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Thank you for your interest in our commercial real estate and small business lending products. Our loan officers have extensive experience in business development, finance, credit administration, policy writing, underwriting, special assets-commercial loan workouts, risk management and research & development. Our primary goal is to make sure that clients are 100% satisfied with the products and services that are delivered. We want our clients to have access to the most competitive rates and terms so that it achieves their financial goals.

The ideal client is a real estate investor or business owner who is in need of financing for the following reasons: purchase or refinance commercial real estate, equipment & machinery acquisition, working capital, business acquisition and debt refinance.    

When it’s time to make important real estate or financial decisions for your company we know that it can be stressful, complicated, expensive and overwhelming. Our mission is to make the financing process relatively painless, simple, cost effective and even enjoyable.

Common Commercial Real Estate (CCRE) originates commercial real estate and small business loans for investors and small business owners throughout California as well as nationwide. We provide investors and small business owners access to the most competitive financing through prominent national & regional banks, credit unions and private lenders.

For commercial real estate loans we can secure financing for purchases and refinances of existing loans up to $15,000,000. We will provide competitive loan products for a full range of properties, including apartments, retail/shopping centers, office, industrial, single-tenant net lease, medical and special purpose. Fixed interest rates are offered at the periods of 3 years, 5 years, 7 years and 10 years. Depending on the property type, loans can be amortized for up to 30 years. Some of the lenders that we work with offer low origination fees and no pre-payment penalties.

For small business owners, CCRE can secure revolving lines of credit (secured & unsecured) from $50,000 up to $2,000,000; equipment term loans up to $1,500,000; fixed rate commercial real estate loans up to $15,000,000; and SBA loans up to $5,000,000.

Is a commercial loan right for you?

*Commercial Loan Uses

Commercial Real Estate Purchase Commercial Real Estate Refinance
1031 Exchange
Business Acquisition
Business Expansion
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Lines of Credit
Long-Term Working Capital
Debt Refinance


Factories / Industrial
Shopping Centers
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Mixed-Use / Single Use
Owner Occupied


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A commercial mortgage is a mortgage loan secured by commercial property, such as an office building, shopping center, industrial warehouse, or apartment complex. The proceeds from a commercial mortgage are typically used to acquire, refinance, or redevelop commercial property.

Commercial mortgages are structured to meet the needs of the borrower and the lender. Key terms include the loan amount (sometimes referred to as "loan proceeds"), interest rate, term (sometimes referred to as the "maturity"), amortization schedule, and prepayment flexibility. Commercial mortgages are generally subject to extensive underwriting and due diligence prior to closing. The lender's underwriting process may include a financial review of the property and the property owner (or "sponsor"), as well as commissioning and review of various third-party reports, such as an appraisal.

There were $3.1 trillion of commercial and multifamily mortgages outstanding in the U.S. as of June 30, 2013. Of these mortgages, approximately 49% were held by banks, 18% were held by asset-backed trusts (issuers of CMBS), 12% were held by government-sponsored enterprises and Agency and GSE-backed mortgage pools, and 10% were held by life insurance companies.


Loan amount

The loan amount of a commercial mortgage is generally determined based on loan to value (LTV) and debt service coverage ratios, more fully discussed below in the section on underwriting standards.

Loan structure

Commercial mortgages can be structured as first liens or, if a greater loan amount is desired, the borrower may be able to obtain subordinate financing as well, sometimes structured as a mezzanine note or as preferred equity, which generally carries a higher interest rate.

Interest rate

Interest rates for commercial mortgages may be fixed-rate or floating rate. Fixed-rate mortgages on stabilized commercial real estate are generally priced based on a spread to swaps, with the swap spread matched to the term of the loan. Market interest rates as well as underwriting factors greatly affect the interest rate quoted on a particular piece of commercial real estate. Interest rates for commercial mortgages are usually higher than those for residential mortgages.


Many commercial mortgage lenders require an application fee or good-faith deposit, which is typically used by the lender to cover underwriting expenses such as an appraisal on the property. Commercial mortgages may also have origination or underwriting fees (paid at close as a reduction in loan proceeds) and/or exit fees (paid when the loan is repaid).


The term of a commercial mortgage is generally between five and ten years for stabilized commercial properties with established cash flows (sometimes called "permanent loans"), and between one and three years for properties in transition, for example, newly opened properties or properties undergoing renovation or repositioning (sometimes called "bridge loans"). Mortgages on multifamily properties that are provided by a government-sponsored enterprise or government agency may have terms of thirty years or more. Some commercial mortgages may allow extensions if certain conditions are met, which may include payment of an extension fee. Some commercial mortgages have an "anticipated repayment date," which means that if the loan is not repaid by the anticipated repayment date, the loan is not in default.


Commercial mortgages frequently amortize over the term of the loan, meaning the borrower pays both interest and principal over time, and the loan balance at the end of the term is less than the original loan amount. However, unlike residential mortgages, commercial mortgages generally do not fully amortize over the stated term, and therefore frequently end with a balloon payment of the remaining balance, which is often repaid by refinancing the property. Some commercial mortgages have an interest-only period at the beginning of the loan term during which time the borrower only pays interest.


Commercial loans vary in their prepayment terms, that is, whether or not a real estate investor is allowed to refinance the loan at will. Some portfolio lenders, such as banks and insurance companies, may allow prepayment flexibility. In contrast, for a borrower to prepay a conduit loan, the borrower will have to defease the bonds, by buying enough government bonds (treasuries) to provide the investors with the same amount of income as they would have had if the loan was still in place.

Borrower entity

A commercial mortgage is typically taken on by a special purpose entity such as a corporation or an LLC created specifically to own just the subject property, rather than by an individual or a larger business. This allows the lender to foreclose on the property in the event of default even if the borrower has gone into bankruptcy, that is, the entity is "bankruptcy remote".


Commercial mortgages may be recourse or non-recourse. A recourse mortgage is supplemented by a general obligation of the borrower or a personal guarantee from the owner(s) of the property, which makes the debt payable in full even if foreclosure on the property does not satisfy the outstanding balance. A nonrecourse mortgage is secured only by the commercial property that serves as collateral. In an event of default, the creditor can foreclose on the property, but has no further claim against the borrower for any remaining deficiency.

If a sponsor is seeking financing on a portfolio of commercial real estate properties, rather than a single property, the sponsor may choose to take out a cross-collateralized loan, in which the all of the properties collateralize the loan.


Lenders may require borrowers to establish reserves to fund specific items at closing, such as anticipated tenant improvement and leasing commission (TI/LC) expense, needed repair and capital expenditure expense, and interest reserves.


Underwriting metrics

Lenders usually require a minimum debt service coverage ratio which typically ranges from 1.1 to 1.4; the ratio is net cash flow (the income the property produces) over the debt service (mortgage payment). As an example if the owner of a shopping mall receives $300,000 per month from tenants, pays $50,000 per month in expenses, a lender will typically not give a loan that requires monthly payments above $227,273 (($300,000-$50,000)/1.1)), a 1.1 debt cover.

Lenders also look at loan to value (LTV). LTV is a mathematical calculation which expresses the amount of a mortgage as a percentage of the total appraised value. For instance, if a borrower wants $6,000,000 to purchase an office worth $10,000,000, the LTV ratio is $6,000,000/$10,000,000 or 60%. Commercial mortgage LTV's are typically between 55% and 70%, unlike residential mortgages which are typically 80% or above.

Lenders look at rents per square foot, cost per square foot and replacement cost per square foot. These metrics vary widely depending on the location and intended use of the property, but can be useful indications of the financial health of the real estate, as well as the likelihood of competitive new developments coming online.

Since the financial crisis, lenders have started to focus on a new metric, debt yield, to complement the debt service coverage ratio. Debt yield is defined as the net operating income (NOI) of a property divided by the amount of the mortgage.

Underwriting practices

Lenders typically do thorough extreme due diligence on a proposed commercial mortgage loan prior to funding the loan. Such due diligence often includes a site tour, a financial review, and due diligence on the property's sponsor and legal borrowing entity. Many lenders also commission and review third-party reports such as an appraisal, environmental report, engineering report, and background checks.

