20+ California Economic Statistics: Key Facts and Figures (2023)

If the American Dream has a home, it's California.

California, the wealthiest and most populous state in the Union, has had an incalculable impact on global culture and technology.

California is home to the US entertainment industry, world-class wines, and pioneering technology. And a large and expanding economy.

Just like California locations havevery highmilowerHigh up in the continental US, California's economy is also characterized by underlying contrasts and inequities. This page describes the main features of the California economy, which have a tremendous impact on the financial well-being of the entire nation. Not surprising, since California is one of the largest economies in the world. Along with mind-blowing statistics and facts, we'll also look at things like California's unemployment rate and the state's contribution to GDP.united states economyand its main industries. Enjoy!

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California Economic Facts and Statistics: The Highlights:

  • California's economy is the fifth largest in the world.
  • As of June 2019, there were 18,607,800 employees in California.
  • More than 2/3 of the fruits and nuts grown in the United States and 1/3 of the vegetables grown in the United States come from California. However, food processing and agriculture make up only about 2% of California's economy.
  • When it comes to exports from the state of California, Mexico and Canada are the main destinations.
  • The average price of a gallon of gasoline is higher in California than in any other US state.

The size of California's economy is the largest of any US state with a GDP of $3.02 trillion in the fourth quarter of 2018.

The fact that the Golden State is the most populous in the US adds to its economic strength. California is home to Silicon Valley, a global high-tech hub, as well as Hollywood, making the state highly influential socially, politically, and culturally.

If it were an independent country, California's economy would be the fifth largest in the world⁠, between Great Britain and Germany.

The major economic sectors affecting California's GDP are financial services, real estate, information technology, and manufacturing.

20+ California Economic Statistics: Key Facts and Figures (1)

Most of California's economic activity occurs in major cities along the coast, such as San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Jose, and San Diego.

For example, the San Francisco Bay Area alone would rank 19th when compared to other economies in the world. It has a GDP of $535 billion and its GDP per capita of $74,815 is higher than London or Singapore.

The San Francisco Bay Area is central to California's economic position and to America's position as an economic superpower.

As a center of international trade, the Bay Area has the highest concentration of innovation-related jobs in the United States and the largest number of graduate programs in business, law, medicine, and engineering. More than a third of all US venture capital funding is invested in this region; It has one of the two most qualified labor forces and the highest level of patent generation in the country. The Bay Area's economic productivity is nearly double the national average.

As of June 2019, there were 18,607,800 employees in California.

With fewer than 900,000 unemployed citizens, California's unemployment rate is around 4.2%. More than 2.3 million jobs have been created in California since 2011.

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According to a study comparing jobs in the state of California to private sector wages, public sector employees in California earn nearly twice as much.

A study by the California Policy Center showed that the median salary for a full-time state/local government employee in 2015 was $121,843. The average salary for a private sector worker was $62,475.

According to the latest available figures, the median household income in California in 2017 was $71,805, more than $11,000 more than the national average.

The same survey shows that the median per capita income for California workers in 2017 was $35,046, $2,649 more than the national per capita level.

There are almost 4 million small businesses in California.

Small businesses account for 99.8% of all businesses in the state and employ approximately 7 million people, accounting for nearly 50% of California jobs.

Between 2016 and 2018, approximately $110 billion in venture capital was invested in California companies.

That is five times more than in any other federal state. According to forecasts, economic growth will be strong in the next five years. In 2019, the state's economy accounted for 14.5% of the United States' GDP.

More than two-thirds of the fruits and nuts grown in the United States and one-third of the vegetables grown in the United States come from California.

California agricultural economic statistics show that more than 400 agricultural products are produced here. In 2017, agricultural exports totaled $20.560 million. California's Central Valley is the largest tract of Class 1 land in the world, as well as the world's largest supplier of canned tomatoes.

Despite all this, agricultural production and food processing account for only about 2% of California's economy.

California Water Use vs. Business Contribution Statistics: Approximately 80% of all water resources allocated to businesses and homes statewide are used to irrigate 9 million acres of California farmland. In 2015, agricultural production generated 38% more of the state's gross domestic product compared to 1980; However, water use on farms fell by 14%.

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The forestry industry provides approximately 110,000 jobs in the state of California.

California is among the top five producers of wood products in the United States. According to Calforests California Timber Statistics, the industry brings in $4.2 billion in annual wages.

