Fairfax County, Virginia
Fairfax County the County of Fairfax is a county of the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States. Part of Northern Virginia, Fairfax County borders both the City of Alexandria and Arlington County and forms part of the inner suburban ring of Washington, DC; the county is thus predominantly suburban with some urban and rural pockets. As of the 2010 census, the population was 1,081,726, in 2015, it was estimated at 1,142,234, making it the Commonwealth's most populous jurisdiction, with 13.6% of Virginia's population. The county is the most populous jurisdiction in the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metropolitan Statistical Area, with 19.8% of the MSA population, as well as the larger Washington-Baltimore-Arlington, DC-MD-VA-WV-PA Combined Statistical Area, with 13.1% of the CSA population. The county seat is the City of Fairfax, though because it is an independent city under Virginia law, the city of Fairfax is not part of Fairfax County. Fairfax was the first U. S. county to reach a six-figure median household income and has the second-highest median household income of any county-level local jurisdiction in the United States after neighbor Loudoun County.
The county is home to the headquarters of intelligence agencies such as the Central Intelligence Agency, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, National Reconnaissance Office, as well as the National Counterterrorism Center and Office of the Director of National Intelligence. The county is home to seven Fortune 500 companies, including three with Falls Church addresses. At the time of European encounter, the inhabitants of what would become Fairfax County were an Algonquian-speaking sub-group called the Taux known as the Doeg or Dogue, their villages, as recorded by Captain John Smith in 1608, included Namassingakent and Nemaroughquand on the south bank of the Potomac River in what is now Fairfax County. Virginian colonists from the Northern Neck region drove the Doeg out of this area and into Maryland by 1670. Fairfax County was formed in 1742 from the northern part of Prince William County, it was named for 6th Lord Fairfax of Cameron, proprietor of the Northern Neck. The Fairfax family name is derived from the Old English phrase for "blond hair" – Fæger-feax.
The oldest settlements in Fairfax County were along the Potomac River. George Washington built his home, Mount Vernon, facing the river. Gunston Hall, the home of George Mason is nearby. Modern Fort Belvoir is on the estate of Belvoir Manor, built along the Potomac by William Fairfax in 1741. Thomas Fairfax, 6th Lord Fairfax of Cameron, the only member of the British nobility to reside in the colonies, lived at Belvoir before he moved to the Shenandoah Valley; the Belvoir mansion and several of its outbuildings were destroyed by fire after the Revolutionary War in 1783, George Washington noted the plantation complex deteriorated into ruins. In 1757, the northwestern two-thirds of Fairfax County became Loudoun County. In 1789, part of Fairfax County was ceded to the federal government to form Alexandria County of the District of Columbia. Alexandria County was returned to Virginia in 1846, reduced in size by the secession of the independent city of Alexandria in 1870, renamed Arlington County in 1920.
The Fairfax County town of Falls Church became an independent city in 1948. The Fairfax County town of Fairfax became an independent city in 1961. Located near Washington, D. C. Fairfax County was an important region in the Civil War; the Battle of Chantilly or Ox Hill, during the same campaign as the second Battle of Bull Run, was fought within the county. Other areas of activity included Minor's Hill, Munson's Hill, Upton's Hill, on the county's eastern border, overlooking Washington, D. C; the federal government's growth during and after World War II spurred rapid growth in the county and made the county suburban. Other large businesses continued to settle in Fairfax County and the opening of Tysons Corner Center spurred the rise of Tysons Corner; the technology boom and a steady government-driven economy created rapid growth and an growing and diverse population. The economy has made Fairfax County one of the nation's wealthiest counties. A general aviation airport located along U. S. Route 50, west of Seven Corners called the Falls Church Airpark operated in the county from 1948 to 1960.
