San Mateo County, California facts for kids

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San Mateo County, California
County
County of San Mateo
Mount Diablo from SF Bay Discovery Site 10-2-2011 4-24-09 PM.JPG
Redwood City port aerial view.jpg San Bruno Mountain California.jpg
Filoli.JPG SSF Hillside Sign 2.JPG
Point Montara Panorama.jpg
Images, from top down, left to right: A view of San Francisco Bay from the San Francisco Bay Discovery Site, Port of Redwood City, San Bruno Mountain State Park, the historic Filoli Mansion, South San Francisco Hillside Sign, Montara State Beach
Official seal of San Mateo County, California
Seal
Motto: All of California in One County
Location in the state of California
Location in the state of California
California's location in the United States
California's location in the United States
Country  United States
State  California
Region San Francisco Bay Area
Incorporated 19 April 1856
Named for Saint Matthew (English translation)
Area
 • Total 744 sq mi (1,930 km2)
 • Land 448 sq mi (1,160 km2)
 • Water 293 sq mi (760 km2)
Highest elevation 2,603 ft (793 m)
Population (April 1, 2010)
 • Total 718,451
 • Estimate (2015) 765,135
 • Density 1,693/sq mi (654/km2)
Time zone Pacific Time Zone (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST) Pacific Daylight Time (UTC-7)
Area codes 415/628, 650
FIPS code 06-081
GNIS feature ID 277305
Website {{#property:P856}}

San Mateo County (/ˌsæn məˈt./ SAN mə-TAY-oh; Spanish for "Saint Matthew") is a county located in the U.S. state of California. As of the 2010 census, the population was 718,451. The county seat is Redwood City.

San Mateo County is included in the San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area, and is part of the San Francisco Bay Area, the nine counties bordering San Francisco Bay. It covers most of the San Francisco Peninsula. San Francisco International Airport is located at the northern end of the county, and Silicon Valley begins at the southern end. The county's built-up areas are mostly suburban with some areas being very urban, and are home to several corporate campuses.

History

San Mateo County was formed in 1856 after San Francisco County, one of the state's 18 original counties since California's statehood in 1850, was split apart. Until 1856, San Francisco's city limits extended west to Divisadero Street and Castro Street, and south to 20th Street. In response to the lawlessness and vigilantism that escalated rapidly between 1855 and 1856, the California government decided to divide the county. A straight line was then drawn across the tip of the San Francisco Peninsula just north of San Bruno Mountain. Everything south of the line became the new San Mateo County while everything north of the line became the new consolidated City and County of San Francisco, to date the only consolidated city-county in California. The consolidated city-county of San Francisco was formed by a bill introduced by Horace Hawes, signed by the governor on 19 April 1856. San Mateo County was officially organized on 18 April 1857 under a bill introduced by Senator T.G. Phelps. The 1857 bill defined the southern boundary of San Mateo County as following the south branch of San Francisquito Creek to its source in the Santa Cruz Mountains and thence due west to the Pacific Ocean, and named Redwood City as the county seat. San Mateo County then annexed part of northern Santa Cruz County in March 1868, including Pescadero and Pigeon Point.

Although the forming bill named Redwood City the county seat, a May 1856 election marked by "unblushing frauds ... perpetuated on an unorganized and wholly unprotected community by thugs and ballot stuffers from San Francisco" named Belmont the county seat. The election results were declared illegal and the county government was moved to Redwood City, with land being donated from the original Pulgas Grant for the county government on 27 February 1858. Redwood City's status as county seat was upheld in two succeeding elections in May 1861 and 9 December 1873, defeating San Mateo and Belmont. Another election in May 1874 named San Mateo the county seat, but the state supreme court overturned that election on 24 February 1875 and the county seat has been in Redwood City since.

San Mateo County bears the Spanish name for Saint Matthew. As a place name, San Mateo appears as early as 1776 and several local geographic features were also designated San Mateo on early maps including variously: a settlement, an arroyo, a headland jutting into the Pacific (Point Montara), and a large land holding (Rancho San Mateo). Until about 1850, the name appeared as San Matheo.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 741 square miles (1,920 km2), of which 448 square miles (1,160 km2) is land and 293 square miles (760 km2) (40%) is water. It is the third-smallest county in California by land area. A number of bayside watercourses drain the eastern part of the county including San Bruno Creek and Colma Creek. Streams draining the western county include Frenchmans Creek, Pilarcitos Creek, Naples Creek, Arroyo de en Medio, and Denniston Creek. These streams originate along the northern spur of the Santa Cruz Mountains that run through the county. The northern and north-east parts of the county are very heavy densely populated with largely urban and suburban areas, with many of its cities as edge-cities for the Bay Area, whilst the deep south and the west central parts of the county are less heavy densely populated with more rural environment and coastal beaches areas.

Features

San Mateo County straddles the San Francisco Peninsula, with the Santa Cruz Mountains running its entire length. The county encompasses a variety of habitats including estuarine, marine, oak woodland, redwood forest, coastal scrub and oak savannah. There are numerous species of wildlife present, especially along the San Francisco Bay estuarine shoreline, San Bruno Mountain, Fitzgerald Marine Reserve and the forests on the Montara Mountain block. Several creeks discharge to the San Francisco Bay including San Mateo Creek and Laurel Creek and several coastal streams discharge to the Pacific Ocean such as Frenchmans Creek and San Vicente Creek.