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California Wine Facts: The state generates $1.53 billion a year from wine exports, making it the fourth largest wine producer in the world.

California has nearly 5,000 wineries that produce 81% of all wine in the US More than 240 million cases of wine are produced annually.

When it comes to exports from the state of California, Mexico and Canada are the main destinations.

In 2018, Mexico and Canada imported $48.4 billion worth of products made in California. They are followed by China ($16.3 billion), Japan ($13.1 billion), and South Korea ($9.9 billion).

California's top exports are computer and electronic products, with $45.1 billion worth of goods exported in 2018.

Various industrial goods followed in second place with USD 19.1 billion. Third place? Transportation equipment to $17.7 billion.


California's two state university systems contribute more than $60 billion to the economy.

The University of California system brings in more than $46 billion a year, while California state universities generate $17 billion a year in economic activity.

The two largest seaports in the United States, handling more than 40% of incoming containerized cargo, are located in Los Angeles County.

International trade in Los Angeles County generates more than $400 billion a year.

In 2015 alone, the film industry contributed nearly $50 billion to the California economy.

Everyone knows that California is a global center for the entertainment industry. The latest figures from the US Bureau of Economic Analysis and the National Endowment for the Arts show that this industry contributed $100 billion to the country's GDP in 2015.

The entertainment industry also has a positive impact on California employment statistics. Los Angeles County's creative industries employ about 430,000 people and generated a total labor income of $38.8 billion in 2017.

The average price of a gallon of gasoline is higher in California than in any other US state.

In April 2019, the average price of gasoline in California exceeded $4 per gallon. At the time of writing, the median price is over $3 in just six states.

The current median home price in California is $547,500.

Let's put this in perspective: the current median home price nationwide is $227,700. In San Francisco, the median home price is $1,362,200.

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Silicon Valley's per capita annual gross domestic product is $128,328.

According to the US Bureau of Economic Analysis, the valley contributes $275 billion to the national GDP. It is a GDP greater than that of Finland. The only country in the world that surpasses Silicon Valley in terms of GDP per capita is Qatar. About half of the world's tech billionaires live in Silicon Valley.

California has the highest poverty rate in the United States.

Factors like high housing costs and taxes have a big impact on the cost of living and therefore the poverty rate. Statistics from the US Census Bureau show that despite its wealth, California has the highest poverty rate in the country.


What are the economic stats of California? ›

The economy of the State of California is the largest in the United States, with a $3.63 trillion gross state product (GSP) as of 2022. It is the largest sub-national economy in the world.

What are the biggest contributors to California economy? ›

Services, labour, and taxation. Services are the dominant economic sector in California. Tourism is a consistent source of income. More than one-fourth of the state's land area is preserved as recreational areas, national seashores, or wildlife refuges.

Where does California rank in economy 2022? ›

“California's values and entrepreneurial spirit have powered this ascent to becoming the 4th biggest economy in the world, and we'll continue doubling down on industries of the future, like renewables and clean energy.

What is California's #1 industry? ›

In 2021, the finance, insurance, real estate, rental, and leasing industry added the most value to California's Gross Domestic Product (GDP), at 473.16 billion chained 2012 U.S. dollars. The information industry added 398.93 billion U.S. dollars to the state GDP in that year.

Why is California's economy so strong? ›

Gavin Newsom's office points to the booming renewable energy industry, job creation, falling unemployment rates, and growing market values for companies as factors that are driving California's economic growth.

How does California have a good economy? ›

The state continues to be dominant in diverse industries, including technology, trade, finance, tourism, entertainment, and agriculture, which have helped drive its recovery. California's world-class universities, highly educated workforce, and wealth also undergird its position as a longstanding leader in research, ...

What are 5 interesting facts about California? ›

Top 10 Facts About California
  • 1. California is the third largest state in America. ...
  • The capital of California is Sacramento. ...
  • The most populous city in California is Los Angeles. ...
  • The Flag of Texas is called The Bear Flag. ...
  • The State flower of California is the California Poppy. ...
  • The State Sport of California is Surfing.

What are 3 interesting facts about California? ›

Gas stations can be 50 miles apart. —The world's biggest tree by volume is General Sherman, a giant sequoia tree in Sequoia National Park. It's 102 feet around—that's bigger than a basketball court—and may be as many as 2,700 years old. —More movies have been filmed in California than any other state.

