Santa Clara County, California facts for kids
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Santa Clara County, California
|County of Santa Clara|
Location in the state of California
|Country||United States of America|
|Region||San Francisco Bay Area|
|Incorporated||February 18, 1850|
|Named for||Mission Santa Clara de Asís, St. Clare of Assisi|
|County seat||San Jose|
|Largest city||San Jose|
|• Total||1,304 sq mi (3,380 km2)|
|• Land||1,290 sq mi (3,300 km2)|
|• Water||14 sq mi (40 km2)|
|Highest elevation||4,216 ft (1,285 m)|
| • Estimate
|• Density||1,366.3/sq mi (527.53/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-8 (Pacific)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-7 (Pacific Daylight Time)|
|Area codes||408/669, 650|
|GNIS feature ID||277307|
Santa Clara County, California, officially the County of Santa Clara, is a county in the U.S. state of California. As of the 2010 census, the population was 1,781,642. The county seat is San Jose, the tenth-most populous city in the United States.
Santa Clara County is part of the San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area as well as the San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland, CA Combined Statistical Area. Located at the southern end of the San Francisco Bay, the highly urbanized Santa Clara Valley within Santa Clara County is also known as Silicon Valley. Santa Clara is the most populous county in the San Francisco Bay Area region, and one of the most affluent counties in the United States.
- Sister counties
Santa Clara County was one of the original counties of California, formed in 1850 at the time of statehood. The original inhabitants included the Ohlone, residing on Coyote Creek and Calaveras Creek. Part of the county's territory was given to Alameda County in 1853.
In 1882, Santa Clara County tried to levy taxes upon property of the Southern Pacific Railroad within county boundaries. The result was the U.S. Supreme Court case of Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad, 118 U.S. 394 (1886), in which the Court extended Due Process rights to artificial legal entities.
In the early 20th Century, the area was promoted as the "Valley of the Heart's Delight" due to its natural beauty, including a significant number of orchards.
The first major technology company to be based in the area was Hewlett-Packard, founded in a garage in Palo Alto in 1939. IBM selected San Jose as its West Coast headquarters in 1943. Varian Associates, Fairchild Semiconductor, and other early innovators were located in the county by the late 1940s and 1950s. The U.S. Navy had a large presence in the area and began giving large contracts to Silicon Valley electronics companies. The term "Silicon Valley" was coined in 1971. The trend accelerated in the 1980s and 1990s, and agriculture has since then been nearly eliminated from the northern part of the county. Today, Santa Clara County is the headquarters for approximately 6500 high technology companies, including many of the largest tech companies in the world, among them hardware manufacturers AMD, Cisco Systems and Intel, computer and consumer electronics companies Apple Inc. and Hewlett-Packard, and internet companies eBay, Facebook, Google and Yahoo!. Most of what is considered to be Silicon Valley is located within the county, although some adjoining tech regions in San Mateo, Alameda, and Santa Cruz counties are also considered a part of Silicon Valley.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,304 square miles (3,380 km2), of which 1,290 square miles (3,300 km2) is land and 14 square miles (36 km2) (1.1%) is water.
National protected area
In 1978, California Department of Fish and Game warden Henry Coletto urged the department to choose the Mount Hamilton area as one of California's relocation sites under a new statewide effort to restore tule elk (Cervus canadensis ssp. nannodes). While other ranchers refused, tech pioneers Bill Hewlett and David Packard allowed Coletto and state biologists to translocate 32 tule elk from the Owens Valley in the eastern Sierra onto the 28,000-acre (11,000 ha) San Felipe Ranch, which the families jointly own, in the hills east of Morgan Hill. From the three original 1978-1981 translocations to the Mount Hamilton region of the Diablo Range, there are multiple herds in different locations including the Isabel Valley, San Antonio Valley, Livermore area, San Felipe Ranch, Metcalf Canyon, Coyote Ridge, Anderson Lake, and surrounding areas. As of 2012[update], an estimated 400 tule elk roam 1,875 square kilometres (724 sq mi) in northeastern Santa Clara County and southeastern Alameda County.