Providers of commercial mortgages


Banks, large and small, are traditional providers of commercial mortgages. According to the Federal Reserve, banks held $1.5 trillion of commercial mortgages on their books as of June 30, 2013.

Conduit lenders

Conduit lenders originate commercial mortgages and hold them as investments for a short period of time before securitizing the loans and selling CMBS secured by the underlying commercial mortgage loans. Conduit lenders include both banks and non-bank finance companies. Approximately $560 billion of commercial mortgages were held by issuers of CMBS as of June 30, 2013, according to the Federal Reserve.

Securitization of commercial mortgages in its current form began with the Resolution Trust Corporation's (or RTC's) commercial securitization program in 1992-1997. The RTC applied an approach similar to the one it had begun successfully using with residential mortgages, issuing multiple tranches of securities secured by diversified pools of commercial mortgage loans. Following the introduction of the securitization methods by the RTC, private banks began to originate loans specifically for the purpose of turning them into securities. These loans are typically structured to forbid prepayment beyond a specified amortization schedule. This makes the resultant securities more attractive to investors, because they know that the commercial mortgages will remain outstanding even if interest rates decline.

New CMBS issuance peaked in 2007 at $229 billion. Then, the subprime mortgage crisis and the resultant global financial crisis caused CMBS prices to fall dramatically, and new issuances of CMBS securities came to a virtual halt in 2008-2009. The market has begun to recover, with $12 billion in new issuance in 2010, $37 billion in new issuance in 2011, and $48 billion in new issuance in 2012.

Government agencies

Government-sponsored enterprises such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, as well as government corporations such as Ginnie Mae, are active lenders for multifamily commercial real estate (that is, apartment buildings) in the United States. Approximately $390 billion of multifamily residential mortgages were held by government-sponsored enterprises or Agency and GSE-backed mortgage pools as of June 30, 2013, representing 12% of total commercial mortgages outstanding and 43% of multifamily commercial mortgages outstanding at that time.

Insurance companies

Insurance companies are active investors in commercial mortgages, and hold approximately $325 billion of commercial mortgages as of June 30, 2013.

Mortgage brokers

Mortgage brokers do not provide commercial mortgage loans, but are often used to obtain multiple quotes from different potential lenders and to manage the financing process.

Correspondent Lenders

Correspondent Lenders do not loan their own money, but provide front end services such as origination, underwriting, and loan servicing for lenders that utilize these types of companies. The correspondent often represents lenders in a particular geographic area.


  1. ^ a b c d e Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve. Z.1 Financial Accounts of the United States. Released September 25, 2013. Accessed November 5, 2013. pp. 104-105, tables L.219 and L.220.
  2. ^ FDIC. Managing the Crisis: The FDIC and RTC Experience. Chapter 16: Securitizations, pp. 417-423. Accessed December 12, 2013.
  3. ^ Commercial Mortgage Alert Market Statistics. U.S. CMBS Monthly Issuance. Click chart for backup and historical data. Accessed December 14, 2013.
  4. ^ a b Annual UK Property Transaction Statistics [PDF]. HM Revenue & Customs. 27 Jun 2014.
  5. ^ Masters, B and Hammond, E. Bank rules hit UK property developers. Financial Times. 16 Jan 2013.
  6. ^ Q4 2013 Credit Conditions Survey. Bank of England. 8 Jan 2014.
  7. ^ Financial Conduct Authority Handbook PERG 4.4.1. Accessed on 30 Apr 2015
  8. ^ What to expect when taking out a BTL mortgage. Homes 24. 15 Apr 2015

State of California
Flag of California State seal of California
Flag Seal
Nickname(s): The Golden State
Motto(s): Eureka
State song(s): "I Love You, California"
Map of the United States with California highlighted
Official language English
Spoken languages

Native languages as of 2007

Demonym Californian
Capital Sacramento
Largest city Los Angeles
Largest metro Greater Los Angeles Area
Area Ranked 3rd
 • Total 163,696 sq mi
(423,970 km2)
 • 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 39,144,818 (2015 est)
 • Density 246/sq mi  (95.0/km2)
Ranked 11th
 • Median household income US$61,021 (9th)
 • 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 California Republic
Admission to Union September 9, 1850 (31st)
Governor Jerry Brown (Democrat)
Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom (Democrat)
Legislature California State Legislature
 • Upper house California State Senate
 • Lower house California State Assembly
U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein (Democrat)
Barbara Boxer (Democrat)
U.S. House delegation 39 Democrats, 14 Republicans (list)
Time zones Pacific Time Zone
 • Standard time PST (UTC-8)
 • Summer time (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ISO 3166 US-CA
Abbreviations CA, Calif., Cal.
California state symbols
Flag of California.svg
Seal of California.svg
Living insignia
Amphibian California red-legged frog
Bird California quail
Fish Golden trout
Flower California poppy
Grass Purple needlegrass
Insect California dogface butterfly
Mammal California grizzly bear (State animal)
Reptile Desert tortoise
Tree California redwood
Inanimate insignia
Colors Blue & gold
Dance West Coast Swing
Folk dance Square dance
Fossil Sabre-toothed cat
Gemstone Benitoite
Mineral Native gold
Motto Eureka
Nickname The Golden State
Rock Serpentine
Soil San Joaquin
Song "I Love You, California"
Tartan California State Tartan
State route marker
California state route marker
State quarter
California quarter dollar coin
Released in 2005

California is the most populous state in the United States as well as the te's most populous city and the country's second largest after New York City. California also includes the nation's most populous county, Los Angeles County, and the largest county by area, San Bernardino County. Geographically located in the western part of the United States, California is bordered by the other U.S. states of Oregon to the north, Nevada to the east, and Arizona to the southeast. California shares an international border with the Mexican state of Baja California to the south and the Pacific Ocean is on the state's western coastline. The state capital is Sacramento, which is located in the northern part of the state.

What is now California was first settled by various Native American tribes before being explored by a number of European expeditions during the 16th and 17th centuries. It was then claimed by the Spanish Empire as part of Alta California in the larger territory of New Spain. Alta California became a part of Mexico in 1821 following its successful war for independence, but was ceded to the United States in 1848 after the Mexican–American War. The western portion of Alta California was organized as the State of California, which was admitted as the 31st state on September 9, 1850. The California Gold Rush starting in 1848 led to dramatic social and demographic changes, with large-scale immigration from the east and abroad with an accompanying economic boom.

California's diverse geography ranges from the Sierra Nevada in the east to the Pacific Coast in the west, from the redwoodDouglas fir forests of the northwest, to the Mojave Desert areas in the southeast. The center of the state is dominated by the Central Valley, a major agricultural area. California contains both the highest point (Mount Whitney) and the lowest point (Death Valley) in the contiguous United States. Earthquakes are common because of the state's location along the Pacific Ring of Fire. About 37,000 earthquakes are recorded each year, but most are too small to be felt. Drought has also become a notable feature.

California has had an enormous influence on global popular culture due to being the birthplace of the film industry, the hippie counterculture, the Internet, and the personal computer. The state's economy is centered on finance, government, real estate services, technology, and professional, scientific and technical business services; together comprising 58% of the state's economy. Three of the world's largest 20 firms by revenue, Chevron, Apple, and McKesson, are headquartered in the state. Although only 1.5% of the state's economy, California's agriculture industry has the highest output of any U.S. state. If it were a country, California would be the 7th largest economy in the world and the 35th most populous.


The word California originally referred to the entire region composed of the Baja California Peninsula of Mexico, the current U.S. states of California, Nevada, and Utah, and parts of Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and Wyoming.[citation needed]

The name California is most commonly believed to have derived from a fictional paradise peopled by Black Amazons and ruled by Queen Calafia, who fought alongside Muslims and whose name was chosen to echo the title of a Muslim leader, the Caliph, fictionally implying that California was the Caliphate. The story of Calafia is recorded in a 1510 work The Adventures of Esplandián, written as a sequel to Amadis de Gaula by Spanish adventure writer Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo. The kingdom of Queen Calafia, according to Montalvo, was said to be a remote land inhabited by griffins and other strange beasts, and rich in gold.

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.

—?Chapter CLVII of The Adventures of Esplandián

Shortened forms of the state's name include CA, Cal., Calif. and US-CA.