The facility's 2,650 foot unpaved runway was used extensively by private pilots and civil defense officials. Residential development, multiple accidents, the demand for retail space led to its closure in 1960. According to the U. S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 406 square miles, of which 391 square miles is land and 15 square miles is water. Fairfax County is bounded on the southeast by the Potomac River. Across the river to the northeast is Washington, D. C. across the river to the north is Montgomery County and across the river to the southeast are Prince George's County and Charles County, Maryland. The county is bounded on the north and east by Arlington County and the independent cities of Alexandria and Falls Church, it is bounded on the west by Loudoun County, on the south by Prince William County. Most of the county lies in the Piedmont region, with rolling hills and deep stream valleys such as Difficult Run and its tributaries. West of Route 28, the hills give way to a flat, gentle valley which stretches west to the Bull Run Mountains in Loudoun County.
Elevations in the county range from near sea level along the tidal sections of the Potomac River in the southeast port
Income inequality in the United States
Income inequality in the United States is the extent to which income is distributed in an uneven manner among the American population. The inequality has increased since the 1970s after several decades of stability, meaning the share of the nation's income received by higher income households has increased; this trend is evident with income measured both before taxes as well as after taxes and transfer payments, but diminishes to a significant extent if in-kind compensation is considered, such as employer-paid healthcare premiums, which have increased over the same time period. Income inequality has fluctuated since measurements began around 1915, moving in an arc between peaks in the 1920s and 2000s, with a 30-year period of lower inequality between 1950–1980. Recasting the 2012 income using the 1979 income distribution, the bottom 99% of families would have averaged about $7,100 more income. Measured for all households, U. S. income inequality is comparable to other developed countries before taxes and transfers, but is among the highest after taxes and transfers, meaning the U.
S. shifts less income from higher income households to lower income households. Measured for working-age households, market income inequality is comparatively high and the level of redistribution is moderate; these comparisons indicate Americans shift from reliance on market income to reliance on income transfers in life and less than households in other developed countries do. The U. S. ranks around the 30th percentile in income inequality globally, meaning 70% of countries have a more equal income distribution. U. S. federal tax and transfer policies are progressive and therefore reduce income inequality measured after taxes and transfers. Tax and transfer policies together reduced income inequality more in 2011 than in 1979. While there is strong evidence that it has increased since the 1970s, there is active debate in the United States regarding the appropriate measurement, causes and solutions to income inequality; the two major political parties have different approaches to the issue, with Democrats emphasizing that economic growth should result in shared prosperity, while Republicans tend to avoid government involvement in income and wealth generation.
According to some speculative research, US income inequality might be higher than it was during the Roman Empire, pre-tax income inequality is as high as it was in the Roaring Twenties. U. S. income inequality has grown since the early 1970s, after several decades of stability, has been the subject of study of many scholars and institutions. The U. S. exhibits higher rates of income inequality than most developed nations due to the nation's enhanced support of free market capitalism and less progressive spending on social services. The top 1% of households received 20% of the pre-tax income in 2013, versus 10% from 1950 to 1980; the top 1% is not homogeneous, with the top income households pulling away from others in the top 1%. For example, the top 0.1% of households received 10% of the pre-tax income in 2013, versus 3–4% between 1951–1981. According to IRS data, adjusted gross income of $430,000 was required to be in the top 1% in 2013. Most of the growth in income inequality has been between the middle class and top earners, with the disparity widening the further one goes up in the income distribution.
The bottom 50% earned 20% of the nation's pre-tax income in 1979. Income for the middle 40% group, a proxy for the middle class, fell from 45% in 1979 to 41% in both 2007 and 2014. To put this change into perspective, if the additional pre-tax income received by the top 1% in 2012 were redistributed to achieve the more egalitarian 1979 income distribution, these funds would be sufficient to give $11,000 more to each family in the bottom 80%. Alternatively, this figure would be $7,100 if the funds were redistributed to the bottom 99% of families; the trend of rising income inequality is apparent after taxes and transfers. A 2018 study by the Congressional Budget Office found that the top earning 1 percent of households increased their income by 242% after federal taxes and income transfers over a period between 1979 and 2015, compared to a gain of 46% for the 60 percent in the middle of America's income distribution, a gain of 79% for the lowest 20%. U. S. federal tax and transfer policies are progressive and therefore reduce income inequality measured after taxes and transfers.
