This article is about the city in Silicon Valley. For other uses, see San José
officially San José
San Jose is notable as a center of innovation
, for its affluence
, Mediterranean climate
, and extremely high cost of living
Its location within the booming high tech
industry as a cultural, political, and economic center has earned the city the nickname "Capital of Silicon Valley
". San Jose is one of the wealthiest major cities in the United States and the world, and has the third-highest GDP per capita in the world (after Zürich, Switzerland
and Oslo, Norway
), according to the Brookings Institution
The San Jose Metropolitan Area has the most millionaires and the most billionaires in the United States per capita.
With a median home price of $1,085,000,
San Jose has the most expensive housing market in the country and the fifth most expensive housing market in the world, according to the 2017 Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey.
Major global tech companies including Cisco Systems
, Adobe Inc.
, Hewlett Packard Enterprise
, and Zoom
maintain their headquarters in San Jose, in the center of Silicon Valley. The CSA San Jose shares with San Francisco
was the country's third-largest urban economy as of 2018, with a GDP of $1.03 trillion.
Of the 500+ primary statistical areas
in the U.S., this CSA had among the highest GDP per capita in 2018, at $106,757.
Before the arrival of the Spanish
, the area around San Jose was inhabited by the Tamien nation
of the Ohlone peoples of California
. San Jose was founded on November 29, 1777, as the Pueblo de San José de Guadalupe
, the first city founded in the Californias
It then became a part of Mexico
in 1821 after the Mexican War of Independence
. Following the American Conquest of California
during the Mexican–American War
, the territory was ceded
to the United States in 1848. After California achieved statehood two years later, San Jose became the state's first capital.
Following World War II, San Jose experienced an economic boom, with a rapid population growth and aggressive annexation of nearby cities and communities carried out in the 1950s and 1960s. The rapid growth of the high-technology and electronics industries further accelerated the transition from an agricultural center to an urbanized metropolitan area. Results of the 1990 U.S. Census
indicated that San Jose had officially surpassed San Francisco
as the most populous city in Northern California.
By the 1990s, San Jose and the rest of Silicon Valley had become the global center for the high tech and internet industries, making it California's fastest-growing economy.
A 1781 map of the Pueblo de San José de Guadalupe
In 1776, the Californias were included as part of the Captaincy General of the Provincias Internas
, a large administrative division created by José de Gálvez
, Spanish Minister of the Indies
, in order to provide greater autonomy for the Spanish Empire
's lightly populated and largely ungoverned borderlands. That year, King Carlos III of Spain
approved an expedition by Juan Bautista de Anza
to survey the San Francisco Bay Area
, in order to choose the sites for two future settlements and their accompanying mission
. First he chose the site for a military settlement in San Francisco, for the Royal Presidio of San Francisco
, and Mission San Francisco de Asís
. On his way back to Mexico from San Francisco, de Anza chose the sites in Santa Clara Valley
for a civilian settlement, San Jose, on the eastern bank of the Guadalupe River
, and a mission on its western bank, Mission Santa Clara de Asís
In 1824, in order to promote settlement and economic activity within sparsely populated California, the Mexican government began an initiative, for Mexican and foreign citizens alike, to settle unoccupied lands in California. Between 1833 and 1845, thirty-eight rancho land grants
were issued in the Santa Clara Valley
, 15 of which were located within modern-day San Jose's borders. Numerous prominent historical figures were among those granted rancho lands in the Santa Valley, including James A. Forbes
, founder of Los Gatos, California
(granted Rancho Potrero de Santa Clara
), Antonio Suñol
of San Jose (granted Rancho Los Coches
), and José María Alviso
of San Jose (granted Rancho Milpitas
In 1835, San Jose's population of approximately 700 people included 40 foreigners, primarily Americans
. By 1845, the population of the pueblo had increased to 900, primarily due to American immigration. Foreign settlement in San Jose and California was rapidly changing Californian society, bringing expanding economic opportunities and foreign culture.
By 1846, native Californios
had long expressed their concern for the overrunning of California society by its growing and wealthy Anglo-American community.
During the 1846 Bear Flag Revolt
revolt, Captain Thomas Fallon
led nineteen volunteers from Santa Cruz to the pueblo of San Jose, which his forces easily captured. The raising of the flag of the California Republic
ended Mexican rule in Alta California on July 14, 1846.
Notre Dame High School
's original campus in 1876. It was the first school accredited in California to give degrees to women.
In the period 1900 through 1910, San Jose served as a center for pioneering invention, innovation, and impact in both lighter-than-air and heavier-than-air flight. These activities were led principally by John Montgomery and his peers. The City of San Jose has established Montgomery Park, a Monument at San Felipe and Yerba Buena Roads, and John J. Montgomery Elementary School in his honor. During this period, San Jose also became a center of innovation for the mechanization/industrialization of agricultural and food processing equipment.
Though not affected as severely as San Francisco, San Jose also suffered significant damage from the 1906 San Francisco earthquake
. Over 100 people died at the Agnews Asylum
(later Agnews State Hospital) after its walls and roof collapsed,
and San Jose High School's three-story stone-and-brick building was also destroyed. The period during World War II was a tumultuous time. Japanese Americans
primarily from Japantown
were sent to internment camps
, including the future mayor Norman Mineta
. Following the Los Angeles zoot suit riots
, anti-Mexican violence took place during the summer of 1943. In 1940, the Census Bureau reported San Jose's population as 98% white.
established its West Coast headquarters in San Jose in 1943 and opened a downtown research and development facility in 1952. Both would prove to be harbingers for the economy of San Jose, as Reynold Johnson
and his team would later invent RAMAC
, as well as the hard disk drive
, and the technological side of San Jose's economy grew.
