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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.
High economic growth during the tech bubble caused employment, housing prices, and traffic congestion to peak in the late 1990s. As the economy slowed in the early 2000s, employment and traffic congestion diminished somewhat. In the mid-2000s, traffic along major highways again began to worsen as the economy improved. San Jose had 405,000 jobs within its city limits in 2006, and an unemployment rate of 4.6%. In 2000, San Jose residents had the highest median household income of any city in the United States with a population over 300,000, and currently has the highest median income of any U.S. city with over 280,000 people.
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.
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.
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, Blossom Valley, Cambrian, Almaden Valley, Silver Creek Valley, Evergreen Valley, Edenvale, Santa Teresa,Seven Trees, Coyote Valley, and Berryessa.