West Coast of the United States
Location of the West Coast (red)
in the United States (tan)
|Principal cities|| Los Angeles |
|Largest city||Los Angeles|
|Largest metropolitan area||Greater Los Angeles|
|• Total||1,009,688 sq mi (2,615,080 km2)|
|• Land||895,287 sq mi (2,318,780 km2)|
|• Water||21,433 sq mi (55,510 km2)|
|• Coastal||28,913 sq mi (74,880 km2)|
|20,310 ft (6,190.5 m)|
|Lowest elevation||−279 ft (−85 m)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−7:00|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−8:00|
The West Coast of the United States, also known as the Pacific Coast, Pacific states, and the western seaboard, is the coastline along which the Western United States meets the North Pacific Ocean. The term typically refers to the contiguous U.S. states of California, Oregon, and Washington, but sometimes includes Alaska and Hawaii, especially by the United States Census Bureau as a U.S. geographic division.
With the exclusion of Alaska, the Democratic Party has dominated West Coast politics in contemporary history, with the states consistently voting for Democrats in elections at various levels. Four out of five West Coast states have voted for Democrats in presidential elections since 1992, three of which have done so since 1988.
There are conflicting definitions of which states comprise the West Coast of the United States, but the West Coast always includes California, Oregon, and Washington as part of that definition. Under most circumstances, however, the term encompasses the three contiguous states and Alaska, as they are all located in North America. For census purposes, Hawaii is part of the West Coast, along with the other four states.Encyclopædia Britannica refers to the North American region as part of the Pacific Coast, including Alaska and British Columbia. Although the encyclopedia acknowledges the inclusion of Hawaii in some capacity as part of the region, the editors wrote that "it has little in common geologically with the mainland states."
Several dictionaries offer different definitions of the West Coast. Lexico restricts the West Coast's definition to "the western seaboard of the U.S. from Washington to California."However, Macmillan Dictionary provides a less specific definition as "the western coast of the U.S., along the Pacific Ocean." As for the Cambridge Dictionary, the West Coast is "the area of the Pacific coast in the U.S. that includes California."
The history of the West Coast begins with the arrival of the earliest known humans of the Americas, Paleo-Indians, crossing the Bering Strait from Eurasia into North America over a land bridge, Beringia, that existed between 45,000 BCE and 12,000 BCE (47,000–14,000 years ago). Small isolated groups of hunter-gatherers migrated alongside herds of large herbivores far into Alaska. Between 16,500 BCE and 13,500 BCE (18,500–15,500 years ago), ice-free corridors developed along the Pacific coast and valleys of North America and possibly by sea.
Alaska Natives, indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast, and California indigenous peoples eventually descended from the Paleo-Indians. They developed various languages and established trade routes.[ citation needed ]
Later, Spanish, British, French, Russian, and American explorers and settlers began colonizing the area.[ citation needed ]
The West Coast of the United States has an oceanic climate in its Northwestern, Northern, and Eastern edge towards the U.S.-Canada border, but from the California border towards the U.S.-Mexico border the climate is mediterranean. The coastline sees significantly mild temperatures when compared to the inland areas during summer. In far Northern California there is a difference of 17 °C (30 °F) between Eureka and Willow Creek in spite of only 25 miles (40 km) separating the locations and Willow Creek being located at a 500 metres (1,600 ft) elevation. Slightly narrower fluctuations can be seen all through the coastline, and could partially be explained by the cold currents in the Pacific Ocean moderating coastal temperatures and the mountain ranges blocking the maritime air from moving farther inland than its foothills during summer. Coastal fog is also prevalent in keeping shoreline temperatures cool. This does not only occur in the San Francisco Bay Area, but it also affects Santa Monica in Los Angeles, Southern California, with very little yearly temperature differences but with cool summers similar to those expected in Northern Europe. A short journey inland and summer temperatures are comparable with the rest of the United States on the same latitudes, sometimes warmer due to prevailing winds from the Nevada and Arizona hot desert climate.[ citation needed ]
|Republican||December 3, 2018||2022|
|Gavin Newsom||Democratic||January 7, 2019||2023|
|Democratic||December 1, 2014||2022|
|Democratic||February 18, 2015||2023|
|Democratic||January 16, 2013||2025|
In politics, the West Coast usually refers to the contiguous coastal states of California, Oregon, and Washington because of their similar political leanings. In 2017, The Oregonian columnist David Sarasohn described the West Coast as a "blue wall" of shared values on immigration, abortion, climate change, and civil liberties.By 2016, the West Coast states legalized marijuana after California voted to do so. According to a 2019 Pew Research Center poll, 72% of adults in Pacific states said that "climate change is affecting their local community at least some," higher than in any other region in the country.
