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The San Francisco Bay Area is home to more than 6 million people, living in about 7,200 square miles of the state of California.
The three major Bay Area cities are San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose. Between them, they contain about 33 percent of the Bay Area's total population.
The Bay Area generates a $200 billion dollar economy -- the nation's fifth largest regional economy. Of the 40 public and private universities in the region, three (Stanford, University of California at Berkeley and University of California, San Francisco) have produced 25 Nobel laureates over the last 43 years.
The Bay Area is also one of the most ethnically and culturally diverse regions in the country and its ethnic minorities represent at least 40 percent of Bay Area citizenry. It is home to a culturally rich lifestyle, where tourists and residents alike frequent the area's many cultural centers, museums, theaters and sporting events.
The Bay Area has several nationally recognized sports teams, including the Oakland A's baseball team, the Oakland Raiders football team, and the Golden State Warriors basketball team. They attract a combined attendance of 6 million annually.
The Bay Area is also a shopper's and diner's paradise, where a visitor can choose from virtually every conceivable type of merchandise and cuisine. Nearby recreational choices abound, from outdoor golfing and skiing to indoor gambling, from the highest mountains to the coastal waters, all wrapped up in one of the most temperate climates in the world.
The retail industry in the Bay Area accounts for approximately $50 billion annually. The area is home to the world's largest clothing maker, Levi Strauss & Company, headquartered in San Francisco, as well as the nation's second largest grocery store chain, Safeway Corporation, headquartered in the East Bay. Tourism and related business represent about $4.9 billion annually.
The Port of Oakland is the third largest port on the West Coast and the fourth largest port in the United States, responsible for more than 24,400 jobs with a combined payroll in excess of $1.2 billion. The Aviation Division operates the Oakland International Airport, and the airport complex employs almost 8,000 people.