^ a. 2010 and later, Baja
California is the only state to use the USA
DST schedule state wide, while the rest of
Mexico (except for small
portions of other northern states) starts DST 3–4 weeks later and
ends DST one week earlier)
^ b. The state's
GDP was 294.8 billion of pesos in 2008, amount
corresponding to 23.03 billion of dollars, being a dollar worth 12.80
pesos (value of 3 June 2010).
Baja California[note 1] (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈbaxa
kaliˈfoɾnja] ( listen)), (English: Lower California),
officially the Free and Sovereign State of Baja
Estado Libre y Soberano de Baja California), is a state in Mexico. It
is the northernmost and westernmost of the 32 Federal Entities of
Mexico. Before becoming a state in 1952, the area was known as the
North Territory of Baja
California (El Territorio Norte de Baja
California). It has an area of 70,113 km2
(27,071 sq mi), or 3.57% of the land mass of
comprises the northern half of the Baja
California Peninsula, north of
the 28th parallel, plus oceanic Guadalupe Island. The mainland portion
of the state is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean, on the east
by Sonora, the U.S. State of Arizona, and the
Gulf of California
Gulf of California (also
known as the "Sea of Cortez"), and on the south by Baja California
Sur. Its northern limit is the U.S. state of California.
The state has an estimated population of 3,315,766 (2015) much
more than the sparsely populated
Baja California Sur
Baja California Sur to the south, and
San Diego County,
California on its north. Over 75% of the
population lives in the capital city, Mexicali, in Ensenada, or in
Tijuana. Other important cities include San Felipe, Rosarito and
Tecate. The population of the state is composed of Mestizos, mostly
immigrants from other parts of Mexico, and, as with most northern
Mexican states, a large population of Mexicans of Spanish ancestry,
and also a large minority group of East Asian,
Middle Eastern and
indigenous descent. Additionally, there is a large immigrant
population from the
United States due to its proximity to San Diego
and the lower cost of living compared to San Diego. There is also a
significant population from Central America. Many immigrants moved to
California for a better quality of life and the number of higher
paying jobs in comparison to the rest of
Mexico and Latin America.
Border fence between San Diego's border patrol offices (left) and Baja
California is the twelfth largest state by area in Mexico. Its
geography ranges from beaches to forests and deserts. The backbone of
the state is the Sierra de Baja California, where the Picacho del
Diablo, the highest point of the peninsula, is located. This mountain
range effectively divides the weather patterns in the state. In the
northwest, the weather is semi-dry and mediterranean. In the narrow
center, the weather changes to be more humid due to altitude. It is in
this area where a few valleys can be found, such as the Valle de
Guadalupe, the major wine producing area in Mexico. To the east of the
mountain range, the
Sonoran Desert dominates the landscape. In the
south, the weather becomes drier and gives way to the Vizcaino Desert.
The state is also home to numerous islands off both of its shores. In
fact, the westernmost point in Mexico, the Guadalupe Island, is part
of Baja California. The Coronado, Todos Santos and Cedros Islands are
also on the Pacific Shore. On the Gulf of California, the biggest
island is the Angel de la Guarda, separated from the peninsula by the
deep and narrow Canal de Ballenas.
1.1 Nineteenth and twentieth centuries
2.2 Adjacent States
2.3 Flora and fauna
2.4 2010 earthquakes
3 Government and politics
6.1 Real estate
8 See also
11 External links
The first people came to the peninsula at least 11,000 years ago. At
that time two main native groups are thought to have been present on
the peninsula. In the south were the Cochimí. In the north were
several groups belonging to the Yuman language family, including the
Kiliwa, Paipai, Kumeyaay, Cocopa, and Quechan. These peoples were
diverse in their adaptations to the region. The
Cochimí of the
peninsula's Central Desert were generalized hunter-gatherers who moved
frequently; however, the
Cedros Island off the west coast
had developed a strongly maritime economy. The Kiliwa, Paipai, and
Kumeyaay in the better-watered northwest were also hunter-gatherers,
but that region supported denser populations and a more sedentary
Quechan of northeastern Baja California
practiced agriculture in the floodplain of the lower Colorado River.
Another group of people were the Guachimis, who came from the north
and created much of the Sierra de Guadalupe cave paintings. Not much
is known about them except that they lived in the area between 100 BC
and the coming of the Europeans and created World Heritage rock
Europeans reached the present state of Baja
California in 1539, when
Francisco de Ulloa reconnoitered its east coast on the Gulf of
California and explored the peninsula's west coast at least as far
north as Cedros Island.
Hernando de Alarcón returned to the east
coast and ascended the lower
Colorado River in 1540, and Juan
Rodríguez Cabrillo (or João Rodrigues Cabrilho (in Portuguese))
completed the reconnaissance of the west coast in 1542. Sebastián
Vizcaíno again surveyed the west coast in 1602, but outside visitors
during the following century were few.
The Jesuits founded a permanent mission colony on the peninsula at
Loreto in 1697. During the following decades, they gradually extended
their sway throughout the present state of Baja
California Sur. In
1751–1753, the Croatian Jesuit mission-explorer Ferdinand Konščak
made overland explorations northward into the state of Baja
California. Jesuit missions were subsequently established among the
Cochimí at Santa Gertrudis (1752), San Borja (1762), and Santa María
After the expulsion of the Jesuits in 1768, the short-lived Franciscan
administration (1768–1773) resulted in one new mission at San
Fernando Velicatá. More importantly, the 1769 expedition to settle
Gaspar de Portolà
Gaspar de Portolà and
Junípero Serra resulted
in the first overland exploration of the northwestern portion of the
The Dominicans took over management of the Baja
from the Franciscans in 1773. They established a chain of new missions
among the northern
Cochimí and western Yumans, first on the coast and
subsequently inland, extending from El Rosario (1774) to Descanso
(1817), just south of Tijuana.
Nineteenth and twentieth centuries
1804: The Spanish colony of
California was divided into Alta ("Upper")
and Baja ("Lower")
California at the line separating the Franciscan
missions in the north from the Dominican missions in the south.
The colonial governors were:
1804–1805 José Joaquín de Arillaga (s.a.)
1806–1814 Felipe de Goicoechea
1814–11 April 1822 José Darío Argüello
1833: Mexican secularization act of 1833
California is annexed by the United States.
1853: Soldier of fortune William Walker captures La Paz, declaring
himself President of the Republic of Lower California. The Mexican
government forces his retreat after several months.
1884: Luis Huller and
George H. Sisson obtain a concession covering
much of the present state, in return for promises to develop the
1905: The Magonista revolution, an anarchist movement based on the
Ricardo Flores Magón
Ricardo Flores Magón and Enrique Flores Magón, begins.
Tijuana are captured by the Mexican Liberal Party
(Partido Liberal Mexicano, PLM), but soon surrender to Federal forces.
1917: On 11 December, "[a] prominent Mexican, close friend of
President Carranza" offered to U. S. Senator Henry Ashurst to sell
California to the U. S. for "fifty million dollars gold."
California is further divided into Northern and Southern
1952: The North Territory of Baja
California becomes the 29th state of
Mexico, Baja California. The southern portion, below 28°N, remains a
federally administered territory.
1974: The South Territory of Baja
California becomes the 31st state,
Ernesto Ruffo Appel
Ernesto Ruffo Appel of the PAN becomes the first non-PRI
governor of Baja
California and the first opposition governor of any
state since the Revolution.
Central Desert in Cataviña
Isla Partida, part of the San Lorenzo Marine Archipelago National Park
Sierra de San Pedro Martir, with
Picacho del Diablo
Picacho del Diablo in the center
The beach at Tijuana
Coronado Islands, to the west of Tijuana
A meadow in the San Pedro Martir National Park
California encompasses a territory, within
The Californias region
of North America, which exhibits diverse geography for a relatively
small area. The
Peninsular ranges of the
California cordillera run
down the geographic center of the state. The most notable ranges of
these mountains are the
Sierra de Juarez
Sierra de Juarez and the Sierra de San Pedro
Martir. These ranges are the location of forests reminiscent of
Southern California's San Gabriel Mountains.
