California has a population of approximately 34,871,648 (2000 Census), with 217,753 legal immigrants entering in 2000 from Mexico, People's Republic of China, the Philippines, India, and Vietnam (the 5 leading countries, making up 39 percent of all immigrants in 2000). The unemployment rate has increased, rather significantly, since that whole fiasco in Silicon Valley (though I'm sure there are plenty of jobs in the military! Go! Protect Your Country! Anyway, What do all of these immigrants do?
Many do the jobs that are looked down upon by our society, that are the backbone of the Californian economy (no, they do NOT patrol beaches in little red swimsuits!):
- Crops~Within the USA, the following crops are commericially produced only in California: almonds, artichokes, dates, figs, kiwifruit, olives, persimmons, pistachios, pomegranates, prunes, raisins, and walnuts.
- Animals~Familiar with that advertisement "It's the Cheese" which pits Californian cheese against Wisconsonian(!) cheese? Well, we have more than 1,469,000 dairy cows--(methane!! Valuble land space!! Grr!!)--which provides us with billions of dollars, which we then invest in education.
By the way, we also have a whole mess of bee colonies-over 500,000, valued at over $16 million. Pretty crazy, eh?
- Farms~ There are 87,000 farms and ranches in California, and more than 97 percent of the farms are family farms or partnerships. The average farm size is 318 acres, and the main commodities include: milk and cream, grapes, nursery products, cattle and calves, tomatoes, strawberries, flowers and foliage, timber, and hay. Most of which is grown in the state soil-- the San Joaquin series! See Cesar Chavez, migrant workers for more info...
California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom