The City of Santa Clara shares its name with the County of Santa Clara. The region, also referred to as Silicon Valley, is internationally known for its technology achievements. The residents enjoy an outstanding quality of life including excellent schools, beautiful parks and open spaces, cultural arts, and a broad range of recreational activities. Visitors are happy to explore the many assets our communities have to offer and to enjoy our enviable weather - more than 300 days of sunshine and mild temperatures a year!
The Ohlone people settled this valley as early as 6,000 years ago. It was first documented by European explorer Jose Francisco Ortega in 1769. Santa Clara and San Jose both grew out of missions established a few years later by Franciscan padres. Early American settlers came west to our valley in the first half of the 1800s, but a much larger influx accompanied the discovery of gold in California in 1849. By the time California became the 31st of the United States in 1850, the fertile land of our valley began to draw families whose farms and orchards created a national reputation for Santa Clara County as a thriving center of agriculture.
Populations in our communities grew slowly and steadily until after World War II when thousands of veterans and their families poured into Santa Clara County to buy homes and experience suburban living at its finest. The City of Santa Clara's population alone jumped from 6,650 in 1940 to 58,880 in 1960. As of the 2010 census, the City of Santa Clara had more than 116,000 residents and Santa Clara County was home to just under 1.8 million.