The five states that border the Pacific Ocean are California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska and Hawaii. The proximity of the states to the Pacific Ocean affects their climate. Along the coast, temperatures vary by as much as 19 degrees Fahrenheit from those 100 miles inland. Washington and Oregon have an oceanic climate, while California enjoys a Mediterranean one. Areas along the ocean often experience small seasonal temperature variations.
While the Census Bureau lumps the Pacific region with the mountain states, the area along the ocean tends to be more liberal than the mountain states they border. The Democratic presidential candidate carried all the Pacific states, with the exception of Alaska, in every election between 1992 and 2012. According to demographics, the West Coast tends to be more diverse, with large Hispanic and Asian populations. As of the 2010 Census, the states bordering the Pacific Ocean account for more than 15 percent of the population of the United States, or almost 48 million people.
As European settlement of the United States began along the East Coast, the culture in the West is much younger. However, the first people to come to the area now known as the United States crossed a land bridge across the Bering Sea and lived in the Pacific regions. Later, European and American explorers started settlement.