Santa Clara County, California
|Santa Clara County, California|
|County of Santa Clara|
Location in the state of California
|Country||United States of America|
|Metropolitan area||San Francisco Bay Area|
|Incorporated||February 18, 1850|
|Named for||Mission Santa Clara de Asís, St. Clare of Assisi|
|County seat||San Jose|
|Largest city||San Jose (population and area)|
|• Total||1,304 sq mi (3,380 km2)|
|• Land||1,290 sq mi (3,300 km2)|
|• Water||14 sq mi (40 km2)|
|• Density||1,400/sq mi (530/km2)|
|Time zone||Pacific Standard Time (UTC-8)|
|• Summer (DST)||Pacific Daylight Time (UTC-7)|
|Area code(s)||408, 669, 650|
Santa Clara County, officially the County of Santa Clara, is a county located in the U.S. state of California. As of the 2010 census, the population was 1,781,642. The county seat is San Jose, the tenth-most populous city in the United States.Santa Clara County is included in the San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area as well as the San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland, CA Combined Statistical Area. Located at the southern end of the San Francisco Bay, the highly urbanized Santa Clara Valley within Santa Clara County is also known as Silicon Valley. Santa Clara is the most populous county in the San Francisco Bay Area region, and one of the most affluent counties in the United States.
- 1 Etymology
- 2 History
- 3 Geography
- 4 Transportation
- 5 Crime
- 6 Demographics
- 7 Libraries
- 8 Government
- 9 Economy
- 10 Parks
- 11 Sister counties
- 12 Communities
- 13 See also
- 14 Notes
- 15 References
- 16 External links
Santa Clara County was one of the original counties of California, formed in 1850 at the time of statehood. The original inhabitants included the Ohlone, residing on Coyote Creek and Calaveras Creek. Part of the county's territory was given to Alameda County in 1853.
In 1882, Santa Clara County tried to levy taxes upon property of the Southern Pacific Railroad within county boundaries. The result was the U.S. Supreme Court case of Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad, 118 U.S. 394 (1886), in which the Court extended Due Process rights to artificial legal entities.
Once promoted as the "Valley of the Heart's Delight", after two centuries of an agricultural economy started by the Spanish missionaries, the focus has shifted to technology. This trend is not new. Hewlett Packard was founded in 1939, and IBM selected San Jose as its West Coast headquarters in 1943. Varian Associates, Fairchild Semiconductor, and other early innovators, were located in the county by the late 1940s and 1950s. The U.S. Navy had a large presence in the area and began giving large contracts to Silicon Valley electronics companies. The term "Silicon Valley" was coined in 1971. The trend accelerated in the 1980s and 1990s, as agriculture has been nearly eliminated from the northern part of the county. Today, Santa Clara County is the headquarters for such companies as AMD, Apple, Cisco Systems, eBay, Facebook, Google, Hewlett Packard, Intel, Yahoo, and many others. The valley is currently home to approximately 6500 high technology companies. Most of Silicon Valley's (Santa Clara Valley) high tech companies are located within the county, with some adjoining tech regions in San Mateo, Alameda, and Santa Cruz counties also being considered Silicon Valley.
National protected area
In 1978,  From the three original 1978-1981 translocations to the Mount Hamilton region of the Diablo Range, there are multiple herds in different locations including the Isabel Valley, San Antonio Valley, Livermore area, San Felipe Ranch, Metcalf Canyon, Coyote Ridge, Anderson Lake, and surrounding areas. As of 2012, an estimated 400 tule elk roam 1,875 square kilometres (724 sq mi) in northeastern Santa Clara County and southeastern Alameda County.
