Many states have distinct regions and tensions among those regions, but in California, the distinctions and tensions are intensified by the state's unique geography. The distances between the northern and southern borders have made it difficult for Californians to develop a sense of oneness. This chapter focuses on the four regions: (1) Los Angeles County; (2) the San Francisco Bay area; (3) the Central Valley; and (4) Orange County and the Inland Empire. These four large populated regions reflect both the historical regional conflicts in the state and the important regional trends that are currently under way. This chapter provides an overview of growth patterns, demographics, and voting trends. It also explores regional differences in state perceptions, policy preferences, and political, social, and economic attitudes.
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