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City of Cupertino
—  City  —

Location in Santa Clara County and the state of California
Coordinates: 37°19′3″N 122°2′31″W / 37.3175°N 122.04194°W / 37.3175; -122.04194Coordinates: 37°19′3″N 122°2′31″W / 37.3175°N 122.04194°W / 37.3175; -122.04194
Country United States
State California
County Santa Clara
Incorporated October 10, 1955
 - Mayor Kris Wang
 - Vice-Mayor Gilbert Wong
 - Council Member Orrin Mahoney
 - Council Member Mark Santoro
 - Council Member Barry Chang
 - Total 10.9 sq mi (28.3 km2)
 - Land 10.9 sq mi (28.3 km2)
 - Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 236 ft (72 m)
Population (2000)
 - Total 50,546
 Density 4,620.5/sq mi (1,224.35/km2)
Time zone PST (UTC-8)
 - Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP codes 95014-95015
Area code(s) 408
FIPS code 06-17610
GNIS feature ID 0277496

Cupertino (pronounced /ˌkuːpərˈtiːnoʊ/) is a suburban city in Santa Clara County, California, U.S., directly west of San Jose on the western edge of the Santa Clara Valley with portions extending into the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains. The population was 50,546 at the time of the 2000 census.[1] It is the home of the worldwide headquarters of Apple, Inc.


Name origin

Cupertino was named after Arroyo San José de Cupertino (now Stevens Creek). The creek had been named by Spanish explorer Juan Bautista de Anza's cartographer, who named it after Saint Joseph of Cupertino. Saint Joseph (born Giuseppe Maria Desa, and later known as Giuseppe da Copertino) was named after the town of Copertino in the Apulia region of Italy. The name Cupertino first became widely used when John T. Doyle, a San Francisco lawyer and historian, named his winery on McClellan Road "Cupertino". After the turn of the twentieth century, Cupertino displaced the former name for the region, which was "West Side".


Cupertino in the 1800s was a small rural village at the crossroads of Stevens Creek Road and Saratoga-Mountain View Road (also known locally as Highway 9; later Saratoga-Sunnyvale Road, and then renamed to De Anza Boulevard within Cupertino city limits). Back then, it was known as the West Side and was part of Fremont Township. The primary economic activity was fruit agriculture. Almost all of the land within Cupertino's present-day boundaries was covered by prune, plum, apricot, and cherry orchards. A winery on Montebello Ridge overlooking the Cupertino valley region was also operating by the late 1800s.

Soon railroads, electric railways, and dirt roads traversed the West Side farmlands. Monta Vista, Cupertino's first housing tract, was developed in the mid-1900s as a result of the electric railway's construction.

After World War II, a population and suburban housing boom dramatically shifted the demographics and economy of the Santa Clara Valley, as the "Valley of Heart's Delight" was beginning to transform into "Silicon Valley". In 1954, Cupertino leaders began to drive for incorporation as they were concerned about unplanned development and rising property taxes. In the September 27, 1955 election, voters approved the incorporation of the City of Cupertino. Cupertino officially became Santa Clara County's 13th City on October 10, 1955.

A major milestone in Cupertino's development was the creation by some of the city's largest landowners of VALLCO Business and Industrial Park in the early 1960s. Of the 25 property owners, 17 decided to pool their land to form VALLCO Park, 6 sold to Varian Associates (property later sold to Hewlett-Packard), and two opted for transplanting to farms elsewhere. The name VALLCO was derived from the names of the principal developers: Varian Associates and the Leonard, Lester, Craft, and Orlando families. A neighborhood outdoor shopping center and, much later, the enclosed Vallco Fashion Park mall were also developed. Notable technology company Apple is headquartered in Cupertino.

