California Advance Sheet June 2012
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Civil Rights Data
The CRDCs for the , , and school years collected data from every public school and school district in the country. The CRDC collected data from a sample of approximately 7, public school districts and over 72, public schools. Resources for the , , , and CRDCs are presented below. Search for:. Toggle navigation U.
Student Loans Grants Laws Data. In , the Census Bureau reported California's population as 6.
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The state government also adopted the California Master Plan for Higher Education in to develop a highly efficient system of public education. Meanwhile, attracted to the mild Mediterranean climate, cheap land, and the state's wide variety of geography, filmmakers established the studio system in Hollywood in the s. California manufactured 8. This is often referred to by the media as the California exodus. During the 20th century, two great disasters happened in California.
The San Francisco earthquake and St. Francis Dam flood remain the deadliest in U. S history. Although air pollution problems have been reduced, health problems associated with pollution have continued. The brown haze known as " smog " has been substantially abated after the passage of federal and state restrictions on automobile exhaust.
An energy crisis in led to rolling blackouts , soaring power rates, and the importation of electricity from neighboring states. More people commuted longer hours to afford a home in more rural areas while earning larger salaries in the urban areas. Speculators bought houses they never intended to live in, expecting to make a huge profit in a matter of months, then rolling it over by buying more properties.
Mortgage companies were compliant, as everyone assumed the prices would keep rising. The bubble burst in as housing prices began to crash and the boom years ended. Hundreds of billions in property values vanished and foreclosures soared as many financial institutions and investors were badly hurt.
California is the 3rd largest state in the United States in area, after Alaska and Texas. In the middle of the state lies the California Central Valley , bounded by the Sierra Nevada in the east, the coastal mountain ranges in the west, the Cascade Range to the north and by the Tehachapi Mountains in the south.
The Central Valley is California's productive agricultural heartland. Both valleys derive their names from the rivers that flow through them. With dredging, the Sacramento and the San Joaquin Rivers have remained deep enough for several inland cities to be seaports.
Water is diverted from the delta and through an extensive network of pumps and canals that traverse nearly the length of the state, to the Central Valley and the State Water Projects and other needs. Water from the Delta provides drinking water for nearly 23 million people, almost two-thirds of the state's population as well as water for farmers on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley. In the western part of the state is Clear Lake , the largest freshwater lake by area entirely in California.
The Sierra Nevada falls to Arctic temperatures in winter and has several dozen small glaciers, including Palisade Glacier , the southernmost glacier in the United States. About 45 percent of the state's total surface area is covered by forests,  and California's diversity of pine species is unmatched by any other state. California contains more forestland than any other state except Alaska. Many of the trees in the California White Mountains are the oldest in the world; an individual bristlecone pine is over 5, years old.
In the south is a large inland salt lake, the Salton Sea. Indeed, almost all of southeastern California is arid, hot desert, with routine extreme high temperatures during the summer. The southeastern border of California with Arizona is entirely formed by the Colorado River , from which the southern part of the state gets about half of its water.
As part of the Ring of Fire , California is subject to tsunamis , floods , droughts, Santa Ana winds , wildfires , landslides on steep terrain, and has several volcanoes. It has many earthquakes due to several faults running through the state, the largest being the San Andreas Fault. About 37, earthquakes are recorded each year, but most are too small to be felt. Although most of the state has a Mediterranean climate , due to the state's large size the climate ranges from polar to subtropical.
The cool California Current offshore often creates summer fog near the coast. Farther inland, there are colder winters and hotter summers. The maritime moderation results in the shoreline summertime temperatures of Los Angeles and San Francisco being the coolest of all major metropolitan areas of the United States and uniquely cool compared to areas on the same latitude in the interior and on the east coast of the North American continent. Even the San Diego shoreline bordering Mexico is cooler in summer than most areas in the contiguous United States. Just a few miles inland, summer temperature extremes are significantly higher, with downtown Los Angeles being several degrees warmer than at the coast.
The same microclimate phenomenon is seen in the climate of the Bay Area, where areas sheltered from the sea experience significantly hotter summers than nearby areas that are close to the ocean. Northern parts of the state have more rain than the south. California's mountain ranges also influence the climate: some of the rainiest parts of the state are west-facing mountain slopes.
