California is the most populous state in the United States and the third most extensive by area. Located on the western (Pacific Ocean) coast of the U.S., California is bordered by Oregon to the north, Nevada, to the east and northeast, Arizona to the southeast and it shares an international border with the Mexican state of Baja California to the south. The state capital is Sacramento. Los Angeles is California's most populous city, and the country's second largest after New York City. The Greater Los Angeles Area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nation's second- and fifth-most populous urban regions, respectively. California also has the nation's most populous county, Los Angeles County, and its largest county by area, San Bernardino County.

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EDO Spotlight

Regional Marketplace California (Coming Soon)
EDO Website California Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development
SelectUSA Contact Fred Johnson




Industrial Development Bonds (IDB) Low Interest Financing

Competitive financing option that provides tax-exempt securities of up to $10 million for the acquisition, construction, rehabilitation and equipping of manufacturing and processing facilities for private companies. At least 95% of bond proceeds must be spent on qualifying costs such as land, building, and equipment. Interest rates for these bonds are typically 20% to 30% lower than conventional financing.

California Research and Development Credit Tax Credits

Provides a non-refundable tax credit of 15% against corporate income or franchise tax liability for qualified in-house research expenses and a 24% credit for basic research payments to outside organizations. An alternative incremental rate may be selected, as well. Unused credits can be carried forward until none remain, and may also be assigned to an affiliated corporation.

New Employment Credit (NEC) Tax Credits

This program is available to businesses that create net new jobs with hourly wages between 1.5 and 3.5 times the state minimum wage. Businesses must be located in a Designated Geographic Area (DGA). A DGA includes census tracts with the state’s highest poverty and unemployment rates, former Enterprise Zones (low poverty zones are ineligible) and former Local Agency Military Base Recovery Areas (LAMBRAs). Businesses that locate in PILOT areas - select locations within the DGA certified by the State – are subject to a lower wage threshold to qualify for the program. The value of the New Employment Credit is determined by multiplying the qualified wages for all eligible employees by 35. The maximum credit is $56,000 per employee over 5 years.

California Competes Tax Credit Tax Credits

This discretionary program offers non-refundable corporate income tax credits to businesses that create new jobs and make capital investments. Companies must apply for tax credits during one of several open application periods that are held several times a year. Businesses that can demonstrate a project will provide an attractive cost-benefit ratio to the state (defined as the amount of credit requested divided by employee compensation and capital investment over a five-year period) are more likely to be approved for incentives. Projects that provide a less attractive cost-benefit ratio may still be considered for tax credits in the following scenarios: existing jobs are at risk of being eliminated or relocated out of California; California is competing against another state for a new or expanded business operation; at least 75% of the new positions to be created in California will be located in an area of high unemployment or high poverty. Program restrictions limit the amount of tax credits claimed by any single business to no more than 20% of all credits awarded during a fiscal year. Unused credits may be carried forward for up to 6 years.

Manufacturing and R&D Partial Sales and Use Exemption Tax Exemptions

All manufacturers and businesses primarily engaged in R&D related to the physical, engineering, and life sciences are eligible for a partial exemption in state sales and use tax (3.9375%). The partial exemption only applies to the state sales tax rate – businesses are still subject to local sales tax. California caps the amount of equipment that a business may exempt from state sales tax to $200 million of equipment per year.

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Census Data

Population estimates, July 1, 2016, (V2016)39,250,017
Population estimates base, April 1, 2010, (V2016)37,254,522
Population, percent change - April 1, 2010 (estimates base) to July 1, 2016, (V2016)5.40
Population, Census, April 1, 201037,253,956
Age and Sex
Persons under 5 years, percent, April 1, 20106.80
Persons under 18 years, percent, April 1, 201025.00
Persons 65 years and over, percent, April 1, 201011.40
Female persons, percent, April 1, 201050.30
Race and Hispanic Origin
White alone, percent, April 1, 201057.60
Black or African American alone, percent, April 1, 20106.20
American Indian and Alaska Native alone, percent, April 1, 20101.00
Asian alone, percent, April 1, 201013.00
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone, percent, April 1, 20100.40
Two or More Races, percent, April 1, 20104.90
Hispanic or Latino, percent, April 1, 2010 (b)37.60
White alone, not Hispanic or Latino, percent, April 1, 201040.10
Population Characteristics
Veterans, 2011-20151,777,410
Foreign born persons, percent, 2011-201527.00
Housing units, April 1, 201013,680,081
Owner-occupied housing unit rate, 2011-201554.30
Median value of owner-occupied housing units, 2011-2015385,500
Median selected monthly owner costs -with a mortgage, 2011-20152,155
Median selected monthly owner costs -without a mortgage, 2011-2015500
Median gross rent, 2011-20151,255
Families and Living Arrangements
Households, 2011-201512,717,801
Persons per household, 2011-2015296.00
Living in same house 1 year ago, percent of persons age 1 year+, 2011-201585.20
Language other than English spoken at home, percent of persons age 5 years+, 2011-201543.90
High school graduate or higher, percent of persons age 25 years+, 2011-201581.80
Bachelor's degree or higher, percent of persons age 25 years+, 2011-201531.40
With a disability, under age 65 years, percent, 2011-20156.80
Persons without health insurance, under age 65 years, percent9.70
In civilian labor force, total, percent of population age 16 years+, 2011-201563.10
In civilian labor force, female, percent of population age 16 years+, 2011-201557.20
Total accommodation and food services sales, 2012 ($1,000) (c)90,830,372
Total health care and social assistance receipts/revenue, 2012 ($1,000) (c)248,953,592
Total manufacturers shipments, 2012 ($1,000) (c)512,303,164
Total merchant wholesaler sales, 2012 ($1,000) (c)666,652,186
Total retail sales, 2012 ($1,000) (c)481,800,461
Total retail sales per capita, 2012 (c)12,665
Mean travel time to work (minutes), workers age 16 years+, 2011-201528
Income and Poverty
Median household income (in 2015 dollars), 2011-201561,818
Per capita income in past 12 months (in 2015 dollars), 2011-201530,318
Persons in poverty, percent15.30
All firms, 20123,548,449
Men-owned firms, 20121,852,580
Women-owned firms, 20121,320,085
Minority-owned firms, 20121,619,857
Nonminority-owned firms, 20121,619,857
Veteran-owned firms, 2012252,377
Nonveteran-owned firms, 20123,176,341
Population per square mile, 2010239
Land area in square miles, 2010155,779