They became moderately less progressive between 1979 and 2007 but more progressive measured between 1979 and 2011. Income transfers had a greater impact on reducing inequality than taxes from 1979 to 2011. CBO reported in November 2018 that all income groups increased both their pre-tax and after-tax income from 1979 to 2015 in real terms. For example, income after transfers and taxes was up 103% for the highest income quintile, 79% for the lowest income quintile, 46% for the middle three quintiles measured together. CBO reported that the middle quintile households, a proxy for the middle-class, earned an average of $58,500 in market income during 2015, representing a 12% share of the total market income. At the 1979 share of 16%, this figure would be $78,000 or $19,500 higher. After taxes and transfers, these middle-class households earned an average of $64,700, a 15% share. At the 1979 share of 16%, this
Howard County, Maryland
Howard County is a county in the central part of the U. S. state of Maryland. As of the 2010 census, the population was 287,085, its county seat is Ellicott City. Howard County is included in the Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD Metropolitan Statistical Area, included in the Washington-Baltimore-Arlington, DC-MD-VA-WV-PA Combined Statistical Area. However, recent development in the south of the county has led to some realignment towards the Washington, D. C. media and employment markets. The county is home to Columbia, a major planned community of 100,000 founded by developer James Rouse in 1967. Howard County is cited for its affluence, quality of life, excellent schools. With an estimated median household income of $108,844 in 2012, Howard County had the third-highest median household income of any U. S. county in 2013. Many of the most affluent communities in the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area, such as Clarksville, Glenelg and West Friendship, are located along the Route 32 corridor in Howard County.
The main population center of Columbia/Ellicott City was named second among Money magazine's 2010 survey of "America's Best Places to Live." Howard County's schools rank first in Maryland as measured by standardized test scores and graduation rates. In 2010, the center of population of Maryland was located in the Howard County town of Jessup; the name of the county honors Colonel John Eager Howard, an officer in the "Maryland Line" of the Continental Army in the American Revolutionary War, commander notably at the Battle of Cowpens in South Carolina in 1781, among others. He was the fifth governor of Maryland from 1788 to 1791, his home was the mansion "Belvedere", located at the present-day intersection of East Chase and North Calvert streets, north of Baltimore Town in an area called "Howard's Woods", where Baltimore's Washington Monument was erected and the neighborhood of Mount Vernon was developed in the 1820s. The lands of prehistoric Howard County were populated by Native Americans; the Maryland Historical Trust has documented sites along the Patapsco, Patuxent and Little Patuxent River valleys.
In 1652, the Susquehannock tribes signed a peace treaty with Maryland, giving up their provenance over the territory, now Howard County. In 1800, the mean center of U. S. population as calculated by the US Census Bureau was found in. In 1838, Dr. William Watkins of Richland Manor proposed the "Howard District" of Anne Arundel County. After several adjournments, the area of western Anne Arundel County was designated the Howard District in 1839; the district had the same status as a county except that it was not separately represented in the Maryland General Assembly. In 1841, the county built its first courthouse in Ellicott City. At the January 1851 constitutional convention, Thomas Beale Dorsey submitted a petition led by James Sykes. A committee was formed with Dorsey, Smith and Ricaud. After several postponements, the district was erected as Howard County on March 7, 1851; the plantations of modern Howard County used slave labor as early as 1690. At the time of the Underground Railroad, some Howard County residents assisted slaves who were escaping to freedom.
