With a population of 446 901, Oakland is considered the eighth largest city in California and the 41st largest city in the United States. It is the County seat of Alameda county, as well as the center of activity for the sub region of the Bay Area, East Bay. It is located a mere eight miles east of San Francisco and has the West Coast Port situated on the San Francisco Bay. Oakland covers a total of 78.2 square miles, with 22.1 square miles being water and the other 56.1 square miles covering land.
The cities terrain is broken down by residents into “the flatlands” and “the hills”, with the residents in the hills generally being more wealthy. About a third of the population has settled in the hills and foot hills, while the others reside in the flat plain of East Bay.
One of the main attractions of Oakland is Lake Merritt, which is located close to downtown. It is the considered to be the largest (urban) salt water lake in the United States, although it is technically an estuary of the San Francisco Bay.
Many people who settle in Oakland are attracted to the cities beautiful Mediterranean climate, characterized by mild winters and warm summers. Because of its location, it is generally warmer then San Francisco and cooler then San Jose. Occasionally, the northern part of the city experiences a cooling maritime fog, but the city is far enough inland so that the fog burns off by mid day.
Over 200 000 jobs in the city are related to cargo transport due to the Major West Coast Port. As well, there are several corporations located in Oakland, such as Matson, Kaiser Permanente and Clorox. Other companies have chose to build their headquarters here, such as Dreyers and Cost Plus World Markets. Oakland was also home to the very first London Drugs.
Early in the 21st century, Oakland experienced a population and land surge. The 10K plan that was implemented saw that thousands of new multifamily residences were built to accommodate the influx of residents. This population surge can be attributed to the cities mild climate, as well as its relatively central location in regards to bigger cities. Oakland offers a reasonable alternative to sky high rents and property prices in San Francisco, and offers beautiful views of the San Francisco and the Bay from its hillside neighbourhoods. Due to its expanding population, there has been a number of shopping districts built as well as an assortment of restaurants that reflect a variety of local and international cultures.
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