The Exceptional State: An Accounting - Pacific Standard

The Exceptional State: An Accounting

Where California outshines other states, and by how much.
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This sidebar accompanies Gregory Orfalea's feature, "The Exceptional State."

IndicatorCaliforniaRankingU.S.A.

"Happiest" state

66.55   

No. 4 [a]

52.88 

Percent cigarette smokers

11

No. 1 (lowest)   

17.1 

Infant mortality rate

4.3 

No. 5 (lowest)   

5.8

Percent foreign-born residents

27   

No. 1 

13

Death rate (per 1,000)  

6.2   

No. 2 (lowest) [b]    

7.3 

Public school teacher salaries   

$79,128 

No. 2 [c]  

$59,660 

Rape (per 100,000)   

23.6   

No. 1 (lowest)   

28.5 

Police protection spending per capita   

$426   

No. 4 [d]  

$328

Justice and legal spending per capita   

$206   

No. 5 [e]  

$137

Federal funds for defense   

$49.3 billion   

No. 2 [f]   

$408 billion

Non-defense federal funds   

$286 billion   

No. 1 

$2.7 trillion 

Share of federal tax revenue   

$422.7 billion   

No. 1 

$3.3 trillion 

Average wage   

$62,964 

No. 5 [g] 

$53,621 

Gross domestic product   

$2.7 trillion   

No. 1 [h] 

$19 trillion

Manufacturing   

$253 billion   

No. 1

$2.4 trillion

Personal wealth   

$1.6 trillion   

No. 1 [i] 

$12.5 trillion 

Percent science and engineering degrees   

44

No. 2 [j] 

31 

Agricultural crops   

$34.8 billion   

No. 1 [k] 

$189.6 billion 

National forest land (millions of acres)   

20.8   

No. 2 [l] 

197

Number of coal mines   

0

No. 1 (lowest) 

710

Non-hydroelectric renewable energy (kilowatt-hours)   

65 million   

No. 4 

411 million 

Retail trade establishments   

108,331   

No. 1 

1.1 million

Number of information companies   

21,068   

No. 1 [m] 

141,566

Annual national park visits   

41.9 million   

No. 2 [n] 

330.9 million

Exports   

$171.9 billion   

No. 2 [o] 

$1.2 trillion

Notes

[a] The three "happiest" states are Minnesota, Utah, and Hawaii, according to an academic study that calculated scores based on the following indicators: emotional and physical well-being; work environment; and community and environment.

[b] Only Hawaii has a lower death rate.

[c] Only New York is higher in public school teacher salaries.

[d] Fourth highest police protection outside of Washington, D.C. ($851 per capita), Alaska ($492 per capita), and New York ($484).

[e] Only Alaska, Washington, D.C., and Delaware are higher in per-capita expenditure of justice and legal services.

[f] Only Virginia receives more federal funds for defense.

[g] Connecticut, Washington, D.C., Massachusetts, and New York have a higher average wage.

[h] No state comes close to California in GDP; CA is 13 percent of the entire nation's GDP.

[i] No state comes close to California in personal income; California is nearly double that of next closest states (New York and Texas).

[j] Only Wyoming has a greater percentage of degrees confirmed as science or engineering.

[k] California is 18 percent of total agricultural proceeds in the United States. California is No. 1 in production of: vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, cantaloupes, carrots, cauliflower, celery, garlic, lettuce, peas, onions, bell peppers, tomatoes); and fruits (dates, figs, lemons, nectarines, olives, peaches, raspberries, strawberries, tangerines). Florida is slightly higher in oranges.

[l] Only Alaska has more National Forest lands.

[m] 15 percent of all information companies in the U.S. are in California.

[n] 12.6 percent of all visits to national parks in the U.S. are in California. No. 1 is Washington, D.C., and No. 3 is Virginia.

[o] Texas is No. 1 in exports at $264 billion.

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