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25 Interesting Facts about California

25 Interesting Facts about California

Want to know more about California? Here are 25 Interesting Facts about California that you probably didn’t know before reading this!

To make this even more fun, I want to challenge you as well. How many of these California facts did you know before reading this? Share your result in the comment section!

It’s the most populous state in the U.S

About 39,5 million people live in California, also known as the Golden State. This makes it the most populous state in all of the U.S.

1 in 8 Americans live here, so if you meet a U.S citizen abroad, there’s 12,5% chance that they live somewhere in California. 

California facts

Photo: Juli Hansen /

And it has the fifth largest economy in the World

The Californian economy is the largest economy in the U.S, and if it were a separate country, it would even surpass the economy of the United Kingdom. 

If you compare economies worldwide, it would be the fifth largest economy in the world!

California takes care of the homeless

Even South Park made an episode and song saying that California takes care of the homeless.

However, it’s difficult to handle all of the homeless people, and there are many homeless camps and tent sites around the cities. At least they are not being thrown away or have to shiver at night in the cold. 

It’s hard to measure exact numbers, but the government estimate that there are more than 130,000 homeless people, which is the highest number in any American state. Roughly 55,000 of them is living in Los Angeles. 

Homeless california

Photo: Philip Pilosian /

There are approximately 500,000 detectable seismic tremors annually

Earthquakes are not uncommon in California, but most of them are smaller ones. However, there are numerous warnings about super-volcanoes and threats of major earthquakes that are bound to happen in the future, according to seismologists and experts. 

The fact that there are 500,000 detectable seismic tremors annually adds up to this as well. 

Home to Hollywood

The walk of fame and the Hollywood sign might be the most popular tourist spots in Hollywood, but the biggest reason for its world-renowned status is, of course, all of the great movies that have been produced here. 

It’s the Mecca of movie productions!


1/4 of the Californian population are born outside the U.S

It’s a multicultural state with many ethnic groups and cultures. That’s also what makes the state so diverse and rich. 

About a quarter of the population is born outside the USA, that’s definitely one of the most interesting facts about California!

Famous for its wine

You have probably heard of Napa Valley, the famous Californian wine region. But, there are plenty of other Californian vineyards, and Napa Valley only produces about 4% of the total amount of wine.

In total, there are 480,000 acres (1,942 km2) of vineyards, and the Golden State produces about 90% of all American wine production. 

Californian wine

Photo: Shutterstock

California has been inhabited for at least 19,000 years

Like many other parts in the USA, the European settlers weren’t the first people inhabiting the North American continent, and California is not an exception.

In fact, it has been inhabited by indigenous tribes for at least 19,000 years. Today, about 40 tribes fight for tribal recognition. 

Death Valley is the hottest and driest place in America

The highest air temperature was recorded on July 10, 1913, at Furnace Creek with a melting temperature of 134°F (57°C). The average rainfall is less than 2 inches (5 cm), which makes it the driest place in North America. 

Even most deserts receive more rainfall than Death Valley. 

Death Valley

Photo: Shutterstock

The first Mcdonald’s restaurant ever was opened here in 1940

For all the people out there who love their Big Mac and Quarter Pounder, this is one of the interesting facts about California for you. 

The First Mcdonald’s restaurant ever was opened in San Bernardino in 1940, by the Mcdonald brothers. Hamburgers were sold for ten cents with all-you-can-drink orange juice at five cents. The original name was McDonald’s Bar-B-Que.

It is the only state that has hosted the Summer and Winter Olympics

Californians can also pride themselves of being the only state that has hosted both the Summer- and Winter Olympics. 

Squaw Valley hosted the Winter Olympics in 1960, and Los Angeles hosted the Summer games in 1984. 

Winter Olympics in California

Photo: David Litman /

It’s becoming one of the most sustainable states in the U.S

There are many laws that have been passed in order to become a greener state. Gavin Newsom and the Californian government are pioneers in the USA when it comes to fighting climate changes and environmental problems. 

The former governor and movie star Arnold Schwarzenegger has also made great improvements for a greener Cali. 

California is the world’s fifth-largest supplier of food

The Golden State is the largest producer of food in all of the USA, and worldwide it ranks as the fifth largest supplier of food. The mild and warm climate year-round makes great conditions for growing fruits and food 365 days a year. 

california farm

Photo: Shutterstock

Home to the Silicon Valley

Facebook, Google, Apple, AMD, Hewlett Packard, Electronic Arts, Cisco, Netflix, and Tesla are just some of the many companies in Silicon Valley. 

The area is considered to be one of the most important in the world for tech giants and innovative technologies. It’s a mecca for IT, and some of the most world-changing innovations in the world have been created here. 

Just take the iPhone as an example, a few of you reading this, probably does it from an iPhone. 

The Hollywood Bowl is the world’s largest outdoor amphitheater

If you ever see yourself visiting Los Angeles, you shouldn’t miss this outdoor movie theater. With a capacity of 17.500 people, it surely makes a spectacular evening under the open sky. 

Hollywood bowl

Photo: chirajuti /

5 x Fun Facts about California

  • There was a massive gold rush in the 1800s, and that’s how it became the Golden State
  • You may only throw a Frisbee at the beach in Los Angeles County with the lifeguard’s permission
  • The fortune cookie was invented here, not in China
  • In 2006, a naked man was arrested for carrying a concealed weapon
  • The ever-so-famous windows wallpaper for computers is taken in Napa Valley
fortune cookie

Photo: Shutterstock

5 x California Facts for Kids

  • Los Angeles is the largest city in California
  • The Californian poppy is the official state flower
  • Home to the first Disneyland theme park
  • The Giant Sequoia tree is the world’s most massive tree, and one of the largest living organisms on Earth
  • It is the most biologically diverse state in the U.S
Giant Sequoia tree

Photo: Shutterstock

General Facts about California

Below are some general info such as total population, land area, biggest lake, highest mountain and other general facts about California that might be interesting to know.

  • Total Population: 39,5 million people
  • State Capital: Sacramento
  • Life expectancy: 80.9 years
  • Highest Mountain: Mount Whitney, 14,505 ft (4,421 m)
  • Land area: 163,696 sq mi (423,970 km2)
  • Largest Lake: Salton Sea
  • Governor: Gavin Newsom
  • Currency: US Dollar (USD)
  • Official language: English
  • Time zone: PST (UTC−8) and Summertime: (DST) PDT (UTC−7)
  • Country Number/Prefix: +1 (USA)
Los Angeles

Photo: Shutterstock

The Biggest Cities in California

If you’re looking for facts about California, it might also be interesting to know which are the biggest cities. Here’s a list of the top 10 biggest cities ranked after population.

Los Angeles San Diego
San Jose San Francisco
Fresno Sacramento
Long Beach Oakland
Bakersfield Anaheim

Flag of California

Facts about California

Photo: Shutterstock

Map of California

Below you can see the state territory. It borders Oregon, Nevada, and Arizona as well as Mexico. 

California Map

Photo: Shutterstock

Book your trip

How many of these California Facts did you know beforehand? Share your result in the comment section below!