The 1928 San Jose annual Fiesta de las Rosas parade in Downtown
On April 3, 1979, the San Jose City Council
adopted San José
, with the diacritical mark
on the "e", as the spelling of the city name on the city seal, official stationery, office titles and department names.
Also, by city council convention, this spelling of San José
is used when the name is spelled in mixed upper- and lowercase letters, but not when the name is spelled only in uppercase letters, as on the city logo. The accent reflects the Spanish version of the name, and the dropping of accents in all-capital writing was typical in Spanish. While San José is commonly spelled both with and without the acute accent over the "e", the city's official guidelines indicate that it should be spelled with the accent most of the time and sets forth narrow exceptions, such as when the spelling is in URLs, when the name appears in all-capital letters, when the name is used on social media sites where the diacritical mark does not render properly, and where San Jose is part of the proper name of another organization or business, such as San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce
, that has chosen not to use the accent-marked name.
The 1965 city charter, as amended, states the name of the municipality
as City of San José
, with the accent mark.
San Jose's position in Silicon Valley
triggered further economic and population growth. Results from the 1990 U.S. Census
indicated that San Jose surpassed San Francisco as the most populous city in the Bay Area for the first time.
This growth led to the highest housing-cost increase in the nation, 936% between 1976 and 2001.
Efforts to increase density continued into the 1990s when an update of the 1974 urban plan kept the urban growth boundaries intact and voters rejected a ballot measure to ease development restrictions in the foothills. Sixty percent of the housing built in San Jose since 1980 and over three-quarters of the housing built since 2000 have been multifamily structures, reflecting a political propensity toward Smart Growth
San Jose lies between the San Andreas Fault
, the source of the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake
, and the Calaveras Fault
. San Jose is shaken by moderate earthquakes on average one or two times a year. These quakes originate just east of the city on the creeping section of the Calaveras Fault, which is a major source of earthquake activity in Northern California. On April 14, 1984, at 1:15 pm local time, a 6.2 magnitude earthquake struck the Calaveras Fault near San Jose's Mount Hamilton.
The most serious earthquake, in 1906, damaged many buildings in San Jose as described earlier. Earlier significant quakes rocked the city in 1839, 1851, 1858, 1864, 1865, 1868
, and 1891. The Daly City
Earthquake of 1957 caused some damage. The Loma Prieta earthquake
of 1989 also did some damage to parts of the city. The other faults near San Jose are the Monte Vista Fault
and the Hayward Fault Zone
San Jose's expansion was made by the design of "Dutch" Hamann
, the City Manager from 1950 to 1969. During his administration, with his staff referred to as "Dutch's Panzer Division", the city annexed property 1,389 times,
growing the city from 17 to 149 square miles (44 to 386 km2
absorbing the communities named above, changing their status to "neighborhoods."
They say San José is going to become another Los Angeles. Believe me, I'm going to do everything in my power to make that come true.
— "Dutch" Hamann, 1965
Sales taxes were a chief source of revenue. Hamann would determine where major shopping areas would be, and then annex narrow bands of land along major roadways leading to those locations, pushing tentacles across the Santa Clara Valley and, in turn, walling off the expansion of adjacent communities.
During his reign, it was said the City Council would vote according to Hamann's nod. In 1963, the State of California imposed Local Agency Formation Commissions
statewide, but largely to try to maintain order with San Jose's aggressive growth. Eventually the political forces against growth grew as local neighborhoods bonded together to elect their own candidates, ending Hamann's influence and leading to his resignation.
While the job was not complete, the trend was set. The city had defined its sphere of influence in all directions, sometimes chaotically leaving unincorporated pockets to be swallowed up by the behemoth, sometimes even at the objection of the residents.
The lowest point in San Jose is 13 feet (4.0 m) below sea level at the San Francisco Bay in Alviso;
the highest is 2,125 feet (648 m).
Because of the proximity to Lick Observatory
atop Mount Hamilton, San Jose has taken several steps to reduce light pollution
, including replacing all street lamps and outdoor lighting in private developments with low pressure sodium lamps
To recognize the city's efforts, the asteroid 6216 San Jose
was named after the city.
San Jose lies close to the Pacific Ocean and a small portion of its northern border touches San Francisco Bay
. Santa Clara Valley
is the population center of the Bay Area and, like the hub and spokes of a wheel, surrounding communities emanate outwards from the valley. This growth, in part, has shaped the greater Bay Area as it is today in terms of geographic population distribution
and the trend of suburbanization away from the valley.
There are four distinct valleys in the city of San Jose: Almaden Valley, situated on the southwest fringe of the city; Evergreen Valley to the southeast, which is hilly all throughout its interior; Santa Clara Valley, which includes the flat, main urban expanse of the South Bay; and the rural Coyote Valley
, to the city's extreme southern fringe.
San Jose, like most of the Bay Area, has a warm-summer Mediterranean climate
with warm to hot, dry summers and mild to cool, wet winters. San Jose has an average of 301 days of sunshine and an annual mean temperature of 60.5 °F (15.8 °C). It lies inland, surrounded on three sides by mountains, and does not front the Pacific Ocean like San Francisco. As a result, the city is somewhat more sheltered from rain, giving it a semi-arid
feel with a mean annual rainfall of 15.82 inches or 401.8 millimetres, compared to some other parts of the Bay Area, which can receive about three times that amount.
