The economy of California is a dominant force in the economy of the United States, with California paying more to the federal system than it receives in benefits.

Revenue

The Hollywood sign is the most well-known symbol of California's huge entertainment industry.

The predominant industry in the state, more than twice as large as the next, is agriculture, (including fruit, vegetables, dairy, and wine). California agriculture brought in $27 billion in revenue in 2000.[1] Total farming-related sales in California were $26 billion in 2002.[2]

Agriculture is followed by:

California also draws significant revenue from international trade and tourism. The exports of goods made in California totaled $94 billion in 2003.[3] Nearly $40 billion of that total was computers and electronics, followed by agriculture, non-electrical machinery, transportation, and chemicals.[4] Total direct travel spending in California reached $82.5 billion in 2004, a 7.4% increase over the preceding year.[5] Los Angeles County receives the most tourism in the state.[6]

Historically, California's economy has been controlled by huge corporations such as the Southern Pacific Railroad, Standard Oil of California and the Pacific Gas and Electric Company.

California as an independent nation

The economy of California is often cited for how it would compare to other countries if California were an independent nation. The statistic quoted varies widely (usually placing California between 4th and 10th), depending on the source.

The two main issues are:

  1. determining California's gross state product, and its rate of growth
  2. determining the gross domestic product (GDP) for various countries

California's gross state product

According to the California Department of Finance, California's gross state product is $1.543 trillion ("accelerated estimates for 2004 were completed and released in June 2005").[7]

According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, California's gross state product is $1.543 trillion (2004 data, revised June 2005).[8]

According to the California Legislative Analyst's Office, "California's gross state product is nearly $1.5 trillion..." ("Gross product in 2003", released in 2004).[9]

Rankings from different sources

The World Factbook

According to The World Factbook published by the CIA, if California were an independent nation, it would have had the ninth largest economy in the world[10].

This assumes that California's gross state product is $1.5 trillion.

 

California Legislative Analyst's Office

According to the California Legislative Analyst's Office, if California were an independent nation, it would have had the sixth largest economy in the world[11].

 

California Department of Finance

According to the California Department of Finance, if California were an independent nation, it would have had the seventh largest economy in the world[12].

The rankings are:[13]

  1. the combined United States
  2. China
  3. Japan
  4. India
  5. Germany
  6. the United Kingdom
  7. France
  8. Italy
  9. California
  10. Brazil
  11. Russia
  12. Canada
  13. Mexico
  14. Spain
  15. South Korea

(2004 estimates)

The rankings are:[14]

  1. the combined United States
  2. Japan
  3. Germany
  4. the United Kingdom
  5. France
  6. California
  7. Italy
  8. China
  9. Canada
  10. Spain

(2004 data)

The rankings are:[15]

  1. the combined United States
  2. Japan
  3. Germany
  4. the United Kingdom
  5. France
  6. Italy
  7. California
  8. China (excluding Hong Kong)
  9. Spain
  10. Canada
  11. Mexico
  12. Korea
  13. India
  14. Australia
  15. Netherlands

(2003 data)

GDP

California is responsible for 14% of the United States' gross domestic product (GDP). The state's GDP is at about $1.5 trillion (as of 2004).

The GDP increased at an annual rate of 3.1% in the first quarter of 2005.[16]

Per capita personal income

Per capita personal income was $33,403 as of 2003, ranking 12th in the nation. Per capita income varies widely by geographic region and profession. The Central Valley has the most extreme contrasts of income, with migrant farm workers making less than minimum wage. While some coastal cities include some of the wealthiest per-capita areas in the U.S., notably San Francisco and Marin County, the non-agricultural central counties have some of the highest poverty rates in the U.S. The high-technology sectors in Northern California, specifically Silicon Valley, in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties, are currently emerging from economic downturn caused by the dot.com bust, which caused the loss of over 250,000 jobs in Northern California alone. Recent (Spring 2005) economic data indicates that economic growth has resumed in California, although still slightly below the national annualized forecast of 3.9%. The international boom in housing prices has been most pronounced in California, with the median property price in the state rising to about the half-million dollar mark in April 2005.

Tax burden

California's overall tax burden of $10.66 per $100 of personal income is slightly above the $10.43 average for the United States.[17]

Housing

The international boom in housing prices has been most pronounced in California, with the median property price in the state rising to about the half-million dollar mark in April 2005. Orange County and the San Francisco Bay Area have the highest median prices, each approaching $650,000 in August 2004.[18] The least expensive region is the Central Valley, with a median price of $290,000.[19]

Various real estate markets in California are currently considered to be in a housing bubble.

