San Jose is a major California city and the county seat of Santa Clara County. It is located at the south side of the San Francisco Bay, within the informal boundaries of Silicon Valley. As of 2003, the city reported an estimated population of 925,000, the most populous city in Northern California, and third in the state after Los Angeles and San Diego.
San Jose was founded in 1777 and was the first incorporated city in the state. It also served as the first state capital with the first and second sessions of the California Legislature being held there in 1850 and 1851. Originally a farming community, San Jose produced a significant amount of fruits and vegetables until the 1960s, and a local school team name at the time was "the prunes".
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 community of Almaden, originally named for the mercury mines which produced mercury fulminate blasting caps and detonators for the U.S. military from 1870 to 1945.
San Jose is the home of the San Jose Sharks of the National Hockey League, San Jose Sabercats of the Arena Football League, San Jose Earthquakes of Major League Soccer and the San Jose Stealth of the National Lacrosse League.
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According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 461.5 km² (178.2 mi²). 452.9 km² (174.9 mi²) of it is land and 8.6 km² (3.3 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 1.86% water.
As of the census of 2000, there are 894,943 people, 276,598 households, and 203,576 families residing in the city. The population density is 1,976.1/km² (5,117.9/mi²). There are 281,841 housing units at an average density of 622.3/km² (1,611.8/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 47.49% White, 3.50% African American, 0.77% Native American, 26.86% Asian American, 0.40% Pacific Islander, 15.94% from other races, and 5.04% from two or more races. 30.17% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 276,598 households out of which 38.3% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.0% are married couples living together, 11.7% have a female householder with no husband present, and 26.4% are non-families. 18.4% of all households are made up of individuals and 4.9% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 3.20 and the average family size is 3.62.
In the city the population is 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 are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 33 years. For every 100 females there are 103.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 102.5 males.
The median income for a household in the city is $70,243, and the median income for a family is $74,813. Males have a median income of $49,347 versus $36,936 for females. The per capita income for the city is $26,697. 8.8% of the population and 6.0% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 10.3% are under the age of 18 and 7.4% are 65 or older.
San Jose considers itself "the Capital of Silicon Valley." As such, its economy rises and falls with high-tech employment in the Bay Area. During the peak of the tech bubble, employment, housing prices and traffic congestion peaked, but all eased as the economy slowed during the first few years of the 21st century. As of 2003, the city reported 355,000 jobs within the city limits and an unemployment rate of 8.7%.
The city lists 25 companies with 1,000 employees or more, including the headquarters of Adobe Systems, BEA Systems, Cisco and eBay, as well as major facilities for Flextronics, Hewlett-Packard, IBM and Lockheed Martin. Sizable government employers include the city, Santa Clara County, and San Josť State University.
The San Jose area has a well-developed freeway system, including three Interstate highways. Rail service to San Josť is provided by Amtrak, CalTrain (commuter rail service to San Francisco), and a local light-rail system connecting downtown to Mountain View, Milpitas, and Almaden. San Jose is served by the medium-sized Mineta San Jose International Airport, 2 miles northwest of downtown, as well as San Francisco International Airport, a major international hub 35 miles northwest.