California State Info and Education Facts

California, the largest state by population in the U.S, is home to productive agricultural regions, large centers of information technology development and entertainment production, and eight of the 50 largest cities in the country. Keep reading to find out more about the postsecondary education options available in this state as well as info about California's economy and demographics.

Information about California

California is the most populous state in the United States. Based on 2015 U.S. census data, the state's approximately 39 million residents are of diverse ethnic backgrounds. Around 40% of California inhabitants are non-Hispanic Caucasians, while nearly 39% are of Hispanic origin. Asians are the next largest group, making up around 14% of the population.

In terms of recreation, entertainment and culture, California has nearly everything that anybody could desire. The western seaboard provides resources for water sports, diving and relaxation. Central California's famous wine regions and wineries rival their European counterparts for share of the world market. Los Angeles' film industry, centered at Hollywood, is one of the most important forces driving worldwide popular culture.

Both Los Angeles and San Francisco feature nationally known cultural and economic centers and offer hundreds of venues for theater, music, art and sporting entertainment. Beyond the large cities, California is home to a number of natural and protected areas, including Yosemite National Park, Redwood National Park and the United States National Marine Sanctuary.

Higher Education

California has more than 500 universities, colleges and other institutions of higher learning. Some of the nation's highly ranked universities are found in California, primarily in the Los Angeles and San Francisco Bay areas. The flagship campus of the University of California system, UC-Berkeley, is consistently ranked among the nation's best public universities. The same can also be said of other public universities, including the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), UC-San Diego and San Jose State University.

Major private universities in the state include Stanford University, the California Institute of Technology, the University of Southern California and Pepperdine University.

Economy and Employment

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of March 2016, trade, transportation, and utilities employed nearly 3 million people. Professional and business services employed about 2.5 million people, while education and health services employed around the same amount of people.

The state is considered a leader in the technology and film and television production fields, according to California's Legislative Analyst's Office. California also has a strong agriculture industry and produces about half of the country's produce and nuts. Crops include almonds, cotton, grapes and tomatoes.

Other major contributors to the California economy include Los Angeles' entertainment, media and film industries; Silicon Valley's computer and high-tech firms; and the banking and investment operations of San Francisco's financial district.


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