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Portal:California

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

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 39.9 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 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 four of the world's 10 largest companies by market capitalization and four of the world's 10 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...)

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San Francisco from the Marin Headlands

San Francisco ( /ˌsæn frənˈsɪsk/; Spanish for " Saint Francis"), officially the City and County of San Francisco, is a cultural, commercial, and financial center in Northern California. San Francisco is the 16th most populous city in the United States, and the fourth most populous in California, with 881,549 residents as of 2019. It covers an area of about 46.89 square miles (121.4 square kilometers), mostly at the north end of the San Francisco Peninsula in the San Francisco Bay Area, making it the second most densely populated large U.S. city, and the fifth most densely populated U.S. county, behind only four of the five New York City boroughs. San Francisco is part of the 12th-largest metropolitan statistical area in the United States by population, with 4.7 million people, and the fourth-largest by economic output, with GDP of $592 billion in 2019. With San Jose, it forms the fifth most populous combined statistical area in the United States, with 9.67 million residents as of 2019. Colloquial nicknames for San Francisco include SF, San Fran, The City, and Frisco.

In 2019, San Francisco was the county with the seventh-highest income in the United States, with a per capita income of $139,405. In the same year, San Francisco proper had a GDP of $203.5 billion, and a GDP per capita of $230,829. The CSA San Francisco shares with San Jose and Oakland, with a GDP of $1.09 trillion as of 2019, is the country's third-largest urban economy, following New York City and Los Angeles. Of the 105 primary statistical areas in the U.S. with over 500,000 residents, this CSA had the highest GDP per capita in 2019, at $112,348. San Francisco was ranked 12th in the world and second in the United States on the Global Financial Centres Index as of March 2021, after New York City. ( Full article...)

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Barker Dam is a water-storage facility located in Joshua Tree National Park in California. The dam was constructed by early cattlemen, and is situated between Queen Valley and the Wonderland of Rocks near the Wall Street Mill. It is a gathering place for desert wildlife, including many species of birds and Desert Bighorn Sheep.

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)

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Gavin Newsom
Gavin Christopher Newsom (born October 10, 1967) is the current Lieutenant Governor of California and a former mayor of San Francisco, California. A Democrat, Newsom was elected mayor in 2003, succeeding Willie Brown and becoming San Francisco's youngest mayor in 100 years. In 2004, Newsom gained national attention when he issued a directive to the San Francisco city-county clerk to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The unexpected move brought national attention to the issues of gay marriage and gay rights, solidifying political support for Newsom in San Francisco and in the gay community, and causing several other states to change their laws concerning marriage and gay rights.

Before his political career, Newsom graduated from Santa Clara University in 1989 with a Bachelor of Arts in political science. He started the PlumpJack Winery Shop in 1992 which eventually grew into a multi-million dollar enterprise. He was first appointed by Willie Brown to serve on San Francisco's Parking and Traffic Commission in 1996, and was appointed the following year as Supervisor. Newsom drew voter attention with his Care Not Cash program, designed to move homeless people into city assisted care. He defeated Matt Gonzales by 6% in his race for mayor in 2003. Newsom was reelected in the November 7 2007 mayoral election with 72 percent of the vote.

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Bill Clinton
California has become the first American state where there is no majority race, and we're doing just fine. If you look around the room, you can see a microcosm of what we can do in the world [...] You should be hopeful on balance about the future. But it's like any future since the beginning of time – you're going to have to make it.

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Air pollution over the City of Los Angeles
Credit: Diliff

Los Angeles, California is the second-largest city in the United States, with an estimated population of 3.85 million people. Los Angeles is one of the cultural, economic, scientific and entertainment centers of the country.

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