State of California : Nickname(s)
The Golden State
: Motto(s) Eureka  : " State song(s) " I Love You, California Official language English Spoken languages Language spoken at home  Demonym Californian Capital Sacramento Largest city Los Angeles Largest metro Greater Los Angeles Area Ranked 3rd • Total 163,696 sq mi (423,970 km 2) • Width 250 miles (400 km) • Length 770 miles (1,240 km) • % water 4.7 • Latitude 32°32′ N to 42° N • Longitude 114°8′ W to 124°26′ W Population Ranked 1st • Total 39,557,045 (2018 est.)  • Density 240/sq mi (92.6/km 2) Ranked 11th • Median household income $71,805 (2017) (9th)  Elevation • Highest point Mount Whitney     14,505 ft (4,421.0 m) • Mean 2,900 ft (880 m) • Lowest point Badwater Basin  −279 ft (−85.0 m) Before statehood (part) Mexican Cession Admitted to the Union September 9, 1850 (31st) Governor ( Gavin Newsom ) D Lieutenant Governor (D) Eleni Kounalakis Legislature State Legislature • Upper house State Senate • Lower house State Assembly U.S. Senators (D) Dianne Feinstein (D) Kamala Harris U.S. House delegation 46 Democrats 7 Republicans ( ) list Time zones Pacific Time Zone • Standard time ( PST ) UTC−8 • Summer time ( ) DST ( PDT ) UTC−7 ISO 3166 US-CA Abbreviations , CA www .ca .gov California is a in the state of the Pacific Region . With 39.6 million residents, California is the United States and the most populous U.S. state by area. The state capital is third-largest . The Sacramento and the Greater Los Angeles Area are the nation's second- and fifth-most San Francisco Bay Area , with 18.7 million and 9.7 million residents respectively. populous urban regions  is California's Los Angeles , and the country's most populous city , after second-most populous . California also has the nation's New York City , most populous county , and its Los Angeles County by area, largest county . The San Bernardino County is both the country's City and County of San Francisco after New York City and the second-most densely populated major city , behind only four of the five New York City fifth-most densely populated county . boroughs
California's $3.0 trillion economy is larger than that of any other state—larger than those of
and Texas combined—comprising nearly one-sixth of the United States' $19.4 trillion GDP (as of 2017), and is currently the Florida in the world. largest sub-national economy If it were a country, California would be the fifth-largest economy in the world (larger than the  , United Kingdom , or France ), India and the 36th-most populous as of 2017 .  The  and the Greater Los Angeles Area are the nation's second- and third-largest urban economies ($1.253 trillion and $907 billion respectively as of 2017 ), after the San Francisco Bay Area . New York metropolitan area The  had the nation's highest GDP per capita in 2017 (~$94,000) among large PSAs, San Francisco Bay Area PSA and is home to three of the world's ten largest companies by market capitalization  and four of the world's ten richest people.   is considered a global trendsetter in California culture , popular culture , innovation , and environmentalism . As a result of the state's diversity and migration, California integrates foods, languages, and traditions from other areas across the country and around the globe. It is considered the origin of the American politics , the film industry counterculture, hippie , fast food and beach , the car culture , Internet and the  , personal computer among others.   The San Francisco Bay Area and the Greater Los Angeles Area are widely seen as global centers of the technology and entertainment industries, respectively. California has a very diverse economy: 58% of the  is centered on state's economy , finance , government , real estate services , and professional, scientific, and technical technology . business services Although it accounts for only 1.5% of the state's economy,  California's  industry has the highest output of any U.S. state. agriculture    
California is bordered by
to the north, Oregon and Nevada to the east, and the Arizona of Mexican state to the south (with the coast being on the west). The state's diverse geography ranges from the Baja California in the west to the Pacific Coast mountain range in the east, and from the Sierra Nevada – redwood forests in the northwest to the Douglas fir in the southeast. The Mojave Desert , a major Central Valley area, dominates the state's center. Although California is well-known for its warm agricultural , the large size of the state results in climates that vary from moist Mediterranean climate in the north to arid temperate rainforest in the interior, as well as snowy desert in the mountains. Over time, alpine and drought have become more pervasive features. wildfires  
What is now California was first settled by various
before being explored by a number of European expeditions during the 16th and 17th centuries. The Native Californian tribes then claimed it as part of Spanish Empire , within its Alta California colony. The area became a part of New Spain in 1821 following its successful Mexico but was ceded to the United States in 1848 after the war for independence . The western portion of Alta California was then organized and admitted as the 31st state on September 9, 1850. The Mexican–American War starting in 1848 led to dramatic social and demographic changes, with large-scale emigration from the east and abroad with an accompanying economic boom. California Gold Rush
California originally referred to the of Mexico; it was later extended to the entire region composed of the current United States states of California, Baja California Peninsula , and Nevada , and parts of Utah , Arizona , New Mexico and Texas . Wyoming
The name likely derived from the mythical island
California in the fictional story of , as recorded in a 1510 work Queen Calafia by The Adventures of Esplandián . Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo This work was the fifth in a popular Spanish  series that began with chivalric romance . Amadis de Gaula    Queen Calafia's kingdom was said to be a remote land rich in gold and pearls, inhabited by beautiful black women who wore gold armor and lived like  , as well as Amazons and other strange beasts. griffins   In the fictional paradise, the ruler Queen Calafia fought alongside Muslims and her name may have been chosen to echo the title of a Muslim leader, the Caliph. It's possible the name California was meant to imply the island was a  . Caliphate 
Know ye that at the right hand of the Indies there is an island called California, very close to that part of the Terrestrial Paradise, which was inhabited by black women without a single man among them, and they lived in the manner of Amazons. They were robust of body with strong passionate hearts and great virtue. The island itself is one of the wildest in the world on account of the bold and craggy rocks.
Shortened forms of the state's name include
, and CA, Cal., Calif. .