Like most of the Bay Area, San Jose is made up of dozens of microclimates
. Because of a more prominent rain shadow from the Santa Cruz Mountains, Downtown San Jose experiences the lightest rainfall in the city, while South San Jose, only 10 mi (16 km) distant, experiences more rainfall, and somewhat more extreme temperatures. San Jose barely avoids a hot steppe (BSh) climate.
The monthly daily average temperature ranges from around 50 °F (10 °C) in December and January to around 70 °F (21.1 °C) in July and August.
The highest temperature ever recorded in San Jose was 109 °F (42.8 °C) on June 14, 2000; the lowest was 19 °F (−7.2 °C) on December 22–23, 1990. On average, there are 2.7 mornings annually where the temperature drops to, or below, the freezing mark; and sixteen afternoons where the high reaches or exceeds 90 °F or 32.2 °C. Diurnal temperature variation
is far wider than along the coast or in San Francisco but still a shadow of what is seen in the Central Valley
With the light rainfall, San Jose and its suburbs experience about 300 fully or partly sunny days a year. Rain occurs primarily in the months from November through April. During the winter and spring, hillsides and fields turn green with grasses and vegetation, although deciduous
trees are few. With the coming of the annual hot summer dry period, the vegetation dies and dries, giving the hills a golden cover which, unfortunately, also provides fuel for grass fires
Measurable precipitation falls in downtown San Jose on an average of 59 days a year.
"Rain year" precipitation has ranged from 4.83 inches (122.7 mm) between July 1876 and June 1877 to 30.30 inches (769.6 mm) between July 1889 and June 1890, although at the current site since 1893 the range is from 5.77 inches (146.6 mm) in "rain year" 1975–76 to 30.25 inches (768.3 mm) in "rain year" 1982–83. The most precipitation in one month was 12.38 inches (314.5 mm) in January 1911. The maximum 24-hour rainfall was 3.60 inches (91.4 mm) on January 30, 1968. Although summer is normally quite dry in San Jose, occasional summer monsoon storms from Arizona
can bring unusual thunderstorms
and high humidity
to the area. In fact, a very heavy thunderstorm on August 21, 1968, brought 1.92 inches (48.8 mm) of rain, causing some flooding.
The snow level drops as low as 4,000 ft (1,220 m) above sea level, or lower, occasionally coating nearby Mount Hamilton
and, less frequently, the Santa Cruz Mountains
, with snow that normally lasts a few days. Snow will snarl traffic traveling on State Route 17
towards Santa Cruz
. Snow rarely falls in San Jose; the most recent snow to remain on the ground was on February 5, 1976, when many residents around the city saw as much as 3 inches (0.076 m) on car and roof tops. The official observation station measured only 0.5 inches (0.013 m) of snow.
Neighborhoods and districts
Besides those mentioned above, some well-known communities within San Jose include Japantown
, Rose Garden
, Midtown San Jose
, Willow Glen
, Naglee Park
, East Foothills
, Alum Rock
, Communications Hill
, Little Portugal
, Blossom Valley
, Almaden Valley
, Little Saigon
, Silver Creek Valley
, Evergreen Valley
, Santa Teresa
, Seven Trees
, Coyote Valley
, and Berryessa
. A distinct ethnic enclave in San Jose is the Washington-Guadalupe
neighborhood, immediately south of the SoFA District
; this neighborhood is home to a community of Hispanics
, centered on Willow Street.
- Almaden Quicksilver County Park, 4,147 acres (16.78 km2) of former mercury mines in South San Jose (operated and maintained by the Santa Clara County Parks and Recreation Department).
- Alum Rock Park, 718 acres (2.91 km2) in East San Jose, the oldest municipal park in California and one of the largest municipal parks in the United States.
- Children's Discovery Museum hosts an outdoor park-like setting, featuring the world's largest permanent Monopoly game, per the Guinness Book of World Records. Caretakers for this attraction include the 501(c)3 non-profit group Monopoly in the Park.
- Circle of Palms Plaza, a ring of palm trees surrounding a California state seal and historical landmark at the site of the first state capitol
- Emma Prusch Farm Park, 43.5 acres (17.6 hectares) in East San Jose. Donated by Emma Prusch to demonstrate the valley's agricultural past, it includes a 4-H barn (the largest in San Jose), community gardens, a rare-fruit orchard, demonstration gardens, picnic areas, and expanses of lawn.
- Field Sports Park, Santa Clara County's only publicly owned firing range, located in south San Jose
- Iris Chang Park, located in North San Jose is dedicated to the memory of Iris Shun-Ru Chang, author of the Rape of Nanking and a San Jose resident.
- Kelley Park, including diverse facilities such as Happy Hollow Park & Zoo (a child-centric amusement park), the Japanese Friendship Garden (Kelley Park), History Park at Kelley Park, and the Portuguese Historical Museum within the history park
- Martial Cottle Park, a former agricultural farm, in South San Jose. Operated by Santa Clara County Parks and Recreation Department
- Oak Hill Memorial Park, California's oldest secular cemetery
- Overfelt Gardens, including the Chinese Cultural Garden
- Plaza de César Chávez, a small park in Downtown, hosts outdoor concerts and the Christmas in the Park display
- Raging Waters, water park with water slides and other water attractions. This sits within Lake Cunningham Park
- Rosicrucian Park, nearly an entire city block in the Rose Garden neighborhood; the Park offers a setting of Egyptian and Moorish architecture set among lawns, rose gardens, statuary, and fountains, and includes the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum, Planetarium, Research Library, Peace Garden and Visitors Center
- San Jose Municipal Rose Garden, 51⁄2 acres (22,000 m2) park in the Rose Garden neighborhood, featuring over 4,000 rose bushes
A 2011 study by Walk Score
ranked San Jose the nineteenth most walkable of fifty largest cities in the United States.