Año Nuevo State Marine Conservation Area and Greyhound Rock State Marine Conservation Area are two adjoining marine protected areas off the coast of San Mateo County. Like underwater parks, these marine protected areas help conserve ocean wildlife and marine ecosystems.

Flora and fauna

The county is home to several endangered species including the San Francisco garter snake and the San Bruno elfin butterfly, both of which are endemic to San Mateo County. The endangered California clapper rail is also found on the shores of San Francisco Bay, in the cities of Belmont and San Mateo. The endangered wildflower Hickman's potentilla is found near the Pacific Ocean on the lower slopes of Montara Mountain. The endangered wildflowers White-rayed pentachaeta, Pentachaeta bellidiflora, San Mateo Woolly Sunflower, Eriophyllum latilobum, Marin Dwarf Flax, Hesperolinon congestum and the San Mateo Thornmint, Acanthomintha duttonii, are found in the vicinity of the Crystal Springs Reservoir.

In May 2014, a California condor was spotted near Pescadero, a coastal community south of San Francisco—it was the first California condor spotted in San Mateo County since 1904. The Condor, tagged with the number "597," and also known as "Lupine", is one of 439 condors living in the wild or captivity in California, Baja California and Arizona. The three-year-old female flew more than 100 miles (160 km) north from Pinnacles National Park, in San Benito County, on May 30, and landed on a private, forested property near Pescadero, on the San Mateo County Coast, where it was photographed by a motion-activated wildlife camera. Harold Heath, Professor Emeritus, of Stanford University was responsible for the 1904 sighting, 1 mile (1.6 km) west of the University campus.

National protected areas

Marine protected area

  • Montara State Marine Reserve & Pillar Point State Marine Conservation Area

County trails

See this county page for trail descriptions.

  • Alpine Trail
  • Bog Trail
  • Cañada Trail
  • Crystal Springs Trail
  • Edgewood Trail
  • Ralston Trail
  • San Andreas Trail
  • Sand Hill Trail
  • Sawyer Camp Trail
  • Skyline Trail
  • Sheep Camp Trail
  • Sweeney Ridge Trail
  • Hiking trails in San Mateo County

County parks

  • Coyote Point Recreation Area
  • Coyote Point Marina
  • Crystal Springs
  • Edgewood Park and Natural Reserve
  • Fitzgerald Marine Reserve
  • Flood Park (County)
  • Heritage Grove
  • Huddart Park
  • Junipero Serra County Park
  • Pescadero Creek Park
  • Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve
  • Sam MacDonald Park
  • San Bruno Mountain (County Park)
  • San Mateo Fishing Pier
  • San Mateo County Memorial Park
  • San Pedro Valley County Park
  • Sanchez Adobe
  • Woodside Store
  • Wunderlich Park (New)

State parks

  • Año Nuevo State Park
  • Butano State Park
  • Castle Rock State Park
  • Heritage Grove
  • Portola Redwoods State Park
  • Quarry Park
  • Burleigh H. Murray Ranch
  • Pigeon Point Light Station Historic State Park
  • Point Montara Light Station State Park
  • Portola Redwoods State Park
  • San Bruno Mountain State Park

State beaches

  • Año Nuevo State Reserve
  • Bean Hollow State Beach
  • Big Basin State Beach
  • Gray Whale Cove State Beach
  • Half Moon Bay State Beach
  • Montara State Beach
  • Pacifica State Beach
  • Pebble Beach
  • Pescadero State Beach
  • Pomponio State Beach
  • San Gregorio State Beach
  • Thornton State Beach

Demographics

San Mateo County had one of the largest Tongan communities outside of Tonga, with an estimated 13,000 Tongan Americans.

2011

Places by population, race, and income

2010

Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 3,214
1870 6,635 106.4%
1880 8,669 30.7%
1890 10,087 16.4%
1900 12,094 19.9%
1910 26,585 119.8%
1920 36,781 38.4%
1930 77,405 110.4%
1940 111,782 44.4%
1950 235,659 110.8%
1960 444,387 88.6%
1970 556,234 25.2%
1980 587,329 5.6%
1990 649,623 10.6%
2000 707,161 8.9%
2010 718,451 1.6%
Est. 2015 765,135 6.5%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790–1960 1900–1990
1990–2000 2010–2015

The 2010 United States Census reported that San Mateo County had a population of 718,451. The racial makeup of San Mateo County was 383,535 (53.4%) White, 20,436 (2.8%) African American, 3,306 (0.5%) Native American, 178,118 (24.8%) Asian (9.8% Filipino, 9.0% Chinese, 1.9% Indian, 1.2% Japanese, 0.8% Korean, 0.5% Vietnamese, 0.3% Burmese, 0.1% Pakistani), 10,317 (1.4%) Pacific Islander (0.6% Tongan, 0.3% Samoan, 0.2% Fijian, 0.1% Native Hawaiian), 84,529 (11.8%) from other races, and 38,210 (5.3%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 182,502 persons (25.4%); 15.7% of San Mateo County is Mexican, 2.7% Salvadoran, 1.2% Guatemalan, 1.2% Nicaraguan, 0.7% Peruvian, 0.6% Puerto Rican, 0.2% Colombian, and 0.2% Cuban.