Since 1992, the three states have voted for Democrats in presidential elections without interruption, but Oregon and Washington also voted for the Democratic presidential candidate in 1988.Although the three states have reliably voted Democratic, no Democratic presidential candidate from any of the three states has won their party's nomination as of 2020.
In the 2010s, Democrats strengthened their political power along the West Coast. After winning a special election for a seat in the Washington state senate in 2017, Democrats built a government trifecta in all three West Coast states.After the 2018 U.S. House of Representatives elections, Democrats controlled all West Coast congressional districts except Washington's 3rd, represented by a Republican.
Even though Hawaii is not usually part of the West Coast in the political definition, it has been a Democratic stronghold. Before achieving statehood in 1959, Hawaii became a state favorable to Democrats to the point that they sought statehood for the territory. However, Southern Democrats opposed the move because it would mean additional votes against their region on several issues.Since achieving statehood, Hawaii consistently voted for Democrats in presidential elections, except in 1972 and 1984. In 2016, the Democratic Party unseated the lone Republican in the Hawaii Senate and controlled all seats in the state's upper house, which had not occurred anywhere in the country since 1980.
Dissimilar to the rest of the West Coast, Alaska has been a reliable state for Republicans in presidential elections. Since achieving statehood, Alaska has voted for the Democratic presidential candidate only once in 1964. In 1960, the state narrowly voted for Republican Richard Nixon over Democrat John F. Kennedy and had voted for Republicans uninterrupted since 1968.
|Source: 1910–2010 |
According to the 2019 population estimates from the United States Census Bureau, 16 of the 20 largest cities on the West Coast exist in California. Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Jose lead the West Coast in population with more than a million people in each city, with Los Angeles being nearly three times the size of San Diego's population. Behind four California cities, Seattle and Portland are respectively fifth and sixth in population. Hawaii's capital, Honolulu, is the 13th largest city, and Alaska's largest city, Anchorage, is 17th on the West Coast.
Since the West Coast has been populated by immigrants and their descendants more recently than the East Coast, its culture is considerably younger. Additionally, its demographic composition underlies its cultural difference from the rest of the United States. California's history first as a major Spanish colony, and later Mexican territory, has given the lower West Coast a distinctive Hispanic American tone, which it also shares with the rest of the Southwest. Similarly, two of the three cities in which Asian Americans have concentrated, San Francisco and Los Angeles,are located on the West Coast, with significant populations in other West Coast cities. San Francisco's Chinatown, the oldest in North America, is a noted cultural center.
The West Coast also has a proportionally large share of green cities within the United States, which manifests itself in different cultural practices such as bicycling and organic gardening.
In the Pacific Northwest, Portland and Seattle are both considered among the coffee capitals of the world. [ citation needed ]While Starbucks originated in Seattle, both cities are known for small-scale coffee roasters and independent coffeeshops. The culture has also been significantly shaped by the environment, especially by its forests, mountains, and rain. This may account for the fact that the Northwest has many high-quality libraries and bookshops (most notably Powell's Books and the Seattle Central Library) and a "bibliophile soul". The region also has a marginal, but growing independence movement based on bioregionalism and a Cascadian identity. The Cascadian flag has become a popular image at Seattle Sounders and Portland Timbers games.
Alaska is widely known for its outdoors and its inhabitants engage in a range of activities which are unique to the state. Some of these activities can be experienced through the state's annual events, such as the Iron Dog snowmobile race from Anchorage to Nome and on to Fairbanks. Other events include the World Ice Art Championships (Fairbanks) and the Sitka Whalefest (Sitka).[ citation needed ]
Alaska is a U.S. state on the northwest extremity of the country's West Coast, just across the Bering Strait. A semi-exclave of the U.S., it borders the Canadian province of British Columbia and territory of Yukon to the east and southeast and has a maritime border with Russia's Chukotka Autonomous Okrug to the west. To the north are the Chukchi and Beaufort seas of the Arctic Ocean, while the Pacific Ocean lies to the south and southwest.
