California Facts



California Location In The US California State Map

This page contains a wealth of information on the state of California. Please click on the type of the fact that you are interested in:



Geography & Demographics

State Abbreviation CA
State Capital Sacramento
State Size Total (Land + Water): 163,696 sq miles; Land Only: 155,959 sq miles
Number of Counties 58
Time Zone Pacific Time Zone
Bordering States Arizona, Nevada, Oregon
Highest PointMount Whitney, 14,505 feet
National ParksChannel Islands National Park
Death Valley National Park
Joshua Tree National Park
Kings Canyon National Park
Lassen Volcanic National Park
Redwood National Park
Sequoia National Park
Yosemite National Park
State Population (2015)39,144,818
State Population Density251.0 people / square mile
Area Codes 209, 213, 310, 323, 341, 369, 408, 415, 424, 442, 510, 530, 559, 562, 619, 626, 627, 628, 650, 657, 661, 669, 707, 714, 747, 752, 760, 764, 805, 818, 831, 858, 909, 916, 925, 935, 949, 951
Top 5 Cities (2010 population) Los Angeles (3,792,621)
San Diego (1,307,402)
San Jose (945,942)
San Francisco (805,235)
Fresno (494,665)

Government & Legislature

Statehood September 9, 1850
Electoral Votes55
State Flag California State Flag
GovernorOfficial California Governor Website
U. S. SenatorsList of U. S. Senators From California
U. S. RepresentativesList of U. S. Representatives From California
State SenatorsList of California State Senators
State AssemblyList of California State Assembly Members
State GovernmentOfficial Site
State ConstitutionCalifornia State Constitution
Road ConditionsCalifornia Road Conditions
State Quarter Issue Date January 31, 2005

State Symbols

State AnimalCalifornia grizzly bear
State Bird California Valley Quail
State ColorsBlue and gold
State DanceWest Coast swing dance
State Fife and Drum CorpsCalifornia Consolidated Drum Band
State FishGolden trout
State Flower Golden poppy
State Folk DanceSquare dance
State FossilSaber-toothed cat
State GemstoneBenitoite
State Gold Rush Ghost TownBodie
State GrassPurple needlegrass
State Historical SocietyCalifornia Historical Society
State InsectCalifornia dogface butterfly
State LichenLace lichen
State Marine FishGaribaldi
State Marine MammalCalifornia gray whale
State Motto Eureka (I have found it)
State Marine ReptilePacific leatherback sea turtle
State Military MuseumCalifornia State Military Museum
State MineralGold
State Nickname Golden State
State Prehistoric ArtifactChipped stone bear
State ReptileDesert tortoise
State RockSerpentine
State Silver Rush Ghost TownCalico
State SoilSan Joaquin Soil
State Song"I Love You, California"
State Tall ShipThe Californian
State TheaterPasadena Playhouse
State Tree California redwood and sequoia
State Vietnam Veterans MemorialCalifornia Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Sacramento's Capitol Park

Sports Teams

Major Sports Teams MLB: Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants, Oakland A's
NFL: Los Angeles, Rams, San Diego Chargers, San Francisco 49ers, Oakland Raiders
NBA: Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, Golden State Warriors, Sacramento Kings
NHL: Anaheim Mighty Ducks, Los Angeles Kings, San Jose Sharks
NCAA Division I Schools University of California, Berkeley (Pac-12)
University of California, Davis (Big West)
University of California, Irvine (Big West)
University of California, Los Angeles (Pac-12)
California Polytechnic State University (Big West)
University of California, Riverside (Big West)
University of California, Santa Barbara (Big West)
California State University, Bakersfield (WAC)
California State University, Fresno (Mountain West)
California State University, Fullerton (Big West)
California State University, Long Beach (Big West)
California State University, Northridge (Big West)
California State University, Sacramento (Big Sky)
Loyola Marymount University (West Coast)
University of the Pacific (West Coast)
Pepperdine University (West Coast)
Saint Mary's College of California (West Coast)
University of San Diego (West Coast)
San Diego State University (Mountain West)
University of San Francisco (West Coast)
San Jose State University (Mountain West)
Santa Clara University (West Coast)
University of Southern California (Pac-12)
Stanford University (Pac-12)

