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San Jose
Metropolitan City
City of San José
SJPan.jpg
Santana Row (2).jpg Cathedral Basilica of Saint Joseph, San Jose, California - DSC03791.JPG
San Jose City Hall - panoramio.jpg USA-San Jose-Bank of Italy-5.jpg
San Jose Museum of Art.jpg
Clockwise from top: Downtown San Jose skyline; Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph; Bank of Italy Building; San Jose Museum of Art; San Jose City Hall; Santana Row
Flag of San Jose
Flag
Official seal of San Jose
Seal
Motto: The Capital of Silicon Valley
Location of San Jose within Santa Clara County, California
Location of San Jose within Santa Clara County, California
Country  United States
State  California
CSA San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland
Region San Francisco Bay Area
Metro San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara
County Santa Clara
Pueblo founded November 29, 1777
Incorporated March 27, 1850
Named for Saint Joseph
Area
 • City 179.97 sq mi (466.109 km2)
 • Land 176.526 sq mi (457.201 km2)
 • Water 3.439 sq mi (8.908 km2)  1.91%
 • Urban 286.113 sq mi (741.03 km2)
 • Metro 2,694.61 sq mi (6,979 km2)
Elevation 82 ft (25 m)
Highest elevation 2,125 ft (648 m)
Lowest elevation 0 ft (0 m)
Population (July 1, 2014)
 • City 1,026,908
 • Rank 3rd, California
10th, US
 • Density 5,706.00/sq mi (2,203.150/km2)
 • Urban 1,894,388 (29th)
 • Metro 1,976,836 (34th)
 • CSA 8,713,914 (5th)
Demonym(s) Josefino/a(s) or San Josean(s)
Time zone Pacific Time Zone (UTC−8)
 • Summer (DST) PDT (UTC−7)
ZIP codes 95002, 95008, 95101, 95103, 95106, 95108–95113, 95115–95141, 95148, 95150–95161, 95164, 95170, 95172, 95173, 95190–95194, 95196
Area codes 408/669
FIPS code 06-68000
GNIS feature IDs 1654952, 2411790
Website www.sanjoseca.gov

San Jose (/ˌsæn hˈz/, Spanish for "Saint Joseph"; Spanish: [san xo.ˈse]), officially the City of San José, is the economic, cultural, and political center of Silicon Valley and the largest city in Northern California. With an estimated 2015 population of 1,026,908, it is the third most populous city in California (after Los Angeles and San Diego) and the tenth most populous in United States. Located in the center of the Santa Clara Valley, on the southern shore of San Francisco Bay, San Jose covers an area of 179.97 square miles (466.109/km²). San Jose is the county seat of Santa Clara County, the most affluent county in California. San Jose is the largest city in both the San Francisco Bay Area and the San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland Combined Statistical Area, which contain 7.7 million and 8.7 million people respectively.

Before the arrival of the Spanish, the area around San Jose was inhabited by the Ohlone people. San Jose was founded on November 29, 1777, as the Pueblo of San José de Guadalupe, the first civilian town founded in Spanish Alta California. When California gained statehood in 1850, 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 60s. 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.

San Jose is considered to be a global city, notable for its affluence and high cost of living. San Jose's 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 Zurich, Switzerland and Oslo, Norway), according to the Brookings Institute. 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, eBay, Adobe Systems, PayPal, Brocade, Samsung, Acer, and Western Digital maintain their headquarters in San Jose, in the center of Silicon Valley.

History

Historical affiliations

Flag of Cross of Burgundy.svg Spanish Empire 1777–1821
Bandera del Primer Imperio Mexicano.svg First Mexican Empire 1821–1823
Mexico United Mexican States 1823–1848
1stBearFlag.svg California Republic 1846
 United States 1848–present

Early history

Prior to European settlement, the area was inhabited by several groups of Ohlone Native Americans.

The first lasting European presence began with a series of Franciscan missions established from 1769 by Junípero Serra.

On orders from Antonio María de Bucareli y Ursúa, Spanish Viceroy of New Spain, San Jose was founded by Lieutenant José Joaquín Moraga as Pueblo de San José de Guadalupe (in honor of Saint Joseph) on November 29, 1777, to establish a farming community. The town was the first civil settlement in Alta California

In 1797, the pueblo was moved from its original location, near the present-day intersection of Guadalupe Parkway and Taylor Street, to a location in what is now Downtown San Jose. San Jose came under Mexican rule in 1821 after Mexico broke with the Spanish crown. It then became part of the United States, after it capitulated in 1846 and California was annexed.

