Southern California (colloquially and locally known as SoCal) is a geographic and cultural region that generally comprises California's southernmost counties, and is the second most populous urban agglomeration in the United States.The region is traditionally described as eight counties, based on demographics and economic ties: Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Santa Barbara, and Ventura. The more extensive 10-county definition, which includes Kern and San Luis Obispo counties, is also used and is based on historical political divisions.
California is a state in the Pacific Region of the United States. With 39.6 million residents, California is the most populous U.S. state and the third-largest by area. The state capital is Sacramento. The Greater Los Angeles Area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nation's second- and fifth-most populous urban regions, with 18.7 million and 8.8 million residents respectively. Los Angeles is California's most populous city, and the country's second-most populous, after New York City. California also has the nation's most populous county, Los Angeles County, and its largest county by area, San Bernardino County. The City and County of San Francisco is both the country's second-most densely populated major city after New York City and the fifth-most densely populated county, behind only four of the five New York City boroughs.
The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Imperial County is a county in the U.S. state of California. As of the 2010 census, the population was 174,528. The county seat is El Centro. Established in 1907, it was the last county to be formed in California.
The 8-county and 10-county definitions are not used for the greater Southern California Megaregion, one of the 11 megaregions of the United States. The megaregion is more expansive, extending east into Las Vegas, Nevada and south across the Mexican border into Tijuana.
Megaregions of the United States are clustered networks of American cities, which are currently estimated to contain a total population exceeding 237 million.
Las Vegas, officially the City of Las Vegas and often known simply as Vegas, is the 28th-most populated city in the United States, the most populated city in the state of Nevada, and the county seat of Clark County. The city anchors the Las Vegas Valley metropolitan area and is the largest city within the greater Mojave Desert. Las Vegas is an internationally renowned major resort city, known primarily for its gambling, shopping, fine dining, entertainment, and nightlife. The Las Vegas Valley as a whole serves as the leading financial, commercial, and cultural center for Nevada.
Nevada is a state in the Western United States. It is bordered by Oregon to the northwest, Idaho to the northeast, California to the west, Arizona to the southeast and Utah to the east. Nevada is the 7th most extensive, the 34th most populous, but the 9th least densely populated of the U.S. states. Nearly three-quarters of Nevada's people live in Clark County, which contains the Las Vegas–Paradise metropolitan area where three of the state's four largest incorporated cities are located. Nevada's capital, however, is Carson City.
Southern California includes the heavily built-up urban area which stretches along the Pacific coast from Ventura through the Greater Los Angeles area and the Inland Empire, and down to Greater San Diego. Southern California's population encompasses eight metropolitan areas: the Los Angeles metropolitan area (Los Angeles and Orange counties), the Inland Empire (Riverside and San Bernardino counties), the Palm Springs and Indio metropolitan area (Coachella Valley), the San Diego metropolitan area, the Oxnard–Thousand Oaks–Ventura metropolitan area, the Santa Barbara metropolitan area, the San Luis Obispo metropolitan area, and the El Centro area. The Los Angeles area has over 12 million inhabitants, while the Riverside-San Bernardino area has over 4 million inhabitants and the San Diego area has over 3 million inhabitants. For Combined Statistical Area (CSA) purposes, the five counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Ventura, are all combined to make up the Greater Los Angeles area with over 17.5 million people, the second-most populous U.S. combined statistical area, after the New York metropolitan area. With over 22 million people, southern California contains roughly 60 percent of California's population.
Ventura, officially the City of San Buenaventura, is the county seat of Ventura County, California, United States. The coastal site, set against undeveloped hills and flanked by two free-flowing rivers, has been inhabited for thousands of years. European explorers encountered a Chumash village, referred to as Shisholop, here while traveling along the Pacific coast. They witnessed the ocean navigation skill of the native people and their use of the abundant local resources from sea and land. The eponymous Mission San Buenaventura was founded nearby in 1782 where it benefitted from the water of the Ventura River. The town grew around the mission compound and incorporated in 1866. The development of nearby oil fields in the 1920s and the age of automobile travel created a major real estate boom during which many designated landmark buildings were constructed. The mission and these buildings are at the center of a downtown that has become a cultural, retail, and residential district and visitor destination.
