California, California, state in the western United States facing the Pacific Ocean, 411,049 km2, 37.3 million residents (2010). The capital of Sacramento. Joined the Union in 1850 as the 31st state; nickname: The Golden State.
In 1963, California became the most populous state in the United States, having been virtually uninhabited just 100 years earlier. Since then, the distance to number two, the state of New York, has grown strongly. If one adds to this that California has the largest commodity production, trade, and economic turnover, it is clear that the state occupies a special position among the 50 U.S. states; If California were thus independent, its economy would be the world’s eighth largest.
- COUNTRYAAH.COM: Lists all counties and parishes of California in alphabetical order. Covers county profile and biggest counties by population in the state of California.
Since 1850, the annual population growth has been 4.1% on average. The rapid growth is the result of a great immigration that has continued since the gold discoveries in 1848 initiated the first great wave of immigration. At the time, immigrants came mainly from the Midwest and the U.S. East Coast. In recent periods, other nationalities have dominated, as evidenced by the ethnic composition of the population, with Asians now making up 10%, blacks 7% and Hispanics (Hispanic residents) as much as 26%. To this must be added descendants of the indigenous Indian population, who make up a minority of approximately 200,000.
To reduce illegal immigration was introduced in 1986 new rules on residence and then Mexicans and other Hispanics have accounted for over 2/3 of all immigrants. The rest have mainly been Asians from South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines.
Common to the many new immigrants has been that they have mainly settled in the large city centers, where there has been an emigration of whites since the 1960’s (first to the suburbs, later to smaller cities and other states). This has resulted in a non-white population majority in all seven of California’s ten largest cities. Ethnic groups often live in separate neighborhoods, where social unrest and poverty have repeatedly caused violent unrest, particularly in Los Angeles (Watts 1965, South Central 1992). A total of 12.5% of the population has incomes below the official poverty line, but in the city centers and for the group of blacks and Hispanics, the figure is almost twice as high.
Cities make up 95% of the population. Urbanization is most pronounced along the South Pacific coast, where the big cities are closely connected via heavily trafficked highways. Largest cities are Los Angeles (3.6 million), San Diego (1.2 million), San Jose (0.8 million) and San Francisco (0.7 million) (all excluding suburbs in 1992). In addition, there are a number of medium-sized cities in the fertile longitude valley, Central Valley, the capital of Sacramento. The rest of the cities, predominantly small and scattered, are found in the sparsely populated areas of the north and east. The average population density is 75 residents per km2.
Of the 50 states of the United States, California is among the leaders in almost all economic sectors: from agriculture and industry to trade and banking and finance, etc. With a share of 13% of US GDP, turnover is so large that it surpassed only by quite a few countries in the world ($ 697 billion in 1989).
In the first half of 1900-t. The growth was closely linked to the oil industry (and to a lesser extent the film industry in Hollywood), while from the Second World War onwards it has been initiated and supported by financial subsidies from the Federal Government in combination with e.g. Japanese investments from the late 1970’s. Where federal funds during World War II alienated heavy industry (military aircraft, warships, weapons, and other munitions in addition to a large steel plant in Fontana near Los Angeles), funds from the 1960’s to the mid-1980’s went primarily to civilian and military space programs through contracts with some of the United States’ leading research centers and largest aircraft factories, including Lawrence Livermore Laboratories, various departments of the University of California as well as Lockheed, McDonnell Douglas, Hughes Aircraft and Rockwell.
Among the suppliers to this aerospace industry (aerospace) can also be mentioned the electronics and computer industry, where California from the beginning has been a world leader by virtue of the cooperation between Stanford University and the high-tech companies in Silicon Valley south of San Francisco. Similarly, there is a close connection between the state’s leadership position in the pharmaceutical industry, the food industry and renewable energy (solar, wind and geothermal) and the intensive research in biotechnology and environmental technology.
The high productivity and specialization that characterizes almost all industries also applies in agriculture, where California tops the sales list for approximately 1/3 of US agricultural products. Most examples are found in the category of fruit and vegetables, but due to the mild climate and the possibilities for irrigation (97% of arable land is irrigated) the diversity is great throughout the vegetable sector: grapes, citrus fruits, dates, olives, cotton, rice, etc. Leaving aside the illegal sale of marijuana (estimated value of $ 2-3 billion annually), however, it is animal products that have the largest turnover: beef, veal and dairy products.