San Jose's trail network of 60 miles (100 km) of recreational and active transportation trails throughout the city.
The major trails in the network include:
This large urban trail network, recognized by Prevention Magazine as the nation's largest, is linked to trails in surrounding jurisdictions and many rural trails in surrounding open space and foothills. Several trail systems within the network are designated as part of the National Recreation Trail, as well as regional trails such as the San Francisco Bay Trail and Bay Area Ridge Trail.
Early written documents record the local presence of migrating salmon in the Rio Guadalupe dating as far back as the 18th century.
) and King salmon
are extant in the Guadalupe River
, making San Jose the southernmost major U. S. city with known salmon spawning runs, the other cities being Anchorage, Alaska
; Seattle, Washington
; Portland, Oregon
and Sacramento, California
Runs of up to 1,000 Chinook or King Salmon
) swam up the Guadalupe River each fall in the 1990s, but have all but vanished in the current decade apparently blocked from access to breeding grounds by impassable culverts, weirs and wide, exposed and flat concrete paved channels installed by the Santa Clara Valley Water District
In 2011 a small number of Chinook salmon were filmed spawning under the Julian Street bridge.
Conservationist Roger Castillo, who discovered the remains of a mammoth on the banks of the Guadalupe River in 2005, found that a herd of tule elk
) had recolonized the hills of south San Jose east of Highway 101 in early 2019.
In 2014, the U.S. Census Bureau released its new population estimates. With a total population of 1,015,785,
San Jose became the 11th U.S. city to hit the 1 million mark, even though it is currently the 10th most populous city.
Map of racial distribution in San Jose, 2010 U.S. Census. Each dot represents 25 people: White, Black, Asian, Hispanic or Other (yellow).
Thematic map showing median household income across central Santa Clara County as of 2014; the darker the color, the more affluent the area.
The 2010 United States Census
reported that San Jose had a population of 945,942. The population density was 5,256.2 people per square mile (2,029.4/km2
). The racial makeup of San Jose was 404,437 (42.8%) White
, 303,138 (32.0%) Asian
, 6.7% Chinese
, 5.6% Filipino
, 4.6% Indian
, 1.2% Korean
, 1.2% Japanese
, 0.3% Cambodian
, 0.2% Thai
, 0.2% Pakistani
, 0.2% Laotian
), 30,242 (3.2%) African American
, 8,297 (0.9%) Native American
, 4,017 (0.4%) Pacific Islander
, 148,749 (15.7%) from other races
, and 47,062 (5.0%) from two or more races. There were 313,636 residents of Hispanic
background (33.2%). 28.2% of the city's population was of Mexican
descent; the next largest Hispanic groups were those of Salvadoran
(0.7%) and Puerto Rican
(0.5%) heritage. Non-Hispanic Whites
were 28.7% of the population in 2010,
down from 75.7% in 1970.
The census reported that 932,620 people (98.6% of the population) lived in households, 9,542 (1.0%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 3,780 (0.4%) were institutionalized. There were 301,366 households, out of which 122,958 (40.8%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 162,819 (54.0%) were opposite-sex married couples
living together, 37,988 (12.6%) had a female householder with no husband present, 18,702 (6.2%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 16,900 (5.6%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships
, and 2,458 (0.8%) same-sex married couples or partnerships
. 59,385 households (19.7%) were made up of individuals, and 18,305 (6.1%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.09. There were 219,509 families
(72.8% of all households); the average family size was 3.54.
The age distribution of the city was as follows: 234,678 people (24.8%) were under the age of 18, 89,457 people (9.5%) aged 18 to 24, 294,399 people (31.1%) aged 25 to 44, 232,166 people (24.5%) aged 45 to 64, and 95,242 people (10.1%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35.2 years. For every 100 females, there were 101.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 99.8 males.
There were 314,038 housing units at an average density of 1,745.0 per square mile (673.7/km2
), of which 176,216 (58.5%) were owner-occupied, and 125,150 (41.5%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 1.6%; the rental vacancy rate
was 4.3%. 553,436 people (58.5% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 379,184 people (40.1%) lived in rental housing units.
As of the census
of 2000, there were 894,943 people, 276,598 households, and 203,576 families residing in the city.
The population density was 5,117.9 people per square mile (1,976.1/km2). There were 281,841 housing units at an average density of 1,611.8 per square mile (622.3/km2). Of the 276,598 households, 38.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.0% were married couples living together, 11.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.4% were non-families. 18.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 4.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.20 and the average family size was 3.62.
In the city, the age distribution of the population shows 26.4% under the age of 18, 9.9% from 18 to 24, 35.4% from 25 to 44, 20.0% from 45 to 64, and 8.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females, there were 103.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 102.5 males.
According to a 2007 estimate, the median income for a household in the city was the highest in the U.S. for any city with more than a quarter-million residents with $76,963 annually. The median income for a family was $86,822.
Males had a median income of $49,347 versus $36,936 for females. The per capita income for the city was $26,697. About 6.0% of families and 8.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.3% of those under age 18 and 7.4% of those age 65 or over.
