1.Overview of California- the Golden State
California is the most populous state in the United States of America that houses 39,512,223 people and spreads across 163,694 SQ.MI. It is located on the west coast of the United States and stretches along the Pacific ocean for hundreds of miles. Bearing the nickname- “The Golden State”, California fosters top-notch Hollywood stars, the technology in Silicon Valley, Wine in Napa Valley, Mount Whitney and Death Valley, and some ancient or primeval forests like Redwood and Sequoia Forests.
The history of California points out to five periods that ruled California ranging from the Native American period to the United States statehood. California was under the jurisdiction of the First Mexican Empire. But after the Mexican-American war (1946-1848), Mexico had to relinquish California to the United States.
The California Golden Rush laid the road to its prosperous economy and steady stream of migrants as it attracted thousands of people around the world.
2.Culture of California- the creatively fertile land
Despite being a part of America, California projects its unique cultural aspects. Cultures of Spain, Asia, Mexico, and the Eastern United States claim the integrated authority of food, languages and traditions in California.
California once accommodated 300 native American languages used by aboriginal people. However, at present, English is the first language. As it is home to a diverse populace, Spanish is the second common language spoken in California.
Another aspect of the culture in California is arts. Architecture, film and music illustrate the artistic attributes in Californian culture. The architectonic recollections of the Spanish period paved the way to the Spanish Colonial revival architecture that demonstrate the combination of ancient and modern building styles. However, Northern Californian cities feature historic Victorian architecture.
Film is in the blood and sweat of California. Hollywood- a city in California, plays a vital role in the American film industry and has a heavy impact on the culture. When considering music, California is the home to many music genres, including fusion reggae, surf rock, West coast Jazz etc. Also, world-class performing arts are as common as rock bands in California.
Ranking no.5 in healthcare, California has one of the best healthcare systems in the United States. Out of 39,512,223 population, only 10.9% of people don’t have health insurance, thus ranking in the 21st position in healthcare access. The healthcare system in California went under reform, aiming to reduce the number of uninsured people and to improve the quality of healthcare. Yet, the cost of medical care is high in the State of California. Therefore, there are several healthcare options to aid people with healthcare needs. These healthcare options range from employer health plans to Medi-cal that covers low-income families.
The education system in California is in the 20th position according to the rankings. However, higher education ranks no.3 as the high school graduation rate is 83.0%. The education system in California consists of both private and public schools. As California is the most populous state, it eventually becomes the state with most school students. The public schools in California are in despair, needing renovation and modernization. However, non-public schools are quite the opposite of public schools. Local Educational Agencies pay the tuition for non-public school children. In the Californian educational system, the debt at graduation is $21,483 compared to the national average of $28,996. Colleges in California offer students a variety of novel and exciting experiences, from small scale liberal art schools to large scale research institutions. California is a house to many top-notch universities like Stanford University, California Institute of Technology, and the University of California.
The economy of the State of California is the largest in the United States that represents a $3.2 trillion gross state product. It represents 15% of the U.S economy. If California is a sovereign country, it would have the fifth-largest economy in the world, ranked between Germany and the United Kingdom. Per capita income is $58,272, ranking the 6th in the nation. Moreover, California houses the largest and the most expensive housing market where the house price range between $1-2 million. Silicon Valley-California harbours many famous and valuable technology companies like Apple, Alphabet Inc, and Facebook. The most dominant sectors of the Californian economy include finances, business services, government and manufacturing. There are also fewer dominant sectors yet play a vital role in the economy, such as international trade and tourism, Agriculture, and energy. There are many tourism sites in California, but the most popular tourist destinations include Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Disneyland, Napa Valley, Pebble Beach etc. In terms of agriculture, Central Valley helps this Golden State to yield more crops and goods. California agricultural industry accounts for $42.6 billion in economic-related activities. Milk is California’s number one farm-based good that generates $47 billion. While oil drilling plays a vital role in the economy, the Solar power industry acts as a larger employer giving 43,000 people job opportunities.
The infrastructure of California is the key to its prosperous economy. The roads, bridges in California connect the community with the coastlines, lakes, and vineyards. Local streets and roads make up 81% of California’s roadway. The average commute time in California is 30.7 minutes as opposed to the national commute time-27.6 minutes. Clean water is the lifeblood of the residents and many other industries. California has a wastewater collection system to protect lakes, rivers and beaches. According to the estimates, the renewable energy usage of California is 14.5%. However, the infrastructure of California is collapsing. Nearly 35.2% of roads are in poor condition, which is higher than the national average of 19.9%. The bridges that are build 50 years ago are not in good shape. As California’s water infrastructure needs ranked highest, it requires more than $44.5 billion to improve drinking water. These said and unsaid infrastructural challenges need extensive attention from the authorities.
The golden state provides golden opportunities to its residents in terms of economic opportunities, but its affordability and equality are highly questionable. The state ranks no.49 in terms of affordability, No:22 in terms of economic opportunity and No:35, in terms of equality. Although the poverty level of the state is low-11.8%, the cost of living in 127.0, which is above the national average. The median household income is $80,440, yet a median house price is $659,380, and the median rent is $16,000.
8.Crime and correction
California is the leading state that is the pioneer in reforms and corrections, ranking 11th. In 2009, the prisons in California were overcrowded, leading to take immediate measures. From 2009-2016 the number of inmates dropped to 2,300. The incarceration rate of California is 310 per 100,000 residents. And juvenile incarceration is 67 per 100,00 juveniles. Although the history of California depicts low crime rates, the crime rates have increased over the years. The violent crime rate in California is 441 per 100,000 residents, whereas the national average is 379.
The natural environment and human have a reciprocal relationship. California consists of picturesque beaches, breathtaking forests such as the Redwood National and State Park. California has a Mediterranean-like climate with a temperature that can rise to 80F. Out of 50 states in the United States of America, the natural environment of California ranks 35. And the higher pollution rate elevates California into 6th position. There are 204 days with unhealthy air quality only in California, where the national average is 104. In terms of air and water quality, California ranks 47th, and the drinking water violation points are 1.08 per 100,000 residents.