De Anza College opened in 1967. The college, named for Juan Bautista De Anza, occupies a 112-acre (0.45 km2) site that was the location of a winery built at the turn of the last century, called Beaulieu by its owners, Charles and Ella Baldwin. Their mansion has now become the California History Center. De Anza College now has about 22,000 students and is a hub of activity in the city. Its flea market, held the first Saturday of the month, attracts thousands from around the area.

Housing developments were rapidly constructed in the following years as developers created many neighborhoods, including Fairgrove, Garden Gate, Monta Vista, Seven Springs, and many other developments. Although originally low-cost housing, Silicon Valley's housing prices shot up dramatically as many houses that were formerly lowly priced became multi-million dollar homes. The high cost of living in Cupertino is attributed by people wanting their children to receive high quality schooling. Nevertheless, the price of housing seems to have weathered even the 2007-8 slump in economy. Eichler homes are popular and even sought after in Rancho Rinconada Fairgrove neighborhood.

On December 1, 2009, Cupertino became the first city in Northern California to have an Asian-American majority city council.


As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 50,546 people, 18,204 households, and 13,613 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,171.1 inhabitants per square mile (1,224.4 /km2). There were 18,682 housing units at an average density of 1,707.1 /sq mi (659.1 /km2). The racial makeup of the city was 50.1% White American, 44.4% Asian American, 3.1% from two or more races, 4.0% Hispanic American or Latino American of any race, 1.3% from other races, 0.7% African American, 0.20% Native American and 0.1% Pacific Islander American.

There were 18,204 households out of which 41.6% had children under the age of 18 living in them, 63.9% were married couples living together, 7.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.2% were non-families. 19.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.75 and the average family size was 3.19.

In the city the population was spread out with 26.6% under the age of 18, 5.2% from 18 to 24, 33.0% from 25 to 44, 24.1% from 45 to 64, and 11.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 99.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.8 males.

According to the 2005-2007 American Community Survey of the US Census Bureau, the median income for a household in the city was $118,635, and the median income for a family was $133,098. The per capita income for the city was $44,774. About 3.6% of families and 5.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.9% of those under age 18 and 8.1% of those age 65 or over.[3]

According to the 2005-2007 American Community Survey, White Americans made up 37.4% of Cupertino's population. African Americans now made up 1.5% of Cupertino's population and American Indians made up 0.4% of the city's population. In addition, Cupertino now has an Asian American majority as this group now represents 55.7% of the city's population. Pacific Islander Americans remained at 0.1% of the population. Also, 2.5% of the population are from some other race and 2.4% of the population are from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos remained at 4.0% of Cupertino's population.[4] In the 2000 Census, non-Hispanic whites made up 47.8% of Cupertino's population.[5] According to the 2005-2007 American Community Survey, non-Hispanic whites now represented 35.3% of the city's population.[6]

Cupertino was the only city with both a population over 50,000 and a median household income in excess of $100,000 in 2000.


Cupertino is located at 37°19′3″N 122°2′31″W / 37.3175°N 122.04194°W / 37.3175; -122.04194 (37.317492, −122.041949),[7] at the southern end of the San Francisco Bay. The eastern part of the city, located in the Santa Clara Valley, is flat while the western part of the city slopes into the Santa Cruz Mountains.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 10.9 square miles (28 km2),[7] all land.

Cupertino has mild weather with wet winters and dry summers. Oak and redwood forests cover the hills overlooking the Cupertino lowlands.

Averages in July (at Santa Clara University)

  • Maximum - 82.0 °F (27.8 °C)
  • Minimum - 54.1 °F (12.3 °C)

Averages in January (at Santa Clara University)

  • Maximum - 58.2 °F (14.6 °C)
  • Minimum - 38.7 °F (3.7 °C)


  • High - 114 °F (46 °C) - June 1961
  • Low - 16 °F (−9 °C) - December 1990


Cupertino is made up of numerous subdivisions, most of them developed since the 1960s. Two of the newest parts of Cupertino are actually among its oldest housing tracts. Monta Vista and Rancho Rinconada were developed outside of the city's boundaries in the 1950s and before, and were only recently annexed into Cupertino. The newest and most northern neighborhood, Oak Valley, borders Rancho San Antonio Park and was developed around the year 2000.