What state has the richest economy? ›

The ten richest states in the US umUnion, measured by GDP, are:
  • California – 3,120,386 million.
  • Texas – 1,772,132 million.
  • New York – 1,705,127 million.
  • Florida – 1,111,614 million.
  • Illinois – 875,671 million.
  • Pennsylvania – 788,500 million.
  • Ohio – 683,460 million.
  • Washington – 632,013 million.
Jan 18, 2023

Does California have a booming economy? ›

Although 2022 was a strong year for California's economy, with impressive job growth, the state's economic future has become cloudy. Last year was a strong one for California's $3.4 trillion economy.

How is California doing financially? ›

State Faces $24 Billion Budget Problem and Ongoing Deficits.

The budget problem is mainly attributable to lower revenue estimates, which are lower than budget act projections from 2021‑22 through 2023‑24 by $41 billion. Revenue losses are offset by lower spending in certain areas.

What are the top 5 basic industries in California? ›

The top five industries in California are found in the information, finance, education, government services, and professional services.

What is California's largest employer? ›

In 2020, Wells Fargo was the largest company headquartered in California, employing about 258,700 people.
Leading companies headquartered in California in 2021, by number of employees.
CharacteristicNumber of employees
12 more rows
Jan 6, 2023

Is California economy growing or shrinking? ›

The state is on track to overtake Germany, surpassing the United Kingdom, France and Brazil. In the past three years, the state's corporate revenues have risen 147 percent and the market capitalization has increased 117 percent. (TNS) — If California were a nation, it would be the world's fifth largest economy.

Why is California the richest state? ›

California. The Golden State boasts the largest economy in the U.S., with a gross state product of about $3 trillion. And with roughly 40 million residents, it's also the most populous state in the country. The largest economic sectors in California are agriculture, media, tourism, and technology.

What makes California a wealthy state? ›

California is the fifth richest state in the United States, boasting a GDP per capita of $89,540. California's economy is driven by its abundance of natural resources, its large and diverse population, and its many universities, research institutions, and technology companies.

Is California now the 4th largest economy? ›

With the help of California's tech industry, the state is expected to surpass Germany as the fourth-largest economy in the world, experts say. California has long faced criticism for driving away businesses and workers, due to high taxes and prices and tough regulations.

What is California best known for? ›

With sun, sand, surf, and mountains, the West Coast state of California is known for its many attractions that lure travelers year-round. From famous landmarks such as the Golden Gate Bridge and the Hollywood sign, to the Golden State's rich outdoor opportunities, this eclectic state makes for a well-rounded vacation.

What is the most surprising fact about California? ›

California is home to the “Avocado Capital of the World.” Every year, Fallbrook holds an avocado festival to celebrate. The Hollywood Bowl is the largest outdoor amphitheater in the United States. When it opened in 1922, it was merely a simple wooden platform with a canvas top!

What is one thing California is known for? ›

The Golden State is known for its vast, abundant land that is the envy of many other US states, with its beautiful Pacific coastlines, robust forests, modern arts and technology, as well as the breezy Mediterranean weather.

What is California's biggest production? ›

California's top 10 valued commodities for the 2021 crop year are: Dairy Products, Milk — $7.57 billion. Grapes — $5.23 billion. Almonds — $5.03 billion.

What is the biggest crop in California? ›

Top 10 Agricultural Commodities In California
  1. Dairy Products and Milk — $6.37 Billion. ...
  2. Grapes — $6.25 Billion. ...
  3. Almonds — $5.47 Billion. ...
  4. Cattle and Calves — $3.19 Billion. ...
  5. Pistachios — $2.62 Billion. ...
  6. Strawberries — $2.34 Billion. ...
  7. Lettuce — $1.81 Billion. ...
  8. Floriculture — $1.22 Billion.
Mar 22, 2020

What are the fastest growing industries in California? ›

The Fastest Growing Industries in California
  1. Health Care. Health care jobs across the board will experience a 150% to 350% growth in California. ...
  2. Green Energy. ...
  3. Construction. ...
  4. Computers. ...
  5. Mathematicians.
Aug 30, 2022

What are 5 natural resources in California? ›

Overview. California's history has been shaped by human management of its rich resources — water, lumber, oil, minerals, agriculture.

