California is first in the nation in several ways.
California has the largest population in the U.S., with about 37 million in 2010, many more than Texas (25 million) and New York (20 million).
It ranks number one among all the states in both manufacturing and agriculture.
Cotton is the main crop, and dairy products and beef cattle are the primary farm products.
If California was a country, it would rank as having the fifth-largest economy in the world.
California also is the home of two U.S. extremes in altitude: the highest point in the conterminous United States (Mount Whitney, 14,494 ft (4,418 m)) above sea level) and the lowest (Death Valley, 282 feet (86 m) below sea level).
Together, the states of California, Nevada, Utah, and Arizona are home to a fourth of all land plant species in the United States and Canada.
The favorable climate in those states also lets farmers produce exotic fruits that are difficult to grow anywhere else in the country, for example, dates, olives, and kiwifruit.