This was risky, as many prominent plantation families were Confederate sympathizers during the Civil War, contributing militiamen to the South to protect local interests. Maryland was exempt from the Emancipation Proclamation abolishing slavery in the update of the Maryland Constitution in November 1864. On May 1, 1883 Howard County joined Anne Arundel Harford County in liquor prohibition. By 1899, Howard County contained 400 miles of dirt and 48 miles of stone roads, including three paid turnpikes maintained by 118 men. Most traffic consisted of loads delivered to rail crossings. In 1909, County Commissioners Hess, Werner and O'Neil were charged with malfeasance regarding contract bids. In 1918, a deadly flu pandemic swept the county starting with an early outbreak in Camp Meade in adjacent Anne Arundel County; the 1930s saw a shift from one-room schoolhouses to centralized schools with bus service. By 1939 wheat harvesting fell to just 18,800 acres. In 1940, local newspaper owner Paul Griffith Stromberg led a five-county commission to study a superhighway between Baltimore and Washington through Howard County.
The Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956 led to the construction of Interstate 70 across northern Howard County and Interstate 95 across the eastern part of the county. The sparsely populated county hosted population centers in Ellicott City, Savage, North Laurel and Lisbon with W. R. Grace and Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab as the largest new employers. Residents elected officials that campaigned to keep the county rural while planners prepared public works to support a quarter million residents by the year 2000. Race relations and desegregation became major issues of the time. From 1963 to 1966 the Rouse Company bought 14,000 acres of land and rezoned it for the Columbia Development. In 1972, the Marriott company proposed to build a regional theme park on Rouse-owned land but was denied zoning; the county has a number of properties on the National Register of Historic Places. According to the U. S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 253 square miles, of which 251 square miles is land and 2.7 square miles is water.
It is the second-smallest county in smallest by total area. Howard County is located in the Piedmont Plateau region of Maryland, with rolling hills making up most of the landscape, it is bounded on the north and northeast by the Patapsco River, on the southwest by the Patuxent River, on the southeast by a la
Georgia (U.S. state)
Georgia is a state in the Southeastern United States. It began as a British colony in 1733, the last and southernmost of the original Thirteen Colonies to be established. Named after King George II of Great Britain, the Province of Georgia covered the area from South Carolina south to Spanish Florida and west to French Louisiana at the Mississippi River. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788. In 1802–1804, western Georgia was split to the Mississippi Territory, which split to form Alabama with part of former West Florida in 1819. Georgia declared its secession from the Union on January 19, 1861, was one of the original seven Confederate states, it was the last state to be restored to the Union, on July 15, 1870. Georgia is the 8th most populous of the 50 United States. From 2007 to 2008, 14 of Georgia's counties ranked among the nation's 100 fastest-growing, second only to Texas. Georgia is known as the Empire State of the South. Atlanta, the state's capital and most populous city, has been named a global city.
Atlanta's metropolitan area contains about 55% of the population of the entire state. Georgia is bordered to the north by Tennessee and North Carolina, to the northeast by South Carolina, to the southeast by the Atlantic Ocean, to the south by Florida, to the west by Alabama; the state's northernmost part is in the Blue Ridge Mountains, part of the Appalachian Mountains system. The Piedmont extends through the central part of the state from the foothills of the Blue Ridge to the Fall Line, where the rivers cascade down in elevation to the coastal plain of the state's southern part. Georgia's highest point is Brasstown Bald at 4,784 feet above sea level. Of the states east of the Mississippi River, Georgia is the largest in land area. Before settlement by Europeans, Georgia was inhabited by the mound building cultures; the British colony of Georgia was founded by James Oglethorpe on February 12, 1733. The colony was administered by the Trustees for the Establishment of the Colony of Georgia in America under a charter issued by King George II.
