California Facts



State Location California Location In The US
State Abbreviation CA
Statehood September 9, 1850
State Capital Sacramento
State Size Total (Land + Water): 163,696 sq miles; Land Only: 155,959 sq miles
Number of Counties 58
State Population (2015)39,144,818
State Population Density251.0 people / square mile
Electoral Votes55
State Quarter Issue Date January 31, 2005
State Motto Eureka (I have found it)
State Flower Golden poppy
State Tree California redwood and sequoia
State Bird California Valley Quail
Nickname Golden State
State Flag California State Flag
State Gas Tax$0.4043 / Gallon
State Cigarette Tax$0.87 / Pack
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)
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

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.




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