California (English: California) is one of the fifty states of the United States of America. It stretches from north to south along the west coast of the country, on the Pacific Ocean. The capital is Sacramento.
Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, San Francisco, Fresno, Sacramento, Long Beach and Oakland are the largest cities. California includes two of the nation’s largest metropolitan areas, the Greater Los Angeles Area and the San Francisco Bay Area.
With a population of over 39 million people (2016), California has more inhabitants than any other state in the US.
The area of the state of California is 423,970 km². This makes California slightly larger than Germany or Japan and slightly smaller than France or Sweden.
California is the third largest state in the US, after Alaska and Texas. California borders the Mexican state of Baja California to the south, the US states of Arizona and Nevada to the east, and the state of Oregon to the north.
To the west and southwest, the state is bordered by the Pacific. The California coastline is approximately 1400 km long.
California has a lot of natural beauty, rich vegetation and a diverse fauna. The highest and lowest points of the 48 continental states of the US lie in this state.
There are extensive nature reserves, including the tallest trees in the world. There are mountain ranges with ski areas, but also deserts, glaciers, forests, hilly areas, lakes and beaches.
The climate and vegetation vary from dry desert areas to alpine high mountains.
The state’s symbol is the California grizzly bear, which is also depicted on the flag. The nickname of California is “the Golden State”.