The cost of living
in San Jose and the surrounding areas is among the highest in California and the nation, according to 2004 data.
Housing costs are the primary reason for the high cost of living, although the costs in all areas tracked by the ACCRA Cost of Living Index
are above the national average. Households in the city limits have the highest disposable income
of any city in the U.S. with over 500,000 residents.
San Jose lists many companies with 1,000 employees or more, including the headquarters of Adobe
, Brocade Communications Systems
, Cadence Design Systems
, Cisco Systems
, Lee's Sandwiches
, Roku, Inc.
, Rosendin Electric
, Western Digital
, as well as major facilities for Becton Dickinson
, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise
, Kaiser Permanente
, KLA Tencor
, Lockheed Martin
, Nippon Sheet Glass
, and AF Media Group. The North American headquarters of Samsung
Semiconductor are located in San Jose.
Approximately 2000 employees will work at the new Samsung campus which opened in 2015.
Other large companies based in San Jose include Align Technology
, Bloom Energy
, Cypress Semiconductor
, Extreme Networks
, Integrated Device Technology
, Maxim Integrated
, Novellus Systems
, Sharks Sports and Entertainment
, Tessera Technologies
, Viavi Solutions
, Zoom Video Communications
, and Zscaler
. Sizable government employers include the city government, Santa Clara County
, and San Jose State University
's United States division has its offices in San Jose.
Prior to its closing, Netcom
had its headquarters in San Jose.
On July 31, 2015, Cupertino-based Apple Inc.
purchased a 40-acre site in San Jose.
The site, which is bare land, will be the site of an office and research campus where it is estimated that up to 16,000 employees will be located. Apple paid $138.2 million for the site.
The seller, Connecticut-based Five Mile Capital Partners, paid $40 million for the site in 2010.
Real estate experts expect that other tech companies currently located in Silicon Valley will also follow in Apple's path by purchasing land or property in San Jose.
The large concentration of high-technology engineering, computer, and microprocessor companies around San Jose has led the area to be known as Silicon Valley
. Area schools such as the University of California, Berkeley
, University of California, Santa Cruz
, San Jose State University
, San Francisco State University
, California State University, East Bay
, Santa Clara University
, and Stanford University
pump thousands of engineering and computer science graduates into the local economy every year.
San Jose residents produce more U.S. patents than any other city.
On October 15, 2015, the United States Patent and Trademark Office
opened a satellite office in San Jose to serve Silicon Valley and the Western United States.
Thirty-five percent of all venture capital
funds in the U.S. are invested in San Jose and Silicon Valley companies.
By April 2018, Google
was in the process of planning the "biggest tech campus in Silicon Valley" in San Jose.
High economic growth during the tech bubble
caused employment, housing prices, and traffic congestion to peak in the late 1990s. As the economy slowed in the early 2000s, employment and traffic congestion was somewhat diminished.
In the mid-2000s, traffic along major highways again began to worsen as the economy improved. San Jose had 405,000 jobs within its city limits in 2006, and an unemployment rate of 4.6%. San Jose has the highest median income of any U.S. city with over 280,000 people.
On March 14, 2013, San Jose implemented a public wireless connection in the downtown area. Wireless access points were placed on outdoor light posts throughout the city.
San Jose is served by Greater Bay Area media. Print media outlets in San Jose include the Mercury News
, the weekly Metro Silicon Valley
, El Observador
and the Silicon Valley / San Jose Business Journal
. The Bay Area's NBC O&O
11, is based in San Jose. In total, broadcasters in the Bay Area include 34 television stations, 25 AM radio stations, and 55 FM radio stations.
In April 1909, Charles David Herrold
, an electronics instructor in San Jose, constructed a radio station to broadcast the human voice. The station, "San Jose Calling" (call letters FN, later FQW), was the world's first radio station with scheduled programming targeted at a general audience. The station became the first to broadcast music in 1910. Herrold's wife Sybil became the first female "disk jockey" in 1912. The station changed hands a number of times before eventually becoming today's KCBS
in San Francisco.
Therefore, KCBS technically is the oldest radio station in the United States, and celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2009 with much fanfare.
As of June 30, 2019, the top employers in the city were:
The Scottish Rite
Temple of San Jose, on St. James Park, built 1924.
Because the downtown area is in the flight path to nearby Mineta San Jose International Airport
(also evidenced in the above panoramic), there is a height limit for buildings in the downtown area, which is underneath the final approach corridor to the airport. The height limit is dictated by local ordinances, driven by the distance from the runway and a slope defined by Federal Aviation Administration regulations. Core downtown buildings are limited to approximately 300 feet (91 m) but can get taller farther from the airport.
There has been broad criticism over the past few decades of the city's architecture.
Citizens have complained that San Jose is lacking in aesthetically pleasing architectural styles. Blame for this lack of architectural "beauty" can be assigned to the re-development of the downtown area from the 1950s onward, in which whole blocks of historic commercial and residential structures were demolished.
Exceptions to this include the Downtown Historic District
, the Hotel De Anza
, and the Hotel Sainte Claire
, both of which are listed in the National Register of Historic Places
for their architectural and historical significance.
Municipal building projects have experimented more with architectural styles than have most private enterprises.
The Children's Discovery Museum, Tech Museum of Innovation, and the San Jose Repertory Theater building have experimented with bold colors and unusual exteriors. The new City Hall
, designed by Richard Meier & Partners, opened in 2005 and is a notable addition to the growing collection of municipal building projects.