Picacho del Diablo
Picacho del Diablo is the
highest peak in the whole peninsula. Valleys between the mountain
ranges are located within a climate zone that are suitable for
agriculture. Such valleys included the Valle de Guadalupe and the
Valle de Ojos Negros, areas that produce citrus fruits and grapes. The
mineral-rich mountain range extends southwards to the Gulf of
California, where the western slope becomes wider, forming the Llanos
del Berrendo in the border with Baja
California Sur. The mountain
ranges located in the center and southern part of the state include
the Sierra de La Asamblea, Sierra de Calamajué, Sierra de San Luis
and the Sierra de San Borja.
Temperate winds from the
Pacific Ocean and the cold
make the climate along the northwestern coast pleasant year-round.
As a result of the state's location on the
California current, rains
from the north barely reach the peninsula, thus leaving southern areas
drier. South of El Rosario River the state changes from a
Mediterranean landscape to a desert one. This desert exhibits
diversity in succulent flora species that flourish in part due to the
To the east, the
Sonoran Desert enters the state from both California
and Sonora. Some of the highest temperatures in
Mexico are recorded in
or nearby the
Mexicali Valley.[note 2] However, with irrigation from
the Colorado River, this area has become truly an agricultural center.
The Cerro Prieto geothermal province is near
Mexicali as well (this
area is geologically part of a large pull apart basin); producing
about 80% of the electricity consumed in the state and enough more to
export to California. Laguna Salada, a saline lake below sea level
lying between the rugged
Sierra de Juarez
Sierra de Juarez and the Sierra de los
Cucapah, is also in the vicinity of Mexicali. The state government has
recently been considering plans to revive Laguna Salada.[note 3] The
highest mountain in the Sierra de los Cucapah is the Cerro del
Centinela or Mount Signal. The Cucapah are the primary indigenous
people of that area and up into the Yuma,
There are numerous islands on the Pacific shore.
Guadalupe Island is
located in the extreme west of the state's boundaries and is the site
of large colonies of sea lions.
Cedros Island exists in the southwest
of the state's maritime region. The Todos Santos Islands and Coronado
Islands are located off the coast of Ensenada and Tijuana
respectively. All of the islands in the Gulf of California, on the
California side, belong to the municipality of Mexicali.
California obtains much of its water from the Colorado River.
Historically the river drained into the
Colorado River Delta which
flowed into the Gulf of California, but due to large demands for water
in the American Southwest, less water now reaches the Gulf. The
Tijuana metropolitan area also relies on the
Tijuana River as a source
of water. Much of rural Baja
California depends predominantly on wells
and a few dams.
Tijuana also purchases water from
San Diego County's
Otay Water District. Potable water is the largest natural resource
issue of the state.
Baja California's climate varies from Mediterranean to arid. The
Mediterranean climate is observed in the northwestern corner of the
state where the summers are dry and mild and the winters cool and
rainy. This climate is observed in areas from
Tijuana to San Quintin
and nearby interior valleys. The cold oceanic
California Current often
creates a low-level marine fog near the coast. The fog occurs along
any part of the Pacific Coast of the state.
The change of altitude towards the Sierra de Baja
an alpine climate in this region. Summers are cool while winters can
be cold with below freezing temperatures at night. It is common to see
snow in the
Sierra de Juarez
Sierra de Juarez and
Sierra de San Pedro Martir
Sierra de San Pedro Martir (and in
the valleys in between) from December to April. Due to orographic
effects, precipitation is much higher in the mountains of northern
California than on the western coastal plain or eastern desert
plain. Pine, cedar and fir forests are found in the mountains.
The east side of the mountains produce a rain shadow, creating an
extremely arid environment. The
Sonoran Desert region of Baja
California experiences hot summers and nearly frostless mild winters.
Mexicali Valley (which is below sea level), experiences the
highest temperatures in Mexico, that frequently surpass 47 °C
(116.6 °F) in mid-summer, and have exceeded 50 °C
(122 °F) on some occasions.