The Inland Empire (IE) is a metropolitan area and region in Southern California. The term may be used to refer to the cities of western Riverside County and southwestern San Bernardino County. Sometimes including the desert communities of Palm Springs and the rest of the Coachella Valley; a much larger definition includes all of San Bernardino and Riverside counties.
The Los Angeles metropolitan area, also known as Metropolitan Los Angeles or the Southland, is the 30th largest metropolitan area in the world and the second-largest metropolitan area in the United States. It is the 3rd largest city by GDP in the world with a $1 trillion+ economy. It is entirely in the southern portion of the U.S. state of California. The tallest building in the Los Angeles metropolitan area is the Wilshire Grand Center at 1,100 feet in Downtown Los Angeles.
The Colorado Desert and the Colorado River are located on southern California's eastern border with Arizona, and the Mojave Desert is located north on California's Nevada border. Southern California's southern border is part of the Mexico–United States border.
California's Colorado Desert is a part of the larger Sonoran Desert. It encompasses approximately 7 million acres (28,000 km2), including the heavily irrigated Coachella and Imperial valleys. It is home to many unique flora and fauna.
The Colorado River is one of the principal rivers in the Southwestern United States and northern Mexico. The 1,450-mile-long (2,330 km) river drains an expansive, arid watershed that encompasses parts of seven U.S. and two Mexican states. Starting in the central Rocky Mountains of Colorado, the river flows generally southwest across the Colorado Plateau and through the Grand Canyon before reaching Lake Mead on the Arizona–Nevada border, where it turns south toward the international border. After entering Mexico, the Colorado approaches the mostly dry Colorado River Delta at the tip of the Gulf of California between Baja California and Sonora.
Arizona is a state in the southwestern region of the United States. It is also part of the Western and the Mountain states. It is the sixth largest and the 14th most populous of the 50 states. Its capital and largest city is Phoenix. Arizona, one of the Four Corners states, is bordered by New Mexico to the east, Utah to the north, Nevada and California to the west, and Mexico to the south, as well as the southwestern corner of Colorado. Arizona's border with Mexico is 389 miles (626 km) long, on the northern border of the Mexican states of Sonora and Baja California.
Within southern California are two major cities, Los Angeles and San Diego, as well as three of the country's largest metropolitan areas.With a population of 4,042,000, Los Angeles is the most populous city in California and the second most populous in the United States. South of Los Angeles and with a population of 1,307,402 is San Diego, the second most populous city in the state and the eighth most populous in the nation.
The counties of Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, San Bernardino, and Riverside are the five most populous in the state, and are in the top 15 most populous counties in the United States.
Los Angeles County, officially the County of Los Angeles, is the most populous county in the Los Angeles metropolitan area of the U.S. state of California and is the most populous county in the United States, with more than 10 million inhabitants as of 2017. As such, it is the largest non-state level government entity in the United States. Its population is larger than that of 41 individual U.S. states. It is the third-largest metropolitan economy in the world, with a Nominal GDP of over $700 billion—larger than the GDPs of Belgium, Saudi Arabia, Norway, and Taiwan. It has 88 incorporated cities and many unincorporated areas and, at 4,083 square miles (10,570 km2), it is larger than the combined areas of Delaware and Rhode Island. The county is home to more than one-quarter of California residents and is one of the most ethnically diverse counties in the U.S. Its county seat, Los Angeles, is also California's most populous city with about 4 million people.
Orange County is a county in the Los Angeles metropolitan area in the U.S. state of California. As of the 2010 census, the population was 3,010,232, making it the third-most populous county in California, the sixth-most populous in the United States, and more populous than 21 U.S. states. Its county seat is Santa Ana. It is the second most densely populated county in the state, behind San Francisco County. The county's four largest cities by population, Anaheim, Santa Ana, Irvine, and Huntington Beach, each have a population exceeding 200,000. Several of Orange County's cities are on the Pacific Ocean western coast, including Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, Dana Point, and San Clemente.