Celebrations for the 240th anniversary of the founding of San Jose at the Peralta Adobe
Public art is an evolving attraction in the city. The city was one of the first to adopt a public art ordinance at 2% of capital improvement building project budgets,
and as a result of this commitment, a considerable number of public art projects exist in the downtown area, and a growing collection in neighborhoods including libraries, parks, and fire stations. In particular, the Mineta Airport expansion incorporated art and technology into its development. Early public art included a statue of Quetzalcoatl
(the plumed serpent) downtown, controversial in its planning because some called it pagan, and controversial in its implementation because many felt that the final statue by Robert Graham
did not look like a winged serpent, and was more noted for its expense than its aesthetics. Locals joked that the statue resembles a pile of feces
A statue of Thomas Fallon
also met strong resistance from those who called him largely responsible for the decimation of early native populations. Chicano
/Latino activists protested because he had captured San Jose by military force in the Mexican–American War
(1846). They also protested the perceived "repression" of historic documents detailing Fallon's orders expelling many of the city's Californio (early Spanish/Mexican/Mestizo) residents. In October 1991 protests at Columbus Day
and Dia de la Raza
celebrations stalled than plan, and the statue was stored in a warehouse in Oakland
for more than a decade. The statue returned in 2002 to a less conspicuous location: Pellier Park, a small triangular patch at the merge of West Julian and West St. James streets.
In 2001, the city-sponsored SharkByte, an exhibit of decorated sharks
based on the mascot of the hockey team, the San Jose Sharks, and modeled after Chicago's display of decorated cows.
Large models of sharks decorated in clever, colorful, or creative ways by local artists were displayed for months at dozens of locations around the city. After the exhibition, the sharks were auctioned off for charity.
In 2006, Adobe Systems
commissioned an art installation titled San Jose Semaphore
by Ben Rubin,
at the top of its headquarters building. Semaphore is composed of four LED discs which "rotate" to transmit a message. The content remained a mystery until it was deciphered in August 2007.
The visual art installation is supplemented with an audio track, transmitted from the building on a low-power AM station. The audio track provides clues to decode the message being transmitted.
Although intended to be permanent monuments to the city's heritage as a mission town founded in 1777, a number of murals have been painted over, notably Mural de la Raza
, on the side of a Story Rd shoe store, and Mexicatlan
at the corner of Sunset and Alum Rock. In addition, two of three murals by Mexican artist Gustavo Bernal Navarro have disappeared.
The third mural, La Medicina y la Comunidad
at the Gardner clinic on East Virginia Street, depicts both modern and traditional healers.
Surviving Chicano history murals include Nuestra Senora de Guadelupe
at Our Lady of Guadalupe church and the 1970s or 1980s Virgen de Guadelupe Huelga Bird
at Cal Foods east of downtown. The Guadalajara restaurant has the 1986 Guadalajara Market No. 2
by Edward Earl Tarver III and a 2013 work by Jesus Rodriguez and Empire 7, La Gran Culture Resonance
An unknown artist painted the Huelga Bird and Aztec City
mural in the 1970s or 1980s on the Clyde L. Fisher Middle School. In 1995 Antonio Nava Torres painted The Aztec Calendar Handball Court
at Biebrach Park, and the unknown artist of Chaco's Pachuco
painted it on the former Chaco's Restaurant in the 1990s. The Jerry Hernandez
mural by Frank Torres at Pop's Mini Mart on King Road dates to 2009, and another recent mural by Carlos Rodriguez on the Sidhu Market at Locust and West Virginia depicts a stern-looking warrior.
The city is home to many performing arts companies, including Opera San Jose
, Symphony Silicon Valley
, Ballet San Jose Silicon Valley
, The San Jose Symphonic Choir, Children's Musical Theater of San Jose,
the San Jose Youth Symphony
, the San Jose Repertory Theatre
, City Lights Theatre Company, The Tabard Theatre Company, San Jose Stage Company, and the now-defunct American Musical Theatre of San Jose
which was replaced by Broadway San Jose
in partnership with Team San Jose
. San Jose is also home to the San Jose Museum of Art
one of the nation's premiere Modern Art museums.
The SAP Center at San Jose
is one of the most active venues for events in the world. According to Billboard Magazine
and Pollstar, the arena sold the most tickets to non-sporting events of any venue in the United States, and third in the world after the Manchester Evening News Arena
, England, and the Bell Centre
, Canada, for the period from January 1 – September 30, 2004.
Including sporting events, the SAP Center averages 184 events a year, or roughly one event for every two days, which is significantly higher than the average for NHL arenas.
In 2004, the San Jose Sports Authority hosted the U.S. Olympic team
trials for judo, taekwondo, trampolining and rhythmic gymnastics at the San Jose State Event Center
. In 2008, around 90 percent of the members of the United States Olympic team were processed at San Jose State University prior to traveling to the 2008 Summer Olympics
The 2009 Junior Olympics for trampoline were also held here.
