California Gazetteer

California - Basic Information

Became a State: September 9, 1850 - 31st State
Population: 37,253,956 (2010 Census) - Ranks 1st
Land Area: 155,779.2 square miles - Ranks 3rd
Population Density: 239.1 persons per square mile - Ranks 11st
Housing Units: 13,680,081 (2010 Census)
Housing Unit Density: 87.8 housing units per square mile
July 1, 2015 Estimates: California Data and Demographics
State Capital: Sacramento
State Website: Official State of California Website
California State Flag
California state flag

California History


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.

California Geographical Areas

See: Geographic Terms & Concepts

Counties & County Equivalents

Interactive Map of California Counties | Static Overview Map of California Counties

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. 

County Subdivisions

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.

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

Neighborhood Data

Address Based Hyperlocal Data Input an address and get data & demographics for the pertinent census block group (CBG), a searchable map and a customized directory. The CBG is the smallest geographical unit used by the Census Bureau for reporting certain data.

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.

School Districts

California has 548 elementary school districts, 104 secondary school districts, and 335 unified school districts.  View California Public and Private Schools.

Congressional Districts

California has 53 congressional districts. An interactive map shows the contact information for each Representative as well as the boundaries for each California district. 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). 

California Physical, Cultural and Historic Features

  1. California Physical Features such as lakes, islands, streams, valleys, summits, etc.
  2. California Cultural Features such as schools, churches, hospitals, parks, dams, reservoirs, etc.
  3. California Historical Features and California Historic Landmarks

California Maps

  • To find a ZIP Code: input the address in the top-left search box of any ZIP Code Map.
  • To find the County: input the address in the top-left search box of the interactive CA map.
  • To find the School Attendance Zone: input the address in the top-left search box of any CA school map

California Census Data Comparison Tool

Compare California Census Data
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