There is probably no place on Earth that has as many people envisioning living there than California. The home of dreams and fantasies, California is certainly a unique place to live.

Located on the west coast of the United States, it is home to one out of every eight Americans with 38 million people calling the state home. The third largest state by area, it is the state with the highest population and it has the second and fifth most populated cities in the country; Los Angeles and San Francisco. Eight of the most populated cities in the United States are found in California.

The history of California dates back to the Native People who called the area home. In the 16th and 17th centuries, the Europeans began to come in first with the Spanish Empire claiming the area, and eventually the United States after the Mexican-American War. California officially became the 31st state in the country in 1850, two years after the California Gold Rush helped to lead to a huge social and demographic change within the country.

The entire state has a fascinating geography with desert in the east, Redwood forests in the northwest, more desert in the southeast and a huge agricultural area in the middle. It has the third longest coastline of any state, and it also has the highest and lowest points found in the continental United States (Mount Whitney and Death Valley).

As can be expected, the state is well-known for many things but especially earthquakes and Hollywood. In regards to the earthquakes, it records roughly 37,000 per year but most are not felt by people. Fruit also goes hand in hand with California, with the state producing half of all the fruit produced in the United States. In addition, it also has a thriving high-tech sector, as well as aerospace, manufacturing and entertainment. In fact, if California was its own country it would have the ninth largest economy in the world and be the 34th most populous country in the world. As a state, it alone has more people in it than all of Canada.

The climate of California is what attracts many to it. Most of the state has a Mediterranean climate with cool and rainy winters and dry summers. The California Current creates summer fog near the coast, while warmer summers and colder winters are found more inland. In the north, there is much more rainfall than in the south with Northern California having a temperate climate. An alpine climate is found in the Sierra Nevada area. Death Valley is also considered the hottest located in the world with a recorded temperature of 57 C recorded there in 1913. The coldest temperature recorded in California was -43 C in 1937.

The ecology of California is considered to be one of the richest and most diversified throughout the planet. The state has some of the largest, tallest and oldest trees, many unique species of wildlife and more.

The 20th Century

Looking at the history of California, settlement increased immensely in the early 20th century. From 1900 to 1965, the population increased from less than one million to become the most populated state in the entire country. Huge engineering projects were undertaken to deal with this massive increase in population. Filmmakers of course came to the area in the 1920s thanks to the mild climate, helping to make California famous across the world.

During the Second World War, California made nearly nine per cent of all the armaments used by the United States during the war. Following the war, the state greatly increased its defense and aerospace industries.

Looking at its population, California has seen a near constant increase in its population since 1850. California is the most populated sub-state in the Western Hemisphere, trailing only the State of Sao Paulo in Brazil. California has a larger population than 34 other countries and Los Angeles County has more people in it than 42 other states.

California has long been seen as a subject of interest in the public mind thanks to promoters making it seem as though it was a paradise throughout much of the 20th century. In the early 20th century, many saw it as the ideal resort destination thanks to the sunny weather. Along with bands like The Beach Boys portraying California as a laid-back area, many flocked to it throughout the decades.

Today, it is still a place held high in the public imagination and it has many of the most popular tourist attractions in the country. - copyright 2005-2020 - The Jewell City in California- Visit California