A mid-sized and growing city located in the southern part of Santa Clara County, Morgan Hill, California, is south of San Francisco in the Bay Area, right in the heart of Silicon Valley near San Jose. It sits about 25 miles south of San Jose, the county seat, and is about 15 miles inland from the Pacific Ocean. To the west of the city are the Santa Cruz Mountains, and to the east is the Diablo Range. Morgan Hill has an elevation of about 350 feet. The city has experienced healthy growth of about 13.5% since the 2000 census, and in 2008, its population was estimated at around 38,000.
Morgan Hill makes up an area of almost 12 square miles. It was founded and incorporated in 1906 and was named after Hiram Morgan Hill, a San Franciscan who built a country home here in 1884. The city was originally rural with a large agricultural industry of farmers, ranchers and orchards. In the post-war era, however, it developed into a suburban community for the nearby Silicon Valley cities. The city celebrates its diversity -- more than 15% of residents were born outside the U.S. Morgan Hill residents are more affluent than the average Californian, and therefore Morgan Hill real estate are higher than average. In 2008, the median annual household income was estimated at around $98,000. At the same time, Morgan Hill homes were measured to have a median value of nearly $700,000.
Children living in Morgan Hill are served by the Morgan Hill Unified School District, which is made up of 10 elementary schools, two middle schools, two high schools and a K-7 charter school. There are also several private schools throughout the county for parents seeking an alternative educational option. Due to its proximity in the Silicon Valley, more than 20% of residents are employed in the computer and electronic products industry. Recently, however, Morgan Hill has suffered some ill effects of the financial crisis. In October 2009, it was measured to have a high unemployment rate of 15.2%, nearly 3% higher than the state's average at that time.
For navigating Morgan Hill and the surrounding cities, the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority provides local and express buses to San Jose and Sunnyvale. Caltrain provides weekday commuter rail service during rush hours to the Santa Clara Valley and the San Francisco Peninsula. The Monterrey-Salinas Transit also operates a rush-hour San Jose-Monterey express bus. Commercial flights are available at the San Jose International Airport, about 24 miles away. Morgan Hill operates more than 10 city parks and the Morgan Hill Branch Santa Clara County Free Library. Attractions in the city include Hill Country Golf and Country Club, Coyote Valley Golf Center and Holiday Lake Golf Course, the Morgan Hill Aquatic Center and the Morgan Hill Museum. There are several shopping centers in the community, plus the Morgan Hill Community and Cultural Center, which features an amphitheater and a satellite campus of Gavilan College.
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