The state flag of California.
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California, “The Golden State” is the 31st state of the United States of America. California joined the union on September 9, 1850. Sacramento is the state capital. This beautiful, sunny state is home to approximately 38.04 million people as of 2012, making it the most populated state within the U.S. And with good reason. Not only is California the home of most celebrities, it has a little bit of everything for everyone. Within a day’s drive, you can find yourself immersed in the redwoods of Sequoia National Park; to walking along the beautiful beaches of southern California. Or maybe you prefer the splendor of the Mojave Desert or the majestic mountains of the Sierra Nevada. California has it all.
California was largely uninhabited until the Gold Rush of 1849. California was synonymous with the land of opportunity, of dreaming big and hope of a prosperous future. For that reason, the state’s population exploded from 380,000 in 1860 to almost 3.5 million in 1920. Its growth was primarily due to the swelling immigration population from other countries, as well as from U.S. citizens attracted by the mild weather conditions. California was truly the land of opportunity. The completion of the transcontinental railroad in 1869 greatly increased the urbanization, industrialization and agricultural development. The booming economy was attractive for farm and industrial laborers, and for entrepreneurial self-starters alike.
A little information about California:
|Population:||39,250,017 (July 2016)|
|Size:||155,779 square miles|
|Nickname(s):||The Golden State, El Dorado State.|
|Bird:||California Valley Quail|
California’s economy is the 12th largest in the world with the GSP (Gross State Product) at $1.9 trillion, about 13.06% of the United States’ GDP (Gross Domestic Product). Its largest economic classifications are agriculture, natural resources, aerospace and aviation, shipping, the Hollywood film industry and the computer industry.
The state of California’s borders span an area of 163,707 square miles, making it the 3rd largest state, behind Texas (2nd) and Alaska (1st). It is famous for its mild climate. Temperatures vary by region. Average high temperatures range between 98 in the summer months in the valley; to 80 in the Sierra Nevada region. Lows vary from 38 in the valley to the summer months to lows of 39 during the winter in the valley to -2 in the mountains. Most regions range between 85 to 40. For that reason, California is home to the most fertile and productive farms and vineyards. These farms and vineyards produce most of the grapes, avocados, nuts, lettuce and tomatoes.
California is in the Pacific Standard Time zone, 3 hours behind the East Coast, 2 hours behind the Midwest, 1 hour behind the Mountain states and 1 hour ahead of Alaska Standard Time.
California is home to Hollywood, the center of the American Film Industry. The American entertainment industry has a huge following all over the world and sets trends for most countries such as in India (every heard the phrase “Bollywood”?). Hollywood has had a profound effect on world cultures since the early 20th century. The “Golden Age of Hollywood” began in the 1920’s and into the 1950’s. Thousands of movies have been produced in Hollywood. It shows no signs of letting up. Despite competition from other countries and other parts of the U.S.; California still sets the trend worldwide, influencing the perception of life in the U.S. all over the globe.
The median income in 2011 is $61,632, the median price for an existing, single-family detached home is $402,760 as of May 2013. California’s state and local taxes are 4th in the nation at a rate of 11.2% of per capita income, compared to the national average of 9.9%.
California has the most school students, with over 6.2 million in the 2005-06 school year. California has one of the lowest teacher-to-pupil ratios, ranking 49th of 51 states, with 21 students to every teacher. California has a large choice of public colleges and universities. The ten major campuses of the University of California are located in Berkeley, Los Angeles, San Diego, Davis, Santa Cruz, Santa Barbara, Irvine, Riverside, Merced and San Francisco. The University of California system accepts students from the top 12.5% of college-bound students and provides most of the graduate studies and research.
When it comes to sports, California has the most loyal fans, with the billions in revenue to prove it. From football to hockey, California attracts great talent. The NFL has three football teams: Oakland Raiders, San Diego Chargers and the San Francisco 49ers. The MLB has six teams: Los Angeles Angels, the LA Dodgers, Oakland Athletics, San Diego Padres and the San Francisco Giants. Not to be outdone, the NBA has four teams: Golden State Warriors, LA Clippers, LA Lakers and the Sacramento Kings. The NHL (National Hockey League) and the MLS (Major League Soccer) are gaining in popularity, drawing in large shares of fans and revenue as well. There is truly something for everyone.
California sits on the San Andreas Fault, the sliding boundary between the Pacific Plate and the North American Plate. It travels down from Eureka to San Diego. The earliest recorded earthquake in California was felt in 1769 about 30 miles southeast of present day Los Angeles. Although California is famous for earthquakes in recent memory, only four states in the U.S. did not have earthquakes between 1975-1995. They were Florida, Iowa, North Dakota and Wisconsin. They seem more common due to the California has over 100 active faults throughout the state. The largest recorded earthquake in California was the 1857 Fort Tejon earthquake, estimated at a magnitude of 8.0. The most destructive earthquake was in San Francisco in 1906, measuring 7.9 magnitude. More than 3,000 people perished from falling debris and fires that followed.
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