Cali Mill Plaza marks the traditional center of the city and the historical location of Crossroads. However, Cupertino does not have a traditional downtown shopping and commercial district.
Cali Mill Plaza at night with a Christmas tree.

The Cupertino region is mainly suburban residential and technical-industrial with a relatively high standard of living. The two main thoroughfares are Stevens Creek Boulevard, which runs east-west, and De Anza Boulevard, which runs north-south. Cupertino has developed quickly since the 1960s and the Silicon Valley boom and there was no old major downtown or Main Street for development to radiate from and replace the historic orchards that covered the Santa Clara Valley. This allowed for urban planning almost in the style of the Master Plano of Columbia, Maryland, with major streets zoned commercially and residential areas built along a gridwork of streets running north-south and east-west that discourage through-traffic. The closest equivalent to a downtown is the busy intersection of Stevens Creek and De Anza Boulevards, colloquially known as the Crossroads, near the site of the tiny village of old Cupertino. Even though it surrounds the busy intersection, the commercial area is designed to be pedestrian-friendly. It is currently bordered by two open-air shopping centers, two gas stations, and the high-rise Cupertino City Center – a mixed-use complex at Cali Mill Plaza (with offices, newly built condominiums, Le Boulanger Bakery, Armadillo Willy's Barbecue Restaurant, and Cypress Hotel).[8] One block further the southeast is the smaller Cupertino Civic Center, which includes City Hall and the local branch of the county library. This complex area also includes a park with a cricket pitch. This park is also used for several festivals like the "Fall Festival".

The goal of developing a true downtown has been regularly debated by the City Council ever since the city was incorporated in 1955. The city recently completed an update to its General Plan, which includes plans to gradually move Cupertino to a more pedestrian-oriented community. Several more pedestrian-oriented developments are being proposed or built throughout the city. In recent years, a large number of condominiums have been constructed throughout the city. Many residents have complained that these buildings have resulted in increased traffic and classroom sizes while reducing housing prices. These condominiums tend to be semi-luxury apartments built close to medium size shopping centers. Large mansions and undeveloped lands occupy the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Major roads in the hills include Foothill Boulevard, Prospect Road, Regnart Road, and Rainbow Drive. The Permanente Cement Plant, now operated by Lehigh Southwest Cement, founded in the 1930s, is located on the western end of Stevens Creek Boulevard in the foothills.


The headquarters of Apple Inc. on Infinite Loop in Cupertino.

Cupertino is one of many cities who lay claim to being the "heart" of Silicon Valley, as many semi-conductor and computer companies were founded here and in the surrounding areas. The worldwide headquarters for Apple Inc. is also located here in a modern complex circled by the playfully named Infinite Loop. Apple has also recently announced that it will be building a new 50-acre (200,000 m2) campus along Interstate 280 near Pruneridge Avenue—across the street from the 100-acre (0.4 km2) Hewlett-Packard campus. Other companies headquartered in Cupertino include Trend Micro, Lab126, Packeteer, Chordiant, and Portal Software. Over 60 high-tech companies have offices here, including Hewlett-Packard, IBM, MySQL and Sun Microsystems. Most of these high-tech companies are located on De Anza Boulevard, Cali Mill Plaza, and Bubb Road.

Though Cupertino is home to the headquarters of many high-tech companies, very little manufacturing actually takes place in the city. The city's large office parks are primarily dedicated to management and design functions.