San Diego County is a county in the southwestern corner of the state of California, in the United States. As of the 2010 census, the population was 3,095,313. making it California's second-most populous county and the fifth-most populous in the United States. Its county seat is San Diego, the eighth-most populous city in the United States. It is the southwesternmost county in the 48 contiguous United States.
The motion picture, television, and music industry are centered in the Los Angeles area in southern California. Hollywood, a district of Los Angeles, gives its name to the American motion picture industry, which is synonymous with the neighborhood name. Headquartered in southern California are The Walt Disney Company (which owns ABC), Sony Pictures, Universal Pictures, MGM, Paramount Pictures, 20th Century Fox, and Warner Bros. Universal, Warner Bros., and Sony also run major record companies.
Southern California is also home to a large homegrown surf and skateboard culture. Companies such as Vans, Volcom, Quiksilver, No Fear, RVCA, and Body Glove are all headquartered here. Skateboarder Tony Hawk; surfers Rob Machado, Tim Curran, Bobby Martinez, Pat O'Connell, Dane Reynolds, and Chris Ward live in southern California. Some of the most famous surf locations are in southern California as well, including Trestles, Rincon, The Wedge, Huntington Beach, and Malibu. Some of the world's largest action sports events, including the X Games,Boost Mobile Pro, and the U.S. Open of Surfing, are held in southern California. The region is also important to the world of yachting with premier events including the annual Transpacific Yacht Race, or Transpac, from Los Angeles to Hawaii. The San Diego Yacht Club held the America's Cup, the most prestigious prize in yachting, from 1988 to 1995 and hosted three America's Cup races during that time. The first modern era triathlon was held in Mission Bay, San Diego, California in 1974. Since then, southern California, and San Diego in particular have become a mecca for triathlon and multi-sport racing, products and culture.
Southern California is home to many sports franchises and sports networks such as Fox Sports Net.
Many locals and tourists frequent the southern California coast for its beaches. The inland desert city of Palm Springs is also popular.
Southern California is not a formal geographic designation and definitions of what constitutes southern California vary. Geographically, California's North-South midway point lies at exactly 37° 9' 58.23" latitude, around 11 miles (18 km) south of San Jose; however, this does not coincide with the popular use of the term. When the state is divided into two areas (northern and southern California), the term southern California usually refers to the 10 southernmost counties of the state. This definition coincides neatly with the county lines at 35° 47′ 28″ North latitude, which form the northern borders of San Luis Obispo, Kern, and San Bernardino counties. Another definition for southern California uses Point Conception and the Tehachapi Mountains as the northern boundary.
Though there is no official definition for the northern boundary of southern California, such a division has existed from the time when Mexico ruled California and political disputes raged between the Californios of Monterey in the upper part and Los Angeles in the lower part of Alta California. Following the acquisition of California by the United States, the division continued as part of the attempt by several pro-slavery politicians to arrange the division of Alta California at 36 degrees, 30 minutes, the line of the Missouri Compromise. Instead, the passing of the Compromise of 1850 enabled California to be admitted to the Union as a free state, preventing southern California from becoming its own separate slave state.
Subsequently, Californians (dissatisfied with inequitable taxes and land laws) and pro-slavery Southerners in the lightly populated "cow counties" of southern California attempted three times in the 1850s to achieve a separate statehood or territorial status separate from Northern California. The last attempt, the Pico Act of 1859, was passed by the California State Legislature and signed by State Governor John B. Weller. It was approved overwhelmingly by nearly 75 percent of voters in the proposed Territory of Colorado. This territory was to include all the counties up to the then much larger Tulare County (that included what is now Kings, most of Kern, and part of Inyo counties) and San Luis Obispo County. The proposal was sent to Washington, D.C. with a strong advocate in Senator Milton Latham. However, the secession crisis following the election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860 and the subsequent American Civil War led to the proposal never coming to a vote.
In 1900, the Los Angeles Times defined southern California as including "the seven counties of Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Orange, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura and Santa Barbara." In 1999, the Times added a newer county, Imperial, to that list.