Taxes

State Gas Tax$0.4043 / Gallon
State Cigarette Tax$0.87 / Pack

Popular Tourist Attractions

Famous People Born In California

Nobel Prize Winners

  • Joseph Erlanger (Physiology or Medicine, 1944)
  • Edwin M. McMillan (Chemistry, 1951)
  • Willis E. Lamb (Physics, 1955)
  • Owen Chamberlain (Physics, 1959)
  • John Steinbeck (Literature, 1962)
  • Luis Alvarez (Physics, 1968)
  • Dudley R. Herschbach (Chemistry, 1986)
  • Robert B. Laughlin (Physics, 1998)
  • Eric Cornell (Physics, 2001)
  • Leland Hartwell (Physiology or Medicine, 2001)
  • Thomas C. Schelling (Economic Sciences, 2005)
  • Andrew Z. Fire (Physiology or Medicine, 2006)
  • Elinor Ostrom (Economic Sciences, 2009)
  • Carol W. Greider (Physiology or Medicine, 2009)
  • Thomas J. Sargent (Economic Sciences, 2011)
  • William E. Moerner (Chemistry, 2014)

United States Presidents

  • Richard M. Nixon (37th President)

Pro Football Hall Of Fame Members

  • Mel Hein (Center, Linebacker. Inducted in 1963)
  • Hugh McElhenny (Halfback. Inducted in 1970)
  • Frank Gifford (Halfback, Flanker. Inducted in 1977)
  • Ron Mix (Offensive Tackle. Inducted in 1979)
  • Pete Rozelle (General Manager, NFL Commissioner. Inducted in 1985)
  • O. J. Simpson (Running Back. Inducted in 1985)
  • Bob St. Clair (Offensive Tackle. Inducted in 1990)
  • Tex Schramm (General Manager, Team President. Inducted in 1991)
  • Dan Fouts (Quarterback. Inducted in 1993)
  • Bill Walsh (Coach. Inducted in 1993)
  • Anthony Muñoz (Offensive Tackle. Inducted in 1998)
  • Marcus Allen (Running Back. Inducted in 2003)
  • James Lofton (Wide Receiver. Inducted in 2003)
  • Troy Aikman (Quarterback. Inducted in 2006)
  • Warren Moon (Quarterback. Inducted in 2006)
  • Gary Zimmerman (Offensive Tackle. Inducted in 2008)
  • Les Richter (Linebacker, Guard, Kicker. Inducted in 2011)
  • Larry Allen (Guard, Tackle. Inducted in 2013)
  • Junior Seau (Linebacker. Inducted in 2015)
  • Dick Stanfel (Guard. Inducted in 2016)

Baseball Hall Of Fame Players

  • Frank Chance (First Baseman. Inducted in 1946)
  • Harry Heilmann (Right Fielder. Inducted in 1952)
  • Joe DiMaggio (Center Fielder. Inducted in 1955)
  • Joe Cronin (Shortstop. Inducted in 1956)
  • Ted Williams (Left Fielder. Inducted in 1966)
  • Chick Hafey (Left Fielder. Inducted in 1971)
  • Harry Hooper (Right Fielder. Inducted in 1971)
  • Lefty Gomez (Pitcher. Inducted in 1972)
  • George Kelly (First Baseman. Inducted in 1973)
  • Bob Lemon (Pitcher. Inducted in 1976)
  • Duke Snider (Center Fielder. Inducted in 1980)
  • Don Drysdale (Pitcher. Inducted in 1984)
  • Bobby Doerr (Second Baseman. Inducted in 1986)
  • Ernie Lombardi (Catcher. Inducted in 1986)
  • Tony Lazzeri (Second Baseman. Inducted in 1991)
  • Tom Seaver (Pitcher. Inducted in 1992)
  • Eddie Murray (First Baseman. Inducted in 2003)
  • Gary Carter (Catcher. Inducted in 2003)
  • Dennis Eckersley (Pitcher. Inducted in 2004)
  • Tony Gwynn (Right Fielder. Inducted in 2007)
  • Joe Gordon (Second Baseman. Inducted in 2009)
  • Randy Johnson (Pitcher. Inducted in 2015)

Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall Of Fame Players

  • Gail Goodrich (Guard. Inducted in 1996)
  • Vic Hanson (Guard. Inducted in 1960)
  • Dennis Johnson (Guard. Inducted in 2010)
  • Lisa Leslie (Center. Inducted in 2015)
  • Hank Luisetti (Forward. Inducted in 1959)
  • Ann Meyers (Guard. Inducted in 1993)
  • Vern Mikkelsen (Forward. Inducted in 1995)
  • Cheryl Miller (Forward. Inducted in 1995)
  • Reggie Miller (Guard. Inducted in 2012)
  • Gary Payton (Guard. Inducted in 2013)
  • Jim Pollard (Center-Forward. Inducted in 1978)
  • Bill Walton (Center. Inducted in 1993)
  • Jamaal Wilkes (Guard-Forward. Inducted in 2012)
  • George Yardley (Guard-Forward. Inducted in 1996)

Hockey Hall Of Fame Members

  • Angela Ruggiero (Defense. Inducted in 2015)

Famous Actors And Actresses

  • Ben Affleck
  • Jessica Alba
  • Jennifer Aniston
  • Jeff Bridges
  • Nicolas Cage
  • Jessica Chastain
  • Cher
  • Ted Danson
  • Cameron Diaz
  • Leonardo DiCaprio
  • Robert Duvall
  • Clint Eastwood
  • Will Ferrell
  • Sally Field
  • Jodie Foster
  • Gene Hackman
  • Tom Hanks
  • Donah Hill
  • Dustin Hoffman
  • Helen Hunt
  • Dwayne Johnson
  • Angelina Jolie
  • Diane Keaton
  • Brie Larson
  • Liza Minnelli
  • Marilyn Monroe
  • Gwyneth Paltrow
  • Gregory Peck
  • Sean Penn
  • Cliff Robertson
  • Kristen Stewart

Famous Singers

  • Paula Abdul
  • Jeff Buckley
  • Colbie Caillat
  • Kim Carnes
  • Cher
  • Cherrelle
  • Snoop Dogg
  • Ella Fitzgerald
  • John Fogerty
  • Josh Groban
  • Etta James
  • Courtney Love
  • Mike Patton
  • Kate Perry
  • Steve Perry
  • Bonnie Raitt
  • Patrice Rushen
  • Raphael Saadiq
  • Gwen Stefani
  • Suzanne Vega
  • Tom Waits
  • Scott Weiland

California Fun Facts

  • California was the name given to a mythical island in the popular early 16th century Spanish novel Las Sergas de Esplandián. When the Spanish started exploring the Pacific coast, they applied this name to the Baja California Peninsula. That name stuck.
  • Spanish navigator Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo became the first European in recorded history to sight the region that is present-day California in 1542.
  • The first McDonald's restaurant opened in San Bernardino in 1940 by brothers Richard and Maurice McDonald.
  • San Bernardino County is the largest county in the United States, totaling 20,105 square miles.
  • Castroville is known as the Artichoke Capital of the World. In 1947, Norma Jean was crowned Castroville's first Artichoke Queen. She later became a world-famous actress by her screen name, Marilyn Monroe.
  • California has more national parks than any other state in USA. Of the 59 national parks in USA, California has 9 national parks.
  • On Jan. 24, 1848, James W. Marshall discovered gold at Sutter's Mill, starting the California Gold Rush and bringing settlers to the state in large numbers.
  • Fresno, California is the Raisin Capital of the World. 
  • William Todd designed the original California flag. He was the nephew of Mary Todd Lincoln, Abraham Lincoln's wife.
  • California is the only state that has hosted both the Summer and Winter Olympics.
  • At 14,505 feet, California's Mount Whitney is the highest peak in the lower 48 states.
  • In 1996, California became the first state to legalize marijuana (weed) for medical use.

This page was last updated on October 20, 2016.




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