Northwestern California has a temperate climate , and the Central Valley has a Mediterranean climate but with greater temperature extremes than the coast. The high mountains, including the Sierra Nevada , have an alpine climate with snow in winter and mild to moderate heat in summer. California's mountains produce rain shadows on the eastern side, creating extensive deserts. The higher elevation deserts of eastern California have hot summers and cold winters, while the low deserts east of the Southern California mountains have hot summers and nearly frostless mild winters.
The table below lists average temperatures for January and August in a selection of places throughout the state; some highly populated and some not. This includes the relatively cool summers of the Humboldt Bay region around Eureka , the extreme heat of Death Valley , and the mountain climate of Mammoth in the Sierra Nevadas. California is one of the richest and most diverse parts of the world, and includes some of the most endangered ecological communities. California is part of the Nearctic ecozone and spans a number of terrestrial ecoregions.
California's large number of endemic species includes relict species, which have died out elsewhere, such as the Catalina ironwood Lyonothamnus floribundus. Many other endemics originated through differentiation or adaptive radiation , whereby multiple species develop from a common ancestor to take advantage of diverse ecological conditions such as the California lilac Ceanothus. Many California endemics have become endangered, as urbanization, logging, overgrazing , and the introduction of exotic species have encroached on their habitat.
California boasts several superlatives in its collection of flora: the largest trees , the tallest trees , and the oldest trees. California's native grasses are perennial plants. Because California has the greatest diversity of climate and terrain, the state has six life zones which are the lower Sonoran desert ; upper Sonoran foothill regions and some coastal lands , transition coastal areas and moist northeastern counties ; and the Canadian, Hudsonian, and Arctic Zones, comprising the state's highest elevations.
Plant life in the dry climate of the lower Sonoran zone contains a diversity of native cactus, mesquite, and paloverde. The Joshua tree is found in the Mojave Desert. Flowering plants include the dwarf desert poppy and a variety of asters. Fremont cottonwood and valley oak thrive in the Central Valley. The upper Sonoran zone includes the chaparral belt, characterized by forests of small shrubs, stunted trees, and herbaceous plants. Nemophila , mint , Phacelia , Viola , and the California poppy Eschscholzia californica — the state flower — also flourish in this zone, along with the lupine, more species of which occur here than anywhere else in the world.
The transition zone includes most of California's forests with the redwood Sequoia sempervirens and the "big tree" or giant sequoia Sequoiadendron giganteum , among the oldest living things on earth some are said to have lived at least 4, years. Tanbark oak , California laurel , sugar pine , madrona , broad-leaved maple , and Douglas-fir also grow here.
Forest floors are covered with swordfern , alumnroot, barrenwort , and trillium , and there are thickets of huckleberry , azalea , elder, and wild currant. Characteristic wild flowers include varieties of mariposa, tulip , and tiger and leopard lilies. The high elevations of the Canadian zone allow the Jeffrey pine , red fir , and lodgepole pine to thrive. Brushy areas are abundant with dwarf manzanita and ceanothus ; the unique Sierra puffball is also found here.
Right below the timberline, in the Hudsonian zone, the whitebark, foxtail, and silver pines grow. Common plants that have been introduced to the state include the eucalyptus , acacia , pepper tree , geranium, and Scotch broom. The species that are federally classified as endangered are the Contra Costa wallflower , Antioch Dunes evening primrose , Solano grass , San Clemente Island larkspur , salt marsh bird's beak , McDonald's rock-cress , and Santa Barbara Island liveforever.
In the deserts of the lower Sonoran zone, the mammals include the jackrabbit , kangaroo rat , squirrel, and opossum. Common birds include the owl , roadrunner , cactus wren , and various species of hawk. The area's reptilian life include the sidewinder viper , desert tortoise , and horned toad. The upper Sonoran zone boasts mammals such as the antelope , brown-footed woodrat , and ring-tailed cat. Birds unique to this zone are the California thrasher , bushtit , and California condor.
In the transition zone, there are Colombian black-tailed deer , black bears , gray foxes , cougars , bobcats , and Roosevelt elk. Reptiles such as the garter snakes and rattlesnakes inhabit the zone. In addition, amphibians such as the water puppy and redwood salamander are common too.
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Birds such as the kingfisher , chickadee, towhee , and hummingbird thrive here as well. The Canadian zone mammals include the mountain weasel , snowshoe hare , and several species of chipmunks. Conspicuous birds include the blue-fronted jay , Sierra chickadee. Sierra hermit thrush , water ouzel , and Townsend's solitaire. As one ascends into the Hudsonian zone, birds become scarcer.
