Just southeast of the San Francisco Bay, about 10 miles directly north of county seat San Jose, the town of Milpitas, California, is home to a population of more than 67,000. It has experienced modest growth in its population of almost 8% since the 2000 census, as of figures estimated in 2008. The city is located between Interstates 680 and 880, within the famed high-tech Silicon Valley, in Santa Clara County. Milpitas is often referred to as the Crossroads of Silicon Valley. The city is quite diverse, with no race having a majority. Meanwhile, nearly one-half of its population was born outside of the U.S.
Not coincidentally, computers and technology are the largest industry in Milipitas, undoubtedly due to its location in the heart of Silicon Valley. The city is the home to corporate headquarters for such companies as Maxtor, LSI Logic, Solectron, Adaptec and SanDisk. The two largest employers in Milpitas are Cisco Systems and Lifescan Inc., with more than 2,500 employees each. The city is moderately affluent, with a homeownership rate of nearly 70%. Residents tend to be more affluent than average Californians, which is reflected in Milpitas real estate prices. In 2008, estimated median household income was more than $102,000 while the median price for Milpitas homes was more than $622,000, nearly double the price since 2000 (however, these figures do not reflect any dips in values that may have occurred since the U.S. housing market crash). Median gross rent in 2008 was $1,654.
The Milpitas Unified School District operates public schools in the city, with nine elementary, two middle and two high schools. Private schools include St. Johns Catholic School, Milpitas Christian and Rainbow Bridge, and colleges include Heald College, Evergreen/San Jose City College and Ohlone College. The Altamont Commuter Express provides train service to and from Milpitas from neighboring cities in San Joaquin and Alameda County. The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority also runs light rail and local buses for public transportation. A branch of the Santa Clara County Library operates in the city, and the Milpitas Alliance for the Arts funds murals, plays, sculptures and other art projects throughout the year. The Milpitas Sports Center is home base for a variety of sports leagues like swimming, tennis, soccer and baseball.
The city is the site of the Great Mall of the Bay Area, the largest enclosed mall in Northern California, with approximately 1.1 million square feet of retail space. Three golf courses, Summit Pointe Golf Club, Tularcitos Golf and Country Club and Spring Valley Golf Course, are located here. Ed Levin County Park is just to the east of the town, as is the Calaveras Reservoir. Recently, Milpitas has experienced economic problems with the onset of the greater financial crisis. in October 2009, its unemployment rate was a moderately high 12.2%, just below that state's average of 12.3%.
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