Modern history

San Jose in 1875, when the Santa Clara Valley was one of the most productive agricultural areas in the world
Notre Dame High School's original campus in 1876. It was the first school accredited in California to give degrees to women.

On March 27, 1850, San Jose became the second incorporated city in the state (after Sacramento), with Josiah Belden its first mayor. San Jose was California's first state capital, and hosted the first and second sessions (1850–1851) of the California Legislature. Today the Circle of Palms Plaza in downtown is the historical marker for the first state capital. The city was a station on the Butterfield Overland Mail route.

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.

As World War II started, the city's economy shifted from agriculture (the Del Monte cannery was the largest employer) to industrial manufacturing with the contracting of the Food Machinery Corporation (later known as FMC Corporation) by the United States War Department to build 1,000 Landing Vehicle Tracked. After World War II, FMC (later United Defense, and currently BAE Systems) continued as a defense contractor, with the San Jose facilities designing and manufacturing military platforms such as the M113 Armored Personnel Carrier, the Bradley Fighting Vehicle, and various subsystems of the M1 Abrams battle tank.

IBM 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 Ford Motor Company relocated its factory in Richmond to a new location in the suburb of Milpitas, called the San Jose Assembly Plant, which was one of the primary locations for manufacturing the Ford Mustang.

USA-San Jose-Bank of Italy-2
The Bank of Italy Building, built in 1926, is the oldest skyscraper in Downtown San Jose and a landmark of the city and Silicon Valley alike.

During the 1950s and 1960s, City Manager A. P. "Dutch" Hamann led the city in a major growth campaign. The city annexed adjacent areas, such as Alviso and Cambrian Park, providing large areas for suburbs. An anti-growth reaction to the effects of rapid development emerged in the 1970s, championed by mayors Norman Mineta and Janet Gray Hayes. Despite establishing an urban growth boundary, development fees, and the incorporations of Campbell and Cupertino, development was not slowed, but rather directed into already-incorporated areas.

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 stated in mixed upper- and lower-case letters, but not when the name is stated only in upper-case letters. 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 city's name without the accent can still be found in its 1965 Charter document, as amended, which formally chartered the municipality as City of San Jose. Similarly, the city's website appears to use a mixture of both; for example, the "City of San José" in the text uses the mark but the "City of San Jose" logo image does not.

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 planning principles.

Geography

San Jose is located at . According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 180.0 sq mi (466 km2), of which 3.4 sq mi (8.8 km2) (1.91%) is water.

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.

Cityscape

Overhead panorama of downtown San Jose

The city is generally divided into the following areas: Downtown San Jose, Central, West San Jose, North San Jose, East San Jose, and South San Jose. Many of these regions were originally unincorporated communities or separate municipalities that were later annexed by the city.

Looking west over northern San Jose (downtown is at far left) and other parts of Silicon Valley. See an up-to-the-minute view of San Jose from the Mount Hamilton web camera.

Besides those mentioned above, some well-known communities within San Jose include Japantown, Rose Garden, Sunol-Midtown, Willow Glen, Naglee Park, Burbank, Winchester, Alviso, East Foothills, Alum Rock, Little Portugal, Blossom Valley, Cambrian, Almaden Valley, Silver Creek Valley, Evergreen Valley, Edenvale, Santa Teresa, Seven Trees, Coyote Valley, and Berryessa.

Sprawl

San Jose's urban sprawl 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.

Landmarks

Important 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, San Jose Municipal Stadium, 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, and The Tech Museum of Innovation.

Topography

San jose satellite map
A satellite image of the Santa Clara Valley in the South Bay Area; San Jose makes up most of the urbanization in the center of the valley.