Further south along the Pacific coast, the Mediterranean climate
transitions into a desert climate but it is milder and not as hot as
along the gulf coast. Transition climates, from Mediterranean to
Desert, can be found from San Quintin to El Rosario. Further inland
and along the
Gulf of California
Gulf of California the vegetation is scarce and
temperatures are very high during the summer months. The islands in
Gulf of California
Gulf of California also belong to the desert climate. Some oases
can be found in the desert in which few towns are located – for
instance, Catavina, San Borja and Santa Gertrudis.
United States (North)
United States (Northeast)
Baja California Sur
Baja California Sur (South)
Flora and fauna
Common trees are the Jeffrey Pine,
Sugar Pine and Pinon Pine.
Understory species include Manzanita. Fauna include a variety of
reptiles including the Western fence lizard, which is at the southern
extent of its range. The name of the fish genus
derived from the Baja
In the main terrestrial wildlife refuges on the peninsula of Baja
Constitution 1857 National Park
Constitution 1857 National Park and Sierra de San Pedro
Mártir National Park contain several coniferous species; the most
abundant are: pinus jeffreyi, pinus ponderosa, pinus cembroide, pinus
quadrifolia, pinus monophylla, juniperus, arctostaphylos drupacea,
artemisa ludoviciana, and adenostoma esparcifolium. The flora share
many species with the
Laguna Mountains and
San Jacinto Mountains
San Jacinto Mountains in
southwest California. The lower elevations of the Sierra Juárez are
characterized by chaparral and desert shrub.
The fauna in the parks exhibit a large number of mammals primarily:
mule deer, bighorn sheep, cougar, bobcat, ringtail cat, coyote,
rabbit, squirrel and more than 30 species of bats. The park is also
home to many avian species like: bald eagle, golden eagle, falcon,
woodpecker, black vulture, crow, several species of
Sittidae and duck.
Flora and fauna of Baja California
Great white shark
Guadalupe fur seal
Main article: 2010 Baja
At 3:40:41 pm PDT on Easter Sunday, 4 April 2010 a 7.2
displaystyle M_ mathrm w
magnitude northwest trending strike-slip earthquake hit the Mexicali
Valley, with its epicenter 26 km southwest of the city of
Guadalupe Victoria, Baja California, Mexico. The main shock was
felt as far as the Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Phoenix and Tucson
metropolitan areas, and in Yuma. At least a half-dozen aftershocks
with magnitudes between 5.0 and 5.4 were reported, including a
5.1-magnitude shaker at 4:14 am. that was centered near El
Centro. As of 6:31 am PDT, 5 April 2010, two people were confirmed
Government and politics
Presidential elections results
Municipalities of Baja California
Main article: Municipalities of Baja California
California is subdivided into five municipios (municipalities).
These are Ensenada, Mexicali, Tecate,
Tijuana and Rosarito.
The Country Club of Tijuana
Passport stamp granted at a Baja
California port of entry in Tijuana
Religion in Baja
California (2010 census)
The majority of the population of Baja
California is Mestizo, however
the state has one of the larger percentages of White (European)
Mexicans (about 40%). There are small indigenous communities as well.
Historically, the state has had sizable
East Asian immigration.
Mexicali has a large Chinese community, as well as many Filipinos from
the Philippines who arrived to the state during the eras of Spanish
and American rule (1898–1946) in much of the 19th and 20th
Tijuana and Ensenada were a major port of entry for East
Asians entering the U.S. ever since the first Asian-Americans were
present in California.
Also a significant number of
Middle Eastern immigrants such as
Lebanese, Syrians and
Armenians settle near the U.S. border, and small
waves of settlers in the early 20th century, usually members of the
Molokan sect of the
Russian Orthodox church fled the Russian
Revolution of 1917 when the Soviet Union took power, had established a
few villages along the Pacific coast south of Ensenada.[citation
Since 1960, large numbers of migrants from southern Mexican states
have arrived to work in agriculture (esp. the
Mexicali Valley and
nearby Imperial Valley, California, US) and manufacturing. The cities
Mexicali grew as a result of migrants,
primarily those who sought US citizenship and those temporary
residents awaiting their entry into the
United States are called
Flotillas, which is derived from the Spanish word "flota," meaning
There is also a sizable immigrant community from Central and South
America, and from the
United States and Canada. An estimated 200,000+
American expatriates live in the state, especially in coastal resort
towns such as Ensenada, known for affordable homes purchased by
retirees who continue to hold US citizenship. San Felipe, Rosarito and
Tijuana also have a large American population (second largest in
Mexico next to
Mexico City), particularly for its cheaper housing and
proximity to San Diego.