While the Sierra rosy finch is the only bird native to the high Arctic region, other bird species such as the hummingbird and Clark's nutcracker. Principal mammals found in this region include the Sierra coney, white-tailed jackrabbit , and the bighorn sheep. The fauna found throughout several zones are the mule deer , coyote , mountain lion , northern flicker , and several species of hawk and sparrow.
Aquatic life in California thrives, from the state's mountain lakes and streams to the rocky Pacific coastline. Numerous trout species are found, among them rainbow , golden , and cutthroat. Migratory species of salmon are common as well. Deep-sea life forms include sea bass , yellowfin tuna , barracuda , and several types of whale.
Native to the cliffs of northern California are seals, sea lions, and many types of shorebirds, including migratory species. Endangered animals include the San Joaquin kitfox , Point Arena mountain beaver , Pacific pocket mouse , salt marsh harvest mouse , Morro Bay kangaroo rat and five other species of kangaroo rat , Amargosa vole , California least tern , California condor , loggerhead shrike , San Clemente sage sparrow , San Francisco garter snake , five species of salamander, three species of chub, and two species of pupfish.
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Eleven butterflies are also endangered  and two that are threatened are on the federal list. California has a total of , acres 1, The most prominent river system within California is formed by the Sacramento River and San Joaquin River , which are fed mostly by snowmelt from the west slope of the Sierra Nevada, and respectively drain the north and south halves of the Central Valley. The Klamath and Trinity Rivers drain a large area in far northwestern California.
The Colorado River forms the state's southeast border with Arizona. Most of California's major rivers are dammed as part of two massive water projects: the Central Valley Project , providing water for agriculture in the Central Valley, and the California State Water Project diverting water from northern to southern California. The state's coasts, rivers, and other bodies of water are regulated by the California Coastal Commission. Between and , there was a natural increase of 3,, 5,, births minus 2,, deaths.
California's population is greater than that of all but 34 countries of the world. Conversely, San Francisco, with nearly one-quarter the population density of Manhattan , is the most densely populated city in California and one of the most densely populated cities in the United States.
Also, Los Angeles County has held the title of most populous United States county for decades, and it alone is more populous than 42 United States states. The center of population of California is located in the town of Buttonwillow , Kern County. The state has incorporated cities and towns, of which are cities and 22 are towns. Under California law, the terms "city" and "town" are explicitly interchangeable; the name of an incorporated municipality in the state can either be "City of Name " or "Town of Name ". Sacramento became California's first incorporated city on February 27, Starting in the year , for the first time since the California Gold Rush , California-born residents make up the majority of the state's population.
The state's population of undocumented immigrants has been shrinking in recent years, due to increased enforcement and decreased job opportunities for lower-skilled workers. According to the United States Census Bureau in the population self-identifies as alone or in combination : . By ethnicity, in the population was Hispanics are the largest single ethnic group in California. As of [update] , In terms of total numbers, California has the largest population of White Americans in the United States, an estimated 22,, residents.
The state has the 5th largest population of African Americans in the United States, an estimated 2,, residents. California's Asian American population is estimated at 4. California's Native American population of , is the most of any state. English serves as California's de jure and de facto official language. In , the Modern Language Association of America estimated that Various government agencies do, and are often required to, furnish documents in the various languages needed to reach their intended audiences.
In total, 16 languages other than English were spoken as primary languages at home by more than , persons, more than any other state in the nation. New York State, in second place, had 9 languages other than English spoken by more than , persons. California has historically been one of the most linguistically diverse areas in the world, with more than 70 indigenous languages derived from 64 root languages in 6 language families.
As a result of the state's increasing diversity and migration from other areas across the country and around the globe, linguists began noticing a noteworthy set of emerging characteristics of spoken American English in California since the late 20th century. This variety, known as California English , has a vowel shift and several other phonological processes that are different from varieties of American English used in other regions of the United States.
The culture of California is a Western culture and most clearly has its modern roots in the culture of the United States , but also, historically, many Hispanic Californio and Mexican influences. As a border and coastal state, Californian culture has been greatly influenced by several large immigrant populations, especially those from Latin America and Asia. California has long been a subject of interest in the public mind and has often been promoted by its boosters as a kind of paradise. In the early 20th century, fueled by the efforts of state and local boosters, many Americans saw the Golden State as an ideal resort destination, sunny and dry all year round with easy access to the ocean and mountains.
