CALIFORNIA FACTS


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 Point

Mount Whitney, 14,505 feet

National Parks
Channel 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 Density

251.0 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 Votes

55

State Flag

Governor

Official California Governor Website

U. S. Senators

List of U. S. Senators From California

U. S. Representatives

List of U. S. Representatives From California

State Senators

List of California State Senators

State Assembly

List of California State Assembly Members

State Government

Official Site

State Constitution

California State Constitution

Road Conditions

California Road Conditions

State Quarter Issue Date

January 31, 2005

State Symbols

State Animal

California grizzly bear

State Bird

California Valley Quail

State Colors

Blue and gold

State Dance

West Coast swing dance

State Fife and Drum Corps

California Consolidated Drum Band

State Fish

Golden trout

State Flower

Golden poppy

State Folk Dance

Square dance

State Fossil

Saber-toothed cat

State Gemstone

Benitoite

State Gold Rush Ghost Town

Bodie

State Grass

Purple needlegrass

State Historical Society

California Historical Society

State Insect

California dogface butterfly

State Lichen

Lace lichen

State Marine Fish

Garibaldi

State Marine Mammal

California gray whale

State Motto

Eureka (I have found it)

State Marine Reptile

Pacific leatherback sea turtle

State Military Museum

California State Military Museum

State Mineral

Gold

State Nickname

Golden State

State Prehistoric Artifact

Chipped stone bear

State Reptile

Desert tortoise

State Rock

Serpentine

State Silver Rush Ghost Town

Calico

State Soil

San Joaquin Soil

State Song

"I Love You, California"

State Tall Ship

The Californian

State Theater

Pasadena Playhouse

State Tree

California redwood and sequoia

State Vietnam Veterans Memorial

California 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, Los Angeles 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)


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)

  • Terrell Davis (Running Back. Inducted in 2017)

  • Jerry Jones (Owner. Inducted in 2017)

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

  • 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.