As far as ownership is concerned, the family farms are returning in favor of a few but very large corporate farms. The majority of farm workers, mostly Mexican immigrants, are thus employed by Del Monte, Sunkist, Safeway and other worldwide agribusiness companies.
Investments in the agricultural sector have been characterized by Japanese capital since the early 1980’s, just as Japanese companies gradually control significant parts of the banking and finance sector, the real estate trade and not least the electronics, automotive and entertainment industries. For example, the largest car factory, NUMMI in Fremont, is jointly owned by General Motors and Toyota, while Sony and other Japanese companies have gained influence in the giant entertainment industry. The center of this industry, which includes equal parts music, film and television productions, is located in and around Hollywood, to which the first film companies moved in 1911.
Film studios have also become popular tourist destinations. This also applies to Disneyland in Anaheim, Sea World in San Diego – in addition to Yosemite, Sequoia, Kings Canyon and other national parks, which together make California’s tourism industry the most lucrative in the United States.
The state’s financial problems
Despite the generally favorable economic climate, the state of California has long been plagued by profound economic problems. The state has a colossal deficit ($ 26 billion in 2010), which has led to a deterioration of infrastructure, schools, etc. It has proved difficult to address the problem, not least because there is widespread political reluctance to raise the rather low taxes. First and foremost, severe budget cuts have been attempted, but so far it has proved insufficient.
California (Climate, Nature and Resources)
Most of California has a subtropical climate with warm winters of 8-13 °C during the coldest month (excluding mountain areas). In summer, on the other hand, there are large differences between the coastal signs and the interior of the country: Due to the cold California ocean current, the July temperature is only 15-21 °C from San Francisco to San Diego, while the Colorado and Mojave deserts in the south and SE reach above 30 °C. The warmest is in the low-lying Death Valley (86 m below sea level) with gnsntl. 39 °C in July.
The differences in precipitation and plant growth are also significant. The northern regions have a large precipitation surplus and are covered by coniferous forest; including the famous redwood forests with some of the world’s oldest and tallest trees (various species of Sequoia). The southern regions (from around San Francisco and south) have increasing rainfall deficits and are covered by maki (chaparral) and desert vegetation (yucca, creosote bush, cactus, etc.).
Although Southern California has low rainfall and insufficient groundwater resources, it is one of the most water-consuming areas in the world; mainly due to agriculture, which accounts for 80-85% of consumption, but also due to a large private consumption (lawns, swimming pools, etc.). The water must therefore be fetched from long distances via canals and pipelines, which has constantly caused problems in relation to the source sites. These include the Owens River in the Sierra Nevada and the border river of Arizona, the Colorado River, which supplies Los Angeles, and the farms of the Coachella Valley and Imperial Valley near the border with Mexico. Following the completion of California’s two largest water projects, the Central Valley Project(1951) and State Water Project (1990), however, the largest supplies have come from the north; Among other things, through the 700 km long California Aqueduct that supplies the Central Valley and certain urban areas south of the Tehachapi Mountains. Together with a large consumption of fertilizers and pesticides, the intensive irrigation is the background for the high harvest yields. On the other hand, agriculture is also a significant source of pollution, just as several areas have gradually had to be abandoned due to salinisation.
The regulation of the rivers has created many dam lakes and enabled the construction of a number of large hydropower plants, which together cover 20% of electricity consumption. The rest comes from heat power (especially natural gas) and to a lesser extent nuclear power and renewable energy. Most of the oil, America’s third-largest producer and California’s by far most important mineral product, is used to make gasoline, diesel and other refined products.
In January 2001, large parts of Northern California were hit by a power outage as private power companies could not supply enough cheap energy. The critical situation that followed a liberalization of the electricity market the year before was averted when Governor Gray Davis (b. 1942) temporarily let the state Department of Water and Resources handle the supplies. The rescue plan included an additional grant for the modernization and expansion of California’s power plants.
A total of 45% of the land area is owned by the federal government partly in the form of military bases and test areas (especially in the desert areas), partly in the form of nature parks, Native American reserves and national forests. The rest is mainly used for extensive cattle breeding (20%), private forestry (20%) and agriculture (9%).
