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Orange County Facts & Information


Orange County is located in the Los Angeles metropolitan area in the state of California. As of the 2010 census, the population was 3.01 million, making it the 3rd most populous county in California, the 6th most populous in the U.S., and more populous than 21 states in the United States. Although mostly suburban, it is the 2nd most densely populated county in the state, behind San Francisco County. Each of the county's 3 most populous cities, Anaheim, Santa Ana (the county seat), and Irvine has a population exceeding 200,000. Huntington Beach, the 4th most populous city, has a population of slightly under 200,000 people. 6 cities are on the Pacific coast, including Seal Beach, Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, Dana Point and San Clemente.

Orange County is included in the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim Metropolitan Statistical Area. The county has 34 incorporated cities. Older cities like Santa Ana, Anaheim, Orange and Fullerton have traditional downtowns dating back to the 19th century, while newer commercial development or "edge cities" stretch along I-5 between Disneyland and Santa Ana and between South Coast Plaza and the Irvine Business Complex, and cluster at Irvine Spectrum. Although single-family homes make up the dominant landscape for most of the county, Northern and Central Orange County is relatively more urbanized and dense as compared to those areas beyond Irvine, which are less dense, though still contiguous and primarily suburban rather than exurban.

The county is a tourist center, with attractions like Disneyland, Knott's Berry Farm, Mission San Juan Capistrano, Balboa Island, Angel Stadium, Crystal Cove State Park, the Honda Center and several popular beaches along its more than 40 miles (64 km) of coastline.

For additional information, please click on any of the Orange County city (government) links below.

The Golden State of California

California is the most populous state in the United States, located in the Far West; bordered by Oregon (N), Nevada and across the Colorado River, Arizona (E), Mexico (S) and the Pacific Ocean (W).

  • Area: 163,696 square miles (423,970 km2)
  • Population: 39.78 million (January 2020)
  • Capital: Sacramento
  • Largest City: Los Angeles 
  • Nickname: Golden State
  • Motto: Eureka [I Have Found It]
  • State Bird: California valley quail
  • State Flower: Golden poppy
  • State Tree: California redwood

Ranking 3rd among the U.S. states in area, California has a diverse topography and climate. A series of low mountains known as the Coast Ranges extends along the 1,200 mile (1,930 km) coast. The region from Point Arena, north of San Francisco, to the southern part of the state is subject to tremors and sometimes to severe earthquakes caused by tectonic stress along the San Andreas Fault. The Coast Ranges receive heavy rainfall in the north, where the giant cathedrallike redwood forests prevail, but the climate of these mountains is considerably drier in Southern California, and south of the Golden Gate no major rivers reach the ocean. Behind the coastal ranges in central California lies the great Central Valley, a long alluvial valley drained by the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers. In the southeast lie vast wastelands, notably the Mojave Desert, site of Joshua Tree National Park. 

Rising as an almost impenetrable granite barrier east of the Central Valley is the Sierra Nevada range, which includes Mt. Whitney, Kings Canyon National Park, Sequoia National Park and Yosemite National Park. The Cascade Range, the northern continuation of the Sierra Nevada, includes Lassen Volcanic National Park. Lying east of the Southern Sierra Nevada range is Death Valley National Park. California has an enormously productive economy, which for a nation, would be the 5th largest in the world. Although agriculture is gradually yielding to industry as the core of the state's economy, California leads the nation in the production of fruits and vegetables, including carrots, lettuce, onions, broccoli, tomatoes, strawberries, and almonds. The state's most valuable crops are grapes, cotton, flowers, and oranges; dairy products, however, contribute the single largest share of farm income, and California is again the national leader in this sector. The state also produces the major share of U.S. domestic wine.

California's farms are highly productive as a result of good soil, a long growing season, and the use of modern agricultural methods. Irrigation is critical, especially in the San Joaquin Valley and Imperial Valley. The gathering and packing of crops is done largely by seasonal migrant labor, primarily Mexicans. Fishing is another important industry.

California continues to be a major U.S. center for motion-picture, television film, and related entertainment industries, especially in Hollywood and Burbank. Tourism also is an important source of income. Disneyland, Sea World, and other theme parks draw millions of visitors each year, as do San Francisco with its numerous attractions.

Information from Wikipedia and the Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition.
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