The Guadalupe River runs from the Santa Cruz Mountains (which separate the South Bay from the Pacific Coast) flowing north through San Jose, ending in the San Francisco Bay at Alviso. Along the southern part of the river is the neighborhood of Almaden Valley, originally named for the mercury mines which produced mercury needed for gold extraction from quartz during the California Gold Rush as well as mercury fulminate blasting caps and detonators for the U.S. military from 1870 to 1945. East of the Guadalupe River, Coyote Creek also flows to south San Francisco Bay and originates on Mount Sizer near Henry W. Coe State Park and the surrounding hills in the Diablo Range, northeast of Morgan Hill, California.

The lowest point in San Jose is 13 feet (4 m) below sea level at the San Francisco Bay in Alviso; the highest is 2,125 feet. 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 close to San Francisco Bay (a small portion of its northern border touches the 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.

Climate

San Jose, like most of the Bay Area, has a subtropical Mediterranean climate (Köppen Csb). 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 semiarid feel with a mean annual rainfall of 15.82 in (402 mm), 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.

The monthly daily average temperature ranges from around 50 °F (10 °C) in December and January to around 70 °F (21 °C) in July and August. The highest temperature ever recorded in San Jose was 114 °F (46 °C) on June 14, 1961; the lowest was 19 °F (−7 °C) on December 22–23, 1990. On average, there are 2.7 nights annually where the temperature lowers to or below the freezing mark, and 16 days where the high reaches or exceeds 90 °F (32 °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.

Climate data for San Jose, California (1981–2010 normals, extremes 1893–present)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 79
(26.1)
81
(27.2)
89
(31.7)
95
(35)
102
(38.9)
109
(42.8)
108
(42.2)
105
(40.6)
106
(41.1)
101
(38.3)
85
(29.4)
79
(26.1)
109
(42.8)
Average high °F (°C) 58.1
(14.5)
61.9
(16.61)
65.7
(18.72)
69.3
(20.72)
74.3
(23.5)
79.1
(26.17)
81.9
(27.72)
81.9
(27.72)
80.1
(26.72)
74.0
(23.33)
64.3
(17.94)
58.0
(14.44)
70.7
(21.5)
Daily mean °F (°C) 50.1
(10.06)
53.3
(11.83)
56.2
(13.44)
58.9
(14.94)
63.4
(17.44)
67.5
(19.72)
70.0
(21.11)
70.1
(21.17)
68.5
(20.28)
63.2
(17.33)
55.1
(12.83)
50.0
(10)
60.5
(15.83)
Average low °F (°C) 42.0
(5.56)
44.7
(7.06)
46.6
(8.11)
48.6
(9.22)
52.4
(11.33)
56.0
(13.33)
58.1
(14.5)
58.3
(14.61)
56.8
(13.78)
52.5
(11.39)
46.0
(7.78)
41.9
(5.5)
50.3
(10.17)
Record low °F (°C) 18
(-7.8)
24
(-4.4)
25
(-3.9)
26
(-3.3)
32
(0)
33
(0.6)
40
(4.4)
39
(3.9)
35
(1.7)
30
(-1.1)
21
(-6.1)
19
(-7.2)
18
(-7.8)
Rainfall inches (mm) 3.07
(78)
3.11
(79)
2.54
(64.5)
1.18
(30)
0.51
(13)
0.10
(2.5)
0.02
(0.5)
0.02
(0.5)
0.18
(4.6)
0.80
(20.3)
1.68
(42.7)
2.61
(66.3)
15.82
(401.8)
Avg. rainy days (≥ 0.01 in) 10.2 10.3 9.4 5.6 3.2 0.8 0.2 0.3 1.3 3.2 7.2 10.2 61.9
Source: NOAA

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 or May. 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 frequent grass fires.

Measurable precipitation falls in downtown San Jose on an average of 62 days a year. of rain, causing some flooding.

The snow level drops as low as 2,000 ft (610 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. This sometimes snarls 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 in (7.6 cm) on car and roof tops. The official observation station measured only 0.5 in (1.3 cm) of snow.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1870 9,089
1880 12,567 38.3%
1890 18,060 43.7%
1900 21,500 19.0%
1910 28,946 34.6%
1920 39,642 37.0%
1930 57,651 45.4%
1940 68,457 18.7%
1950 95,280 39.2%
1960 204,196 114.3%
1970 459,913 125.2%
1980 629,400 36.9%
1990 782,248 24.3%
2000 894,943 14.4%
2010 945,942 5.7%
Est. 2015 1,026,908 8.6%
U.S. Decennial Census

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. In 1930, Detroit had reached 1,568,662, but by 2000, it had dropped below 1,000,000.

