Sharing the name with the county in which it sits, the city of Santa Clara, California, lies south of San Francisco Bay in Northern California, among the famed Silicon Valley high-tech hub. Santa Clara makes up an area of more than 18 square miles and is a large and growing city: Its population was estimated in 2008 to have grown by nearly 8% since 2000 to more than 110,000. It also is a quite diverse city, with no one race or ethnicity comprising a majority of residents, and with around 35% of residents born outside the U.S.
Santa Clara was founded in 1777 and incorporated in 1852. It was the site for the eighth of 21 missions in the state, Mission Santa Clara de Asís, and took its name from the mission. In 1851, Santa Clara College was established at the mission's old site. In the post-war era, Santa Clara began to experience growth and development, and in the 1960s the development of the semiconductor industry transformed it into a modern city. Today, residents are wealthier than average in the state, and Santa Clara real estate prices show it. In 2008, median annual household income was estimated at more than $92,000, while Santa Clara homes had a median price of more than $665,000.
The city is heavily influenced by the Silicon Valley high-tech industry, and almost 45% of the city's residents are employed in the computer and electronic products industry. McAfee, Intel, Applied Materials, Sun Microsystems, NVIDIA and Agilent Technologies have headquarters in Santa Clara, and the city has suffered layoffs and ill employment effects to a lesser extent than other areas of the state -- in October 2009, Santa Clara had an unemployment rate of 10.9%, high, but still less than the state's average of 12.3%. For navigating in and around Santa Clara, residents can access one of two key train stations, Great America-Santa Clara Station and the Santa Clara Caltrain/ACE station.
Children living in Santa Clara are served by the Santa Clara Unified School District, with 16 elementary schools, three middle schools and three high schools. There are also many private school, the largest of which include Carden El Encandto Day School, St. Lawrence, Granada Islamic School, St. Justin and St. Clare elementary schools. For higher education, Mission College and Santa Clara University are located here. Santa Clara is home to Great America, an amusement park and to the San Francisco 49ers NFL football team's headquarters and practice facilities. Other attractions include the Community Recreation Center in Central Park, the de Saisset Museum, the Intel Museum, the Triton Museum of Art, Pruneridge Farms Golf Course and the Santa Clara Municipal Golf Course. Each year the city celebrates the Santa Clara Art & Wine Festival.
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