Notable landmarks in San Jose include Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose
, History Park at Kelley Park
, Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph
, Plaza de César Chávez
, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library
, Mexican Heritage Plaza
, Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum
, Lick Observatory
, Hayes Mansion
, SAP Center at San Jose
, Hotel De Anza
, San Jose Improv
, Sikh Gurdwara of San Jose
, Peralta Adobe
, Excite Ballpark
, Spartan Stadium
, Japantown San Jose
, Winchester Mystery House
, Raging Waters
, Circle of Palms Plaza
, San Jose City Hall
, San Jose Flea Market
, Oak Hill Memorial Park
, San Jose electric light tower
, and The Tech Museum of Innovation
Museums and institutions
- The Tech Museum of Innovation
- Ira F. Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies, which houses the largest collection of Ludwig van Beethoven in the world outside of Europe
- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library, the largest U.S. public library west of the Mississippi River
- San Jose Museum of Art, contemporary art museum with a collection of West Coast artists
- Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose
- History Park at Kelley Park
- Mexican Heritage Plaza, a Chicano museum and cultural center
- Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana, is an inclusive contemporary arts museum grounded in the Chicano/Latino experience
- Portuguese Historical Museum
- Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum, the largest collection of Egyptian artifacts on display in the western United States, located at Rosicrucian Park
- San Jose East Carnegie Branch Library is notable as it is the last Carnegie library still operating in San Jose, and is on the National Register of Historic Places.
- San Jose Steam Railroad Museum, proposed, artifacts and rolling stock are kept at the fairgrounds and Kelley Park
- History San José
- Japanese American Museum of San Jose, a museum of Japanese-American history
- Old Bank of America Building a historic landmark
- San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles, the first museum in America dedicated solely to quilts and textiles as an art form
- Viet Museum, a museum of Vietnamese-American history
Law and government
The San Jose City Council
is made up of ten council members elected by district, and a mayor elected by the entire city. During city council meetings, the mayor presides, and all eleven members can vote on any issue. The mayor has no veto powers. Council members and the mayor are elected to four-year terms; the even-numbered district council members beginning in 1994; the mayor and the odd-numbered district council members beginning in 1996.
Each council member represents approximately 100,000 constituents.
Council members and the mayor are limited to two successive terms in office, although a council member that has reached the term limit can be elected mayor, and vice versa. The council elects a vice-mayor from the members of the council at the second meeting of the year following a council election. This council member acts as mayor during the temporary absence of the mayor, but does not succeed to the mayor's office upon a vacancy.
The City Manager is the chief administrative officer of the city, and must present an annual budget
for approval by the city council. When the office is vacant, the Mayor proposes a candidate for City Manager, subject to council approval. The council appoints the Manager for an indefinite term, and may at any time remove the manager, or the electorate may remove the manager through a recall election
. Other city officers directly appointed by the council include the City Attorney, City Auditor, City Clerk, and Independent Police Auditor.
Like all cities and counties in the state, San Jose has representation in the state legislature
Like all California cities except San Francisco, both the levels and the boundaries of what the city government controls are determined by the Local Agency Formation Commission
The goal of a LAFCO is to try to avoid uncontrolled urban sprawl
. The Santa Clara County LAFCO has set boundaries of San Jose's "Sphere of Influence" (indicated by the blue line in the map near the top of the page) as a superset of the actual city limits (the yellow area in the map), plus parts of the surrounding unincorporated county land, where San Jose can, for example, prevent development of fringe areas to concentrate city growth closer to the city's core. The LAFCO also defines a subset of the Sphere as an 'Urban Service Area' (indicated by the red line in the map), effectively limiting development to areas where urban infrastructure (sewers, electrical service, etc.) already exists.
San Jose is the county seat
of Santa Clara County
Accordingly, many county government facilities are located in the city, including the office of the County Executive, the Board of Supervisors, the District Attorney's Office, eight courthouses of the Superior Court, the Sheriff's Office, and the County Clerk.
State and federal
The San Jose Police Department
has consistently innovated in crime prevention, through programs like "CrimeReports.com", which made San Jose the first American city to make all 911 calls available online. Crime in San Jose had been lower than in other large American cities until 2013, when crime rates in San Jose climbed above California and U.S. averages.
Like most large cities, crime levels had fallen significantly after rising in the 1980s.
Today it is no longer ranked as one of the safest cities in the country with a population over 1,000,000 people. The designation is based on crime statistics reported to the Federal Bureau of Investigation
in six categories: murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault
, burglary, and auto theft
Recently, the city had the second lowest violent crime rate of any city with 500,000 or more residents, only behind Honolulu
After peaking with 47 homicides in 2016, the number of homicides in recent years ranged from 28 to 34.
2021 mass shooting
, 20 mi (30 km) outside of San Jose, is one of the top universities in the world.
San Jose is home to several colleges and universities
. The largest is San Jose State University
, which was founded by the California legislature in 1862 as the California State Normal School, and is the founding campus of the California State University
(CSU) system. Located in downtown San Jose since 1870, the university enrolls approximately 30,000 students in over 130 different bachelor's and master's degree programs. The school enjoys a good academic reputation, especially in the fields of engineering, business, art and design, and journalism, and consistently ranks among the top public universities in the western region of the United States.
San Jose State is one of only three Bay Area schools that fields a Football Bowl Subdivision
(FBS) Division I
college football team; Stanford University
and U.C. Berkeley
are the other two.
California University of Management and Technology
(CALMAT) offers many degree programs, including MBA, Computer Science, Information Technology. Most classes are offered both online and in the downtown campus. Many of the students are working professionals in the Silicon Valley.