Some 60,000 Oaxacans live in Baja California, the vast majority being
indigenous. Some 40% of them lack proper birth certificates.
According to a Conacyt investigator, a bit under a million people were
classified as "poor" in the state, up from 2008 when there were
roughly 810,000. Exactly who these people are, whether locals,
interstate or international migrants, was not explained.
Further information: Category:Universities and colleges in Baja
California has one of the best educational programs in the
country, with high rankings in schooling and achievement.
The State Government provides education and qualification courses to
increase the workforce standards, such as School-Enterprise linkage
programs which helps the development of labor force according to the
needs of the industry.
91.60% of the population from six to fourteen years of age attend
elementary school. 61.95% of the population over fifteen years of age
attend or have already graduated from high school. Public School is
available in all levels, from kindergarten to university.
The state has 32 universities offering 103 professional degrees. These
universities have 19 research and development centers for basic and
applied investigation in advanced projects of biotechnology, physics,
oceanography, computer science, digital geothermal technology,
astronomy, aerospace, electrical engineering and clean energy, among
others. At this educational level, supply is steadily growing. Baja
California has developed a need to be self-sufficient in matters of
technological and scientific innovation and to be less dependent on
foreign countries. Current businesses demand new production processes
as well as technology for the incubation of companies. The number of
graduate degrees offered, including Ph.D. programs, is 121. The state
has 53 graduate schools.
Vineyards in the wine region of Valle de Guadalupe
As of 2005, Baja California's economy represents 3.3% of Mexico's
gross domestic product or 21,996 million USD. Baja
California's economy has a strong focus on tariff-free export oriented
manufacturing (maquiladora). As of 2005, 284,255 people are employed
in the manufacturing sector. There are a more than 900 companies
operating under the federal Prosec program in Baja California.
The Foreign Investment Law of 1973 allows foreigners to
purchase land within the borders and coasts of
Mexico by way of a
trust, handled through a Mexican bank (Fideicomiso). This trust
assures to the buyer all the rights and privileges of ownership, and
it can be sold, inherited, leased, or transferred at any time. Since
1994, the Foreign Investment Law stipulates that the Fideicomiso must
be to a 50-year term, with the option to petition for a 50-year
renewal at any time.
Any Mexican citizen buying a bank trust property has the option to
either remain within the Trust or opt out of it and request the title
Mexico's early history involved foreign invasions and the loss of vast
amounts of land; in fear of history being repeated, the Mexican
constitution established the concept of the "Restricted Zone". In
1973, in order to bring in more foreign tourist investment, the Bank
Trust of Fideicomiso was created, thus allowing non-Mexicans to own
land without any constitutional amendment necessary. Since the law
went into effect, it has undergone many modifications in order to make
purchasing land in
Mexico a safer investment.
This section is incomplete. (July 2013)
Mexican Federal Highway 1
Mexican Federal Highway 2
Mexican Federal Highway 3
Mexican Federal Highway 5
Mexican Federal Highway 12
History of the west coast of North America
List of Baja
Spanish missions in present-day Baja California
North America portal
Latin America portal
^ Sometimes informally referred to as Baja
California Norte (North
Lower California) to distinguish it from both the Baja California
Peninsula, of which it forms the northern half, and Baja California
Sur, the adjacent state that covers the southern half of the
peninsula. While it is a well-established term for the northern half
of the Baja
California Peninsula, however, its usage would not be
correct, because Baja
California Norte has never existed as a
political designation for a state, territory, district or region.
^ Delta in the northeast, recorded 54.0 °C (129.2 °F) on 3
^ The state is currently (2008) looking at a plan by SDSU Adj.
Professor Newcomb (ICATS) to do this using his geothermal desalination
system to supply water locally. SEMARNAT believes this to be the first
viable plan presented.