The mountain areas contain a varied nature and good opportunities for skiing, hunting, fishing and similar activities. California’s largest lake Lake Tahoe and highest mountain Mt. Whitney (4418 m) is located both in the eastern Sierra Nevada mountains, which to the north continue in the Cascade Range with still weakly active volcanoes, e.g. Lassen Peak (3181 m). Another prominent mountain system is the 600-1800 m high Coast Ranges along the Pacific coast. The system consists of a series of parallel chains that have been traversed by countless fractures, including the 800 km long San Andreas fault, along which many earthquakes occur every year. Some of the strongest, with extensive devastation, occurred in the San Francisco area in 1906 and 1989, followed by nearly as severe earthquakes in northern Los Angeles in 1994.
California produces 90% of all wine in the United States and is rightly called the wine state. The annual production is 2 billion. bottles from an area of 130,000 ha, but in addition there are table grapes and raisins from an equally large area.
Despite a position as the world’s fourth largest wine producer, California has found it difficult to maintain a high market share in Denmark. Relatively high dollar exchange rates and rising prices have contributed to this relationship.
The first vines were planted near San Diego around 1780 by Catholic monks. In the 1850’s, the Hungarian Count Agoston Haraszthy imported more than 100,000 vines from Europe, and gradually most European grapes have been imported. There is no real appellation system, but from 1983 American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) have been established, of which in 1995 there are approximately 65. They cover larger or smaller areas with the same climate and soil, but do not require production methods or grape varieties. However, district and grape names are entering into partnerships such as Napa Cabernet, Carneros Pinot Noir and Santa Ynez Sauvignon.
The wine regions are divided into four regions: North Coast, Central Coast, Central Valley and Sierra Foothills. The North Coast includes the most famous AVAs, such as Napa Valley, Sonoma Valley, Russian River, Dry Creek, Alexander and Carneros. To the vast Central Valley belongs San Joaquin, which has 75,000 acres of wine. The majority of the area’s production is anonymous wines and liqueur wines. The world’s largest wine house Gallo with annual sales of almost 1 billion. bottles are headquartered in Modesto.
The great boom in California’s wine industry began in 1966 with Robert Mondavi, and the number of wineries increased in 20 years from 240 to over 900. The wines are produced according to the most modern methods. Fermentation on stainless steel tanks with temperature control was introduced as early as 1940, and storage in new oak barrels plays a major role in quality. Most top wines are varietal, ie. grape wines, and if a grape variety is indicated on the label, it must be at least 75%; most often, however, it amounts to 100%. The best wines of cabernet sauvignon and chardonnay are rated on a par with the best wines in the world. Top wines mixed with several Médoc-style grape varieties are called Meritage.
- AbbreviationFinder: Provides a list of all acronyms in alphabetic order for California. Also includes state overview, population statistics as well as cities and towns belong to California.
North America’s largest concentration of Indians lived in separate hunter-gatherer groups in California when Juan Cabrillo (d. approximately 1543) in 1542 was the first European to explore the coast. In the 1770’s, Spanish-Mexicans built a number of mission stations from San Diego to Sonoma. They lost their lands after Mexico’s independence in 1821, after which large cattle farms sprang up in southern California.
Gold discoveries and the US takeover of California in 1848 led to an Americanization of central and northern California, while the southern part retained a certain Mexican character.
Until the so-called progressive period in the early 1900-t. the Southern Pacific Railroad Company had a decisive influence on the state’s economy and policy. After this, the constitution was revised with e.g. extensive opportunities for referendums as a result.
Since World War II and especially since the 1960’s, economic growth and relocation have made California a state marked by both liberal tendencies, concentrated around San Francisco, and strongly conservative reactions, not least in Southern California. The widespread nature of the contradictions is illustrated by the fact that California has at one time been a pioneer in the United States with legislation to protect the environment and a hotbed of taxpayer uprisings. In 1994, contradictions between the north and the south led to e.g. the state’s water resources thus to proposals to divide California into two or three independent states.
Gray Davis was re-elected California’s governor in 2002, but the state’s major financial problems and Davis’ efforts to improve the budget through tax increases caused his popularity to plummet. Political opponents in 2003 used a provision in California law that makes it possible to oust the governor through a re-election. In October, Davis had to see himself beaten by the Republican candidate, actor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who the following month took the oath of office as governor of the state.