2000

USA San Mateo County, California age pyramid
Age distribution (2000 census)

As of the census of 2009, there were 714,936 people, 258,648 households, and 174,582 families residing in the county. The population density was 2,753/sq mi (825/km²). There were 284,471 housing units at an average density of 789/sq mi (432/km²). 7.4% were of Italian, 7.1% Irish, 7.0% German and 5.3% English ancestry according to Census 2000. 46.9% spoke English, 28.4% Spanish, 6.2% Tagalog, 4.0% Chinese or Mandarin and 1.1% Cantonese, and other language 4.2%, as their first language from estimate census 2009.

There were 258,648 households out of which 30% had children under the age of 18, 48.6% were married couples living together, 14.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 41.7% were non-families. 31.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.79 and the average family size was 4.44.

In the county, the population was spread out with 28.6% under the age of 18, 15.9% from 18 to 24, 25.8% from 25 to 44, 21% from 45 to 64, and 9.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females there were 97.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.1 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $69,306, and the median income for a family was $77,737. Males had a median income of $48,342 versus $45,383 for females. The per capita income for the county was $36,045. About 6.42% of families and 9.51% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.01% of those under age 18 and 8.52% of those age 65 or over.

Transportation

Major highways

  • I-280 (CA).svg Interstate 280
  • I-380 (CA).svg Interstate 380
  • US 101 (CA).svg U.S. Route 101
  • California 1.svg State Route 1
  • California 35.svg State Route 35
  • California 82.svg State Route 82 (El Camino Real)
  • California 84.svg State Route 84 (Dumbarton Bridge)
  • California 92.svg State Route 92 (San Mateo Bridge)

Public transportation

SamTrans (San Mateo County Transit District) provides local bus service within San Mateo County. Local and commuter bus routes also operate into San Francisco.

Caltrain, the commuter rail system, traverses the county from north to south, running alongside the Highway 101 corridor for most of the way.

Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) trains serve San Francisco International Airport and the northern portion of the county, terminating at Millbrae.

Caltrain, BART, and SamTrans converge at the Millbrae Intermodal station.

Airports

San Francisco International Airport is geographically located in San Mateo County, but it is owned and operated by the City and County of San Francisco.

San Mateo County does own two general aviation airports: Half Moon Bay Airport and San Carlos Airport.

Marine transport

The only deepwater port in South San Francisco Bay is the Port of Redwood City, situated along Redwood Creek, originally created as a lumber embarcadero in 1850. The San Mateo Harbor Harbor District manages the Pillar Point Harbor and Oyster Point Marina. Ferry connections connect Oyster Point to Jack London Square in Oakland and the Alameda Ferry Terminal in Alameda.

Notable structures

There are a number of well known structures within San Mateo County:

  • Carolands Mansion, Hillsborough
  • Cow Palace, Daly City
  • Crocker Mansion, Hillsborough
  • Crystal Springs Reservoir, unincorporated central part of county
  • CuriOdyssey, San Mateo
  • Filoli Mansion, Woodside
  • Notre Dame de Namur University, Belmont, which incorporates Ralston Hall
  • Pigeon Point Lighthouse, Pescadero
  • Point Montara Lighthouse, Montara
  • Pulgas Water Temple, Woodside
  • Sanchez Adobe, Pacifica
  • San Mateo County History Museum, Redwood City
  • San Francisco International Airport
  • Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, Menlo Park

Communities

Cities

Towns

Census-designated places

Unincorporated communities

Population ranking

The population ranking of the following table is based on the 2010 census of San Mateo County.

county seat

Rank City/Town/etc. Municipal type Population (2010 Census)
1 Daly City City 101,123
2 San Mateo City 97,207
3 Redwood City City 76,815
4 South San Francisco City 63,632
5 San Bruno City 41,114
6 Pacifica City 37,234
7 Menlo Park City 32,026
8 Foster City City 30,567
9 Burlingame City 28,806
10 San Carlos City 28,406
11 East Palo Alto City 28,155
12 Belmont City 25,835
13 Millbrae City 21,532
14 North Fair Oaks CDP 14,687
15 Half Moon Bay City 11,324
16 Hillsborough Town 10,825
17 Atherton Town 6,914
18 El Granada CDP 5,467
19 Woodside Town 5,287
20 Portola Valley Town 4,353
21 Brisbane City 4,282
22 Emerald Lake Hills CDP 4,278
23 Broadmoor CDP 4,176
24 Highlands-Baywood Park CDP 4,027
25 West Menlo Park CDP 3,659
26 Moss Beach CDP 3,103
27 Montara CDP 2,909
28 Colma Town 1,792
29 Ladera CDP 1,426
30 La Honda CDP 928
31 Pescadero CDP 643
32 Loma Mar CDP 113

Images for kids


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