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California - most populous state and interesting trivia

Updated on January 27, 2013

Situated in the western coast of the United States, California has a large coastline next to the Pacific Ocean giving it mild and pleasant climate pretty much year round. Although its coastline is not a long as Alaska's nor Florida's.

Perhaps that is why more people live in California than any other of the 50 United States. California has more people than many countries in the world. In fact, there are only about 58 countries in the world that has more people than the state of California.[1]

Los Angeles, followed by San Francisco, and then by San Jose are the most dense in terms population density of large cities within the United States. All three cities are found in California. After that, New York City in New York and then New Orleans in Louisiana. [reference]

In the 2010 Census, it showed that over 37 million people live in California, making California the most populous state with about 12% of the U.S. population.

And on average about 10 of these people per year become millionaires from playing the California lottery.[reference]

California's Silicon Valley

Perhaps more people become millionaire due to high tech startup companies and stock options in California's Silicon Valley. Silicon Valley located in the greater San Francisco Bay Area is the location where many world-wide famous tech companies are started and headquartered. For example: Google, Apple, Twitter, Yahoo, Intel, Hewlett Packard, Facebook, Zynga -- just to name a few.

Wikipedia has a list of the top 100 highest-income places in the United States with at least 1,000 households. California has 23 cities in that list -- more than any other state. Woodside, Hillsborough, Los Altos Hills are a few cities near the vicinity of Silicon Valley that are on that list. Woodside California for example has an per capita income of $105,000 a year.

California's Death Valley

Aside from Silicon Valley, California has what is known as Death Valley (a desert in Mojave Desert). Within Death Valley, there is Badwater Basin. Within Badwater Basin contains the lowest point in the United States at 282 feet below sea level.

Incidentally, Death Valley recorded the hottest April temperature in North America at 113 °F on April 22, 2012.

Speaking of hot, Furnace Creek within Death Valley is labelled as the hottest place on Earth (not just in the United States) based on the hottest ever recorded surface temperature of 134 °F.

Homeless in California

Just as there are a many millionaires in California, there are many homeless individuals in California as well. As of early part of 2012, California has an unemployment rate of around 10%. Although it contains 12% of the U.S. population, it has one-third of the nation's welfare recipients. [reference]

Of the 50 states, California has by far the greatest homeless population at 133,000. It has twice as many homeless as the second closest state which is New York with a homeless population of 65,000. [reference]

It is said that the greater Los Angeles and greater San Francisco area are the homeless capitals of the country. Skid Row (also known as Central City East) in downtown Los Angeles "contains one of the largest stable populations of homeless person in the United States" [Wikipedia]

Los Angeles is California's largest city and has the third-highest income inequality of the largest American metro areas.[reference] It is not unusual to find homeless sleeping on the street next to a high-end jewelry store where a person with a suit goes in to buy a expensive jewelry piece for a birthday gift.

California's Amazing Landscape

Some amazing landscapes in California includes the Sierra Nevada, Yosemite Valley, Lake Tahoe, and Sequoia National Park.

Mount Whitney located in the Sierra's is the highest peak in the contiguous forty-eight states. Sequoia National Park is the home of the giant sequoia trees which are the largest living organisms on Earth.[1] So big are these trees that you can drive your car through it, as in the Drive-Thru Tree Park in northern California.

Lake Tahoe is California's largest state by water volume.

California's Earthquakes

Located in the "Ring of Fire", California has its fair share of earthquakes. The San Francisco earthquake in April 18, 1906 measured a huge magnitude of 7.8 was one of the worst natural disasters in American history. The quake and resulting fire killed 3000 people and left many more without homes.

The 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake (again in San Francisco) measured 6.9 and killed 63 people. The quake partially collapsed a section of the Bay Bridge.

Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco
Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco

Despite all the earthquakes in San Francisco, BloombergBusinessWeek did rank San Francisco as America's Best City in 2012.

Speaking of bridges, California is famous for its Golden Gate Bridge in which Frommer's USA book writes that it is "possibly the most beautiful, and certainly the most photographed, bridge in the world." [page 825]

At the time of completion in 1937, it was the world's longest suspension bridge based on length of their main span which is 4200 feet. Its total length is 8,981 feet.

Taking over 4 years to complete, 11 men died -- 10 of which was from the one accident where a scaffolding fell. The construction made use of safety nets which had saved 19 others from death during falls. These 19 where known as the "Halfway-to-Hell Club".

Famous Governor

The famous actor and body builder Arnold Schwarzenegger served as 38th governor of California from 2003 to 2011.

Schwarzenegger was in many films such as Commando, Raw Deal, The Running Man, Twins, Total Recall, Kindergarten Cop, and others. He is probably most famous for Terminator 2.

Afterall, Hollywood (the center of the movie making industry) is located in Los Angeles, California.


Article was written July 2012 and information may be outdated by the time you read this.


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    • BlissfulWriter profile image

      BlissfulWriter 5 years ago

      thanks, I have a hub about Kansas too:

    • tiffany delite profile image

      tiffany delite 5 years ago from united states

      thank you for this hub...beautiful picture!! i am transplanted in kansas from california, and i love to visit cali, but kansas is home! thanks again for this hub...blessings!

    • BlissfulWriter profile image

      BlissfulWriter 5 years ago

      More are coming. I'm planning on writing something interesting about each of the 50 states. There is something interesting in every state.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Not my favorite state in the union but I'm more than willing to support you in your writing so I will toss away my prejudice and read this hub. LOL Nice quick summary of California....I actually learned a couple things I did not know. Well done my friend!