The Nature Conservancy "Mount Hamilton Project" has acquired or put under conservation easement 100,000 acres (40,000 ha) of land towards its 500,000 acres (200,000 ha) goal for habitat conservation within a 1,200,000 acres (490,000 ha) area encompassing much of eastern Santa Clara County as well as portions of southern Alameda County, western Merced and Stanislaus Counties, and northern San Benito County. Acquisitions to date include the 1,756-acre (711 ha) Rancho Cañada de Pala, straddling the Alameda Creek and Coyote Creek watersheds for California tiger salamander habitat; a conservation easement on the 3,259-acre Blue Oak Ranch Reserve, which abuts the north side of Joseph D. Grant County Park; a conservation easement on the 28,359-acre San Felipe Ranch, connecting Joseph D. Grant County Park with Henry W. Coe State Park; the 2,899-acre South Valley Ranch which protects a tule elk herd in the San Antonio Valley, and other properties.
As of 1980[update], Santa Clara County has the highest number of Superfund Sites of any county in the United States, accounting for 25 polluted locations requiring a long-term response to clean up hazardous material contaminations. The vast majority of these Superfund sites were caused by firms associated with the high tech sector located in Silicon Valley.
As of 2013, Santa Clara County has the highest median household income of any county in California at $84,741.
|Population, race, and income|
|Black or African American||45,219||2.6%|
|American Indian or Alaska Native||9,906||0.6%|
|Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander||6,445||0.4%|
|Some other race||171,082||9.7%|
|Two or more races||72,803||4.1%|
|Hispanic or Latino (of any race)||468,262||26.6%|
|Per capita income||$40,698|
|Median household income||$89,064|
|Median family income||$103,255|
Places by population, race, and income
|Places by population and race|
||Asian||Black or African
||Hispanic or Latino
(of any race)
|Los Altos Hills||Town||7,912||66.2%||1.9%||31.7%||0.1%||0.0%||1.9%|
|Places by population and income|
|Place||Type||Population||Per capita income||Median household income||Median family income|
|Los Altos Hills||Town||7,912||$109,694||$218,077||$230,000|
|U.S. Decennial Census
The 2010 United States Census reported that Santa Clara County had a population of 1,781,642. The ethnic makeup of Santa Clara County was 836,616 (47.0%) White, 46,428 (2.6%) African American, 12,960 (0.7%) Native American, 570,524 (32.0%) Asian (8.6% Chinese, 7.1% Vietnamese, 6.6% Indian, 4.9% Filipino, 1.6% Korean, 1.4% Japanese, 0.3% Cambodian, 0.3% Pakistani, 0.1% Thai, 0.1% Laotian, 0.1% Burmese, 0.1% Indonesian, 0.1% Bangladeshi), 7,060 (0.4%) Pacific Islander (0.1% Samoan, 0.1% Guamanian, 0.1% Tongan, 0.1% Native Hawaiian), 220,806 (12.4%) from other races, and 87,248 (4.9%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 479,210 persons (26.9%): 22.5% Mexican, 0.4% Puerto Rican, 0.1% Cuban, 3.8% Other Hispanic.
|Population reported at 2010 United States Census|
(of any race)
|Santa Clara County||1,781,642||836,616||46,428||12,960||570,524||7,060||220,806||87,248||479,210|
cities and towns
(of any race)
|Los Altos Hills||7,922||5,417||37||4||2,109||8||50||297||213|
(of any race)
(of any race)
|All others not CDPs (combined)||30,494||21,985||439||256||3,175||84||3,234||1,321||7,651|
As of the census of 2000, there are 1,682,585 people, 565,863 households, and 395,538 families residing in the county. The population density is 503/km² (1,304/mi²). There are 579,329 housing units at an average density of 173/km² (449/mi²). The ethnic makeup of the county is 53.8% White, 2.8% Black or African American, 0.7% Native American, 25.6% Asian, 0.3% Pacific Islander, 12.1% from other races, and 4.7% from two or more races. 24.0% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 565,863 households out of which 34.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.9% were married couples living together, 10.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.1% were non-families. 21.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.92 and the average family size was 3.41.