Southern California was the name of a proposed new state on the 2018 California ballot created by splitting the existing state into three parts.The hypothetical state would exclude the coastal counties north of Orange County but include inland counties as far north as Inyo County.
The state is most commonly divided and promoted by its regional tourism groups, consisting of northern, central, and southern California regions. The two American Automobile Association (AAA) Auto Clubs of the state, the California State Automobile Association, and the Automobile Club of Southern California, choose to simplify matters by dividing the state along the lines where their jurisdictions for membership apply, as either northern or southern California, in contrast to the three-region point of view. Another influence is the geographical phrase South of the Tehachapis, which would split the southern region off at the crest of that transverse range, but in that definition, the desert portions of north Los Angeles County and eastern Kern and San Bernardino Counties would be included in the southern California region due to their remoteness from the central valley and interior desert landscape.
|Los Angeles County||9,862,049||4,060.87||10,517.61||2,428.56||937.67|
|San Diego County||3,095,313||4,199.89||10,877.67||714.56||275.89|
|San Bernardino County||2,015,355||20,052.50||51,935.74||100.50||38.80|
|Santa Barbara County||405,396||2,737.01||7,088.82||148.12||57.19|
|San Luis Obispo County||265,297||3,304.32||8,558.15||80.29||31.00|
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Southern California consists of a heavily developed urban environment, home to some of the largest urban areas in the state, along with vast areas that have been left undeveloped. It is the third most populated megalopolis in the United States, after the Great Lakes Megalopolis and the Northeastern Megalopolis. Much of southern California is famous for its large, spread-out, suburban communities and use of automobiles and highways. The dominant areas are Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, and Riverside-San Bernardino, each of which are the centers of their respective metropolitan areas, composed of numerous smaller cities and communities. The urban area is also host to an international metropolitan region in the form of San Diego–Tijuana, created by the urban area spilling over into Baja California.
Traveling south on Interstate 5, the main gap to continued urbanization is Camp Pendleton. The cities and communities along Interstate 15 and Interstate 215 are so interrelated that Temecula and Murrieta have as much connection with the San Diego metropolitan area as they do with the Inland Empire. To the east, the United States Census Bureau considers the San Bernardino and Riverside County areas, Riverside-San Bernardino area as a separate metropolitan area from Los Angeles County. Newly developed exurbs formed in the Antelope Valley, north of Los Angeles, the Victor Valley, and the Coachella Valley with the Imperial Valley. Also, population growth was high in the Bakersfield-Kern County, Santa Maria and San Luis Obispo areas.
Southern California contains several different types of climate, including Mediterranean, semi-arid, desert and mountain, with infrequent rain and many sunny days. Summers are hot or warm, and dry, while winters are mild, and rainfall is low to moderate depending on the area. Although heavy rain can occur, it is unusual. This climatic pattern was alluded to in the hit song "It Never Rains (In Southern California)". While snow is very rare in the southwest region of the state, it occurs occasionally in the southeast region of the state.
Southern California consists of one of the more varied collections of geologic, topographic, and natural ecosystem landscapes in a diversity outnumbering other major regions in the state and country. The region spans from Pacific Ocean islands, shorelines, beaches, and coastal plains, through the Transverse and Peninsular Ranges with their peaks, and into the large and small interior valleys, to the vast deserts of California.
Southern California is divided into:
Each year, southern California has about 10,000 earthquakes. Nearly all of them are so small that they are not felt. Only several hundred have been greater than magnitude 3.0, and only about 15–20 have been greater than magnitude 4.0.The magnitude 6.7 1994 Northridge earthquake was particularly destructive, causing a substantial number of deaths, injuries, and structural collapses as well as the most property damage of any earthquake in U.S. history at an estimated $20 billion.
Many faults are able to produce a magnitude greater than 6.7 earthquake, such as the San Andreas Fault, which can produce a magnitude 8.0 event. Other faults include the San Jacinto Fault, the Puente Hills Fault, and the Elsinore Fault Zone. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) has released a California earthquake forecast,which models earthquake occurrence in California.
