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San Jose originally Pueblo de San José de Guadalupe and officially the City of San José, is the third-largest city by population in California, the tenth-largest by population in the United States, and the county seat of Santa Clara County. San Jose is the largest city within the Bay Area and the largest city in Northern California.

Before the arrival of the Spanish, the area around San Jose was inhabited by the Ohlone people. San Jose was founded on November 29, 1777, as San José de Guadalupe, the first civilian town in the Spanish colony of 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 became the capital.

After more than 150 years as a small farming community, the San Jose area in the mid-20th century contained some of the last undeveloped land near San Francisco Bay. It then began to experience rapid population growth, much of it coming from 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 high tech industry earned the city the nickname "Capital of Silicon Valley". San Jose is now considered to be a global city, and notable for its affluence and high cost of living. The U.S. Census Bureau estimated the population of the city to be 1,015,785 as of July 1, 2014.

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