The Trustees implemented an elaborate plan for the colony's settlement, known as the Oglethorpe Plan, which envisioned an agrarian society of yeoman farmers and prohibited slavery. The colony was invaded by the Spanish during the War of Jenkins' Ear. In 1752, after the government failed to renew subsidies that had helped support the colony, the Trustees turned over control to the crown. Georgia became a crown colony, with a governor appointed by the king; the Province of Georgia was one of the Thirteen Colonies that revolted against British rule in the American Revolution by signing the 1776 Declaration of Independence. The State of Georgia's first constitution was ratified in February 1777. Georgia was the 10th state to ratify the Articles of Confederation on July 24, 1778, was the 4th state to ratify the United States Constitution on January 2, 1788. In 1829, gold was discovered in the North Georgia mountains leading to the Georgia Gold Rush and establishment of a federal mint in Dahlonega, which continued in operation until 1861.
The resulting influx of white settlers put pressure on the government to take land from the Cherokee Nation. In 1830, President Andrew Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act, sending many eastern Native American nations to reservations in present-day Oklahoma, including all of Georgia's tribes. Despite the Supreme Court's ruling in Worcester v. Georgia that U. S. states were not permitted to redraw Indian boundaries, President Jackson and the state of Georgia ignored the ruling. In 1838, his successor, Martin Van Buren, dispatched federal troops to gather the tribes and deport them west of the Mississippi; this forced relocation, known as the Trail of Tears, led to the death of over 4,000 Cherokees. In early 1861, Georgia became a major theater of the Civil War. Major battles took place at Chickamauga, Kennesaw Mountain, Atlanta. In December 1864, a large swath of the state from Atlanta to Savannah was destroyed during General William Tecumseh Sherman's March to the Sea. 18,253 Georgian soldiers died in service one of every five who served.
In 1870, following the Reconstruction Era, Georgia became the last Confederate state to be restored to the Union. With white Democrats having regained power in the state legislature, they passed a poll tax in 1877, which disenfranchised many poor blacks and whites, preventing them from registering. In 1908, the state established a white primary, they constituted 46.7% of the state's population in 1900, but the proportion of Georgia's population, African American dropped thereafter to 28% due to tens of thousands leaving the state during the Great Migration. According to the Equal Justice Institute's 2015 report on lynching in the United States, Georgia had 531 deaths, the second-highest total of these extralegal executions of any state in the South; the overwhelming number of victims were male. Political disfranchisement persisted through the mid-1960s, until after Congress passed the Voting Rights Act of 1965. An Atlanta-born Baptist minister, part of the educated middle class that had developed in Atlanta's African-American community, Martin Luther King, Jr. emerged as a national leader in the civil rights movement.
King joining with others to form the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in Atlanta in 1957 to provide political leadership for the Civil Rights Movement across the South. By the 1960s, the proportion of
Income in the United States
Income in the United States is measured by the United States Department of Commerce either by household or individual. The differences between household and personal income is considerable since 42% of households, the majority of those in the top two quintiles with incomes exceeding $57,658, now have two income earners; this difference becomes apparent when comparing the percentage of households with six figure incomes to that of individuals. In 2006, 17.3% of households had incomes exceeding $100,000, compared to less than 6% of individuals. Overall the median household income was $46,326 in 2006 while the median personal income was $32,140. Income inequality in the United States has increased considerably. Between 1979 and 2004, the mean after-tax income of the top percentile increased 167%, versus 69% for the top quintile overall, 29% for the fourth quintile, 21% for the middle quintile, 17% for the second quintile and 6% for the bottom quintile. While wages for women have increased median earnings of male wage earners have remained stagnant since the late 1970s.