Racial composition 2010 1990 1970 1940
White 42.8% 62.8% 93.6% 98.5%
—Non-Hispanic 28.7% 49.6% 75.7% n/a
Black or African American 3.2% 4.7% 2.5% 0.4%
Hispanic or Latino (of any race) 33.2% 26.6% 19.1% n/a
Asian 32.0% 19.5% 2.7% 1.1%
Other race 15.7% 12.3% 0.8% (X)
Two or more races 5.0% n/a n/a n/a

2010

Map of racial distribution in San Jose, 2010 U.S. Census. Each dot is 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 (10.4% Vietnamese, 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. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 313,636 persons (33.2%). 28.2% of the city's population were 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.

2000

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 population was spread out with 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.

San Jose and the rest of the Bay Area is home to many Christian congregations, including large Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches, Mormons, and Jehovah's Witnesses, alongside centers of Jewish, Hindu, Islamic, Buddhist and Sikh faiths, among numerous other religious communities.

A high percentage of foreign-born residents (39.0% of the population) live in the city. These include many high-tech workers from East and South Asia, Eastern European immigrants, as well as poorer immigrants from Latin America, many of whom can be found in the large, multi-generational barrio Alum Rock district. San Jose has the largest Vietnamese population of any city in the world outside of Vietnam. The people from these countries have settled in the city and across the Santa Clara Valley primarily during the last three or four decades.

Arts and architecture

City arts and architecture

Performing fountains
Pictured is the San Jose Center for the Performing Arts at night, a general-purpose venue for several performing arts organizations in San Jose
Hands, San Jose, California 2010
SJC's new consolidated parking and rental facility, CONRAC, has been fitted with new public art featuring hands of people in Silicon Valley.
Iglesia Ni Cristo San Jose CA
Iglesia ni Cristo chapel of San Jose, an icon and gathering place of some immigrants

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.

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 the results of this commitment are beginning to affect the visual landscape of the city. There are a considerable number of public art projects throughout the downtown area, and a growing collection in the newer civic locations in neighborhoods including libraries, parks, and fire stations. Of particular note, the Mineta Airport expansion is incorporating a program of Art & Technology into its development.

Within the early efforts at public art, there are notable controversies. Two examples include the statue of Quetzalcoatl (the plumed serpent) in downtown which was controversial in its planning because some religious groups felt that it was pagan, and controversial in its implementation because many felt that the final statue by Robert Graham did not closely resemble a winged serpent, and was more noted for its expense than its aesthetics.

The statue of Thomas Fallon also met strong resistance from those who felt that people like him were largely responsible for the decimation of early native populations and Chicano/Latino activists protested he captured San Jose by violent force in the Mexican-American war (1846) as well "repressed" historic documents of Fallon ordered the expulsion of most of the city's Californio (early Spanish or Mexican) residents. In October 1991 after protests in part of Columbus Day and Dia de la Raza celebrations, the Fallon statue plan was scrapped and the statue was stored in a warehouse in Oakland for more than a decade. The statue was returned to public display in 2002, albeit in a less conspicuous location: Pellier Park, a small triangular patch formed by 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 were decorated in a variety of clever, colorful, or creative ways by local artists and were then displayed for months at dozens of locations around the city. Many displays were removed early because of vandalism. After the exhibition, the sharks were auctioned off and the proceeds donated to charity. The sharks can still be found in their new owners' homes and businesses.

In 2006, Adobe Systems commissioned an art installation titled San Jose Semaphore by Ben Rubin, which is located at the top of its headquarters building. Semaphore is composed of four LED discs which "rotate" to transmit a message. The content of the San Jose Semaphore's message 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.

The city is home to many performing arts companies, including Opera San Jose, Symphony Silicon Valley, Ballet San Jose Silicon Valley, sjDANCEco, Children's Musical Theater of San Jose (45 years old in 2013), 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 also is home to the San Jose Museum of Art, one of the nation's premiere Modern Art museums. The annual Cinequest Film Festival in downtown has grown to over 60,000 attendees per year, becoming an important festival for independent films. The San Francisco Asian American Film Festival is an annual event, which is hosted in San Francisco, Berkeley, and Downtown San Jose. Approximately 30 to 40 films are screened in San Jose each year at the Camera 12 Downtown Cinemas. The San Jose Jazz Festival is another of many great events hosted throughout the year.