California map of Köppen climate classification.
A topographic map of California
A forest of redwood trees in Redwood National Park
Aerial view of the California Central Valley
Big Sur coast, south of Monterey at Bixby Bridge
Snow on the Sierra Nevada in eastern California
Potato Harbor, named for its distinctive ovular and bumpy shape, on Santa Cruz Island
The coastline along Laguna Beach in Southern California

California is the 3rd largest state in the United States in area, after Alaska and Texas. California is often geographically bisected into two regions, Southern California, comprising the 10 southernmost counties, and Northern California, comprising the 48 northernmost counties.

In the middle of the state lies the California Central Valley, bounded by the Sierra Nevada in the east, the coastal mountain ranges in the west, the Cascade Range to the north and by the Tehachapi Mountains in the south. The Central Valley is California's productive agricultural heartland.

Divided in two by the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, the northern portion, the Sacramento Valley serves as the watershed of the Sacramento River, while the southern portion, the San Joaquin Valley is the watershed for the San Joaquin River. Both valleys derive their names from the rivers that flow through them. With dredging, the Sacramento and the San Joaquin Rivers have remained deep enough for several inland cities to be seaports.

The Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta is a critical water supply hub for the state. Water is diverted from the delta and through an extensive network of pumps and canals that traverse nearly the length of the state, to the Central Valley and the State Water Projects and other needs. Water from the Delta provides drinking water for nearly 23 million people, almost two-thirds of the state's population as well as water for farmers on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley.

The Channel Islands are located off the Southern coast.

The Sierra Nevada (Spanish for "snowy range") includes the highest peak in the contiguous 48 states, Mount Whitney, at 14,505 feet (4,421 m). The range embraces Yosemite Valley, famous for its glacially carved domes, and Sequoia National Park, home to the giant sequoia trees, the largest living organisms on Earth, and the deep freshwater lake, Lake Tahoe, the largest lake in the state by volume.

To the east of the Sierra Nevada are Owens Valley and Mono Lake, an essential migratory bird habitat. In the western part of the state is Clear Lake, the largest freshwater lake by area entirely in California. Though Lake Tahoe is larger, it is divided by the California/Nevada border. The Sierra Nevada falls to Arctic temperatures in winter and has several dozen small glaciers, including Palisade Glacier, the southernmost glacier in the United States.

About 45 percent of the state's total surface area is covered by forests, and California's diversity of pine species is unmatched by any other state. California contains more forestland than any other state except Alaska. Many of the trees in the California White Mountains are the oldest in the world; an individual bristlecone pine is over 5,000 years old.

In the south is a large inland salt lake, the Salton Sea. The south-central desert is called the Mojave; to the northeast of the Mojave lies Death Valley, which contains the lowest and hottest place in North America, the Badwater Basin at -279 feet (-85 m). The horizontal distance from the bottom of Death Valley to the top of Mount Whitney is less than 90 miles (140 km). Indeed, almost all of southeastern California is arid, hot desert, with routine extreme high temperatures during the summer. The southeastern border of California with Arizona is entirely formed by the Colorado River, from which the southern part of the state gets about half of its water.

Along the California coast are several major metropolitan areas, including the Greater Los Angeles Area, the San Francisco Bay Area, and the San Diego metropolitan area.

As part of the Ring of Fire, California is subject to tsunamis, floods, droughts, Santa Ana winds, wildfires, landslides on steep terrain, and has several volcanoes. It has many earthquakes due to several faults running through the state, in particular the San Andreas Fault.


Main article: Climate of California

Although most of the state has a Mediterranean climate, due to the state's large size, the climate ranges from subarctic to subtropical. The cool California Current offshore often creates summer fog near the coast. Farther inland, there are colder winters and hotter summers. The maritime moderation results in the shoreline summertime temperatures of Los Angeles and San Francisco being the coolest of all major metropolitan areas of the United States and uniquely cool compared to areas on the same latitude in the interior and on the east coast of the North American continent. Even the San Diego shoreline bordering Mexico is cooler in summer than most areas in the contiguous United States. Just a few miles inland, summer temperature extremes are significantly higher, with downtown Los Angeles being several degrees warmer than at the coast. The same microclimate phenomenon is seen in the climate of the Bay Area, where areas sheltered from the sea sees significantly hotter summers than nearby areas close to the ocean.

Northern parts of the state have more rain than the south. California's mountain ranges also influence the climate: some of the rainiest parts of the state are west-facing mountain slopes. Northwestern California has a temperate climate, and the Central Valley has a Mediterranean climate but with greater temperature extremes than the coast. The high mountains, including the Sierra Nevada, have an alpine climate with snow in winter and mild to moderate heat in summer.

California's mountains produce rain shadows on the eastern side, creating extensive deserts. The higher elevation deserts of eastern California have hot summers and cold winters, while the low deserts east of the Southern California mountains have hot summers and nearly frostless mild winters. Death Valley, a desert with large expanses below sea level, is considered the hottest location in the world; the highest temperature in the world, 134 °F (56.7 °C), was recorded there on July 10, 1913. The lowest temperature in California was -45 °F (-43 °C) in 1937 in Boca.

The table below lists average temperatures for August and December in some of the major urban areas of California. Since extremes like the cool summers of the Humboldt Bay and the extreme heat of Death Valley do not effect any major urban areas these are not listed.

Average daily maximum and minimum temperatures for selected communities in California
Location August (°F) August (°C) December(°F) December (°C)
Los Angeles 84/64 29/18 67/47 20/8
LA Shoreline 75/65 23/18 64/48 18/9
San Jose 82/58 27/14 58/42 14/5
San Francisco 68/55 20/12 57/46 14/8
San Diego 76/66 24/19 64/48 18/9
Oakland 73/57 23/14 58/44 14/7
Sacramento 91/58 33/14 54/38 12/3
Fresno 97/66 36/19 55/38 12/3
Riverside 96/64 35/18 68/41 21/5


Mount Whitney (l), the highest point in the Contiguous U.S., is less than 90 miles (140 km) away from Badwater Basin in Death Valley (r), the lowest point in North America


Main article: Economy of California
Gross Domestic Product of California by sector for 2008.
Had California been an independent country in 2008 its gross domestic product would have been ranked between eighth and eleventh in the world.

The economy of California is large enough to be comparable to that of the largest of countries. As of 2013, the gross state product (GSP) is about $2.203 trillion, the largest in the United States. California is responsible for 13.2 percent of the United States' approximate $16.7 trillion gross domestic product (GDP). California's GSP is larger than the GDP of all but 7 countries in dollar terms (the United States, China, Japan, Germany, France, Brazil, and the United Kingdom), larger than Russia, Italy, India, Canada, Australia, Spain and Turkey. In Purchasing Power Parity, it is larger than all but 10 countries (the United States, China, India, Japan, Germany, Russia, Brazil, France, the United Kingdom, and Indonesia), larger than Italy, Mexico, Spain, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Canada and Turkey.

The five largest sectors of employment in California are trade, transportation, and utilities; government; professional and business services; education and health services; and leisure and hospitality. In output, the five largest sectors are financial services, followed by trade, transportation, and utilities; education and health services; government; and manufacturing. As of May 2014, California has the 5th highest unemployment rate in the nation at 7.6%.

California's economy is dependent on trade and international related commerce accounts for about one-quarter of the state's economy. In 2008, California exported $144 billion worth of goods, up from $134 billion in 2007 and $127 billion in 2006. Computers and electronic products are California's top export, accounting for 42 percent of all the state's exports in 2008.

Agriculture is an important sector in California's economy. Farming-related sales more than quadrupled over the past three decades, from $7.3 billion in 1974 to nearly $31 billion in 2004. This increase has occurred despite a 15 percent decline in acreage devoted to farming during the period, and water supply suffering from chronic instability. Factors contributing to the growth in sales-per-acre include more intensive use of active farmlands and technological improvements in crop production. In 2008, California's 81,500 farms and ranches generated $36.2 billion products revenue. In 2011, that number grew to $43.5 billion products revenue. The Agriculture sector accounts for two percent of the state's GDP and employs around three percent of its total workforce. According to the USDA in 2011, the three largest California agricultural products by value were milk and cream, shelled almonds, and grapes.