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Southern California is divided culturally, politically, and economically into distinct regions, each containing its own culture and atmosphere, anchored usually by a city with both national and sometimes global recognition, which is often the hub of economic activity for its respective region and being home to many tourist destinations. Each region is further divided into many culturally distinct areas but as a whole, combine to create the southern California atmosphere.
*Part of multiple regions
As of the 2010 United States Census, southern California has a population of 22,680,010. Despite a reputation for high growth rates, southern California's rate grew less than the state average of 10.0 percent in the 2000s. This was due to California's growth becoming concentrated in the northern part of the state as result of a stronger, tech-oriented economy in the Bay Area and an emerging Greater Sacramento region.
Southern California consists of one Combined Statistical Area, eight Metropolitan Statistical Areas, one international metropolitan area, and multiple metropolitan divisions. The region is home to two extended metropolitan areas that exceed five million in population. These are the Greater Los Angeles Area at 17,786,419, and San Diego–Tijuana at 5,105,768.Of these metropolitan areas, the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana metropolitan area, Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario metropolitan area, and Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura metropolitan area form Greater Los Angeles; while the El Centro metropolitan area and San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos metropolitan area form the Southern Border Region. North of Greater Los Angeles are the Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and Bakersfield metropolitan areas.
Los Angeles (with a 2017 census-estimated population of 4.0 million people) and San Diego (at 1.4 million people) are the two largest cities in all of California and are in the top eight largest cities in the United States. In southern California, there are also 12 cities with more than 200,000 residents and 34 cities over 100,000 residents. Many of southern California's most developed cities lie along or in close proximity to the coast, with the exception of San Bernardino and Riverside.
Southern California has a diverse economy and is one of the largest economies in the United States. It is dominated and heavily dependent upon the abundance of petroleum, as opposed to other regions where automobiles are not nearly as dominant, due to the vast majority of transport that runs on this fuel. Southern California is famous for tourism and the entertainment industry. Other industries include software, automotive, ports, finance, biomedical, and regional logistics. The region was a leader in the housing bubble from 2001 to 2007 and has been heavily impacted by the housing crash.
Since the 1920s, motion pictures, petroleum, and aircraft manufacturing have been major industries. In one of the richest agricultural regions in the U.S., cattle and citrus were major industries until farmlands were turned into suburbs. Although military spending cutbacks have had an impact, aerospace continues to be a major factor.
Southern California is home to many major business districts. Central business districts (CBD) include Downtown Los Angeles, Downtown San Diego, Downtown San Bernardino and South Coast Metro. Within the Los Angeles Area are the major business districts of Downtown Pasadena, Downtown Burbank, Downtown Santa Monica, Downtown Glendale and Downtown Long Beach. Los Angeles itself has many business districts, such as Downtown Los Angeles and those lining the Wilshire Boulevard Miracle Mile, including Century City, Westwood, and Warner Center in the San Fernando Valley. The area of Santa Monica and Venice (and perhaps some of Culver City) is informally referred to as "Silicon Beach" because of the concentration of financial and marketing technology-centric firms located in the region.
The San Bernardino-Riverside area maintains the business districts of Downtown San Bernardino, Hospitality Business/Financial Centre, University Town which are in San Bernardino and Downtown Riverside.
Orange County is a rapidly developing business center that includes Downtown Santa Ana, the South Coast Metro, and Newport Center districts, as well as the Irvine business centers of The Irvine Spectrum, West Irvine, and international corporations headquartered at the University of California, Irvine. West Irvine includes the Irvine Tech Center and Jamboree Business Parks.
Downtown San Diego is the CBD of San Diego, though the city is filled with business districts. These include Carmel Valley, Del Mar Heights, Mission Valley, Rancho Bernardo, Sorrento Mesa, and University City. Most of these districts are located in Northern San Diego and some within North County regions.