Winter morning at the farmers' market at Vallco Shopping Mall

Earlier in its history Cupertino attributed some of its city income from Vallco Fashion Park (see above), at the time one of the only major indoor shopping malls in the South Bay area. People from the greater South Bay area would come to spend money and contribute to the sales tax. Since then, several other shopping malls have sprung up; Valley Fair (now known as Westfield Valley Fair) in Santa Clara caters to the high end, expensive name brand boutique stores, while the Great Mall in Milpitas in the 1990s opened to the low-priced and bargain retailers. Vallco Fashion Park was hit hard by these developments, as well as the loss of one of its anchor stores, Emporium, and has had a hard time recovering ever since.

In 2002, Cupertino had a labor force of 25,780 with an unemployment rate of 4.5%. The unemployment rate for the Santa Clara County as a whole was 8.4%.

One of the major employers in the area is the aggregate rock quarry and cement plant in the foothills to the west of Cupertino. Currently owned and operated by Lehigh Southwest Cement, it was originally founded by Henry J. Kaiser as the Kaiser Permanente Cement Plant in 1939. Its somewhat novel charter was to provide the majority of the cement used in the construction of the Shasta Dam. It achieved this goal to with impressive results, supplying the 6 million barrels (950,000 m3) of cement over a dedicated nine mile (14 km)-long conveyor system.[9] The cement plant continues to be an important part of the local economy, and is the sole reason for the lone railroad line that runs through the city. Lehigh Permanente Cement was honored as the Large Business of the Year by the Cupertino Chamber of Commerce in 2001-2002.

Law and government


The city seal of Cupertino from 1999 to 2007.

Cupertino was incorporated in 1955. The highest body in the city government is the City Council, made up of five members who serve overlapping, four-year terms. The council itself elects the mayor and vice-mayor for a term of one year. The city does not have its own charter. Instead, it is a General Law city, which follows provisions and requirements for cities established by the state of California.

Cupertino contracts with the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office and the Santa Clara County Fire Department for public safety services. The Cupertino Library is part of the Santa Clara County Library System.

The city's symbol is a conquistador's morion. A sculpture of this helmet stands next to Cupertino City Hall, and several versions of the helmet have also been used as the city logo. The original sculpture was made in 1971 by John Augsburger of San Luis Obispo. A full-sized replica of the sculpture, made by Fred Subega was given to the city of Toyokawa, Japan as a gift to commemorate their tenth anniversary as sister cities. A smaller sculpture in the shape of the helmet in the 1999-2007 Cupertino city seal was also given to the city of Toyokawa as a twenty-fifth anniversary present.

State and federal

In the state legislature Cupertino is located in the 11th Senate District, represented by Democrat Joe Simitian, and in the 22nd Assembly District, represented by Democrat Paul Fong. Federally, Cupertino is located in California's 15th congressional district, which has a Cook PVI of D+14[10] and is represented by Democrat Mike Honda.


The city is served by an interconnected road system. Two freeways, State Route 85 and Interstate 280, intersect in Cupertino, and like any typical middle-class California suburb, it also has multi-lane boulevards with landscaped medians and traffic lights at all major intersections. Streets are in good condition and nearly all have sidewalks. The few exceptions are in unincorporated pockets at the city's edges, which are maintained directly by Santa Clara County.

Gridlock traffic occurs at some main intersections during evening rush hour (5 p.m. to 7 p.m.), particularly at De Anza Boulevard and Interstate 280 because of freeway metering lights.

Cupertino has bike lanes on its boulevards, though due to the high volume of traffic bicyclists must exercise caution.

Dedicated on April 30, 2009, Cupertino opens the “Mary Avenue Bicycle Footbridge”, the first cable-stay bicycle pedestrian bridge over a California freeway. This bridge connects the north and the south sections of the Stevens Creek Trail. The total cost of the bridge project is $14,800,000.[11]

The Union Pacific Railroad operates a branch line track up to the Lehigh Permanente Cement Plant from the mainline at San Jose Diridon Station. It is however strictly for the quarry and very little to no non-quarry traffic runs there.