In the county, the population was spread out with 24.7% under the age of 18, 9.3% from 18 to 24, 35.4% from 25 to 44, 21.0% from 45 to 64, and 9.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 102.80 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 101.90 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $74,335, and the median income for a family was $81,717. Males had a median income of $56,240 versus $40,574 for females. The per capita income for the county was $32,795. About 4.9% of families and 7.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.4% of those under age 18 and 6.4% of those age 65 or over.
Santa Clara County Library, is a public library system serving the communities and cities of Campbell, Cupertino, Gilroy, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Milpitas, Monte Sereno, Morgan Hill, Saratoga, and all unincorporated areas of the county. All other cities run their own library system.
The county's main airport is Norman Y. Mineta San José International Airport (SJC). It is a U.S. Customs and Border Protection port of entry and as of 2016 has eight international routes (one to Canada, one to England, one to Germany, one to Japan, two to Mexico, and two to China) but the airport's busiest routes are all to cities in the western United States. San Francisco International Airport (SFO) is also often used for commercial services by residents of Santa Clara County.
Moffett Federal Airfield (NUQ), a former U.S. Naval Air Station, is used by the Air National Guard, NASA, Lockheed Martin, Google, and by the San Jose Police and Santa Clara County Sheriff's Department as an air operations base. There are also smaller general aviation airports in Palo Alto (PAO), San Jose (Reid-Hillview) (RHV), and San Martin(E16)
Santa Clara Station is served by Caltrain which provides service to Gilroy, San Jose, Silicon Valley, San Francisco Airport and San Francisco, the ACE system which provides services to Stockton, and Amtrak which provides service to Sacramento and Oakland. In the Future, BART will provide service to San Jose and Santa Clara.
The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority operates the VTA light rail system.
Santa Clara County has consolidated its transportation services into the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, which operates a bus system.
The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority is establishing a bicycle network throughout the county. Santa Clara County Bicycle network is part of the San Francisco Bay Area Regional Bikeway Network.
Freeways and expressways
The county has an extensive freeway system and a separate expressway system. Expressways in California are distinct from freeways; although access to adjoining properties is eliminated, at-grade intersections are allowed. However, unlike expressways virtually everywhere else in California, the Santa Clara County expressways were built, signed, and maintained as county roads; they are not maintained by Caltrans, although they are patrolled by the California Highway Patrol.
There is also a large street network dominated by four- and six-lane arterials. Some of the newer boulevards (primarily in the West Valley) are divided with landscaped medians.
- See also: List of county routes in California
- The Alameda
The county has no commercial seaports, although small boats can access San Francisco Bay from several points. Like many other Bay Area counties, it is dependent upon the Port of Oakland for transport of ocean cargo.
Santa Clara County has an extensive park system, much of it founded in the major park expansion of the late 1970s. Parks within the county include:
Open space preserves include:
- El Sereno Open Space Preserve
Santa Clara County also contains Ulistac Natural Area, a volunteer maintained natural open space. Foreign and invasive species are removed when possible as native plants are introduced. Migratory birds and butterflies often use this area.
To promote friendship and understanding and to build bridges with countries of origin for various ethnic populations in the county, the County of Santa Clara has created a Sister County Commission to coordinate the program. As of 2009, there are three sister counties:
- Almaden Township: Present-day Almaden Valley, Cambrian Park and portions of Campbell and Los Gatos.
- Alviso Township: Present-day Alviso.
- Burnett Township: Present-day Coyote, Santa Teresa and Morgan Hill.
- Fremont Township: Present-day Palo Alto, Sunnyvale, Mountain View, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and part of Cupertino.
- Gilroy Township: Present-day Gilroy and San Martin.
- Milpitas Township: Present-day Milpitas.
- Redwood Township: Present-day Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, Saratoga, Redwood Estates and portions of Cupertino and Campbell.
- San Jose Township: Most of present-day San Jose.
- Santa Clara Township: Present-day Santa Clara and portions of San Jose, Cupertino and Campbell.
The population ranking of the following table is based on the 2010 census of Santa Clara County.
† county seat
|Rank||City/Town/etc.||Municipal type||Population (2010 Census)|
|1||† San Jose||City||945,942|
|17||Los Altos Hills||Town||7,922|
Santa Clara County, California Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.