Hawaii is a U.S. state located in the Pacific Ocean. It is the only state outside North America, the only island state, and the only state in the tropics. Hawaii is also one of a handful of U.S. states to have once been an independent nation.
Washington County is one of the 36 counties in the U.S. state of Oregon. As of the 2010 United States Census, the population was 529,710, making it the state's second most populous county. The county seat and largest city is Hillsboro.
Utah County is a county in the U.S. state of Utah. As of the 2010 United States Census, the population was 516,564, thus making it Utah's second-most populous county. The county seat and largest city is Provo, which is the state's third-largest city.
Alameda County is located in the state of California in the United States. As of the 2010 census, the population was 1,510,271, making it the 7th-most populous county in the state and 20th most populous nationally. The county seat is Oakland. Alameda County is included in the San Francisco Bay Area, occupying much of the East Bay region.
Colusa County is a county located in the U.S. state of California. As of the 2010 census, the population was 21,419. The county seat is Colusa. It is in the Central Valley of California, northwest of the state capital, Sacramento.
Del Norte County is a county at the far northwest corner of the U.S. state of California, along the Pacific Ocean adjacent to the Oregon border. As of the 2010 census, the population was 28,610. The county seat and only incorporated city is Crescent City. Del Norte was pioneered and settled by Azorean Portuguese explorers and dairy farmers, which may account for the local pronunciation of the county name. Locals pronounce the county name as Del Nort, not Del Nor-teh as would be expected in Spanish.
Mariposa County is a county in the U.S. state of California. As of the 2010 U.S. Census, the population was 18,251. The county seat is Mariposa. It is located in the western foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains, north of Fresno, east of Merced, and southeast of Stockton.
Mendocino County is a county located on the North Coast of the U.S. state of California. As of the 2010 census, the population was 87,841. The county seat is Ukiah.
Merced County, is a county located in the northern San Joaquin Valley section of the Central Valley, in the U.S. state of California.
Shasta County, officially the County of Shasta, is a county in the northern portion of the U.S. state of California. As of the 2010 census, the population was 177,223. The county seat is Redding.
Solano County is a county located in the U.S. state of California. As of the 2010 census, the population was 413,344. The county seat is Fairfield.
Sutter County is a county located in the U.S. state of California. As of the 2010 census, the population was 94,737. The county seat is Yuba City.
King County is located in the U.S. state of Washington. The population was 2,252,782 in the 2019 census estimate, making it the most populous county in Washington, and the 12th-most populous in the United States. The county seat is Seattle, also the state's most populous city.
The Western United States is the region comprising the westernmost states of the United States. As American settlement in the U.S. expanded westward, the meaning of the term the West changed. Before about 1800, the crest of the Appalachian Mountains was seen as the western frontier. The frontier moved westward and eventually the lands west of the Mississippi River were considered the West.
The Territory of Hawaii or Hawaii Territory was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from April 30, 1900 until August 21, 1959, when most of its territory, excluding Palmyra Island, was admitted to the Union as the fiftieth U.S. state, the State of Hawaii. The Hawaii Admission Act specified that the State of Hawaii would not include Palmyra Island, the Midway Islands, Kingman Reef, and Johnston Atoll, which includes Johnston Island and Sand Island.
Since becoming a U.S. state in 1959, Alaska has been entitled to one member in the United States House of Representatives, elected in the state's sole, at-large congressional district. By area, Alaska's congressional district is the largest congressional district in the United States, and is the second largest electoral district in the world, behind only Nunavut, Canada.
Pacific Islander Americans are Americans who are of Pacific Islander ancestry. For its purposes, the United States Census also counts Indigenous Australians as part of this group.
In the United States, a state is a constituent political entity, of which there are currently 50. Bound together in a political union, each state holds governmental jurisdiction over a separate and defined geographic territory and shares its sovereignty with the federal government. Due to this shared sovereignty, Americans are citizens both of the federal republic and of the state in which they reside. State citizenship and residency are flexible, and no government approval is required to move between states, except for persons restricted by certain types of court orders.
The 1916 United States presidential election in New Mexico took place on November 7, 1916. All contemporary forty-eight states were part of 1916 United States presidential election. Voters chose three electors to represent them in the Electoral College, which voted for President and Vice President.
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for West Coast (United States of America) .|
Archaeological evidence, in fact, recognizes that people started to leave Beringia for the New World around 40,000 years ago, but rapid expansion into North America did not occur until about 15,000 years ago, when the ice had literally broken.