San Jose[A] (Spanish for 'Saint Joseph'), officially San José,[B] is the cultural, financial, and political center of Silicon Valley, and the largest city in Northern California by both population and area.
With an estimated 2019 population of 1,021,795, it is the third-most populous city in California (after Los Angeles and San Diego) and the tenth-most populous in the United States. Located in the center of the Santa Clara Valley, on the southern shore of San Francisco Bay, San Jose covers an area of 179.97 square miles (466.1 km2).
San Jose is notable as a center of innovation, for its affluence,Mediterranean climate, and extremely high cost of living. Its location within the booming high tech industry as a cultural, political, and economic center has earned the city the nickname "Capital of Silicon Valley". San Jose is one of the wealthiest major cities in the United States and the world, and has the third-highest GDP per capita in the world (after Zürich, Switzerland and Oslo, Norway), according to the Brookings Institution. The San Jose Metropolitan Area has the most millionaires and the most billionaires in the United States per capita. With a median home price of $1,085,000, San Jose has the most expensive housing market in the country and the fifth most expensive housing market in the world, according to the 2017 Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey. Major global tech companies including Cisco Systems, eBay, Adobe Inc., PayPal, Broadcom, Samsung, Acer, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, and Zoom maintain their headquarters in San Jose, in the center of Silicon Valley.
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, Midtown San Jose, Willow Glen, Naglee Park, Burbank, Winchester, Alviso, East Foothills, Alum Rock, Communications Hill, Little Portugal, Blossom Valley, Cambrian, Almaden Valley, Silver Creek Valley, Evergreen Valley, Edenvale, Santa Teresa, Seven Trees, Coyote Valley, and Berryessa. A distinct ethnic enclave in San Jose is the Washington-Guadalupe neighborhood, immediately south of the SoFA District; this neighborhood is home to a community of Hispanics, centered on Willow Street.
The large concentration of high-technology engineering, computer, and microprocessor companies around San Jose has led the area to be known as Silicon Valley. Area schools such as the University of California, Berkeley, University of California, Santa Cruz, San Jose State University, San Francisco State University, California State University, East Bay, Santa Clara University, and Stanford University pump thousands of engineering and computer science graduates into the local economy every year.
San Jose residents produce more U.S. patents than any other city. On October 15, 2015, the United States Patent and Trademark Office opened a satellite office in San Jose to serve Silicon Valley and the Western United States. Thirty-five percent of all venture capital funds in the U.S. are invested in San Jose and Silicon Valley companies.
By April 2018, Google was in the process of planning the "biggest tech campus in Silicon Valley" in San Jose.
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 was somewhat diminished.
On March 14, 2013, San Jose implemented a public wireless connection in the downtown area.The San Jose Police Department has consistently innovated in crime prevention, through programs like "CrimeReports.com", which made San Jose the first American city to make all 911 calls available via online. Crime in San Jose had been lower than in other large American cities until 2013, when crime rates in San Jose climbed above California and U.S. averages. Like most large cities, crime levels had fallen significantly after rising in the 1980s. Today it is no longer ranked as one of the safest cities in the country with a population over 1,000,000 people. The designation is based on crime statistics reported to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in six categories: murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, and auto theft.