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San Jose

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San Jose is the third-largest city in California, the tenth-largest in the U.S., and the county seat of Santa Clara County which is located at the southern end of San Francisco Bay. San Jose is the largest city within Silicon Valley, which is a major component of the greater San Francisco Bay Area, a region of 7.6 million people and the sixth largest metropolitan area (CSA) in the United States. It is also the most populous city in Northern California.

San Jose was founded on November 29, 1777, as El Pueblo de San Jose de Guadalupe, the first civilian town in the Spanish colony of Nueva California, which later became Alta California.The city served as a farming community to support Spanish military installations at San Francisco and Monterey. When California gained statehood in 1850, San Jose served as its first capital.

After more than 150 years as a small farming city, San Jose and the surrounding Santa Clara Valley became the last (and largest) contiguous area of undeveloped land surrounding the San Francisco Bay. San Jose experienced increased demand for housing from soldiers and veterans returning from World War II. San Jose then continued its aggressive expansion during the 1950s and 1960s by annexing more land area. The rapid growth of the high-technology and electronics industries further accelerated the transition from an agricultural center, to an urbanized metropolitan area.

By the 1990s, San Jose's location within the booming local technology industry earned the city its nickname, Capital of Silicon Valley. San Jose now maintains global city status and is the largest city in the San Francisco Bay Area in terms of population, land area, and industrial development.The U.S. Census Bureau reported the population of the city to be 945,942 as of the 2010 Census. As of January 2012 the California Department of Finance estimated the population of San Jose as 971,372.

San Jose, along with the Santa Clara Valley, experienced about half a century of spectacular suburban sprawl, with characteristics of intense urbanization similar to the Los Angeles area of Southern California. The city has taken definite steps to avoid becoming "L.A. North".