The Nature Conservancy "Mount Hamilton Project" has acquired or put under conservation easement 100,000 acres (40,000 ha) of land towards its 500,000 acres (200,000 ha) goal for habitat conservation within a 1,200,000 acres (490,000 ha) area encompassing much of eastern Santa Clara County as well as portions of southern Alameda County, western Merced and Stanislaus Counties, and northern San Benito County. Acquisitions to date include the 1,756-acre (711 ha) Rancho Cañada de Pala, straddling the Alameda Creek and Coyote Creek watersheds for California tiger salamander habitat; a conservation easement on the 3,259-acre Blue Oak Ranch Reserve, which abuts the north side of Joseph D. Grant County Park; a conservation easement on the 28,359-acre San Felipe Ranch, connecting Joseph D. Grant County Park with Henry W. Coe State Park; the 2,899-acre South Valley Ranch which protects a tule elk herd in the San Antonio Valley, and other properties.
As of 1980, Santa Clara County has the highest number of Superfund Sites of any county in the United States, accounting for 25 polluted locations requiring a long-term response to clean up hazardous material contaminations. The vast majority of these Superfund sites were caused by firms associated with the high tech sector located in Silicon Valley.
The county's main airport is Norman Y. Mineta San José International Airport (SJC). It is a U.S. Customs and Border Protection port of entry and as of 2014 had three international routes (one to Japan and two to Mexico) but the airport's busiest routes are all to cities in the western United States. San Francisco International Airport, is also often used for commercial services by residents of Santa Clara County.
Moffett Federal Airfield (NUQ), a former U.S. Naval Air Station, is used by the Air National Guard, NASA, Lockheed Martin, Google, and by the San Jose Police and Santa Clara County Sheriff's Department as an air operations base. There are also smaller general aviation airports in Palo Alto (PAO), San Jose (Reid-Hillview) (RHV), and San Martin(E16)
Santa Clara Station is served by Caltrain which provides service to Gilroy, San Jose, Silicon Valley, San Francisco Airport and San Francisco, the ACE system which provides services to Stockton, and Amtrak which provides service to Sacramento and Oakland.
Santa Clara County has consolidated its transportation services into the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, which operates a bus system.
The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority is establishing a bicycle network throughout the county. Santa Clara County Bicycle network is part of the San Francisco Bay Area Regional Bikeway Network.
- Bikeways Map (Effective April 2011)
- Regional Bicycle Plan for the San Francisco Bay Area 2009 Update
Freeways and expressways
The county has an extensive freeway system and a separate expressway system. Expressways in California are distinct from freeways; although access to adjoining properties is eliminated, at-grade intersections are allowed. However, unlike expressways virtually everywhere else in California, the Santa Clara County expressways were built, signed, and maintained as county roads; they are not maintained by Caltrans, although they are patrolled by the California Highway Patrol.
There is also a large street network dominated by four- and six-lane arterials. Some of the newer boulevards (primarily in the West Valley) are divided with landscaped medians.
The county has no commercial seaports, although small boats can access San Francisco Bay from several points. Like many other Bay Area counties, it is dependent upon the Port of Oakland for transport of ocean cargo.
The following table includes the number of incidents reported and the rate per 1,000 persons for each type of offense.
|Population and crime rates|
|Motor vehicle theft||7,356||4.17|
Cities by population and crime rates
|Cities by population and crime rates|
Violent crime rate
per 1,000 persons
Property crime rate
per 1,000 persons
|Los Altos Hills||8,121||5||0.62||45||5.54|
|Population, race, and income|
|Black or African American||45,219||2.6%|
|American Indian or Alaska Native||9,906||0.6%|
|Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander||6,445||0.4%|
|Some other race||171,082||9.7%|
|Two or more races||72,803||4.1%|
|Hispanic or Latino (of any race)||468,262||26.6%|
|Per capita income||$40,698|
|Median household income||$89,064|
|Median family income||$103,255|
Places by population, race, and income
|Places by population and race|
Black or African
Hispanic or Latino
(of any race)
|Los Altos Hills||Town||7,912||66.2%||1.9%||31.7%||0.1%||0.0%||1.9%|
|Places by population and income|
|Place||Type||Population||Per capita income||Median household income||Median family income|
|Los Altos Hills||Town||7,912||$109,694||$218,077||$230,000|
2010The 2010 United States Census reported that Santa Clara County had a population of 1,781,642. The ethnic makeup of Santa Clara County was 836,616 (47.0%) White, 46,428 (2.6%) African American, 12,960 (0.7%) Native American, 570,524 (32.0%) Asian (8.6% Chinese, 7.1% Vietnamese, 6.6% Indian, 4.9% Filipino, 1.6% Korean, 1.4% Japanese, 0.3% Cambodian, 0.3% Pakistani, 0.1% Thai, 0.1% Laotian, 0.1% Burmese, 0.1% Indonesian, 0.1% Bangladeshi), 7,060 (0.4%) Pacific Islander (0.1% Samoan, 0.1% Guamanian, 0.1% Tongan, 0.1% Native Hawaiian), 220,806 (12.4%) from other races, and 87,248 (4.9%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 479,210 persons (26.9%): 22.5% Mexican, 0.4% Puerto Rican, 0.1% Cuban, 3.8% Other Hispanic.
