Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Santa Clara County, California
The county is bordered to the north-west by San Mateo County, to the south-west by Santa Cruz County, to the north by Alameda County, to the east by Stanislaus County, to the south-east by Merced County, and to the south by San Benito County.
As of the census2 of 2000, there are 1,682,585 people, 565,863 households, and 395,538 families residing in the county. The population density is 503/km² (1,304/mi²). There are 579,329 housing units at an average density of 173/km² (449/mi²). The racial makeup of the county is 53.83% White, 2.80% Black or African American, 0.67% Native American, 25.56% Asian, 0.34% Pacific Islander, 12.13% from other races, and 4.66% from two or more races. 23.98% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 565,863 households out of which 34.90% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.90% are married couples living together, 10.00% have a female householder with no husband present, and 30.10% are non-families. 21.40% of all households are made up of individuals and 5.90% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.92 and the average family size is 3.41.
In the county the population is spread out with 24.70% under the age of 18, 9.30% from 18 to 24, 35.40% from 25 to 44, 21.00% from 45 to 64, and 9.50% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 34 years. For every 100 females there are 102.80 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 101.90 males.
The median income for a household in the county is $74,335, and the median income for a family is $81,717. Males have a median income of $56,240 versus $40,574 for females. The per capita income for the county is $32,795. 7.50% of the population and 4.90% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 8.40% of those under the age of 18 and 6.40% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.
Santa Clara County has consolidated its transportation services into the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, which operates a rapidly expanding light rail system and a large system of bus routes. It also manages certain county-funded highway and expressway projects.
Besides SCVTA, the County is also served by Caltrain commuter rail service.
Freeways and expressways
The county has an extensive freeway system (now nearing completion) and a separate expressway system. Expressways in California are distinct from freeways; although access to adjoining properties is eliminated, at-grade intersections are allowed. However, unlike expressways virtually everywhere else in California, the Santa Clara County expressways were built, signed, and maintained as county roads; they are not maintained by Caltrans, although they are patroled by the California Highway Patrol.
Many journalists and mapmakers from outside California do not understand the important difference between freeways and expressways, and incorrectly describe or depict Silicon Valley as criss-crossed by a "web" of freeways when many of the lines on the map are really expressways.
There is also a large street network dominated by four- and six-lane arterials. Some of the newer boulevards (primarily in the West Valley) are divided with landscaped medians. They also often have neat concrete sidewalks, although people are rarely seen using them; most county residents prefer to visit the many county or state parks in the hills surrounding Santa Clara Valley when they need to exercise.
The county's main airport is Mineta San Jose International Airport; Moffett Field, a former Naval Air Station, is used by the Air National Guard, NASA, and Lockheed Martin; there are also smaller general aviation airports in Palo Alto, East San Jose, and Gilroy.
The county has no seaports. Like all other Bay Area counties, it is dependent upon the Port of Oakland for transport of ocean cargo.
Cities, towns, and neighborhoods
There are 15 incorporated cities and towns in the county:
- Los Altos
- Los Altos Hills
- Los Gatos
- Monte Sereno
- Morgan Hill
- Mountain View
- Palo Alto
- San Jose (includes former cities Alum Rock, Alviso, and Cambrian Park)
- Santa Clara
Unincorporated communities in the county include:
- Buena Vista
- East Foothills
- Lexington Hills
- San Martin
- Seven Trees
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