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 in Manchester, England, and the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, 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.

House architecture

San Jose has many examples of houses with fine architecture. Late 19th century and early 20th century styles exist in neighborhoods such as Hanchett Park, Naglee Park, Rose Garden, and Willow Glen (including Palm Haven).

Styles include Craftsman, Mission Revival, Prairie style, and Queen Anne style Victorian.

Notable architects include Frank Delos Wolfe, Theodore Lenzen, Charles McKenzie. and Julia Morgan

Parks and recreation

San Jose possesses about 15,950 acres (6,455 ha) of parkland in its city limits, including a part of the expansive Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge. The city's oldest park is Alum Rock Park, established in 1872. In its 2013 ParkScore ranking, The Trust for Public Land, a national land conservation organization, reported that San Jose was tied with Albuquerque and Omaha for having the 11th best park system among the 50 most populous U.S. cities.

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Replica of the San Jose Light Tower History Park at Kelley Park
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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 Flea Market
  • San Jose Municipal Rose Garden, 5 12 acres (22,000 m2) park in the Rose Garden neighborhood, featuring over 4,000 rose bushes
  • Winchester Mystery House in San Jose.

Attractions

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Aerial view of San Jose. The intersection of I-280 and Guadalupe Parkway is shown at bottom. View is to the south.
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View of Circle of Palms Plaza
San Jose Museum of Art
Front of the San Jose Museum of Art, the remaining façade of San Jose's first post office
SAN JOSE CALIFORNIA PALM TREE 2010
The Market in Downtown San Jose as seen with uplit palms
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The Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum at Rosicrucian Park
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Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph
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Church of the Five Wounds on East Santa Clara St.

Habitat and wildlife

Early written documents record the local presence of migrating salmon in the Rio Guadalupe dating as far back as the 18th century. Both steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) 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 (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) 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.

Trails

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:

  • Coyote Creek Trail
  • Guadalupe River Trail
  • Los Gatos Creek Trail
  • Los Alamitos Creek Trail
  • Penitencia Creek Trail
  • Silver Creek Valley Trail

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.

Museums, libraries, and other cultural collections

  • Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose
  • History Park at Kelley Park
  • Ira F. Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies, home of the largest Beethoven collection outside Europe
  • Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library, the largest U.S. public library west of Mississippi River
  • Mexican Heritage Plaza, a museum and cultural center for Mexican Americans in the area
  • 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 Museum of Art
  • 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.
  • The Tech Museum of Innovation
  • San Jose Steam Railroad Museum, proposed, artifacts and rolling stock are kept at the fairgrounds and Kelley Park
  • History San José
  • 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.

Event venues

  • San Jose Improv, San Jose's oldest theater, home for the San Jose Improv Comedy Club.

Other structures

  • Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph, the oldest parish in California
  • Lick Observatory, home of what was once the largest telescope in the world
  • Sikh Gurdwara - San Jose, the largest Gurdwara (a Sikh temple) in the United States
  • Peralta Adobe, a restored adobe home showing the lifestyle of Spanish and Mexican California
  • Winchester Mystery House, a sprawling, 160-room Victorian mansion built by Sarah Winchester
  • Raging Waters, the largest water park in Northern California with 23 acres (93,000 m2) and millions of gallons of water
See also: Santa Clara County, California#Cities.2C towns.2C and neighborhoods

Cultural references

  • The city is referred to in the popular song "Do You Know the Way to San Jose", with lyrics by Hal David and music by Burt Bacharach. It became a Grammy-winning 1968 hit single (Pop #10, R&B #23) for Dionne Warwick, her version categorized Scepter Records 12216; more than 100 other known recordings exist.
  • The 2006 independent film Valley of the Heart's Delight, featuring Pete Postlethwaite as a scheming newspaper publisher, is based on an actual kidnapping, murder, coverup, and mob lynching which took place in San Jose in 1933.
  • In a recurring sketch on Saturday Night Live, Wake Up Wakefield! is the name of the morning announcement program for Wakefield Middle School which is fictionally set in San Jose.

Twin towns – Sister cities

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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