|Population reported at 2010 United States Census|
(of any race)
|Santa Clara County||1,781,642||836,616||46,428||12,960||570,524||7,060||220,806||87,248||479,210|
cities and towns
(of any race)
|Los Altos Hills||7,922||5,417||37||4||2,109||8||50||297||213|
(of any race)
(of any race)
|All others not CDPs (combined)||30,494||21,985||439||256||3,175||84||3,234||1,321||7,651|
As of the census of 2000, there are 1,682,585 people, 565,863 households, and 395,538 families residing in the county. The population density is 503/km² (1,304/mi²). There are 579,329 housing units at an average density of 173/km² (449/mi²). The ethnic makeup of the county is 53.8% White, 2.8% Black or African American, 0.7% Native American, 25.6% Asian, 0.3% Pacific Islander, 12.1% from other races, and 4.7% from two or more races. 24.0% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 565,863 households out of which 34.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.9% were married couples living together, 10.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.1% were non-families. 21.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.92 and the average family size was 3.41.
In the county the population was spread out with 24.7% under the age of 18, 9.3% from 18 to 24, 35.4% from 25 to 44, 21.0% from 45 to 64, and 9.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 102.80 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 101.90 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $74,335, and the median income for a family was $81,717. Males had a median income of $56,240 versus $40,574 for females. The per capita income for the county was $32,795. About 4.9% of families and 7.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.4% of those under age 18 and 6.4% of those age 65 or over.
As of 2011, Santa Clara County has the second-highest median household income of any county in California, the highest being Marin County.
Santa Clara County has five elected supervisors, elected within their districts.
Since 1992, Santa Clara County has been a strongly Democratic county in presidential and congressional elections, although it was a bellwether state for much of the twentieth century. The last Republican to win a majority in the county was Ronald Reagan in 1984. As of November 2012, all of the cities, towns, and the unincorporated areas of Santa Clara County have more registered Democrats than Republicans. In the 2008 US Presidential Election, Democratic nominee Barack Obama carried every city and town in the county, as well as the unincorporated areas.
- California's 17th congressional district, represented by Democrat Mike Honda,
- California's 18th congressional district, represented by Democrat Anna Eshoo,
- California's 19th congressional district, represented by Democrat Zoe Lofgren, and
- California's 20th congressional district, represented by Democrat Sam Farr.
- the 10th Senate District, represented by Democrat Bob Wieckowski,
- the 13th Senate District, represented by Democrat Jerry Hill,
- the 15th Senate District, represented by Democrat Jim Beall, and
- the 17th Senate District, represented by Democrat Bill Monning.
- the 24th Assembly District, represented by Democrat Rich Gordon,
- the 25th Assembly District, represented by Democrat Kansen Chu,
- the 27th Assembly District, represented by Democrat Nora Campos,
- the 28th Assembly District, represented by Democrat Evan Low,
- the 29th Assembly District, represented by Democrat Mark Stone, and
- the 30th Assembly District, represented by Democrat Luis Alejo.
Following the passage of Proposition 8, Santa Clara County joined San Francisco and Los Angeles in a lawsuit, becoming, along with San Francisco and Los Angeles, the first governmental entities in the world to sue for same-sex marriage. The county is one among three counties in California (with Napa and Madera) to establish a separate department, the Santa Clara County Department of Corrections, to deal with corrections pursuant to California Government Code §23013.