In the s, popular music groups such as The Beach Boys promoted the image of Californians as laid-back, tanned beach-goers. The California Gold Rush of the s is still seen as a symbol of California's economic style, which tends to generate technology, social, entertainment, and economic fads and booms and related busts. The largest religious denominations by number of adherents as a percentage of California's population in were the Catholic Church with 28 percent, Evangelical Protestants with 20 percent, and Mainline Protestants with 10 percent.
Together, all kinds of Protestants accounted for 32 percent. Those unaffiliated with any religion represented 27 percent of the population.
The Arctic Ocean and Greenland ice sheet have seen record June ice loss
In , those unaffiliated with any religion represented 21 percent of the population. The breakdown of other religions in was 0. The first priests to come to California were Roman Catholic missionaries from Spain. Roman Catholics founded 21 missions along the California coast , as well as the cities of Los Angeles and San Francisco. California continues to have a large Roman Catholic population due to the large numbers of Mexicans and Central Americans living within its borders.
California has twelve dioceses and two archdioceses, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and the Archdiocese of San Francisco , the former being the largest archdiocese in the United States. A Pew Research Center survey revealed that California is somewhat less religious than the rest of the US: 62 percent of Californians say they are "absolutely certain" of their belief in God, while in the nation 71 percent say so.
The survey also revealed 48 percent of Californians say religion is "very important", compared to 56 percent nationally. California has twenty major professional sports league franchises, far more than any other state. San Diego and Sacramento each have one major league team. California has long had many respected collegiate sports programs. California is home to the oldest college bowl game, the annual Rose Bowl , among others. California is the only U. The and Summer Olympics were held in Los Angeles. Public secondary education consists of high schools that teach elective courses in trades, languages, and liberal arts with tracks for gifted, college-bound and industrial arts students.
California's public educational system is supported by a unique constitutional amendment that requires a minimum annual funding level for grades K—12 and community colleges that grow with the economy and student enrollment figures. For , California's K public schools ranked 48th in the number of employees per student, at 0. A study concluded that California's public school system was "broken" in that it suffered from over-regulation.
California's public postsecondary education offers three separate systems:. California is also home to such notable private universities as Stanford University , the University of Southern California , the California Institute of Technology , and the Claremont Colleges. California has hundreds of other private colleges and universities, including many religious and special-purpose institutions.
California has a twinning arrangement with the region of Catalonia in Spain  and the Province of Alberta in Canada. California's economy ranks among the largest in the world. The five largest sectors of employment in California are trade, transportation, and utilities; government; professional and business services; education and health services; and leisure and hospitality.
In output, the five largest sectors are financial services, followed by trade, transportation, and utilities; education and health services; government; and manufacturing. California's economy is dependent on trade and international related commerce accounts for about one-quarter of the state's economy. Agriculture is an important sector in California's economy. Factors contributing to the growth in sales-per-acre include more intensive use of active farmlands and technological improvements in crop production. The Central Valley is the most impoverished, with migrant farm workers making less than minimum wage.
According to a report by the Congressional Research Service , the San Joaquin Valley was characterized as one of the most economically depressed regions in the United States, on par with the region of Appalachia. The high-technology sectors in Northern California, specifically Silicon Valley , in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties , have emerged from the economic downturn caused by the dot-com bust. In , there were more than , millionaires in the state, more than any other state in the nation. California GDP by sector in Had California been an independent country in its gross domestic product would have been ranked fifth in the world.
With the passage of Proposition 30 in , California now levies a California has a state sales tax of 7. Many of these taxes are temporary for a seven-year period as stipulated in Proposition 30 and afterwards will revert to a previous maximum marginal income tax bracket of All real property is taxable annually; the tax is based on the property's fair market value at the time of purchase or new construction. Because it is the most populous state in the United States, California is one of the country's largest users of energy.
However because of its high energy rates, conservation mandates, mild weather in the largest population centers and strong environmental movement, its per capita energy use is one of the smallest of any state in the United States. As a result of the state's strong environmental movement, California has some of the most aggressive renewable energy goals in the United States, with a target for California to obtain a third of its electricity from renewables by Several dams across the state provide hydro-electric power.