^ "Transformación Política de Territorio Norte de la Baja California
a Estado 29" [The Transformation of Baja California] (in
^ "Senadores por Baja
California LXI Legislatura". Senado de la
Republica. Retrieved 18 August 2010.
^ "Listado de Diputados por Grupo Parlamentario del Estado de Baja
California". Camara de Diputados. Retrieved 18 August 2010.
^ "Medio Físico del Estado de Baja California". e-local.gob.mx.
Archived from the original on 8 March 2012. Retrieved 12 February
^ "Encuesta Intercensal 2015" (PDF). Retrieved December 8, 2015.
^ "Daylight Saving Time Around the World 2010". timeanddate.com.
^ "Sistema de Cuantas Nacionales de Mexico" (PDF). 2010. p. 40.
Retrieved 1 October 2010.
^ "Reporte: Jueves 3 de Junio del 2010. Cierre del peso mexicano".
www.pesomexicano.com.mx. Retrieved 10 August 2010.
^ Saldierna, J. F. Promexico. Editorial Emán. p. 68.
^ "Principales resultados de la encuesta intercensal 2015" (PDF).
COPLADEBC. Retrieved 13 April 2017.
^ UNESCO World Heritage list number 724
http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/714 retrieved 12 June 2015
^ "Mocavo and Findmypast are coming together - findmypast.com".
^ de Novelo, Maria Eugenia Bonifaz (1984). "Ensenada: Its background,
founding and early development". The Journal of
San Diego History. 30
(Winter). Archived from the original on 20 August 2008. Retrieved 20
^ Henry Fountain Ashurst, A Many-Colored Toga: The Diary of Henry
Fountain Ashurst. Tucson: The University of
Arizona Press, 1962. p.
^ "Wayback Machine". 25 June 2007. Archived from the original on 25
^ Katharine Layne Brandegee (1894) Zoe: Volume IV, Zoe Publishing
Company, Townshend Stith Brandegee
^ C. Michael Hogan (2008) "
Western fence lizard
Western fence lizard (Sceloporus
occidentalis)", Globaltwitcher, ed. Nicklas Stromberg
^ C. H. Townsend & J. T. Nichols: Deep sea fishes of the
California Expedition. Bulletin of the AMNH ;
v. 52, article 1
^ "Magnitude 7.2 – BAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO". United States
Geological Survey. Retrieved 17 March 2012.
KTVU (4 April 2010). "At Least Two Die In 7.3-Magnitude Baja Quake".
KTVU. Archived from the original on 9 April 2010. Retrieved 17 March
^ CNN Wire Staff (5 April 2010). "Baja governor seeks emergency
declaration after quake". CNN. Retrieved 17 March 2012.
^ "Presidential elections results". Archived from the original on 21
March 2013. Retrieved 22 February 2013.
^ "Encuesta Intercensal 2015" (PDF). INEGI. Retrieved
^ "Censo de Población y Vivienda 2010". INEGI. Retrieved
^ (in Spanish) Con problemas en acta de nacimiento 40% de oaxaqueños
California Noticiasnet. Noticiasnet.mx (2012-11-28).
Retrieved on 2014-05-24.
^ "Organización Editorial Mexicana". www.oem.com.mx.
^ State Government of Baja
California and Secretariat of Public
^ a b Industrial Costs in
Mexico – A Guide for Foreign Investors
Mexico City: Bancomext. 2007. p. 86.
^ "Foreign Investment Law" (PDF). gob.mx. Government of Mexico. 9
March 1973. Retrieved 24 September 2017.
^ Vargas, J. (1994). "Mexico: Foreign Investment Act of 1993".
International Legal Materials. 33 (1): 207–224.
doi:10.1017/S0020782900027157. Retrieved 24 September 2017.
Mexico and Direct Foreign Ownership of Coastal Property,
MexiData.info, 12 April 2010 "Archived copy". Archived from the
original on 16 April 2010. Retrieved 2010-04-13.
Mexico Law Restricted Zone. Mexicolaw.com. Retrieved on 2014-05-24.
^ Fideicomiso – Bank Trust – Mexican Real Estate – Mexico
Constitution – Mario Restrepo. Bajaopenhouse.com. Retrieved on
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