Per capita GDP in 2007 was $38,956, ranking eleventh in the nation. Per capita income varies widely by geographic region and profession. The Central Valley is the most impoverished, with migrant farm workers making less than minimum wage. According to a 2005 report by the Congressional Research Service, the San Joaquin Valley was characterized as one of the most economically depressed regions in the U.S., on par with the region of Appalachia. California has a poverty rate of 23.5%, the highest of any state in the country. Many coastal cities include some of the wealthiest per-capita areas in the U.S. The high-technology sectors in Northern California, specifically Silicon Valley, in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties, have emerged from the economic downturn caused by the dot-com bust.

A tree map depicting the distribution of occupations across the state of California.

In 2010, there were more than 663,000 millionaires in the state, more than any other state in the nation. In 2010, California residents were ranked first among the states with the best average credit score of 754.



Moss Landing Power Plant, the state's largest power production source.
Part of the 354 MW SEGS solar complex in northern San Bernardino County, California.

Because it is the most populous U.S. state, California is one of the country's largest users of energy. However because of its high energy rates, conservation mandates, mild weather in the largest population centers and strong environmental movement, its per capita energy use is one of the smallest of any U.S. state. Due to the high electricity demand, California imports more electricity than any other state, primarily hydroelectric power from states in the Pacific Northwest (via Path 15 and Path 66) and coal- and natural gas-fired production from the desert Southwest via Path 46.

As a result of the state's strong environmental movement, California has some of the most aggressive renewable energy goals in the United States, with a target for California to obtain a third of its electricity from renewables by 2020. Currently, several solar power plants such as the Solar Energy Generating Systems facility are located in the Mojave Desert. California's wind farms include Altamont Pass, San Gorgonio Pass, and Tehachapi Pass. Several dams across the state provide hydro-electric power. It would be possible to convert the total supply to 100% renewable energy, including heating, cooling and mobility, by 2050.

The state's crude oil and natural gas deposits are located in the Central Valley and along the coast, including the large Midway-Sunset Oil Field. Natural gas-fired power plants typically account for more than one-half of state electricity generation.

California is also home to two major nuclear power plants: Diablo Canyon and San Onofre, the latter having been shut down in 2013. Also voters banned the approval of new nuclear power plants since the late 1970s because of concerns over radioactive waste disposal. In addition, several cities such as Oakland, Berkeley and Davis have declared themselves as nuclear-free zones.


The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, one of California's most famous landmarks
Caltrans builds tall "stack" interchanges with soaring ramps that offer impressive views

California's vast terrain is connected by an extensive system of controlled-access highways ('freeways'), limited-access roads ('expressways'), and highways. California is known for its car culture, giving California's cities a reputation for severe traffic congestion. Construction and maintenance of state roads and statewide transportation planning are primarily the responsibility of the California Department of Transportation, nicknamed "Caltrans". The rapidly growing population of the state is straining all of its transportation networks, and California has some of the worst roads in the United States. The Reason Foundation's 19th Annual Report on the Performance of State Highway Systems ranked California's highways the third-worst of any state, with Alaska second, and Rhode Island first.

The state has been a pioneer in road construction. One of the state's more visible landmarks, the Golden Gate Bridge, was once the longest suspension bridge main span in the world at 4,200 feet (1,300 m) when it opened in 1937. With its orange paint and panoramic views of the bay, this highway bridge is a popular tourist attraction and also accommodates pedestrians and bicyclists. The San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge (often abbreviated the "Bay Bridge"), completed in 1936, transports about 280,000 vehicles per day on two-decks. Its two sections meet at Yerba Buena Island through the world's largest diameter transportation bore tunnel, at 76 feet (23 m) wide by 58 feet (18 m) high. The Arroyo Seco Parkway, connecting Los Angeles and Pasadena, opened in 1940 as the first freeway in the Western United States. It was later extended south to the Four Level Interchange in downtown Los Angeles, regarded as the first stack interchange ever built.

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), the 6th busiest airport in the world, and San Francisco International Airport (SFO), the 21st busiest airport in the world, are major hubs for trans-Pacific and transcontinental traffic. There are about a dozen important commercial airports and many more general aviation airports throughout the state.

California also has several important seaports. The giant seaport complex formed by the Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach in Southern California is the largest in the country and responsible for handling about a fourth of all container cargo traffic in the United States. The Port of Oakland, fourth largest in the nation, also handles trade entering from the Pacific Rim to the rest of the country.

The California Highway Patrol is the largest statewide police agency in the United States in employment with over 10,000 employees. They are responsible for providing any police-sanctioned service to anyone on California's state maintained highways and on state property.

The California Department of Motor Vehicles is by far the largest in North America. By the end of 2009, the California DMV had 26,555,006 driver's licenses and ID cards on file. In 2010, there were 1.17 million new vehicle registrations in force.

Intercity rail travel is provided by Amtrak California, which manages the three busiest intercity rail lines in the U.S. outside the Northeast Corridor, all of which are funded by Caltrans. This service is becoming increasingly popular over flying and ridership is continuing to set records, especially on the LAX-SFO route. Integrated subway and light rail networks are found in Los Angeles (Metro Rail) and San Francisco (MUNI Metro). Light rail systems are also found in San Jose (VTA), San Diego (San Diego Trolley), Sacramento (RT Light Rail), and Northern San Diego County (Sprinter). Furthermore, commuter rail networks serve the San Francisco Bay Area (ACE, BART, Caltrain), Greater Los Angeles (Metrolink), and San Diego County (Coaster).

The California High-Speed Rail Authority was created in 1996 by the state to implement an extensive 700 miles (1,100 km) rail system. Construction was approved by the voters during the November 2008 general election, a $9.95 billion state bond will go toward its construction. Nearly all counties operate bus lines, and many cities operate their own city bus lines as well. Intercity bus travel is provided by Greyhound and Amtrak Thruway Coach.


Main article: Water in California
An aerial view of the Delta–Mendota Canal (left) and the California Aqueduct (right), at the Interstate 205 crossing west of Tracy, conveying water from Northern to Southern California

California's interconnected water system is the world's largest, managing over 40,000,000 acre feet of water per year, centered on six main systems of aqueducts and infrastructure projects. Water use and conservation in California is a politically divisive issue, as the state experiences periodic droughts and has to balance the demands of its large agricultural and urban sectors, especially in the arid southern portion of the state. The state's widespread redistribution of water also invites the frequent scorn of environmentalists.

The California Water Wars, a conflict between Los Angeles and the Owens Valley over water rights, is one of the most well-known examples of the struggle to secure adequate water supplies. Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said: "We've been in crisis for quite some time because we're now 38 million people and not anymore 18 million people like we were in the late 60s. So it developed into a battle between environmentalists and farmers and between the south and the north and between rural and urban. And everyone has been fighting for the last four decades about water."

California has twenty major professional sports league franchises, far more than any other state. The San Francisco Bay Area has seven major league teams spread in its three major cities: San Francisco, San Jose, and Oakland. While the Greater Los Angeles Area is home to ten major league franchises. San Diego has two major league teams, and Sacramento has one. The NFL Super Bowl has been hosted in California 11 times at four different stadiums: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, the Rose Bowl, Stanford Stadium, and San Diego's Qualcomm Stadium. A twelfth, Super Bowl 50, was held at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara on February 7, 2016.

California has long had many respected collegiate sports programs. California is home to the oldest college bowl game, the annual Rose Bowl, among others.

California is the only US state to have hosted both the Summer and Winter Olympics. The 1932 and 1984 Summer Olympics were held in Los Angeles. Squaw Valley Ski Resort in the Lake Tahoe region hosted the 1960 Winter Olympics. Multiple games during the 1994 FIFA World Cup took place in California, with the Rose Bowl hosting eight matches including the final, while Stanford Stadium hosted six matches.

Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum hosted the Olympic Games in 1932 and 1984

Below is a list of major league sports teams in California:

Club Sport League
Los Angeles Rams American football National Football League (NFL)
Oakland Raiders American football National Football League
San Diego Chargers American football National Football League
San Francisco 49ers American football National Football League
Los Angeles Dodgers Baseball Major League Baseball (MLB)
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Baseball Major League Baseball
Oakland Athletics Baseball Major League Baseball
San Diego Padres Baseball Major League Baseball
San Francisco Giants Baseball Major League Baseball
Golden State Warriors Basketball National Basketball Association (NBA)
Los Angeles Clippers Basketball National Basketball Association
Los Angeles Lakers Basketball National Basketball Association
Sacramento Kings Basketball National Basketball Association
Los Angeles Sparks Basketball Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA)
Anaheim Ducks Ice hockey National Hockey League (NHL)
Los Angeles Kings Ice hockey National Hockey League
San Jose Sharks Ice hockey National Hockey League
Los Angeles Galaxy Soccer Major League Soccer (MLS)
San Jose Earthquakes Soccer Major League Soccer
Los Angeles Football Club Soccer Major League Soccer

See also


  1. ^ The coordinates of the center of population are at 35°27'31?N 119°21'19?W? / ?35.458606°N 119.355165°W? / 35.458606; -119.355165.
  2. ^ behind Nevada and Arizona
  3. ^ The following are a list of the indigenous languages: Root languages of California: Athabaskan Family: Hupa, Mattole, Lassik, Wailaki, Sinkyone, Cahto, Tolowa, Nongatl, Wiyot, Chilula; Hokan Family: Pomo, Shasta, Karok, Chimiriko; Algonquian Family: Whilkut, Yurok; Yukian Family: Wappo; Penutian Family: Modok, Wintu, Nomlaki, Konkow, Maidu, Patwin, Nisenan, Miwok, Coast Miwok, Lake Miwok, Ohlone, Northern Valley Yokuts, Southern Valley Yokuts, Foothill Yokuts; Hokan Family: Esselen, Salinan, Chumash, Ipai, Tipai, Yuma, Halchichoma, Mohave; Uto-Aztecan Family: Mono Paiute, Monache, Owens Valley Paiute, Tubatulabal, Panamint Shoshone, Kawaisu, Kitanemuk, Tataviam, Gabrielino, Juaneno, Luiseno, Cuipeno, Cahuilla, Serrano, Chemehuevi
  4. ^ Minnesota also has a moratorium on construction of nuclear power plants, which has been in place since 1994.


