California is a state that is located on the west coast of the United States. California is a total of 423,970 km2 (163,696 sq mi) in area making it the third largest state in America. It is home to approximately 37,691,912 people with 466,488 living in the capital city of Sacramento. California shares borders with the U.S states of Oregon, Nevada and Arizona, and the Mexican state of Baja California to the south.
Interesting facts about California
- California once referred to a large area of land in North America that was claimed by Spain. Alta California became part of Mexico in 1821 after gaining independence. After the Mexican-American war Alta California was signed over to the United States as part of the treaty.
- California has the third longest coastline of all the state in the United States with a coastline length of 840 miles (1,350 km).
- California experiences approximately 37,000 earthquakes a year due to its position along the Pacific Ring of Fire.
- California is the most populous state in the United States of America and is home to eight of the nation’s most populous cities: (Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, San Francisco, Fresno, Sacramento, Long Beach and Oakland).
- Whilst the capital city of California is Sacramento its largest city is Los Angeles. The metropolitan population of Los Angeles is about 15.2 million people.
- The official language of California is English but just under half of the population is bilingual. Spanish is spoken by 28.2% of the population.
- Silicon Valley is located in California which is home to many of the world’s largest technology corporations.
- It is estimated that approximately half the fresh fruit produced in the United States is produced in the state.
- If California was its own country it would have the eighth largest economy in the world and be the 35th most populated country on the planet.
- California contains both the highest and lowest points in contiguous United States (the 48 states that are located south of Canada and North of Mexico). Mount Whitney is the highest point at a height of 4421.0 m (14,505 ft) and Badwater Basin in Death Valley is the lowest at -86.0 m (?282 ft).
- California has a varied landscape with the Californian Central valley in the center, the Sierra Nevada the east, The Cascade Range in the north and the Tehachapi Mountains in the south. Due to its diverse landscape different regions of California experience different climates. Most of California experiences dry summers and mild, wet winters, some places experiences much hotter climates such as Death Valley with an average summer temperature of 49 °C (120 °F) and winter temperatures of 23 °C (73 °F).
- Death Valley recorded the highest temperature in the western hemisphere on July 10, 1913 of 57 °C (134 °F).
- The Golden Gate Bridge is located in California in the city of San Francisco which spans 1,280 meters of water.
- California is the only U.S state to have hosted both the summer and winter Olympics due to its contrasting geography. It has hosted two Summer Olympic Games in 1932 and 1984.
- California has also hosted FIFA World Cup and has hosted the Super Bowl 11 times.
- California has 19 professional sport leagues which is more than any other U.S state.
- The city of Long Beach hosts an IndyCar series every April. Formula One events have also been held at Long Beach.