What is the advantage of living in California? ›

#1. Access to nature. California is home to nine national parks, which means it has more national parks than any other state in America, including Alaska! Regardless of where in California you live, you're never further than a day's drive from an epic national park and some of the best hiking trails in the country.

What's the best thing about living in California? ›

11 Pros Of Living In California
  • You Can Reach Countless Terrains Within A Few Hours Drive. ...
  • 2. California Has 9 National Parks & 280 State Parks. ...
  • Lucrative Job Opportunities. ...
  • Mild Weather Year-Round. ...
  • Quality Higher Education + Many Class Options. ...
  • Diverse Culinary Scene. ...
  • Fresh & Affordable Produce. ...
  • Diverse Cultures & People.
Mar 28, 2022

What is wealthy in California? ›

To be financially comfortable in Southern California, you'd need a net worth of $1.3 million. Here's what it takes to be considered wealthy in 2022 by city ans ranked by net worth thresholds: San Francisco: $5.1 million. Southern California (includes Los Angeles and San Diego): $3.9 million.

What state is number 1 in economy? ›

On this page, US states are ranked by the real gross domestic product (GDP). California has the largest GDP among US states of $2.8 billion accounting for 15 percent of the total country's GDP.

What are the top 3 richest state in USA? ›

Top 10 Richest States in USA 2023
  • Maryland.
  • Massachusetts.
  • New Jersey.
  • Hawaii.
  • California.
  • Connecticut.
  • Washington.
  • New Hampshire.
Feb 7, 2023

How fast is California's economy growing? ›

California annual growth of real GDP 2000-2021

In 2021, the real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of California increased by about 7.8 percent when compared to 2020. This was the largest increase in the state's GDP since 2000, when the real GDP increased by 7.7 percent when compared to the previous year.

Does California have a lot of debt? ›

In 2020, the federal state of California had about 519.54 billion U.S. dollars of debt outstanding, the most out of any state. New York, Texas, Illinois, and Florida rounded out the top five states with the most debt outstanding in 2020.

What does California do with all its money? ›

Revenues come mainly from tax collections, licensing fees, federal aid, and returns on investments. Expenditures generally include spending on government salaries, infrastructure, education, public pensions, public assistance, corrections, Medicaid, and transportation.

Why does California have so much debt? ›

One reason is California's higher unemployment rate; another is that employer taxes haven't kept up with increasing benefits. Now, employers will see an automatic tax increase to start paying off the debt, and Newsom has proposed spending $3 billion in state funds to reduce the debt.

What percentage of the US economy comes from California? ›

On this page, US states are ranked by the real gross domestic product (GDP). California has the largest GDP among US states of $2.8 billion accounting for 15 percent of the total country's GDP. Texas has the second-largest economy which constitutes 10 percent of the national economy.

What is the average income in California 2022? ›

The median amount is taken from the middle value in a list of all household incomes, ordered from smallest to largest. According to the Census Bureau data the mean household salary in California is $111,622, more than $30,000 higher than the median salary.

Which US state generates the most money? ›

In the fiscal year of 2021, the state of California collected a total of 248.19 billion U.S. dollars in tax revenue, the highest of any state.

Which US state has the strongest economy? ›

Which US state has the strongest economy 2022?
  • California ($3.558 trillion) ...
  • Texas ($2.354 trillion) ...
  • New York ($2.034 trillion) ...
  • Florida ($1.371 trillion) ...
  • Illinois ($1.024 trillion)

Which state contributes the most to the US economy? ›

The gross domestic product (GDP) of California was about 3.36 trillion U.S. dollars in 2021, meaning that it contributed the most out of any state to the country's GDP in that year. In contrast, Vermont had the lowest GDP in the United States, with 36.17 billion U.S. dollars. What is GDP?

What is the top 5 income in California? ›

“An adjusted gross income (AGI) of $745,314 will get you in the 1% in California, while you'll need to earn $291,277 to be in the top 5% of income earners. The top 1% account for 41.55% of total Golden State income taxes,” SmartAsset said.

What is a livable salary in California? ›

Living Wage Calculation for California
0 Children0 Children
Living Wage$21.24$32.30
Poverty Wage$6.53$8.80
Minimum Wage$15.50$15.50

What is considered middle class in California? ›

Pew explains that a middle income equals an annual household income of $52,000 to $156,000 for a family of three, based on 2020 dollars.


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