Household income, has risen due the increasing number of households with more than one income earner and women's increased presence in the labor force. Half of the U. S. population lives in poverty or is low-income, according to U. S. Census data. On the other hand, some members of the U. S. population have earned a considerable income: the top earner in 2011, hedge fund manager John Paulson, earned $4.9 billion, according to Business Insider. Compensation in the United States Economy of the United States Income inequality in the United States Socio-economic mobility in the United States Unemployment in the United States United States counties by per capita income Savings rate vs Fed rate from 1954 Historical relationship between the savings rate and the Fed rate - since 1954
Louisiana is a state in the Deep South region of the South Central United States. It is the 25th most populous of the 50 United States. Louisiana is bordered by the state of Texas to the west, Arkansas to the north, Mississippi to the east, the Gulf of Mexico to the south. A large part of its eastern boundary is demarcated by the Mississippi River. Louisiana is the only U. S. state with political subdivisions termed parishes. The state's capital is Baton Rouge, its largest city is New Orleans. Much of the state's lands were formed from sediment washed down the Mississippi River, leaving enormous deltas and vast areas of coastal marsh and swamp; these contain a rich southern biota. There are many species of tree frogs, fish such as sturgeon and paddlefish. In more elevated areas, fire is a natural process in the landscape, has produced extensive areas of longleaf pine forest and wet savannas; these support an exceptionally large number of plant species, including many species of terrestrial orchids and carnivorous plants.
Louisiana has more Native American tribes than any other southern state, including four that are federally recognized, ten that are state recognized, four that have not received recognition. Some Louisiana urban environments have a multicultural, multilingual heritage, being so influenced by a mixture of 18th-century French, Spanish, Native American, African cultures that they are considered to be exceptional in the US. Before the American purchase of the territory in 1803, present-day Louisiana State had been both a French colony and for a brief period a Spanish one. In addition, colonists imported numerous African people as slaves in the 18th century. Many came from peoples of the same region of West Africa. In the post-Civil War environment, Anglo-Americans increased the pressure for Anglicization, in 1921, English was for a time made the sole language of instruction in Louisiana schools before a policy of multilingualism was revived in 1974. There has never been an official language in Louisiana, the state constitution enumerates "the right of the people to preserve and promote their respective historic and cultural origins."
Louisiana was named after Louis XIV, King of France from 1643 to 1715. When René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle claimed the territory drained by the Mississippi River for France, he named it La Louisiane; the suffix -ana is a Latin suffix that can refer to "information relating to a particular individual, subject, or place." Thus Louis + ana carries the idea of "related to Louis." Once part of the French Colonial Empire, the Louisiana Territory stretched from present-day Mobile Bay to just north of the present-day Canada–United States border, including a small part of what is now the Canadian provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan. The Gulf of Mexico did not exist 250 million years ago when there was but one supercontinent, Pangea; as Pangea split apart, the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico opened. Louisiana developed, over millions of years, from water into land, from north to south; the oldest rocks are exposed in areas such as the Kisatchie National Forest. The oldest rocks date back to the early Cenozoic Era, some 60 million years ago.
The history of the formation of these rocks can be found in D. Spearing's Roadside Geology of Louisiana; the youngest parts of the state were formed during the last 12,000 years as successive deltas of the Mississippi River: the Maringouin, Teche, St. Bernard, the modern Mississippi, now the Atchafalaya; the sediments were carried from north to south by the Mississippi River. In between the Tertiary rocks of the north, the new sediments along the coast, is a vast belt known as the Pleistocene Terraces, their age and distribution can be related to the rise and fall of sea levels during past ice ages. In general, the northern terraces have had sufficient time for rivers to cut deep channels, while the newer terraces tend to be much flatter. Salt domes are found in Louisiana, their origin can be traced back to the early Gulf of Mexico, when the shallow ocean had high rates of evaporation. There are several hundred salt domes in the state. Salt domes are important not only as a source of salt. Louisiana is bordered to the west by Texas.
