Santa Clara County’s population is now almost 1,940,000. The median household income is $111,069, and the median home value is $1,256,400. At one time largely covered in orchards, it is the most populous county in the San Francisco area. San Jose is its county seat and largest city. Silicon Valley is the economic center of high tech in the U.S., which makes this community the most affluent on the West Coast. Santa Clara County has the third highest GDP/capita in the world. From the 1930’s on a center for high tech, Santa Clara County has about 6,500 high tech firms including Intel, Apple, Cisco, AMD, EBay, Google and Yahoo.
Santa Clara County is 1,304 square miles in size, located at the southern end of San Francisco Bay. Counties which border with Santa Clara County are, clockwise, Santa Cruz County, San Mateo County, Alameda, San Joaquin (within a few hundred feet at Mount Boardman), Stanislaus, Merced, and San Benito. The San Andreas Fault runs along the Santa Cruz Mountains in the south and west of the county.
Santa Clara County was one of the original counties of California, formed in 1850 at the time of statehood. The original inhabitants included the Ohlone, residing on Coyote Creek and Calaveras Creek. Part of the county's territory was given to Alameda County in 1853. The first major technology company to be based in the area was Hewlett-Packard, founded in a garage in Palo Alto in 1939.