There is no commuter rail or light rail service in the city. Caltrain commuter rail runs through the cities to the north and east, and the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA)'s Mountain View - Winchester light rail line runs to Campbell, California to the south. Bus service is also provided by VTA, and the prospect of twenty-four hour bus service on Stevens Creek Boulevard is being studied. Though this corridor (line 23) is one of VTA's most heavily used routes, there is no express or limited-stop service that takes commuters into San Jose, and the quality of service is therefore considered to be relatively poor, although better service would most likely not be economical[citation needed] because the population density of the area is very low due to the trend of the area toward independent houses and very small apartment blocks.

Cupertino is landlocked and, like most Bay Area cities, depends on the Port of Oakland for most oceangoing freight.

Passenger and cargo air transportation is available at San Jose International Airport in San Jose. The closest general aviation airport is in Palo Alto; it is known as Palo Alto Airport of Santa Clara County.

In addition, China Airlines operates bus services from Marina Food at 10122 Bandley Drive in Cupertino to San Francisco International Airport to feed its flight to Taipei, Taiwan.[12]


Primary and secondary

Cupertino Schools*

  • Not all schools are in Cupertino
  • CUSD = Cupertino Union School District
  • FUHSD = Fremont Union High School District
  • LS = Lottery School
  • Bold = Primary Path
  • -Italic- = Secondary Path
  • -Bold Italic- = Both Primary and Secondary

Cupertino School Map

Elementary School (CUSD) 2007-08 API Score
(LS) Faria A+ 994
(LS) Portal 992
-Collins- 976
Dilworth 974
Regnart 974
-Garden Gate- 972
-Blue Hills- 971
Lincoln 970
-Stocklmeir- 959
Montclaire 956
Eaton 948
Meyerholz 945
Stevens Creek 943
West Valley 941
Muir 913
Eisenhower 898
Sedgwick 870
Nimitz 855
De Vargas 834

Middle School (CUSD) 2007-08 API Score
Miller 976
Kennedy 971
-Lawson- 966
Cupertino 915
Hyde 851

High School (FUHSD) 2007-08 API Score
-Monta Vista- 923
Lynbrook 920
Homestead 846
-Cupertino- 840
Fremont 739

Cupertino is very well known for its high achieving primary and secondary schools. For example, Faria Elementary School is the number one ranked elementary public school in the state of California, per California API test scores. Kennedy Middle School is the third best in the state. Furthermore, Monta Vista High School is ranked number 23 out of all the public schools in the nation.

Primary (K-8) public schools are organized into the Cupertino Union School District, while the Fremont Union High School District is responsible for high school students. Cupertino High School and its feeder school, Hyde Middle School, are located in the Rancho Rinconada section of Cupertino, while Monta Vista High School and its feeder, Kennedy Middle School, are in the Monta Vista neighborhood in the western half of Cupertino. There is also a new school called Lawson Middle School that feeds mostly Cupertino and Monta Vista High. In addition, Homestead High School is located in the northwestern portion of Cupertino, along the city border with neighboring Sunnyvale. The school system covers Cupertino plus some southern areas of Sunnyvale and Los Altos.

Colleges and universities

Cupertino is home to De Anza College, one of the two community colleges in the Foothill-De Anza Community College District. De Anza runs a facility called Flint Center, a large enclosed theater which is the primary venue for performing arts in the West Valley, which is widely used as a music hall by various symphonies, such as the California Youth Symphony and the San Francisco Symphony.

The University of California, Santa Cruz (Extension) and the University of San Francisco (a private Catholic university) have satellite campuses in Cupertino.

San Jose State University, Santa Clara University, and Stanford University, are also close by. The main UC Santa Cruz campus is about 30 minutes away via Highway 17.

Notable residents (or former residents)

Sister cities


External links

Simple English

Cupertino is a small town in Silicon Valley in the U.S. state of California. According to the 2000 census, Cupertino has a population of 50,546. The headquarters of Apple Computer and Symantec are in Cupertino.

Sister cities

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