The United States acquired the area of California from Mexico in 1848, with generally the same boundary as the present state. The area of California was never organized as a territory, but was administered from 1848 to statehood by a federal military authority. California was admitted to the Union on September 9, 1850, as the 31st state.
Census data for California are available beginning with the 1850 census; however, the data for 1850 are incomplete because the questionnaires from Contra Costa and Santa Clara Counties were lost and those for San Francisco County were destroyed by fire. Some missing 1850 data have been supplanted by information obtained from a state census in 1852.
Data for the legally established state of California are available beginning with the 1850 census.
See: Geographic Terms & Concepts
Counties & County Equivalents
There are 58 counties in California. The city and county of San Francisco have consolidated functions and is classified as a municipal government that operates primarily as a city. All other counties are each governed by a board of supervisors.
There are 397 county subdivisions in California. They are all census county divisions (CCDs), which are delineated for statistical purposes, have no legal function, and are not governmental units. CCDs were first established in California for the 1960 census. Prior to 1960, the minor civil divisions used in the census included election precincts, judicial townships, supervisor’s districts, and one American Indian reservation (in 1870).
Places (Incorporated Cities, Towns & Census Designated Places (CDPs))
California has 1,523 places; 480 incorporated places and 1,043 census designated places (CDPs). The incorporated places consist of 459 cities and 21 towns. In California an incorporated place can legally exist only in a single county.
Alphabetical List of Cities, Towns, CDPs and Other Populated Places
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q, R | S | T | U, V | W, X, Y, Z
California Civil Features
California Civil Features: Political Subdivisions, Native Areas, Land Grants, etc. - sorted by Census Class Codes.
Metropolitan and Micropolitan Stastical Areas
There are 26 Metropolitan and 8 Micropolitan Statistical Areas in California. CA Metopolitan & Micropolitan Areas
California ZIP Code Tabulation Areas
There are 1,769 ZIP Code tabulation areas (ZCTAs) in California. View California ZIP Codes and ZIP Code Maps.
California has 548 elementary school districts, 104 secondary school districts, and 335 unified school districts. View California Public and Private Schools.
For the 111th Congress (January 2009-January 2011), California had 53 congressional districts. For the 113th Congress (January 2013-January 2015), California continues to have 53 congressional districts as a result of the reapportionment based on the 2010 Census. View Map of California Congressional Districts.
State Legislative Districts
There are 40 state senate districts and 80 assembly districts in California.
American Indian Areas
California has 108 federally recognized American Indian areas. There are 104 reservations; 28 with off-reservation trust land in the state. Two are trust lands only. The remaining two are tribal designated statistical areas (TDSAs).