The state's crude oil and natural gas deposits are located in the Central Valley and along the coast, including the large Midway-Sunset Oil Field. Natural gas-fired power plants typically account for more than one-half of state electricity generation. California is also home to two major nuclear power plants: Diablo Canyon and San Onofre , the latter having been shut down in Voters banned the approval of new nuclear power plants since the late s because of concerns over radioactive waste disposal. California's vast terrain is connected by an extensive system of controlled-access highways 'freeways' , limited-access roads 'expressways' , and highways.
California is known for its car culture , giving California's cities a reputation for severe traffic congestion. Construction and maintenance of state roads and statewide transportation planning are primarily the responsibility of the California Department of Transportation , nicknamed "Caltrans". The rapidly growing population of the state is straining all of its transportation networks, and California has some of the worst roads in the United States.
The state has been a pioneer in road construction. With its orange paint and panoramic views of the bay, this highway bridge is a popular tourist attraction and also accommodates pedestrians and bicyclists. The San Francisco—Oakland Bay Bridge often abbreviated the "Bay Bridge" , completed in , transports about , vehicles per day on two-decks. There are about a dozen important commercial airports and many more general aviation airports throughout the state.
California also has several important seaports. The giant seaport complex formed by the Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach in Southern California is the largest in the country and responsible for handling about a fourth of all container cargo traffic in the United States.
The Port of Oakland , fourth largest in the nation, also handles trade entering from the Pacific Rim to the rest of the country. The Port of Stockton is the farthest inland port on the west coast of the United States. The California Highway Patrol is the largest statewide police agency in the United States in employment with over 10, employees. They are responsible for providing any police-sanctioned service to anyone on California's state-maintained highways and on state property. These services are the busiest intercity rail lines in the United States outside the Northeast Corridor and ridership is continuing to set records.
Nearly all counties operate bus lines, and many cities operate their own city bus lines as well. The state's widespread redistribution of water also invites the frequent scorn of environmentalists. The California Water Wars , a conflict between Los Angeles and the Owens Valley over water rights, is one of the most well-known examples of the struggle to secure adequate water supplies. So it developed into a battle between environmentalists and farmers and between the south and the north and between rural and urban.
And everyone has been fighting for the last four decades about water. The capital of California is located within Sacramento. After June 8, , when Proposition 14 was approved, excepting only the United States President and county central committee offices,  all candidates in the primary elections are listed on the ballot with their preferred party affiliation, but they are not the official nominee of that party. They serve four-year terms and may be re-elected only once.
Senators serve four-year terms and Assembly members two.
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Members of the Assembly are subject to term limits of three terms, and members of the Senate are subject to term limits of two terms. California's legal system is explicitly based upon English common law  as is the case with all other states except Louisiana but carries a few features from Spanish civil law , such as community property. California's prison population grew from 25, in to over , in California's judiciary system is the largest in the United States with a total of 1, judges, while the federal system has only about At the apex is the seven Justices of the Supreme Court of California , while the California Courts of Appeal serve as the primary appellate courts and the California Superior Courts serve as the primary trial courts.
Justices of the Supreme Court and Courts of Appeal are appointed by the Governor, but are subject to retention by the electorate every 12 years. The administration of the state's court system is controlled by the Judicial Council , composed of the Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court, 14 judicial officers, four representatives from the State Bar of California , and one member from each house of the state legislature. California is divided into 58 counties. Per Article 11, Section 1, of the Constitution of California , they are the legal subdivisions of the state.
The county government provides countywide services such as law enforcement, jails, elections and voter registration, vital records, property assessment and records, tax collection, public health, health care, social services, libraries, flood control, fire protection, animal control, agricultural regulations, building inspections, ambulance services, and education departments in charge of maintaining statewide standards. Each county is governed by an elected board of supervisors. Incorporated cities and towns in California are either charter or general-law municipalities.
Municipalities incorporated in the 19th century tend to be charter municipalities. All ten of the state's most populous cities are charter cities. Most small cities have a council-manager form of government, where the elected city council appoints a city manager to supervise the operations of the city. Some larger cities have a directly-elected mayor who oversees the city government. In many council-manager cities, the city council selects one of its members as a mayor, sometimes rotating through the council membership—but this type of mayoral position is primarily ceremonial.
The Government of San Francisco is the only consolidated city-county in California, where both the city and county governments have been merged into one unified jurisdiction. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors also acts as the city council and the Mayor of San Francisco also serves as the county administrative officer. About 1, school districts , independent of cities and counties, handle California's public education.