Riverside & San Bernardino
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Southern California is home to Los Angeles International Airport, the second-busiest airport in the United States by passenger volume (see World's busiest airports by passenger traffic) and the third-busiest by international passenger volume (see Busiest airports in the United States by international passenger traffic); San Diego International Airport, the busiest single-runway airport in the world; Van Nuys Airport, the world's busiest general aviation airport; major commercial airports at Orange County, Bakersfield, Ontario, Burbank and Long Beach; and numerous smaller commercial and general aviation airports.
Six of the seven lines of the commuter rail system, Metrolink, run out of Downtown Los Angeles, connecting Los Angeles, Ventura, San Bernardino, Riverside, Orange, and San Diego counties with the other line connecting San Bernardino, Riverside, and Orange counties directly.
Southern California is also home to the Port of Los Angeles, the country's busiest commercial port; the adjacent Port of Long Beach, the country's second busiest container port; and the Port of San Diego.
The following table shows all airports listed by the Federal Aviation Association (FAA) as a hub airport:
|Los Angeles International Airport||LAX||Los Angeles||Large Hub||30.5m|
|San Diego International Airport||SAN||San Diego||Large Hub||8.5m|
|John Wayne Airport||SNA||Orange County||Medium Hub||4.2m|
|Ontario International Airport||ONT||San Bernardino, Riverside||Medium hub||2.3m|
|Hollywood Burbank Airport||BUR||Burbank (LA)||Medium Hub||2.1m|
|Long Beach Airport||LGB||Long Beach (LA)||Small Hub||1.5m|
|Palm Springs International Airport||PSP||Palm Springs||Small Hub||0.8m|
|Santa Barbara Municipal Airport||SBA||Santa Barbara||Small Hub||0.4m|
Sections of the southern California freeway system are often referred to by names rather than by the official numbers.
|Interstate 5|| Golden State Freeway |
Santa Ana Freeway
San Diego Freeway
|Interstate 8|| Ocean Beach Freeway |
Mission Valley Freeway
|Interstate 10|| Santa Monica (Rosa Parks) Freeway |
Golden State Freeway
San Bernardino Freeway
Indio (Dr. June McCarroll) Freeway
|Interstate 15|| Mojave Freeway |
Temecula Valley Freeway
|Interstate 105||Century (Glenn Anderson) Freeway|
|Interstate 110||Harbor Freeway|
|Interstate 210||Foothill Freeway|
|Interstate 215|| Barstow Freeway |
San Bernardino Freeway
Moreno Valley Freeway
|Interstate 405||San Diego Freeway|
|Interstate 605||San Gabriel River Freeway|
|Interstate 710||Long Beach Freeway|
|Interstate 805||Jacob Dekema Freeway|
|Future Interstate 905|
The Tech Coast is a moniker that has gained use as a descriptor for the region's diversified technology and industrial base as well as its multitude of prestigious and world-renowned research universities and other public and private institutions. Amongst these include five University of California campuses (Irvine, Los Angeles, Riverside, Santa Barbara, and San Diego), 12 California State University campuses (Bakersfield, Channel Islands, Dominguez Hills, Fullerton, Los Angeles, Long Beach, Northridge, Pomona, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Marcos, and San Luis Obispo); and private institutions such as the California Institute of Technology, Azusa Pacific University, Chapman University, the Claremont Colleges (Claremont McKenna College, Harvey Mudd College, Pitzer College, Pomona College, and Scripps College), Loma Linda University, Loyola Marymount University, Occidental College, Pepperdine University, University of Redlands, University of San Diego, and the University of Southern California.
Maximum cities of the region have world class medical facilities such as Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Santa Barbara, and Ventura.
Numerous parks provide recreation opportunities and open space. Locations include:
Major professional sports teams in southern California include:
Southern California also is home to a number of popular NCAA sports programs such as the UCLA Bruins, the USC Trojans, and the San Diego State Aztecs. The Bruins and the Trojans both field football teams in NCAA Division I in the Pac-12 Conference, and there is a longtime rivalry between the schools.