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Further reading

External links

Rank City Population County Image Description
1 Los Angeles 3,928,864 Los Angeles LA Skyline Mountains2.jpg Los Angeles is one of the world's centers of media, business, and international trade. It is the second most-populous city in the United States. It is also the home to renowned institutions covering a broad range of educational and professional fields, and it is one of the most substantial economic engines of the United States. Los Angeles (and its Hollywood district) lead the world in producing entertainment such as motion pictures, television, and recorded music.
2 San Diego 1,381,069 San Diego Panorama de San Diego.jpg San Diego sits in the extreme south of California on the border with Mexico. The city has miles of beaches and a number of U.S. military facilities as well as the world's busiest land border crossing. It is known as "the birthplace of California" since it was the first European landfall and the first European settlement in present-day California. Although it is a large city, San Diego doesn't encompass headquarters of very many large corporations. Instead the city's economy largely relies on US defense and military-related industries, tourism, and some international trade. It is home to a number of institutions of higher learning, including the University of California, San Diego, the University of San Diego, San Diego State University, NewSchool of Architecture + Design, and Point Loma Nazarene University.
3 San Jose 1,015,785 Santa Clara USA-San Jose-Downtown-1.jpg San Jose was founded on November 29, 1777, as one of the first towns in the Spanish colony of Nueva California, which later became Alta California. The town of San Jose served 1849-1851 as the first state capital, when California gained statehood in 1850. After more than 150 years as an agricultural center, San Jose grew due to demand for housing from soldiers returning from World War II, as well as the city's aggressive expansion policy during the 1950s and 1960s as it annexed large portions of land area which helped increase its population. By the 1990s, San Jose's location within the then-booming local technology industry earned the city the nickname Capital of Silicon Valley, and it hosts several prominent technology companies including Adobe Systems and Cisco Systems. San Jose is home to the National Hockey League's San Jose Sharks in addition to Major League Soccer's San Jose Earthquakes, as well as San Jose State University.
4 San Francisco 852,469 San Francisco Alamo Sq Painted Ladies 1 1024x768 scaled cropp.jpg San Francisco is a popular international tourist destination renowned for its beauty, cosmopolitan flair, steep rolling hills, and eclectic mix of Victorian and modern architecture. The city is surrounded by water on three sides and has many famous landmarks, such as the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island, Palace of Fine Arts, the cable cars and streetcars, Coit Tower, and Chinatown. The city is well known for its left-wing politics and its diverse population, including large and long-established Asian American and LGBT communities. It is the most densely populated major city in California and is the second most densely populated major city in the United States, only after New York City. It is also the only consolidated city-county in the state of California. San Francisco is also home to the largest social media, technology, and Bio Tech industries in the world. The City is also ranked the most expensive city in the United States and stands third in the world.
5 Fresno 515,986 Fresno Fresno skyline.jpg Fresno is at the heart of the San Joaquin Valley, a leading agricultural area of the United States and the world. Fresno is the closest major city to Yosemite National Park and Sequoia National Park. Fresno is the largest inland city in California. It is the home of California State University, Fresno. Fresno is also noted for its large Hmong and Armenian-American communities.
6 Sacramento 485,199 Sacramento Sacramento Skyline (2).jpg Sacramento has been the state capital of California since 1854. Once the state's second largest city, Sacramento was a major distribution center during the California Gold Rush and was the western terminus of the Pony Express. The American River, where gold was first discovered in California in the middle of the 19th century, flows through the city. In the market boom between 2003 and 2008, the population of the metropolitan area reached close to 2.5 million people as suburbs such as Roseville, Lincoln, and Elk Grove grew, making the Sacramento region the largest region in the California's Central Valley. According to the 2010 census, Sacramento is the nineteenth most-populous metropolitan area in the United States. Sacramento is home to the National Basketball Association's Sacramento Kings. California State University, Sacramento is situated in the city.
7 Long Beach 473,577 Los Angeles LongBeachskyline.jpg Long Beach is a coastal city in the Greater Los Angeles area metropolitan area. Long Beach partially borders the city of Los Angeles to its west and is home to the Grand Prix of Long Beach and the RMS Queen Mary, which is docked in Long Beach Harbor. The Port of Long Beach is one of the world's largest shipping ports. The city also has a large oil industry; oil is found both underground and offshore. Manufacturers include aircraft, automobile parts, electronic and audiovisual equipment. It is also home to the headquarters for corporations such as Epson America, Molina Healthcare, and Scan Health Care. Long Beach has grown with the development of high-technology and aerospace industries in the area. The California State University system headquarters are in Long Beach, as is the second largest campus of the 23-school system, California State University, Long Beach.
8 Oakland 413,775 Alameda OaklandnightskylineandLakeMerritt.jpg Oakland is a major West Coast port and is home to several major corporations, including Kaiser Permanente and Clorox, as well as being the corporate headquarters for nationwide businesses like Dreyer's and Cost Plus World Markets. Attractions include Jack London Square, the Oakland Museum of California, the Chabot Space and Science Center, Lake Merritt, the East Bay Regional Park District ridge line parks and preserves, and Chinatown. Oakland is also the home city of three of the Bay Area's major league sports teams—Major League Baseball's Oakland A's, the Oakland Raiders of the National Football League, and the National Basketball Association's Golden State Warriors, with the first two teams playing their home games as Coliseum, while the Warriors play their home games at Oracle Arena.
9 Bakersfield 368,759 Kern 2008-0621-Bakersfield-pan.JPG Bakersfield sits at the southern end of the San Joaquin Valley, an especially petroleum-rich area of California. Bakersfield is known for its musical achievements such as its own country genre called the "Bakersfield sound". Bakersfield is also in close proximity with the Sequoia National Forest.
10 Anaheim 346,997 Orange Disneylandcastle.jpg Anaheim is the most populous city in Orange County and second largest in terms of land area; it is known for its theme parks (including Disneyland), sports teams, and convention center.
11 Santa Ana 334,909 Orange SCM Skyline.jpg Santa Ana is the county seat of Orange County and home to the famous Bowers Museum, and Discovery Science Center.
12 Riverside 319,504 Riverside Descending Mt. Rubidoux.jpg Riverside is the most populous city of Southern California's Inland Empire region. Riverside is the birthplace of California's citrus industry and home to the University of California, Riverside (UCR). Its downtown is home to the Mission Inn, one of two historic landmark hotels in California. The Mission Inn Festival of Lights is said to be the third largest Christmas lights display in the nation.[citation needed]
13 Stockton 302,389 San Joaquin Downtown Stockton California.jpg Stockton is at the heart of the Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta and is sometimes considered the divider between the Sacramento Valley and the San Joaquin Valley. For much of the later 19th century, starting with the Gold Rush, Stockton was one of the largest cities in the state, for a while the third largest city. With a sea port on the San Joaquin River, it was an important agricultural and shipping center, roles which it continues to fulfill. Stockton is the home of the University of the Pacific.
14 Chula Vista 260,988 San Diego ChulaVista Bayfront.jpg A South Bay suburban city of San Diego, Chula Vista is just 7 miles (11 km) from the Mexican border. It is one of the most economically and culturally diverse cities in Southern California. It is the second largest city in California not near a river (San Francisco is the first).
15 Irvine 248,531 Orange Downtown Irvine overhead.jpg Irvine is a planned city, mainly developed by the Irvine Company since the 1960s. Irvine is home to the University of California, Irvine (UCI) and to a number of corporations, particularly in the technology sector. It is regarded for its good schools, jobs and housing by, for low crime by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Census Bureau ranks Irvine highly in median income.
16 Fremont 228,758 Alameda Mission-Peak-2006.jpg Fremont was created as a single city in 1956, from the unification of several unincorporated communities that had historically been small but grew rapidly in the years after World War II. It is located in the San Francisco Bay Area just north of San Jose/Silicon Valley in the East Bay.
17 San Bernardino 215,213 San Bernardino Sb 2004 dt snowskyline 003a.jpg San Bernardino is the second largest city in the Inland Empire metropolitan area of California, and the county seat of San Bernardino County, the largest county in geographic area in the 48 contiguous states. San Bernardino is home to California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB) and a number of corporations in addition to the San Bernardino International Airport. San Bernardino is the gateway to the San Bernardino Mountains, including its ski resorts and numerous lakes.
18 Modesto 209,286 Stanislaus Modesto Arch.JPG Modesto is in the center of the Central Valley east of San Francisco and south of the capital Sacramento. The city is surrounded by fertile farmland. Its population is growing fast due to affordable housing in the area and is quickly becoming a bedroom community for commuters to Sacramento, Fresno, and the San Francisco Bay Area.
19 Oxnard 205,437 Ventura Oxnard Skyline.JPG Oxnard is one of only a handful of cities in the state that is the largest in its county, but not the county seat. It is an important agricultural center, with its distinction as the strawberry and lima bean capital of California. Oxnard has a scenic, relatively uncrowded coastline.
20 Fontana 204,950 San Bernardino Fontana California Overview.JPG Founded in 1913, Fontana remained rural until a Kaiser Steel mill was built during World War II. The city is now a regional hub of the trucking industry, and home of the California Speedway.
21 Moreno Valley 202,976 Riverside Moreno Valley-Ironwood view.jpg Incorporated in 1984, Moreno Valley lies 65 miles (105 km) east of downtown Los Angeles, just north of Lake Perris. The city is home to the March Air Reserve Base.
