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Santa Clara, California ( ), founded in 1777 and incorporated in 1852, is a city in Santa Clara Countymarker, in the U.S. state of Californiamarker. The city is the site of the eighth of 21 California missions, Mission Santa Clara de Asísmarker, and was named after the mission. The Mission and Mission Gardens are located on the grounds of Santa Clara University.

Santa Clara is located in the center of Silicon Valleymarker, and is home to the headquarters of Intelmarker, Applied Materials, Sun Microsystems, NVIDIAmarker, Agilent Technologies, and many other high-tech companies. It is home to both Mission Collegemarker and Santa Clara Universitymarker, the latter being the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of California.

Santa Clara is also home to Great Americamarker, an amusement park operated by Cedar Fair, L.P. The San Francisco 49ers NFL football team has its heaquarters and practice facilities in Santa Clara. On Wednesday, November 8, 2006, the 49ers announced their intention to move the team to Santa Clara, after negotiations failed with the city of San Franciscomarker to build a new stadium.

Santa Clara owns and operates an electric utility called Silicon Valley Power. In 2005 Silicon Valley Power brought online the Donald Von Raesfeld (DVR) Power Plant. The new combined-cycle gas turbine plant produces 147 megawatts of electricity for the city and its residents. As a result, the going rate for electricity in Santa Clara is considerably cheaper than that offered by Northern California's dominant utility, Pacific Gas and Electric.

Geography and environment

Santa Clara is drained by three seasonal creeks, all of which empty into the southern portion of San Francisco Baymarker; these creeks are San Tomas Aquino Creek, Saratoga Creek, and Calabazas Creek.

There are some significant biological resources within the city including habitat for the burrowing owl, a species of special concern in California due to reduction in habitat from urban development during the latter 20th century. This owl uses burrows created by ground squirrels and prefers generally level grasslands and even disturbed areas.


As of the census of 2000 , there were 102,361 people, 38,526 households, and 24,117 families residing in the city. The population density was 5,566.2 people per square mile (2,149.1/km²). There were 39,630 housing units at an average density of 2,155.0/sq mi (832.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 55.59% White, 29.27% Asian, 2.29% African American, 0.53% Native American, 0.43% Pacific Islander, 6.94% from other races, and 4.95% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 15.99% of the population.

There were 38,526 households out of which 27.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.4% were married couples living together, 9.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.4% were non-families. 25.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.58 and the average family size was 3.14.

In the city the population was spread out with 19.9% under the age of 18, 11.3% from 18 to 24, 39.1% from 25 to 44, 19.1% from 45 to 64, and 10.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 103.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 102.9 males.

According to a 2007 estimate, the median income for a household in the city was $75,687, and the median income for a family was $98,977.[16145] Males had a median income of $58,641 versus $43,131 for females. The per capita income for the city was $31,755. About 4.5% of families and 7.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.3% of those under age 18 and 8.2% of those age 65 or over.


Namco Bandai Games's United States office is in Santa Clara.


Central Park Library in Santa Clara
  • California Governor
:Arnold Schwarzenegger (R)

  • Federal Senators
:Barbara Boxer (D)
:Dianne Feinstein (D)

  • Federal Representative
:Mike Honda (D) of California's 15th congressional district

  • State Senator
:Elaine Alquist (D)

  • State Assembly Members
:Sally J. Lieber (D) of California's 22nd Assembly District
:James T. Beall, Jr. (D) of California's 24th Assembly District

  • Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors
:Ken Yeager of District 4

  • City Manager
:Jennifer Sparacino

  • Mayor
:Patricia M. Mahan

  • City Council
:Dominic J. Caserta
:Will Kennedy
:Kevin Moore
:Joe Kornder
:Jamie L. Matthews
:Jamie McLeod


Main Street, about 1910
The first European to visit the valley was José Francisco Ortega in 1769. He found the area inhabited by Native Americans the Spanish called the Costanos, "coast people," later known as the Ohlone. The Spanish began to colonize California with 21 missions and theMission Santa Clara de Asismarker was founded in 1777.

In 1846, the American flag was raised over Montereymarker and symbolized the transfer of California to the United States. In 1851, Santa Clara College was established where the old mission used to be. In 1852, Santa Clara was incorporated as a town; it became state-chartered by 1862. The economy centered on family farms since orchards and vegetables were thriving on the fertile soil. In 1905, the first public high-altitude flights by man were made over Santa Clara in gliders designed by John J. Montgomery. By the beginning of the 20th century, the population had reached 5,000 and stayed about the same for many years.The semiconductor industry, which sprouted around 1960, changed the valley forever; little of its agricultural past remains.

Santa Clara's first medical hospital was built in 1963. This structure, on Kiely Boulevard, was replaced in 2007 with the new Kaiser Permanente medical center located on Lawrence Expressway at Homestead Road.

Santa Clara was also home to a major mental health facility, Agnews State Hospitalmarker. According to the National Park Service, more than 100 persons were killed at this site in the 1906 earthquake. The site is now home to Sun Microsystems and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.


Santa Clara has two major train stations: Great America-Santa Clara Stationmarker and Santa Clara marker. The former is served by Amtrak's Capitol Corridor train as well as Altamont Commuter Express trains, while the latter has Caltrain and Altamont Commuter Express service.

Sister cities

Santa Clara currently has two sister cities. They are:

Notable residents and natives

See also


  1. (Link dead as of 15 January 2007)
  2. Silicon Valley Power Dedicates Donald Von Raesfeld Power Plant on June 15, 2005, City of Santa Clara news release (2005)
  3. Environmental Impact Report for the Esperanca property, Santa Clara, California, Earth Metrics Inc., California State Clearinghouse (1990)
  4. " Company Info." Namco Bandai. Retrieved on December 8, 2008.
  7. [1]

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