Portal:California

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

California is a state in the Western United States. It is bordered by Nevada to the east, Arizona to the southeast, the Pacific Ocean to the west, Oregon to the north, and the Mexican state of Baja California to the south. With over 39.5 million residents across a total area of approximately 163,696 square miles (423,970 km2), it is the most populous and the third-largest U.S. state by area. It is also the most populated subnational entity in North America and the 34th most populous in the world. The Greater Los Angeles area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nation's second and fifth most populous urban regions respectively, with the former having more than 18.7 million residents and the latter having over 9.6 million. Sacramento is the state's capital, while Los Angeles is the most populous city in the state and the second most populous city in the country (after New York City). Los Angeles County is the country's most populous, while San Bernardino County is the largest county by area in the country. San Francisco, which is both a city and a county, is the second most densely populated major city in the country (after New York City) and the fifth most densely populated county in the country, behind four of New York City's five boroughs.

The economy of California, with a gross state product of $3.2 trillion as of 2019, is the largest sub-national economy in the world. If it were a country, it would be the 37th most populous country and the fifth largest economy . The Greater Los Angeles area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nation's second- and third-largest urban economies ($1.0 trillion and $0.5 trillion respectively ), after the New York metropolitan area ($1.8 trillion). The San Francisco Bay Area Combined Statistical Area had the nation's highest gross domestic product per capita ($106,757) among large primary statistical areas in 2018, and is home to five of the world's ten largest companies by market capitalization and four of the world's ten richest people.

What is now California was first settled by various Native Californian tribes before being explored by a number of Europeans during the 16th and 17th centuries. The Spanish Empire then claimed and colonized it. In 1804, it was included in Alta California province within the Viceroyalty of New Spain. 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, following the Compromise of 1850. The California Gold Rush started in 1848 and led to dramatic social and demographic changes, with large-scale immigration from other parts of the United States and abroad and an accompanying economic boom.

Notable contributions to popular culture, for example in entertainment and sports, have their origins in California. The state also has made noteworthy contributions in the fields of communication, information, innovation, environmentalism, economics, and politics. It is the home of Hollywood, the oldest and largest film industry in the world, which has had a profound effect on global entertainment. It is considered the origin of the hippie counterculture, beach and car culture, and the personal computer, among other innovations. The San Francisco Bay Area and the Greater Los Angeles Area are widely seen as centers of the global technology and entertainment industries, respectively. California's economy is very diverse: 58% of it is based on finance, government, real estate services, technology, and professional, scientific, and technical business services. Although it accounts for only 1.5% of the state's economy, California's agriculture industry has the highest output of any U.S. state. California's ports and harbors handle about a third of all U.S. imports, most originating in Pacific Rim international trade. (Full article...)

Selected article

Odwalla Inc. (/ˈdwɔːlə/) was an American food product company selling fruit juices, smoothies and food bars founded in Santa Cruz, California in 1980 and from 1995-2020 was headquartered in Half Moon Bay, California. Odwalla's products included juices, smoothies, soy milk, bottled water, organic beverages, and several types of energy bars, known as "food bars".

The company experienced strong growth after its incorporation in 1985, expanding its distribution network from California to most of North America, and went public in 1993. (Full article...)

Selected picture

The Hollywood Sign
The Hollywood Sign is a famous landmark in the Hollywood Hills area of Los Angeles, California, spelling out the name of the area in 50 ft (15.2 m) high white letters. It was created as an advertisement in 1923, but garnered increasing recognition after its initial purpose had been fulfilled.

State facts

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

State symbols:

Selected biography

Don Richard Perata (born April 30, 1945) is a California Democratic politician, who was President pro tempore of the California State Senate. He was elected to the post of President Pro Tempore in 2004. As President Pro Temp, Perata was considered the 2nd most powerful politician in California state politics.[1] Perata worked with Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to gain passage of five infrastructure related bond measures in 2006. Prior to serving in the State Senate, Perata served in the California State Assembly and as a Supervisor of Alameda County. Perata has a daughter and a son.

Perata was the son of immigrants. During his childhood, he helped his father deliver milk door-to-door. Perata graduated from Saint Joseph High School and earned his degree from Saint Mary's College of California. He taught English, History, and Civics from 1966 to 1981 in Alameda County schools. Some of his students went on to become police officers, staff members to local and state elected officials, school board members, teachers, musicians and members of the Governor’s Cabinet.

Did you know - load new batch

Categories

Category puzzle
Select [►] to view subcategories

Selected quote

I've seen firsthand coming here with empty pockets but full of dreams, full of desire, full of will to succeed, but with the opportunities that I had, I could make it. This is why we have to get back and bring California back to where it once was.

Selected panorama

Sierra Nevada (U.S.)
Credit: Urban

The Sierra Nevada (Spanish for "Snowy Range") is a mountain range located in the U.S. state of California. In a few places, it overlaps into neighboring Nevada. The range is also known informally as the Sierra, the High Sierra, and the Sierras.

More selected panoramasRead more...

Quality content

A-Class articles

Things you can do

Things you can do

Topics

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

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

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

Subportals

Associated Wikimedia

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

Wikibooks
Books

Commons
Media

Wikinews 
News

Wikiquote 
Quotations

Wikisource 
Texts

Wikiversity
Learning resources

Wikivoyage 
Travel guides

Wiktionary 
Definitions

Wikidata 
Database