Legislative Analyst's Office, December 2002
California's Economy and
Budget in Perspective
2002 Cal Facts
California Is the World's Fifth Largest Economy
- California's gross state
product exceeds $1.3 trillion, making it one of the world's
- California accounts for 13 percent of the
nation's output, and trails only Japan, Germany, and the United Kingdom.
- Our nation's next largest state economyNew Yorkis about 60 percent the size of California's.
California's Economy Is Highly Diversified
Share of Gross State Product in 2001
- California has a large
number of jobs and businesses in many different industries.
- The largest industry is services, which accounts for nearly
one-fourth of all output in the state. This industry includes
such diverse sectors as computer and software design,
motion picture production, engineering, legal, health care,
child-care, and hotels.
- The next largest industriesfinance, trade, and manufacturingencompass such elements as banking activities, retail stores,
import-export activities, and the manufacturing and sale of
Foreign Trade Is an Important Element of California's Economy
Total California Exports (In Billions)
- International trade is a
major source of California economic activity. Total exports
reached a peak of $120 billion in 2000, accounting for 11 percent
of the state's total output.
- California-produced computers and electronics account
for over one-half of our exports. This is followed by
agriculture, machinery, and transportation.
- Exports fell sharply in both 2001 and 2002, reflecting
both a worldwide slowdown in the demand for high-tech
goods and sluggish economic growth among our major
Services Have Dominated Employment Growth Over
The Past Decade
Annual Average Percent Change
in California Jobs, 1992 Through 2002
- Over one-half of the
nearly 2.4 million in new jobs created in California over the
past decade have been in the services sector.
- Trade, government, and construction accounted for
the bulk of the remaining job increases. The growth in
these areas is generally consistent with California's
- Manufacturing employment has fallen over the past
decade, reflecting continued losses in the aerospace sector and
recent declines in the commercial high-technology sector.
High California Home
Prices Have Driven Down Affordability
Median Home Prices in July 2002
- Home prices remained near
all-time highs throughout the state in 2002, despite generally
soft economic conditions. This is in contrast to apartment
rents, which have softened since early 2001.
- The statewide median home price rose from $175,000
in mid-1996 to $324,000 in mid-2002. Currently, less
than 30 percent of California households would
have sufficient income if they had to purchase such a home today.
- By far, the highest cost region is the San Francisco Bay
Area, which had a median home price of $540,000 in mid-2002.
At the other extreme, the median price was $191,000 in
the Central Valley.
California Is the Nation's Leading Agricultural Producer
Top Agricultural Products by
Cash Receipts 2001
- Total receipts from farming
in California were $27 billion in 2001. This amount
represented about one-eighth of the national total, and was greater
than Texas and Iowa (the next largest producers) combined.
- Major commodities in California include dairy,
grapes, nursery products, cattle, lettuce, and cotton.
- The state also is a dominant producer of many
specialty crops, such as strawberries, kiwis, and artichokes.
California's Population Has Increased Dramatically Over Time
- California is now home
to roughly 35 million people, a 15 million increase over the past 30 years.
- It took about 100 years to reach the 10 million mark,
but since then California has been adding 10 million people
every 20 years.
- Currently, the state is adding about 550,000
persons annuallymore than a city the size of Long Beach or a
state the size of Wyoming.
The Inland Counties Have Been Growing the Fastest
Total Growth, 1997 Through 2002
- The highest population
growth rates have occurred mainly in the Central Valley and
foothill counties, and in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties
in Southern California.
- The five Southern California counties of Los
Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and San
Diego account for 55 percent of California's total population
in 2002, and 52 percent of the total increase in
population since 1997.
Californian's Average Age Rising As Baby Boomers Grow Older
- Californians' average age
is increasing, as baby boomers enter their 50s and continue
to cause rapid growth of the 45-64 age group.
- The K-12 school-age population will grow the slowest of all groups,
reflecting declines in birth rates over the past decade.
A Quarter of Californians Are Foreign Born
- One-in-four of
California's current residents8.9 million peoplewere born outside
of the United States. This compares to one-in-ten nationally.
- Almost four-fifths of foreign-born Californians live in
the metropolitan areas of Los Angeles (5.1 million) or
San Francisco (1.9 million).
- About half of foreign-born Californians are from
Latin America, while another third are from Asia.
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