The County of Santa Clara, also referred to as “Silicon Valley,” is unique because of its combination of physical attractiveness and economic diversity. With its numerous natural amenities and one of the highest standards of living in the country, Santa Clara County has long been considered one of the best areas in the United States in which to live and work.
The County’s population of approximately 1.8 million is the sixth largest in the State, and the largest of the nine Bay Area counties. Its population constitutes about one fourth of the Bay Area’s total population. There are 15 cities within the County’s boundaries: Campbell, Cupertino, Gilroy, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Los Gatos, Milpitas, Monte Sereno, Morgan Hill, Mountain View, Palo Alto, San Jose (the largest city in the County and the administrative site of County government), Santa Clara, Saratoga and Sunnyvale. A significant portion of the County’s land area is unincorporated ranch and farmland. About 95% of the population lives in cities.
The County, with its diverse population, high standard of living, and strong economic vitality has attracted people from all over the world. Its location provides residents with a suburban lifestyle, while providing close access to nature and the outdoors.
The Mediterranean climate of the region remains temperate year round due to the area’s geography and its proximity to the Pacific Ocean. The area is warm and dry much of the year.
Today, the County is a major employment center for the region, providing more than a quarter of all jobs in the Bay Area. It has one of the highest median family incomes in the country, and a wide diversity of cultures, backgrounds and talents. Santa Clara County continues to attract people from all over the world.
Valley Medical Center is the County’s largest Agency, employing over 7,000 employees. Santa Clara County, located at the southern end of the San Francisco Bay Area, encompasses 1,315 square miles. The fertile Santa Clara Valley runs the entire length of the County from north to south, ringed by the rolling hills of the Diablo Range on the east, and the Santa Cruz Mountains on the west. Salt marshes and wetlands lie in the northwestern part of the County, adjacent to the waters of San Francisco Bay.
We are the home of numerous high-tech companies like Google, Apple, HP, Cisco Systems, and Yahoo; educational, cultural and recreational opportunities within the County, a short hour’s drive can bring residents or visitors to the hills of San Francisco or any number of white sand beaches along the Pacific Ocean from Santa Cruz and Half Moon Bay to Monterey and Carmel. San Jose is within easy driving distance to many destinations including a 45-minute drive to Santa Cruz beaches, 50-minutes to San Francisco, and 4 hours to Lake Tahoe.
Our many communities are a makeup of people from diverse cultures, nationalities and racial groups. Currently, approximately 35% of the population is White, 32% Asian/Pacific Islander, 27% Latino/Hispanic, 2% African American, and about 4% of the population is of some other race or two or more races. A large percentage of the population in the County was born outside of the United States.
Santa Clara County has a culture rich in its history, ethnic diversity (over 100 languages and dialects are spoken), artistic endeavors, sports venues and academic institutions. In sports and recreation, San Jose is home to teams for professional soccer, minor league baseball, the San Jose Sharks (the only professional ice hockey team in Northern California), and the San Francisco 49ers. Numerous public and private golf courses are located throughout the County. In addition to these recreational outlets, the County operates 28 parks covering more than 50,000 acres including scenic lakes, streams and miles of hiking and biking trails.
Japantown is a popular tourist stop and a corner-stone neighborhood full of tradition. Biblioteca LatinoAmericana, one of the city’s innovative library branches, boasts one of the largest collections of Spanish language materials in Northern California. The city sponsors many cultural festivals, including the Vietnamese Tet Festival, Portuguese Heritage Fall Festival, Cinco de Mayo Festival, Chinese Summer Festival, San Jose International Mariachi Festival, Filipino Heritage Festival, Italian Family Festival, and Obon Festival, and numerous ethnic chambers of commerce are active in the community.
Area schools produce thousands of engineering and computer science graduates into the local economy every year, and San Jose residents produce more U.S. patents than any other city.
The County is home to four universities – Stanford, Santa Clara University, San Jose State University and the National Hispanic University – as well as excellent community colleges. The University of California Santa Cruz, on behalf of the UC System, operates the famous Lick Observatory which is located locally on Mount Hamilton.
Thirty-five percent of all venture capital funds in the U.S. are invested in Silicon Valley companies. The San Jose metropolitan area ranks second as a national leader in exports, and has strong economic ties with countries throughout the world.
Local museums and art galleries include the Tech Museum of Innovation, Rosicrucian Museum, and Children’s Discovery Museum, San Jose Museum of Art, Triton Museum and many others. There are also abundant performing arts venues including opera, symphonies, musical theater, Repertory Theater, concerts, and children’s musical theater. Local theme parks and venues for children and adults include Paramount’s Great America, Gilroy Gardens, and Raging Waters.
Traditional Events within the Community
- Chinese Summer Festival
- Christmas in the Park
- Cinco de Mayo Festival
- Festival of the Arts
- Filipino Heritage Festival
- Gay Pride Parade
- International Mariachi Festival
- Italian Family Festival
- Juneteenth Festival
- Obon Festival
- Portuguese Heritage Fall Festival
- San José Children's Faire
- Veterans Day Parade
- Vietnamese Tet Festival
Relocation Assistance: Limited relocation assistance is available for potential Executive Leadership positions. Please contact Executive Services
for more information.