California Facts:

•  8th Largest Economy in the World

•  31st State in the Union

•  155,959 Square Miles

•  Nickname:  The Golden State

•  Population:  37.3 million (2010)

•  Capital:  Sacramento
California became the 31st state on September 9, 1850. The official California State Flower is the Golden Poppy.   In 1953 the magnificent California coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) became the official California State Tree. The California quail (Callipepla californica) was named the official California State Bird in 1931. The highest point in California is Mount Whitney - 14,494 Feet. The lowest point in California is The floor of Death Valley. It is 300 feet below sea level (at Badwater basin) and it is recognized as the lowest point in the Western Hemisphere and one of the hottest places on earth. 134 degrees F was recorded in 1913. The name California comes from a mythical Spanish island ruled by a queen called Califia that was featured in a Spanish romance ("Las Sergas de Esplandian") written by Garcia Ordonez de Montalvo in 1510. The Spanish explorers originally thought that California was an island.


California has been the number one food and agricultural producer in the United States for more than 50 consecutive years.


More than half the nation's fruit, nuts, and vegetables come from here. California is the nation's number one dairy state.


California's leading commodity is milk and cream. Grapes are second.


California's leading export crop is almonds.


Nationally, products exclusively grown (99 percent or more) in California include almonds, artichokes, dates, figs, kiwifruit, olives, persimmons, pistachios, prunes, raisins, clovers, and walnuts.


From 70 to 80 percent of all ripe olives are grown in California.


California produces 25 percent of the nation's onions and 43 percent of the nation's green onions.


Gilroy, California is the "Garlic Capitol of the World," where 2 million people have traveled to attend the annual Gilroy Garlic Festival.