San Jose, officially San José, is the cultural, financial, and political centre of Silicon Valley, and the largest city in Northern California by both population and area. It is the third-most populous city in California and the tenth-most populous in the United States. It is located in the centre of the Santa Clara Valley, on the southern shore of San Francisco Bay. San Jose is the county seat of Santa Clara County, the most affluent county in California and one of the most affluent counties in the United States. San Jose is the main component of the San Jose–Sunnyvale–Santa Clara Metropolitan Statistical Area. It is also the most populous city in both the San Francisco Bay Area and the San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland Combined Statistical Area. Before the arrival of the Spanish, the area around San Jose was inhabited by the Tamien nation of the Ohlone peoples of California.
San Jose is notable as a centre of innovation, for its affluence, Mediterranean climate, and extremely high cost of living. As of June 2021, the city has the highest percentage of million-dollar+ homes in the United States. Its location within the booming high tech industry as a cultural, political, and economic centre 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, 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 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 centre of Silicon Valley. The CSA San Jose shares with San Francisco was the country's third-largest urban economy, with a GDP of $1.03 trillion. Of the 500+ primary statistical areas in the U.S., this CSA had among the highest GDP per capita at $106,757.
The cost of living in San Jose and the surrounding areas is among the highest in California and the nation, according to 2004 data. Housing costs are the primary reason for the high cost of living, although the costs in all areas tracked by the ACCRA Cost of Living Index are above the national average. Households in the city limits have the highest disposable income of any city in the U.S. with over 500,000 residents.
San Jose is a United States Foreign-Trade Zone. The city received its Foreign Trade Zone grant from the U.S. Federal Government in 1974, making it the 18th foreign-trade zone established in the United States. Under its grant, the City of San Jose is granted jurisdiction to oversee and administer foreign trade in Santa Clara County, Monterey County, San Benito County, Santa Cruz County, and in the southern parts of San Mateo County and Alameda County.
San Jose lists many companies with 1,000 employees or more, including the headquarters of Adobe, Altera, Brocade Communications Systems, Cadence Design Systems, Cisco Systems, eBay, Lee's Sandwiches, Lumileds, PayPal, Roku, Inc., Rosendin Electric, Sanmina-SCI, Western Digital and Xilinx, as well as major facilities for Becton Dickinson, Ericsson, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, Hitachi, IBM, Kaiser Permanente, KLA Tencor, Lockheed Martin, Nippon Sheet Glass, Qualcomm, and AF Media Group. The North American headquarters of Samsung Semiconductor are located in San Jose. Approximately 2000 employees will work at the new Samsung campus which opened in 2015. Other large companies based in San Jose include Align Technology, Altera, Atmel, Bloom Energy, CEVA, Cypress Semiconductor, Cohesity, Echelon, Extreme Networks, GlobalLogic, Harmonic, Integrated Device Technology, Maxim Integrated, Micrel, Move, Netgear, Novellus Systems, Nutanix, Oclaro, OCZ, Quantum, SunPower, Sharks Sports and Entertainment, Supermicro, Tessera Technologies, TiVo, Ultratech, VeriFone, Viavi Solutions, Zoom Video Communications, and Zscaler. Sizable government employers include the city government, Santa Clara County, and San Jose State University. Acer's United States division has its offices in San Jose.
In 2015, Cupertino-based Apple Inc. purchased a 40-acre site in San Jose. The site, which is bare land, will be the site of an office and research campus where it is estimated that up to 16,000 employees will be located. Real estate experts expect that other tech companies currently located in Silicon Valley will also follow in Apple's path by purchasing land or property in San Jose.
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. In 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 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. In the mid-2000s, traffic along major highways again began to worsen as the economy improved. San Jose had 405,000 jobs within its city limits and the highest median income of any U.S. city with over 280,000 people.
In 2013, San Jose implemented a public wireless connection in the downtown area. Wireless access points have been placed on outdoor light posts throughout the city.
Media San Jose is served by Greater Bay Area media. Print media outlets in San Jose include the Mercury News, the weekly Metro Silicon Valley, El Observador and the Silicon Valley / San Jose Business Journal. The Bay Area's NBC O&O, KNTV 11, is based in San Jose. In total, broadcasters in the Bay Area include 34 television stations, 25 AM radio stations, and 55 FM radio stations.
In April 1909, Charles David Herrold, an electronics instructor in San Jose, constructed a radio station to broadcast the human voice. The station, "San Jose Calling" (call letters FN, later FQW), was the world's first radio station with scheduled programming targeted at a general audience. The station became the first to broadcast music in 1910. Herrold's wife Sybil became the first female "disk jockey" in 1912. The station changed hands a number of times before eventually becoming today's KCBS in San Francisco.
Among the top employers in the city are: County of Santa Clara; Cisco Systems; City of San Jose; San Jose State University; eBay; PayPal; Adobe Systems, Inc.; Kaiser Permanente; Target Stores; Good Samaritan Hospital; Western Digital; Super Micro Computer, Inc.; Safeway; Cadence Design Systems; Regional Medical Center.
San José is rated Gamma + by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network (GaWC) which evaluates and ranks the relationships between world cities in the context of globalisation. Gamma level cities are cities that link smaller economic regions into the world economy.
San José is ranked #5 by the Global Urban Competitiveness Report (GUCR) which evaluates and ranks world cities in the context of economic competitiveness. San José has a population of over 1,033,670 people. San José also forms part of the wider San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara metropolitan area which has a population of over 1,990,660 people. San José is the #158 hipster city in the world, with a hipster score of 3.8641 according to the Hipster Index which evaluates and ranks the major cities of the world according to the number of vegan eateries, coffee shops, tattoo studios, vintage boutiques, and record stores per 100,000 city residents.