The state may properly be divided into two parts, the uplands of the north, the alluvial along the coast. The alluvial region includes low swamp lands, coastal marshlands and beaches, barrier islands that cover about 20,000 square miles; this area lies principally along the Gulf of Mexico and the Mississippi River, which traverses the state from north to south for a distance of about 600 mi ) and empties into the Gulf of Mexico. The breadth of the alluvial region along the Mississippi is from 10 to 60 miles, along the other rivers, the alluvial region averages about 10 miles across; the Mississippi River flows along a ridge formed by its own natural deposits, from which the lands decline toward a river beyond at an average fall of six feet per mile. The alluvial lands along other streams present similar features; the higher and contiguous hill lands of the north and northwestern part of the state have an area of more than 25,000 square miles. They consist of prairie and woodl
California is a state in the Pacific Region of the United States. With 39.6 million residents, California is the most populous U. S. the third-largest by area. The state capital is Sacramento; the Greater Los Angeles Area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nation's second and fifth most populous urban regions, with 18.7 million and 9.7 million residents respectively. Los Angeles is California's most populous city, the country's second most populous, after New York City. California has the nation's most populous county, Los Angeles County, its largest county by area, San Bernardino County; the City and County of San Francisco is both the country's second-most densely populated major city after New York City and the fifth-most densely populated county, behind only four of the five New York City boroughs. California's $3.0 trillion economy is larger than that of any other state, larger than those of Texas and Florida combined, the largest sub-national economy in the world. If it were a country, California would be the 5th largest economy in the world, the 36th most populous as of 2017.
The Greater Los Angeles Area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nation's second- and third-largest urban economies, after the New York metropolitan area. The San Francisco Bay Area PSA had the nation's highest GDP per capita in 2017 among large PSAs, is home to three of the world's ten largest companies by market capitalization and four of the world's ten richest people. California is considered a global trendsetter in popular culture, innovation and politics, it is considered the origin of the American film industry, the hippie counterculture, fast food, the Internet, the personal computer, among others. The San Francisco Bay Area and the Greater Los Angeles Area are seen as global centers of the technology and entertainment industries, respectively. California has a diverse economy: 58% of the state's economy is centered on finance, real estate services and professional, scientific and technical business services. Although it accounts for only 1.5% of the state's economy, California's agriculture industry has the highest output of any U.
S. state. California is bordered by Oregon to the north and Arizona to the east, the Mexican state of Baja California to the south; the state's diverse geography ranges from the Pacific Coast in the west to the Sierra Nevada mountain range in the east, from the redwood–Douglas fir forests in the northwest to the Mojave Desert in the southeast. The Central Valley, a major agricultural area, dominates the state's center. Although California is well-known for its warm Mediterranean climate, the large size of the state results in climates that vary from moist temperate rainforest in the north to arid desert in the interior, as well as snowy alpine in the mountains. Over time and wildfires have become more pervasive features. What is now California was first settled by various Native Californian tribes before being explored by a number of European expeditions during the 16th and 17th centuries; the Spanish Empire claimed it as part of Alta California in their New Spain colony. The area 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 and 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 emigration from the east and abroad with an accompanying economic boom; the word California referred to the Baja California Peninsula of Mexico. The name derived from the mythical island California in the fictional story of Queen Calafia, as recorded in a 1510 work The Adventures of Esplandián by Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo; this work was the fifth in a popular Spanish chivalric romance series that began with Amadis de Gaula. Queen Calafia's kingdom was said to be a remote land rich in gold and pearls, inhabited by beautiful black women who wore gold armor and lived like Amazons, as well as griffins and other strange beasts. In the fictional paradise, the ruler Queen Calafia fought alongside Muslims and her name may have been chosen to echo the title of a Muslim leader, the Caliph. It's possible.
Know ye that at the right hand of the Indies there is an island called California close to that part of the Terrestrial Paradise, inhabited by black women without a single man among them, they lived in the manner of Amazons. They were robust of body with great virtue; the island itself is one of the wildest in the world on account of the craggy rocks. Shortened forms of the state's name include CA, Cal. Calif. and US-CA. Settled by successive waves of arrivals during the last 10,000 years, California was one of the most culturally and linguistically diverse areas in pre-Columbian North America. Various estimates of the native population range from 100,000 to 300,000; the Indigenous peoples of California included more than 70 distinct groups of Native Americans, ranging from large, settled populations living on the coast to groups in the interior. California groups were diverse in their political organization with bands, villages, on the resource-rich coasts, large chiefdoms, such as the Chumash and Salinan.
Trade, intermarriage a