A suburban city in Santa Clara County, Cupertino, California, is in the heart of Silicon Valley and is a tech-heavy city with a population of just over 50,000. The city is most famously known as the home to Apple Computers' headquarters. It sits on an area of 10.9 square miles at an elevation of 236 feet. Cupertino is on the western edge of the Santa Clara Valley, though parts extend into the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Cupertino has many foreign-born residents, particularly in the high-tech sector, and more than 55% of residents are of Asian heritage.
The city was named after Arroyo San José de Cupertino, the name of an area creek, which got its name from Saint Joseph of Cupertino from a Spanish cartographer. In the 1800s, the city was a rural farming community dotted with prune, plum, apricot and cherry orchards. It began to experience massive growth in the post-war era as business in America began booming and expanding and Silicon Valley began to take shape. Cupertino incorporated in 1955. The city's residents are quite wealthy, and as a result, Cupertino real estate prices are quite high. According to estimates taken between 2005 and 2007, the median annual household income in Cupertino was more than $118,500. Cupertino homes in 2008 had a median value of nearly $1.1 million, more than double the state average.
More than 60 high-tech companies have offices here, and Trend Micro, Packeteer, Chordiant, Portal Software and Symantec have their headquarters in town. Hanson Permanente Cement is also a major employer that has existed in the town for many years. There is no public commuter rail system in place in Cupertino yet, though connections to rail systems can be made to the east and north of Cupertino. Unemployment remains low in Cupertino; in October 2009, the city had an unemployment rate of just 7.8%, a much better rate than the state's average of 12.3%.
The school's two public school systems include the Cupertino Union School District and Fremont Union High School District, which are made up of 17 elementary, five middle and five high schools. De Anza College is a community college serving the area. The college houses the Flint Center on its campus, used as a music hall by such troupes as the California Youth Symphony and the San Francisco Symphony. The University of California, Santa Cruz, and the University of San Francisco also operate satellite campuses here. Cupertino is home to more than 150 acres of park space, including Blackberry Farm, with a nine-hole golf course. Several special events are celebrated throughout the year, such as the Lunar New Year Unity Parade, the Cherry Blossom Festival, a Moon Festival and a Tournament of Bands.
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