22 Huntington Beach 200,809 Orange HuntingtonHarbor CA Aerialphoto D Ramey Logan.JPG This Orange County coastal city is best known for its 8.5-mile (13.7 km) beach. Huntington Beach is often referred to as "Surf City" due to its long association with the sport of surfing.
23 Glendale 200,167 Los Angeles Glendale California From Forest Lawn.jpg Glendale is the focal point of the Verdugo Mountains subregion and is home to a large Armenian-American community.
24 Santa Clarita 181,557 Los Angeles 2000 0820 TowncenterDrive2.jpg Six Flags Magic Mountain is just outside Santa Clarita. The city was incorporated in 1987 as the union of several previously existing communities, including Canyon Country, Newhall, Saugus, and Valencia.
25 Garden Grove 175,078 Orange Crystal Cathedral with Spire.jpg Garden Grove is home to the second-largest Vietnamese American community, as well as the Crystal Cathedral.
26 Oceanside 174,558 San Diego Oceanside Beach Panorama.jpg The largest city in San Diego's North County, Oceanside is home to the longest wooden pier on the West Coast and is directly south of Camp Pendleton, the busiest military base in the United States.
27 Rancho Cucamonga 174,305 San Bernardino Victoria Gardens American Apparel.JPG Rancho Cucamonga was incorporated in 1977, as a result of a vote among the residents of the unincorporated communities of Alta Loma, Cucamonga, and Etiwanda. The city was ranked #42 in 'Money's "Best Places to Live in America 2006".
28 Santa Rosa 174,170 Sonoma Old Courthouse Square, Downtown Santa Rosa (Smaller Version).jpg Santa Rosa is the largest city in California's Wine Country and the Redwood Empire. The county seat of Sonoma County since 1854, it grew as a center of agriculture, shipping, and industry. It is today still an important local center of business and tourism. The city actually suffered the most destruction of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, which destroyed Santa Rosa's entire downtown. Notable residents have included famed horticulturalist Luther Burbank and Peanuts cartoonist Charles M. Schulz.
29 Ontario 169,089 San Bernardino Ontario City Library05apr2006.jpg Ontario is the third principal city of the Inland Empire area of California, home to Ontario International Airport and the region's largest shopping mall, Ontario Mills.
30 Elk Grove 163,553 Sacramento Sunset Laguna Blvd.jpg Elk Grove was a sleepy suburb of Sacramento until the housing boom of the 1990s and 2000s. Between the decades, the population has nearly tripled from around 50,000 to more than 150,000 inhabitants. The population has grown so much that Elk Grove has surpassed all of the other suburbs in size and inhabitants. The city was rated the fastest growing city in the United States in 2006. About 15 miles (24 km) from downtown Sacramento, Elk Grove has emerged as a popular place for young families to live and commute to the job centers of the area.
31 Corona 161,486 Riverside CoronaCA.jpg Corona is one of the cities farthest west in the Inland Empire of Southern California. It is known as the "Circle City" due to Grand Boulevard's 3-mile (5 km) circular layout. It is one of the greatest residential cities in the Inland Empire, but also has a large industrial portion on the northern half. It is the headquarters of companies such as Fender Musical Instruments Corporation, Hansen Natural Corporation, Watson Pharmaceuticals, and West Coast Customs (featured on MTV's Pimp My Ride).
32 Lancaster 161,043 Los Angeles Sunset over Lancaster CA.jpg Lancaster started as a stop on the Union Pacific Railroad, and has grown into the fifth largest city in Los Angeles County. It began as a small farming community, and has since acquired a large and prosperous technology-driven sub-culture. Located in "Aerospace Valley", it has always been on the cutting edge of technology, and is now aiming to become the nation's first net-zero city.[citation needed]
33 Palmdale 158,279 Los Angeles Palmdale and Mountains.jpg Commonly referred to as the "Aerospace Capital of America", Palmdale is the birthplace of the Space Shuttle, X-15, B-2 Spirit, F-117 Nighthawk, F-35 Lightning II, SR-71 Blackbird, Lockheed L-1011 Tristar, and many other aircraft that have been used in the United States Air Force, NASA and air forces and airlines around the world. It is the sixth largest city in Los Angeles County and one of the fastest growing cities in the United States.
34 Salinas 156,677 Monterey Downtown Salinas.jpg Salinas is an agricultural center and the hometown of famed writer and Nobel Laureate John Steinbeck.
35 Hayward 154,612 Alameda HaywardCityHall.jpg Hayward was an historic salt and agricultural processing center. Sea salt brand produced in Hayward were Oliver Brothers and Leslie Salt. In food processing, Hunt Brothers' Cannery (later Hunt-Wesson Foods) produced canned and bottled tomato products, as well as canned peaches, apricots, and fruit cocktail. Since 1957 it has been the home of California State University, East Bay.
36 Pomona 153,350 Los Angeles Pomona..cityhall.jpg Pomona is located between the Inland Empire and the San Gabriel Valley. The city is home of the Fairplex, which hosts the Los Angeles County Fair, the largest county fair in the United States, among others. It is home to the second largest polytechnic university in the United States, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.
37 Escondido 150,243 San Diego Grand01.jpg Situated in San Diego's North County region, Escondido is home to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.
38 Sunnyvale 149,980 Santa Clara Murphystreetsunnyvale.jpg Part of the Silicon Valley, Sunnyvale is home to several large tech company headquarters such as AMD, Yahoo!, and Palm, Inc.
39 Torrance 148,495 Los Angeles Torrance skyline.jpg Torrance, 21 square miles (54 km2), is situated 11 miles (18 km) south of Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), 8 miles (13 km) north of the Port of Los Angeles, 30 miles (48 km) west of Disneyland and bounded by the Pacific Ocean on the west with 1.5 miles (2.4 km) of beach. Incorporated in 1921, it is the eighth largest city in Los Angeles County. Torrance averages 12.55 inches (319 mm) of rainfall per year.
40 Pasadena 140,881 Los Angeles Pasadena City Hall 2.JPG Pasadena is famous for hosting the annual Tournament of Roses Parade and the Rose Bowl football game. The city is home to many scientific and cultural institutions such as NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the Art Center College of Design, and the California Institute of Technology.
41 Orange 139,812 Orange Former ATSF Station in Orange CA 7-14-04.jpg Unusual for cities in Orange County, Orange preserved many of its homes that were built prior to the 1960s, now located in the city's Old Towne District, whereas many other cities in the region demolished such houses in the 1960s. Orange is the home of Chapman University.
42 Fullerton 139,677 Orange Fullerton city hall.jpg Historically, Fullerton was a center of agriculture, petroleum extraction, transportation, and manufacturing. It is home to several educational institutions, notably the California State University, Fullerton and Fullerton College.
43 Thousand Oaks 129,342 Ventura Conejo Grade in Thousand Oaks.jpg Named after the many oak trees that grace the area, Thousand Oaks is the largest city in the Conejo Valley area.
44 Visalia 129,281 Tulare Visalia Acequia Ave..JPG Visalia is the oldest city between Stockton and Los Angeles.
45 Roseville 128,615 Placer Roseville - City Civic Center.jpg Roseville is a suburb of Sacramento. It is very family oriented with many parks, bike trails, water parks etc., and in 2006 Roseville was named the healthiest city in America. Roseville is known for its high-end shopping including the Fountains, the Galleria (one of the biggest malls in northern California), and more.
46 Concord 127,522 Contra Costa Don Francisco Galindo House (Concord, CA).JPG Concord is a major regional suburban East Bay center within the San Francisco Bay Area. The former Concord Naval Weapons Station was located to the north of the city.
47 Simi Valley 126,871 Ventura Simi Valley surroundings.jpg Simi Valley is a bedroom community located in a valley of the same name. It is the site of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.
48 Santa Clara 122,192 Santa Clara Santaclaraconventioncenter.jpg Santa Clara is located in the center of Silicon Valley and is home to the headquarters of Intel, Applied Materials, Sun Microsystems, NVIDIA, Agilent Technologies, and many other high-tech companies. It also is home to one of the largest theme parks in northern California, California's Great America. Levi's Stadium is a football stadium located in Santa Clara, California, it currently serves as the home of the San Francisco 49ers of the National Football League.
49 Victorville 121,901 San Bernardino Victor Valley College.jpg Victorville is located in the Victor Valley, at the southwestern edge of the Mojave Desert. It is the site of the Southern California Logistics Airport, formerly George Air Force Base before it was converted to civilian use.
50 Vallejo 120,228 Solano Vallejo Ferry Terminal.jpg Vallejo was home of the Mare Island Naval Shipyard, one of the most important naval shipyards in the country, from the 1850s until its closure in the 1990s. It was very briefly the capital of California in 1852. It is the largest city in Solano County, and the home of Six Flags Discovery Kingdom.
51 Berkeley 118,853 Alameda Berkeleyfromclaremont800x600.jpg Noted as one of the most politically liberal in the nation, the city is home to the University of California, Berkeley, the oldest of the University of California system.
52 El Monte 116,631 Los Angeles Friendly El Monte.jpg El Monte lies in the San Gabriel Valley region and was formerly a crossroad along the Old Spanish Trail. It is home to Penske Motor Group, one of the largest car dealerships in the world.
53 Downey 114,172 Los Angeles Downey City Hall.jpg Located southeast of downtown Los Angeles, Downey is the birthplace of the Apollo space program and the site of the oldest surviving McDonald's restaurant.
54 Costa Mesa 112,784 Orange OC-Performing-Arts-Center.jpg Since its incorporation in 1953, Costa Mesa has grown from a semi-rural farming community to a primarily suburban city with an economy based on retail, commerce, and light manufacturing.
55 Carlsbad 112,299 San Diego Calsbad-late-night.jpg Carlsbad is an affluent, coastal resort city in the North San Diego County region. The city is mainly known for shopping, tourism, a booming high-tech industry, and resort living.
56 Inglewood 111,905 Los Angeles 2008-0914-RandysDonuts.jpg Located southwest of downtown Los Angeles, Inglewood is home of the landmark Randy's Donuts and The Forum arena.
57 Fairfield 111,125 Solano Solanocountygovoffice.jpg Fairfield is the county seat of Solano County, but not the largest city in the county, which is Vallejo. It is the home of Travis Air Force Base and the Jelly Belly jelly bean factory.
58 Ventura 109,484 Ventura Mission San Buenaventura.jpg Ventura, officially the City of San Buenaventura, is the county seat of Ventura County. Ventura Harbor is home to the headquarters of Channel Islands National Park, and boats to the Channel Islands depart from there daily.
