12, 2018, ! colspan=2 |Party! Number of Voters! Percentage(File:California party registration by county.svg|160px)Party registration by county(October 2018):{{legend|#becbff|2=Democrat >=30%}}{{legend|#a5b0ff|2=Democrat >=40%}}{{legend|#7996e2|2=Democrat >=50%}}{{legend|#ffc8cd|2=Republican >=30%}}{{legend|#ffb2b2|2=Republican >=40%}}{{party color|Democratic Party (United States)}}California Democratic Party>Democratic8,471,37144.6%{{party color|Republican Party (United States)}}California Republican Party>Republican4,827,97325.4%{{party color|Independent (United States)}}Independent politician (United States)>No Party Preference4,734,84725.0%{{party color|American Independent Party}}American Independent Party>American Independent503,9552.7%{{party color|Libertarian Party (United States)}}Libertarian Party of California>Libertarian140,0010.7%{{party color|Green Party (United States)}}Green Party of California>Green91,6310.5%{{party color|Peace and Freedom Party}}Peace and Freedom Party>Peace and Freedom75,0940.4%Other115,2050.6%! colspan=2 |Total! style="text-align:center;" |25,076,348! style="text-align:center;" |100%California has an idiosyncratic political culture compared to the rest of the country, and is sometimes regarded as a trendsetter.NEWS,weblink California Is a Political Trendsetter, October 30, 2006, February 22, 2011, CBS News, In socio-cultural mores and national politics, Californians are perceived as more liberal than other Americans, especially those who live in the inland states. As of the 2016 presidential election, California was the second most Democratic state behind Hawaii.WEB,weblink 2016 Presidential General Election Results, According to the Cook Political Report, California contains five of the 15 most Democratic congressional districts in the United States.Among the political idiosyncrasies and trendsetting, California was the second state to recall their state governor, the second state to legalize abortion, and the only state to ban marriage for gay couples twice by voters (including Proposition 8 in 2008). Voters also passed Proposition 71 in 2004 to fund stem cell research, and Proposition 14 in 2010 to completely change the state's primary election process. California has also experienced disputes over water rights; and a tax revolt, culminating with the passage of Proposition 13 in 1978, limiting state property taxes.The state's trend towards the Democratic Party and away from the Republican Party can be seen in state elections. From 1899 to 1939, California had Republican governors. Since 1990, California has generally elected Democratic candidates to federal, state and local offices, including current Governor Gavin Newsom; however, the state has elected Republican Governors, though many of its Republican Governors, such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, tend to be considered moderate Republicans and more centrist than the national party.The Democrats also now hold a supermajority in both houses of the state legislature. There are 60 Democrats and 20 Republicans in the Assembly; and 29 Democrats and 11 Republicans in the Senate.The trend towards the Democratic Party is most obvious in presidential elections. From 1960 to 1988, California was a Republican leaning state, with the party carrying the state's electoral votes in every election except for 1964. California Republicans Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan were elected as the 37th and the 40th U.S. Presidents, respectively. However, Democrats have won all of California's electoral votes since 1992.In the United States House, the Democrats held a 34–19 edge in the CA delegation of the 110th United States Congress in 2007. As the result of gerrymandering, the districts in California were usually dominated by one or the other party, and few districts were considered competitive. In 2008, Californians passed Proposition 20 to empower a 14-member independent citizen commission to redraw districts for both local politicians and Congress. After the 2012 elections, when the new system took effect, Democrats gained four seats and held a 38–15 majority in the delegation. Following the 2018 midterm House elections, Democrats won 46 out of 53 congressional house seats in California, leaving Republicans with seven.In general, Democratic strength is centered in the populous coastal regions of the Los Angeles metropolitan area and the San Francisco Bay Area. Republican strength is still greatest in eastern parts of the state. Orange County had remained largely Republican until the 2016 and 2018 elections, in which a majority of the county's votes were cast for Democratic candidates.WEB,weblink 2016 Presidential General Election,, 2016-11-10, NEWS,weblink RIP Republican Orange County, Thornton, Paul, November 10, 2018, Los Angeles Times, One study ranked Berkeley, Oakland, Inglewood and San Francisco in the top 20 most liberal American cities; and Bakersfield, Orange, Escondido, Garden Grove, and Simi Valley in the top 20 most conservative cities.WEB,weblink Bay Area Center for Voting Research, Study Ranks America's Most Liberal and Conservative Cities, August 16, 2005, February 20, 2011, dead,weblink" title="">weblink May 1, 2011, In October 2012, out of the 23,802,577 people eligible to vote, 18,245,970 people were registered to vote.WEB,weblink Voter Registration by County, October 22, 2012, Elections, California Secretary of State, January 12, 2013, dead,weblink" title="">weblink January 17, 2013, Of the people registered, the three largest registered groups were Democrats (7,966,422), Republicans (5,356,608), and Decline to State (3,820,545). Los Angeles County had the largest number of registered Democrats (2,430,612) and Republicans (1,037,031) of any county in the state.

See also






Works cited

  • BOOK, Saul Bernard, Cohen, Geopolitics of the World System, {{google books, y, QkMD8HKRlgoC, 115, |date=2003|publisher=Rowman & Littlefield|isbn=978-0-8476-9907-0|ref=harv}}
  • BOOK, Starr, Kevin, Kevin Starr, California: A History, Modern Library Chronicles, 23, 2007, Random House Digital, Inc., 978-0-8129-7753-0, harv,

Further reading

  • BOOK, Chartkoff, Joseph L., Chartkoff, Kerry Kona, 1984, The archaeology of California, Stanford, Stanford University Press, 978-0-8047-1157-9, 11351549,weblink
  • BOOK, Fagan, Brian, 2003, Before California: An archaeologist looks at our earliest inhabitants, Lanham, MD, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 978-0-7425-2794-2, 226025645,
  • BOOK, Hart, James D., 1978, A Companion to California, New York, NY, Oxford University Press, 978-0-19-502400-5,
  • Matthews, Glenna. The Golden State in the Civil War: Thomas Starr King, the Republican Party, and the Birth of Modern California. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2012.
  • BOOK, Moratto, Michael J., Fredrickson, David A., 1984, California archaeology, Orlando, Academic Press, 978-0-12-506182-7, 228668979,
  • BOOK, Newmark, Harris, 1916, Sixty Years in Southern California 1853-1913,weblink New York, The Knickerbacker Press,

External links

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