The Economy of California

California is the richest state in the United States and only five countries in the world have larger Gross Domestic Products. It is hardly surprising that it has been successful as it was the gold rush that started the mass migration of people into the region to find their fortunes. In all sectors of industry California successfully leads the way. After the initial rush of people into the region in search of gold it was found that the area had rich agricultural soils. Once man stared to dam and control the water supplies through irrigation projects in the Central Valley agriculture in the region started to boom.

Dairy farming ideal with the long growing season

California is now the leading state in the production of wine, fruits, nuts and vegetables. The long growing season has added to the success of the State, and it is now the country’s leading producer of all dairy products. In 2016 it produced over 20% of the nation’s milk and the state is home to 1.74 million cows.

The major sea ports along the coast became major centres of industrial activity as California grew. San Francisco, Los Angeles, Long Beach and San Diego all benefited from the associated industries as imports and exports passed through the region. The Naval bases were also based in the State which created much industrial activity. As a rapidly industrializing area heavy industry were being located with steel oil and other types of manufacturing industries growing in the State. Car manufactures were attracted to the region with the ports being ideal for shipping out the finished products to other regions. In the 1920s Hollywood emerged as the world’s leader in film production. The cheap land, the good all year climate and large natural spaces were the original reasons why Hollywood was a popular location for the film industry.

Silicon Valley

In time the readily availability of acting and creative talent in the area added to its popularity as a location. The film industry has flocked to the area and brings in vast revenues into the State. The creative industries in California in 2015 were worth 293.8 billion dollars, with 695,000 people being employed in this area. Since 1945 California has led the way in the development of electronics and high-tech industry. The role of Stanford University has been pivotal in providing the work force for these projects. It used much of the research it did during the Second World War in electronics to work alongside small businesses in the area particularly Silicon Valley.

As these businesses grew the reputation of the University blossomed and they were able to attract more talented students. In time these more able individuals became the local work force and the success became self- perpetuating. Today Silicon Valley has gained the reputation of being the world’s top location for high tech industry. With companies such as Google and Apple being created in this part of the Santa Clara Valley it is not surprising that despite high tech industry being successfully located in other parts of the world, Silicon Valley has still maintained its reputation as the world’s leading region.

Tourism is a massive part of California’s economy. The State attracts 250 million visitors each year to enjoy the climate and the beaches. The creation of the national parks and the interest of major sites, such as Hollywood and Disneyland have been pivotal in the success of the industry. The history of the area and the major cities themselves, are major factors in making the State so popular. With the regions efficient transport infra-structure, it is relatively easy getting to and from, and even around this vast area.

The economy is booming and the reason for it doing so well is that it is so diverse. California has many strengths, and its ability to be adaptable in business has helped it make it become one of the world’s most successful economies.