List of municipalities in California

California is a state located in the Western United States. It is the most populous state and the third largest by area after Alaska and Texas. According to the 2020 United States Census, California has 39,538,223 inhabitants and 155,779.22 square miles (403,466.3 km2) of land.[1]

Map of the United States with California highlighted

California has been inhabited by numerous Native American peoples since antiquity. The Spanish, the Russians, and other Europeans began exploring and colonizing the area in the 16th and 17th centuries, with the Spanish establishing its first California mission at what is now San Diego in 1769.[2] After the Mexican Cession of 1848, the California Gold Rush brought worldwide attention to the area. The growth of the movie industry in Los Angeles, high tech in San Francisco and Silicon Valley, tourism, agriculture, and other areas in the ensuing decades fueled the creation of a $3 trillion economy as of 2018, which would rank fifth in the world if the state were a sovereign nation.[3]

California is divided into 58 counties and contains 482 municipalities.[4] One, San Francisco, is a consolidated city-county. California law makes no distinction between "city" and "town", and municipalities may use either term in their official names.[5] They can be organized as either a charter municipality, governed by its own charter, or a general-law municipality (or "code city"), governed by state statute.[6]

The first municipality to incorporate was Sacramento on February 27, 1850, while the most recent was Jurupa Valley on July 1, 2011. Eight cities were incorporated before the state's September 9, 1850, admission to the Union.[7] The largest municipality by population and land area is Los Angeles with 3,792,621 residents and 468.67 square miles (1,213.8 km2). Amador City is the smallest municipality by population with 200 people and the smallest by land area at 0.31 square miles (0.80 km2).[8]


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This article uses material from the Wikipedia article List of municipalities in California, and is written by contributors. Text is available under a CC BY-SA 4.0 International License; additional terms may apply. Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.