California is a U.S. state on the western coast of North America. Covering an area of 163,696 sq mi (423,970 km2), California is geographically diverse. The Sierra Nevada, the fertile farmlands of the Central Valley, and the arid Mojave Desert of the south are some of the major geographic features of this U.S. state. It is home to some of the world's most exceptional trees: the tallest, most massive, and oldest. It is also home to both the highest and lowest points in the 48 contiguous states. The state is generally divided into Northern and Southern California, although the boundary between the two is not well defined. San Francisco is decidedly a Northern California city and Los Angeles likewise a Southern California one, but areas in between do not often share their confidence in geographic identity. The US Geological Survey defines the geographic center of the state at a point near North Fork, California.
Greater Los Angeles is the second-largest urban region in the United States, encompassing five counties in southern California, extending from Ventura County in the west to San Bernardino County and Riverside County on the east, with Los Angeles County in the center and Orange County to the southeast. It consists of three metropolitan areas in Southern California; the Los Angeles metropolitan area, the Inland Empire, and the Ventura/Oxnard metropolitan area.
The State Scenic Highway System is a list of highways, mainly state highways, that have been designated by the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) as scenic highways. The California State Legislature, primarily through Section 263 of the Streets and Highways Code, makes highways eligible for designation as a scenic highway. For a highway to be declared scenic, the government with jurisdiction over abutting land must adopt a "scenic corridor protection program" that limits development, outdoor advertising, and earthmoving, and Caltrans must agree that it meets the criteria. The desire to create such a designation has at times been in conflict with the property rights of abutters, for example on State Route 174. Scenic highways are marked by the state flower, a California poppy, inside a rectangle or pentagon.
The Southern California freeways are a vast network of interconnected freeways in the megaregion of Southern California, serving a population of 22 million people. The Master Plan of Metropolitan Los Angeles Freeways was adopted by the Regional Planning Commission in 1947 and construction began in the early 1950s. The plan hit opposition and funding limitations in the 1970s, and by 2004, only some 61% of the original planned network had been completed.
Districts in California geographically divide the U.S. state into overlapping regions for political and administrative purposes.
The Southern California Rugby Football Union (SCRFU), is the Geographical Union (GU) governing body within USA Rugby that governs adult rugby union teams in Southern California, the Las Vegas metropolitan area, Arizona, and New Mexico. The SCRFU includes numerous men's and women's, leagues representing all levels of competitive play. College rugby is run by the College conferences and Youth Rugby is governed by Southern California Youth Rugby (SCYR). During the busiest part of the 15s seasons, southern California will have over 80 matches in a weekend. The current board of SCRFU is Geno Mazza (president), Patrick Rashidian, Kevin Holmquist (treasurer) and Bradley Davidson (secretary).
California's State Assembly districts are numbered 1st through 80th, generally in north-to-south order.
California is the most populated U.S. state, with an estimated population of 39.497 million as of 2017. It has people from a wide variety of ethnic, racial, national, and religious backgrounds.
The transportation system of Greater Los Angeles includes 7 commuter rail lines, amtrak service, a subway system within the city of Los Angeles, and numerous highways. Los Angeles is integrated into the Interstate Highway System by Interstate 5, Interstate 10, and Interstate 15, along with numerous auxiliary highways and state routes. Bus service is also included locally within the area by numerous local government agencies. Subways and light commuter rail lines are present within Los Angeles proper, allowing mass transportation within the city. Commuter railroads are run by Metrolink. AMTRAK has numerous railroad lines that connect Los Angeles to the rest of the country.
Deinandra is a genus of tarweeds in the daisy family. Such a genus is not recognized as distinct by all authorities; its species are often treated as members of genus Hemizonia.
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to the U.S. state of California.
The California High School Speech Association, or CHSSA, is a speech and debate organization offered to all schools in the state of California. It is the governing body for local and state speech and debate competitions in California, with higher-level competition under the auspices of the National Forensic League and the National Catholic Forensic League. The league held its first championship tournament in 1958, and continues to hold championship tournaments every April.
Hispanic and Latino Californians are residents of the state of California who are of Hispanic or Latino ancestry. As of the 2010 U.S. Census, Hispanics and Latinos of any race were 38.1% of the state's population.
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