Voter registration statistics
|Population and registered voters|
|Registered voters[note 4]||817,310||46.4%|
|Peace and Freedom||1,950||0.2%|
|No party preference||237,357||29.0%|
Cities by population and voter registration
|Cities by population and voter registration|
|Democratic||Republican||D–R spread||Other||No party preference|
|Los Altos Hills||7,912||73.6%||34.9%||33.6%||+1.3%||4.3%||28.7%|
The county's economy is heavily service based. Technology, both hardware and software, dominates the service sector by value, but like any other county, Santa Clara has its share of retail and office support workers.
The San Jose/Sunnyvale/Santa Clara metropolitan region, comprising Santa Clara County and San Benito County, was ranked as the highest performing metropolitan area in the US in 2012, ahead of Austin, Texas and Raleigh, North Carolina, according to the Milken Institute. The GDP of the metro area reached $176.7 billion in 2011, or $94,587 per capita, roughly on par with Qatar in both total GDP and per capita (nominal). GDP grew a strong 7.7% in 2011, and in contrast with most of California, GDP and per capita GDP (nominal) is well above 2007 (financial crisis) levels. Despite relative wealth vis a vis other regions nationally, a large underclass exists whose income is roughly equivalent to that elsewhere in the country, despite extreme land prices. The surge in metro GDP is highly correlated with home prices, which for average single-family homes passed $1 million ($1,017,528) in August 2013.
Santa Clara County has an extensive park system, much of it founded in the major park expansion of the late 1970s. Parks within the county include:
Open space preserves include:
To promote friendship and understanding and to build bridges with countries of origin for various ethnic populations in the county, the County of Santa Clara has created a Sister County Commission to coordinate the program. As of 2009, there are three sister counties:
Cities and towns
- Bell Station, also known as Bell's Station and Hollenbeck's Station
- Casa Loma, also known as Loma Chiquita
- Chemeketa Park
- Coyote, also known as Burnett c. 1860–1882
- East San Jose
- Madrone, now part of Morgan Hill
- Redwood Estates
- San Antonio, also known as Deforest c. 1892–1924
- Willow Glen
- Almaden Township: Present-day Almaden Valley, Cambrian Park and portions of Campbell and Los Gatos.
- Alviso Township: Present-day Alviso.
- Burnett Township: Present-day Morgan Hill.
- Fremont Township: Present-day Palo Alto, Sunnyvale, Mountain View, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and part of Cupertino.
- Gilroy Township: Present-day Gilroy and San Martin.
- Milpitas Township: Present-day Milpitas.
- Redwood Township: Present-day Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, Saratoga, Redwood Estates and portions of Cupertino and Campbell.
- San Jose Township: Most of present-day San Jose.
- Santa Clara Township: Present-day Santa Clara and portions of San Jose, Cupertino and Campbell.
- Santa Clara Valley
- List of attractions in Silicon Valley
- Committee for Green Foothills
- Old Almaden Winery
- Santa Clara County expressway system
- List of school districts in Santa Clara County, California
- National Register of Historic Places listings in Santa Clara County, California
- Only larceny-theft cases involving property over $400 in value are reported as property crimes.
- Other = Some other race + Two or more races
- Native American = Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander + American Indian or Alaska Native
- Percentage of registered voters with respect to total population. Percentages of party members with respect to registered voters follow.
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- , January 17, 2013San Jose Mercury News"Santa Clara County economy ranked best performing",
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- Santa Clara County governmental committee agendas
- Santa Clara County Planning Office
- Santa Clara Valley Water District - Drinking Water
- List of special districts in Santa Clara County (LAFCo)
- Santa Clara County Library
- Travel ItineraryDiscover Our Shared HeritageSanta Clara County: California's Historic Silicon Valley, a National Park Service
- Silicon Valley Land Conservancy
|San Mateo County||Alameda County|
|Santa Cruz County||San Benito County and Santa Cruz County||Merced County|