Skip to content Sitemap

San Jose

San Jose (Spanish: St. Joseph) is the third-largest city in California, the tenth-largest in the United States, and the county seat of Santa Clara County. San Jose is the largest city within Silicon Valley, which is a major component of the greater Bay Area. It is the largest city in Northern California.

San Jose was founded on November 29, 1777, as El Pueblo de San José de Guadalupe, the first civilian town in the Spanish colony of Nueva California.The city served as a farming community to support Spanish military installations at San Francisco and Monterey. When California gained statehood in 1850, San Jose served as its first capital.

After more than 150 years as a small farming community, the San Jose area in the mid-20th century contained some of the last undeveloped land near San Francisco Bay. It then began to experience rapid population growth, much of it coming from veterans returning from World War II. San Jose then continued its aggressive expansion during the 1950s and 1960s by annexing more land area. The rapid growth of the high-technology and electronics industries further accelerated the transition from an agricultural center, to an urbanized metropolitan area.

By the 1990s, San Jose’s location within the booming local technology industry earned the city the nickname “Capital of Silicon Valley”. San Jose is now considered to be a global city, and notable for its affluence, and high cost of living. The U.S. Census Bureau reported the population of the city to be 945,942 in 2010.

The large concentration of high-technology engineering, computer, and microprocessor companies around San Jose has led the area to be known as Silicon Valley. As the largest city in the valley, San Jose has billed itself “the capital of 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 lists many companies with 1,000 employees or more, including the headquarters of Adobe, Altera, Brocade Communications Systems, Cadence Design Systems, Cisco Systems, eBay, Lee’s Sandwiches, Sanmina-SCI, and Xilinx, as well as major facilities for Becton Dickinson, Ericsson, Hewlett-Packard, Hitachi, IBM, Kaiser Permanente, KLA Tencor and Qualcomm. The North American headquarters of Samsung are located in San Jose. Other large companies based in San Jose include Altera, Atmel, CEVA, Cypress Semiconductor, Echelon, Integrated Device Technology, Micrel, Netgear, Novellus Systems, Oclaro, Online Trading Academy, Quantum, SunPower, Supermicro, Tessera Technologies, TiVo, Ultratech, and VeriFone. Sizable government employers include the city government, Santa Clara County, and San Jose State University. Acer’s United States division has its offices in San Jose. Prior to its closing, Netcom had its headquarters in San Jose.

San Jose residents produce more U.S. patents than any other city. Thirty-five percent of all venture capital funds in the U.S. are invested in San Jose and Silicon Valley companies.

In January 2014 Forbes Magazine reported that Careerbliss.com had ranked San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara metro area as the happiest place to work in the USA. The report cited a large concentration of technology jobs that typically offer a high salary and opportunity for growth, in addition to companies providing “fun and innovative work environments” as some of the reasons for the ranking.