In the San Jose metropolitan area, Stanford University
is in Stanford, California
, Santa Clara University
is in Santa Clara, California
, and U.C. Santa Cruz
is in Santa Cruz, California
. Within the San Francisco Bay Area
, other universities include U.C. Berkeley
, U.C. San Francisco
, U.C. Hastings College of Law
, and University of San Francisco
WestMed College is headquartered in San Jose and offers paramedic training, emergency medical technician training, and licensed vocational nursing programs.
has one of its four campuses in San Jose, which opened on the campus of Calvary Church of Los Gatos in 1985. The campus relocated in 2010 to Santa Clara. Western is an evangelical, Christian graduate school that provides theological training for students who hope to serve in a variety of ministry roles including pastors, marriage and family therapists, educators, missionaries and lay leadership. The San Jose campus offers four master's degrees, and a variety of other graduate-level programs.
National Hispanic University
offered associate and bachelor's degrees and teaching credentials to its students, focusing on Hispanic students, until its closing in 2015.
Primary and secondary education
Private schools in San Jose are primarily run by religious groups. The Catholic Diocese of San Jose
has the second largest student population in the Santa Clara County, behind only SJUSD; the diocese and its parishes operate several schools in the city, including five high schools: Archbishop Mitty High School
, Bellarmine College Preparatory
, Notre Dame High School
, Saint Francis High School
, and Presentation High School
Other private high schools include two Baptist
high schools, Liberty Baptist School
and White Road Baptist Academy
, one Non-Denominational Protestant
high school, Valley Christian High School (San Jose, California)
, one University-preparatory school
, Cambrian Academy
, a nonsectarian K-12 Harker School
with four campuses in western San Jose, and a K-12 school of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod
, Apostles Lutheran School.
The San José Public Library
system is unique in that the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library
combines the collections of the city's system with the San Jose State University main library. In 2003, construction of the library, which now holds more than 1.6 million items, was the largest single library construction project west of the Mississippi, with eight floors that result in more than 475,000 square feet (44,100 m2
) of space with a capacity for 2 million volumes.
The city has 23 neighborhood branches including the Biblioteca Latinoamericana
which specializes in Spanish language works.
The East San Jose Carnegie Branch Library
, a Carnegie library
opened in 1908, is the last Carnegie library in Santa Clara County still operating as a public library and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places
. As the result of a bond measure passed in November 2000, a number of brand new or completely reconstructed branches have been completed and opened. The yet-to-be-named brand new Southeast Branch is also planned, bringing the bond library project to its completion.
The San Jose system (along with the University system) were jointly named as "Library of the Year" by the Library Journal in 2004.
Like other American cities built mostly after World War II, San Jose is highly automobile-dependent, with 76 percent of residents driving alone to work and 12 percent carpooling in 2017.
The city set an ambitious goal to shift motorized trips to walking, bicycling, and public transit in 2009 with the adoption of its Envision San Jose 2040 General Plan, but has so far failed to make progress towards these goals. In 2018 the city extended these goals to 2050 with its San Jose Climate Smart plan,
when driving alone to work is expected to drop to just 12 percent and transit is to leap to 35 percent of commute trips and walking and bicycling (combined) also to 35 percent of commute trips.
Long-term plans call for BART
to be expanded to Santa Clara from the Berryessa/North San José station
. Originally, the extension was to be built all at once, but due to the recession, sales tax revenue has dramatically decreased. Because of this, the extension will be built in two phases. Phase 1 extended service to San Jose with the completion of the Milpitas and Berryessa BART stations on June 13, 2020. In addition, San Jose will be a major stop on the future California High-Speed Rail
route between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Diridon Station
(formerly Cahill Depot, 65 Cahill Street) is the meeting point of all regional commuter rail service in the area.
It was built in 1935 by the Southern Pacific Railroad
, and was refurbished in 1994.
The San Jose area has a large freeway system, including three Interstate freeways
and one U.S. Route
. It is, however, the largest city in the country not served by a primary Interstate; most of the Interstate Highway Network was planned
by the early 1950s well before San Jose's rapid growth decades later.
Several regional transportation projects have been undertaken in recent years to manage congestion on San Jose freeways. This includes expanding State Route 87
to add more lanes near the downtown San Jose area.
The interchange for I-280 connecting with I-680 and U.S. 101, a rush-hour spot where the three freeways meet, has been known to have high-density traffic similar to Los Angeles County
interchanges. It was constructed years before its completion. The two bridges, with no on-ramps or off-ramps, stood over U.S. 101 at a height of 110 feet during the 1970s, before opening in 1981. In 2010, the interchange was named the Joe Colla Interchange
Central San Jose has seen a gradual expansion of bike lanes over the past decade, which now comprise a network of car-traffic-separated and buffered bike lanes. San Jose Bike Party
is a volunteer-run monthly social cycling event that attracts up to 1,000 participants during summer months to "build community through bicycling". Unfortunately, fewer than one percent of city residents ride bicycles to work
as their primary mode of transportation, a statistic unchanged in the past ten years. Typically, between 3 and 5 residents are struck and killed by car drivers while bicycling on San Jose streets each year.
San Jose is crossed by several major regional off-street paved trails, most notably the Guadalupe River Trail, Los Gatos Creek Trail, and Coyote Creek Trail. These trails extend from near downtown San Jose for dozens of miles to the north and south, and are connected with each other via bicycle routes of varying quality. The city is planning to construct new trail extensions in the coming years including the Three Creeks Trail and San Tomas Aquino Creek Trail.
San Jose has one of the oldest Sister City programs
in the nation. In 1957, when the city established a relationship with Okayama, Japan, it was only the third Sister City relationship in the nation, which had begun the prior year. The Office of Economic Development coordinates the San Jose Sister City Program which is part of Sister Cities International
. As of 2014, there are eight sister cities
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