California

With over 39.5 million residents, California is the most populous state in the United States. It is bordered by Nevada to the east, Arizona to the southeast, the Pacific Ocean to the west, Oregon to the north, and Mexico to the south. The greater Los Angeles area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nation’s second and fifth most populous urban regions, respectively.

The economy of California has a gross state product of $3.2 trillion as of 2019, and if it were a country would be the 37th most populous country and the fifth largest economy in the world. The Greater Los Angeles area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nation’s second- and third-largest urban economies.

California was first settled by various Native Californian tribes, before being explored by Europeans during the 16th and 17th centuries. In 1804, it was included in Alta California province within the Viceroyalty of New Spain. It became a part of Mexico in 1821, but was ceded to the United States in 1848 after the Mexican–American War. The western portion of that province was then organized and admitted as the 31st state on September 9, 1850.

Hollywood, the oldest and largest film industry in the world, has had a profound effect on global entertainment. California’s ports and harbors handle about a third of all U.S. imports, most originating in Pacific Rim international trade. The San Francisco Bay Area and the Greater Los Angeles Area are seen as centers of the global technology and entertainment industries.

It shares a border with the U.S. states of Oregon, Nevada, and Arizona and the Mexican state of Baja California. The large size of the state results in climates that vary from moist tropical rainforests in the north to arid deserts in the interior.