There are about 3, special districts in California. The geographic area of a special district can spread across multiple cities or counties, or could consist of only a portion of one. Most of California's special districts are single-purpose districts , and provide one service. The state of California sends 53 members to the House of Representatives ,  the nation's largest congressional state delegation. Consequently California also has the largest number of electoral votes in national presidential elections, with California's U.
In , California became the first state to have a Senate delegation entirely composed of women. In California, as of [update] , the U. Department of Defense had a total of , active duty servicemembers of which 88, were Sailors or Marines , 18, were Airmen , and 11, were Soldiers , with 61, Department of Defense civilian employees. Additionally, there were a total of 57, Reservists and Guardsman in California. In , Los Angeles County was the largest origin of military recruits in the United States by county, with 1, individuals enlisting in the military.
California's military forces consist of the Army and Air National Guard , the naval and state military reserve militia , and the California Cadet Corps. California has an idiosyncratic political culture compared to the rest of the country, and is sometimes regarded as a trendsetter. As of the presidential election, California was the 2nd most Democratic state behind Hawaii. Among the political idiosyncrasies and trendsetting, California was the second state to recall their state governor , the second state to legalize abortion, and the only state to ban marriage for gay couples twice by voters including Proposition 8 in Voters also passed Proposition 71 in to fund stem cell research, and Proposition 14 in to completely change the state's primary election process.
California has also experienced disputes over water rights ; and a tax revolt , culminating with the passage of Proposition 13 in , limiting state property taxes. The state's trend towards the Democratic Party and away from the Republican Party can be seen in state elections. From to , California had Republican governors.
Since , California has generally elected Democratic candidates to federal, state and local offices, including current Governor Gavin Newsom ; however, the state has elected Republican Governors, though many of its Republican Governors, such as Arnold Schwarzenegger , tend to be considered moderate Republicans and more centrist than the national party. The Democrats also now hold a supermajority in both houses of the state legislature. The trend towards the Democratic Party is most obvious in presidential elections. From to , California was a Republican leaning state, with the party carrying the state's electoral votes in every election except for Presidents, respectively.
However, Democrats have won all of California's electoral votes since As the result of gerrymandering , the districts in California were usually dominated by one or the other party, and few districts were considered competitive. In , Californians passed Proposition 20 to empower a member independent citizen commission to redraw districts for both local politicians and Congress. After the elections, when the new system took effect, Democrats gained 4 seats and held a 38—15 majority in the delegation.
Following the midterm House elections , Democrats won 46 out of 53 congressional house seats in California, leaving Republicans with 7. In general, Democratic strength is centered in the populous coastal regions of the Los Angeles metropolitan area and the San Francisco Bay Area. Republican strength is still greatest in eastern parts of the state.
Orange County had remained largely Republican until the and elections, in which a majority of the county's votes were cast for Democratic candidates. In October , out of the 23,, people eligible to vote, 18,, people were registered to vote. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the U. For other uses, see California disambiguation. State of the United States of America. The Seal of California. Fresh water: Golden trout Marine: Garibaldi. Land: California grizzly bear State animal  Marine: Gray whale.
Interactive map of California. Main articles: Etymology of California and Island of California. Main article: History of California. Map showing Alta California in when it was a sparsely populated Mexican province . See also: Admission to the Union and List of U. Miners during the California Gold Rush. California is Admitted to the Union under the Compromise of Merchant ships fill San Francisco harbor; c. Depiction of the completion of the first transcontinental railway. The Last Spike by Thomas Hill. Main article: History of California —present. Main article: Geography of California. A forest of redwood trees in Redwood National Park.
Aerial view of the California Central Valley. Big Sur coast, south of Monterey at Bixby Bridge. Yosemite National Park. Snow on the Sierra Nevada in eastern California. Death Valley , in the Mojave Desert. Potato Harbor, named for its distinctive ovular and bumpy shape,  on Santa Cruz Island. The coastline along Laguna Beach in Southern California.
Cylindropuntia bigelovii in the Joshua Tree National Park. Mojave National Preserve. This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Main article: Climate of California. Main article: Ecology of California. See also: Environment of California. See also: List of California native plants. See also: List of invertebrates of California. Main article: List of rivers of California.
Further information: List of regions of California and List of places in California. Main article: Demography of California. See also: List of cities and towns in California and List of largest California cities by population. Largest cities or towns in California Source: . California Racial Breakdown of Population Racial composition     White Main article: Culture of California.
Main article: Religion in California.