59 Temecula 109,428 Riverside Old Town Temecula.jpg Forming the southwestern anchor of the Inland Empire region, Temecula is the heart of the Temecula Valley wine region.
60 Antioch 108,930 Contra Costa Elcampanilthratre.jpg Located along the Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta and known as "The Gateway to the Delta", Antioch is a suburb of San Francisco, Oakland, and the rest of the San Francisco Bay Area. The town has seen an enormous amount of growth in the last 30 years, as the population of the Bay Area continues to grow, and real estate prices force families to move towards the outskirts of the Bay Area. In fact, it is located close enough to the Sacramento Metropolitan area that it can be seen to serve as a suburb of both Sacramento and the Bay Area.
61 Richmond 108,565 Contra Costa Point Richmond, Richmond, California.jpg Richmond is located in western Contra Costa County along the eastern shores of San Francisco Bay. It has been called a company town based on its relationship with the Chevron Corporation, and it is the site of the Chevron Richmond Refinery.
62 West Covina 108,455 Los Angeles Wcovina.jpg West Covina is a mostly middle class suburb located east of downtown Los Angeles in the eastern San Gabriel Valley.
63 Murrieta 108,368 Riverside Murrieta01.JPG Formerly just a small unincorporated town in the Inland Empire, Murrieta has become one of the fastest growing cities in the state. It is now largely a commuter town, with many of its residents commuting to jobs in San Diego County, Orange County, and the neighboring city of Temecula.
64 Norwalk 107,096 Los Angeles Norwalk Transit Bus and Bee.jpg Norwalk is located southeast of downtown Los Angeles. It is home to Cerritos College.
65 Daly City 106,094 San Mateo Daly City.jpg San Francisco's southern neighbor, Daly City houses the famous Cow Palace (which many people mistakenly believe is in San Francisco), as well as the largest Filipino population outside of the Philippines.
66 Burbank 105,368 Los Angeles Burbankeast.jpg Burbank is nicknamed the "Media Capital of the World" for being the home of many media and entertainment production companies, including Warner Bros. Entertainment, Warner Music Group, NBC Universal, The Walt Disney Company, ABC, Cartoon Network Studios, and Nickelodeon.
67 Santa Maria 103,410 Santa Barbara Foxen.jpg Santa Maria, the largest city in Santa Barbara County, is in the heart of the Santa Maria Valley wine region and is known for their famous Santa Maria Style Barbecue. Allan Hancock College, and St. Joseph High School are in the city.
68 El Cajon 103,091 San Diego Cuyamacacollegesign.jpg El Cajon is located east of San Diego. Nestled in a valley surrounded by mountains, the city has acquired the nickname of "The Big Box".
69 San Mateo 102,893 San Mateo MCB-san-mateo-aerial.jpg San Mateo is one of the larger suburbs on the San Francisco Peninsula.
70 Rialto 102,741 San Bernardino 1907 First Christian Church.jpg Rialto is home to four major regional distribution centers: Staples, Inc., which serves stores across the entire West Coast of the United States, Toys "R" Us, FedEx, and Target
71 Clovis 102,189 Fresno Pollasky Ave. Clovis.JPG Clovis is the second largest city in Fresno County. Lying at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountain range, which includes Yosemite, Kings Canyon, and Sequoia national parks, Clovis has been known as the "Gateway to the Sierras".
72 Jurupa Valley 98,842 Riverside Jurupa Valley was incorporated July 1, 2011.
73 Compton 98,597 Los Angeles Compton martin luther king monument.jpg An inner suburb of Los Angeles, Compton is known for its large African American and Latino communities. The city is home to Richland Farms, one of the last urban farming communities in the Los Angeles metro area, and is also almost universally considered to be the birthplace of gangsta rap.
74 Vista 98,079 San Diego View of South Santa Fe.jpg Vista is located just 7 miles (11 km) inland from the Pacific Ocean in northern San Diego County. The city has more than 25 educational institutions, and a business park home to over 800 companies.
75 Mission Viejo 97,209 Orange Snow at Lake Mission Viejo 005.jpg Located in southern Orange County in the Saddleback Valley, Mission Viejo is considered one of the largest master-planned communities ever built under a single project in the United States. The city is mainly residential, although there are a number of offices and businesses within its city limits.
76 South Gate 96,312 Los Angeles Located southeast of downtown Los Angeles, South Gate is part of the Gateway Cities region of Los Angeles County. In 1990, South Gate was one of ten U.S. communities to receive the All-America City Award from the National Civic League.
77 Vacaville 95,856 Solano Aerial view of Vacaville, California.jpg Vacaville is located nearly halfway between Sacramento and San Francisco. It is home to several biotechnology/pharmaceutical facilities.
78 Carson 93,271 Los Angeles HomeDepotCenter1.jpg Carson is a suburb in the South Bay region of Greater Los Angeles. It is home of California State University, Dominguez Hills, and the StubHub Center sports complex, housing both of the Major League Soccer teams for Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Galaxy and Chivas USA.
79 Santa Monica 92,987 Los Angeles Santa monica beach dehk.jpg Santa Monica, a famed beachfront city surrounded on three sides by Los Angeles, is home to a mixture of affluent, single-family neighborhoods, renters, surfers, young professionals, and students. It is the site of the world-famous Santa Monica Pier.
80 San Marcos 92,929 San Diego SanMarcospan.jpg San Marcos is a suburb of San Diego and home of California State University, San Marcos.
81 Hesperia 92,749 San Bernardino HesperiaCA.JPG Hesperia is located in the High Desert region of the Mojave Desert 15 miles (24 km) north of San Bernardino.
82 Westminster 92,068 Orange Asian Garden Little Saigon.jpg Westminster is known for its Vietnamese American community, one of the largest in the United States.
83 Redding 91,593 Shasta Sundialbridge1.png Located on the banks of the Sacramento River, Redding is the largest city in California north of Sacramento. It is the gateway to numerous recreation areas including Shasta Lake, the Trinity Alps, and Mount Shasta. It is also home to the Sundial Bridge at Turtle Bay, the world's largest sundial.
84 Santa Barbara 91,196 Santa Barbara Santa Barbara mission CA1.jpg Santa Barbara is a popular tourist and resort coastal city, known for its downtown Moorish-Spanish style architecture, coastal weather, beautiful mountain backdrops, and numerous sandy beaches. The city's economy includes a large service sector, education, technology, health care, finance, agriculture, manufacturing, and local government.
85 San Leandro 89,351 Alameda San Leandro Marina 07830.JPG Historically a town with dozens of huge cherry farms and a Spanish missionary ranch, San Leandro today is a rapidly growing city of worldwide industries and a suburb of Oakland.
86 Chico 89,180 Butte Bidwell Mansion 2006 11 IMGP0863.JPG Chico is the retail hub of the mid-Sacramento Valley and is home to institutions such as Bidwell Park, California State University Chico, and Sierra Nevada Brewing Company.
87 Hawthorne 87,583 Los Angeles Beach Boys Landmark.jpg Hawthorne is a suburb of Los Angeles. It was the home of Brian, Carl, and Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys. Their boyhood home was demolished in the late 1980s during the construction of the Century Freeway, although it was honored by the dedication of the Beach Boys Historic Landmark (California Landmark 1041) in May 2005.
88 Whittier 87,318 Los Angeles Southern Pacific Railroad Depot, Whittier.JPG Whittier is part of the Gateway Cities of Los Angeles County and is home to Whittier College.
89 Newport Beach 87,266 Orange Newport Beach 2013 c Photo D Ramey Logan.jpg Newport Beach is an affluent coastal city in Orange County, known for its beaches and surfing. Newport Harbor is the largest recreational boat harbor on the West Coast.
90 Livermore 86,870 Alameda LLNL Aerial View.jpg Located on the eastern edge of San Francisco Bay Area, Livermore is home of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and the Centennial Light. It is the largest city in the Tri-Valley area.
91 Citrus Heights 86,145 Sacramento Sunrise Mall - inside.jpg Citrus Heights is a suburb located northeast of Sacramento.
92 Tracy 85,841 San Joaquin 11th and Central Tracy California 14-May-2006.jpg Tracy is the second most populated city in San Joaquin County. The city experienced a growth spurt in the 1980s, becoming an exurb of the San Francisco Bay Area as more people looked for a more affordable alternative to Bay Area home prices and a less hectic lifestyle.
93 Indio 85,633 Riverside Coachella 2013 Do Lab and Helix Poeticus.jpg Indio is located in the Coachella Valley region of the Sonoran Desert, 23 miles (37 km) east of Palm Springs and 134 miles (216 km) east of Los Angeles. Indio and its surrounding communities are regarded as a major agricultural center for Southern California and is the home of the world-renowned Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.
94 Alhambra 85,569 Los Angeles Alhambra, CA.jpg Alhambra is located in the western San Gabriel Valley region, east of downtown Los Angeles.
95 Menifee 85,182 Riverside Menifee is a relatively new city, incorporated in 2008, which includes the communities of Sun City, Quail Valley, Paloma Valley and portions of Romoland in southwestern Riverside County.
96 Chino 84,723 San Bernardino Mama's--Chino, California.jpg Chino and its surroundings have long been a center of agriculture and dairy farming, serving the considerable demands for milk products in Southern California and much of the southwestern United States.
97 Buena Park 83,105 Orange Knott's Berry Farm.jpg Buena Park, in northwestern Orange County, is home of Knott's Berry Farm and several other tourist attractions.
98 Hemet 83,032 Riverside Hemet City Hall.jpg Hemet, in the San Jacinto Valley, is the home of the Ramona Pageant, one of the longest running outdoor plays in the United States.
99 Redwood City 82,881 San Mateo Redwoodcitypanorama.jpg Redwood City, the county seat of San Mateo County, is a technology center and deepwater port located on the San Francisco Peninsula.
100 Merced 81,743 Merced Bob Hart Square clock1.jpg Merced, in the San Joaquin Valley, is known as the "Gateway to Yosemite"; it is less than two hours by car from Yosemite National Park. The area is also home to the University of California, Merced.


  1. ^ "American FactFinder - Results". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 22, 2015. 
  2. ^ "The First City". California History Online. Archived from the original on 2008-02-18. Retrieved 2008-03-15. 
  3. ^ "California Admission Day – September 9, 1850". California State Parks. 2007. Retrieved 2008-03-15. 
  4. ^ Roger Vincent and Adrian G. Uribarri (November 25, 2006). "Getting the masses in the mood". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2011-10-29. 
  5. ^ "MONEY Magazine: Best places to live 2006: Rancho Cucamonga, CA snapshot". CNN. Retrieved 2011-12-11. 
  6. ^ City of Torrance website, About Torrance
  7. ^ "Burbank, Ca. – Media Capital of the World". Travel America. 20 April 2007. 
  8. ^ El Cajon city history
  9. ^ All-America City: Past Winners



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