25 wealthiest places in California

Thanks to the state's powerful economy, certain California cities are among the wealthiest on the planet. The following list is ranked by per capita income:

1 Belvedere, California - Marin County - $113,595
2 Rancho Santa Fe, California - San Diego County - $113,132
3 Atherton, California - San Mateo County - $112,408
4 Rolling Hills, California - Los Angeles County - $111,031
5 Woodside, California - San Mateo County - $104,667
6 Portola Valley, California - San Mateo County - $99,621
7 Newport Coast, California - Orange County - $98,770
8 Hillsborough, California - San Mateo County - $98,643
9 Diablo, California - Contra Costa County - $95,419
10 Fairbanks Ranch, California - San Diego County - $94,150
11 Hidden Hills, California - Los Angeles County - $94,096
12 Los Altos Hills, California - Santa Clara County - $92,840
13 Tiburon, California - Marin County - $85,966
14 Sausalito, California - Marin County - $81,040
15 Monte Sereno, California - Santa Clara County - $76,577
16 Indian Wells, California - Riverside County $76,187
17 Malibu, California - Los Angeles County - $74,336
18 Del Monte Forest, California - Monterey County - $70,609
19 Piedmont, California - Alameda County - $70,539
20 Montecito, California - Santa Barbara County - $70,077
21 Palos Verdes Estates, California - Los Angeles County - $69,040
22 Emerald Lake Hills, California - San Mateo County - $68,966
23 Loyola, California - Santa Clara County - $68,730
24 Blackhawk-Camino Tassajara, California - Contra Costa County - $66,972
25 Los Altos, California - Santa Clara County - $66,776
See complete list of California locations by per capita income

30 poorest places in California

Also thanks to California's considerable and increasing wealth disparities, many communitites are among the poorest in the western world. The following list is ranked by increasing per capita income, first number is state ranking:

1076 Tobin, California - Plumas County - $2,584
1075 Belden, California - Plumas County - $3,141
1074 East Orosi, California - Tulare County - $4,984
1073 London, California - Tulare County - $5,632
1072 Cantua Creek, California - Fresno County - $5,693
1071 Indian Falls, California - Plumas County - $5,936
1070 Westley, California - Stanislaus County - $6,137
1069 Cutler, California - Tulare County - $6,254
1068 Mecca, California - Riverside County - $6,389
1067 Richgrove, California - Tulare County - $6,415
1066 San Joaquin, California - Fresno County - $6,607
1065 Woodville, California - Tulare County - $6,824
1064 Kennedy, California - San Joaquin County $6,876
1063 Mettler, California - Kern County - $6,919
1062 Mendota, California - Fresno County - $6,967
1061 Terra Bella, California - Tulare County - $7,034
1060 Parlier, California - Fresno County -$7,078
1059 Orange Cove, California - Fresno County - $7,126
1058 Parksdale, California - Madera County - $7,129
1057 Earlimart, California - Tulare County - $7,169
1056 South Dos Palos, California - Merced County - $7,170
1055 Winterhaven, California - Imperial County - $7,220
1054 Shackelford, California - Stanislaus County - $7,250
1053 Palo Verde, California - Imperial County - $7,275
1052 Biola, California - Fresno County - $7,375
1051 Kettleman City, California Kings County - $7,389
1050 Arvin, California - Kern County - $7,408
1049 Coachella, California - Riverside County - $7,416
1048 Bret Harte, California - Stanislaus County - $7,481
1047 Traver, California - Tulare County - $7,642


References

^ "Rancho de Los Arcos". by Jocelyn Lippert, AmeriQuests - Vol. 1, No. 1 (2004). 2005-08-02.

^ "Gross State Product, California (.xls)". California Department of Finance. 2005-08-17.

^ "Regional Economic Accounts (interactive tables)". Bureau of Economic Analysis. 2005-08-17.

^ "Rank Order - GDP". CIA - The World Factbook. 2005-08-17.

^ "Cal Facts 2004 Economy". California Legislative Analyst's Office. 2005-08-17.

^ "Top Countries Ranked by its Gross Domestic Product, California's World Ranking (.xls)". California Department of Finance. 2005-08-17.

^ "Chronology of Significant Events". California Department of Finance. 2005-08-02.

^ "Cal Facts 2004 State-Local Finances". California Legislative Analyst's Office. 2005-08-02.

^ "California Visitor Statistics and Trends - 2004 Highlights (.pdf)" (PDF). California Tourism. 2005-08-02.

See also