Cupertino, California

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Cupertino is a city located in Santa Clara County, California, USA, on the western edge of the Santa Clara Valley with portions extending into the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 50,546. The city is named after Arroyo San Giuseppe da Cupertino (now Stevens Creek), which was itself named after Saint Joseph of Cupertino. The current mayor (as of 2005) is Patrick Kwok.



The region is mainly suburban residential and technical-industrial with a relatively high standard of living.

Because Cupertino has developed so quickly since the 1960s, it never developed a true downtown or Main Street. The closest equivalent to a Main Street is the six-lane divided thoroughfare known as Stevens Creek Boulevard, which is lined with strip malls, shopping centers, offices and fast food restaurants all the way from the border with San Jose right up to the valley's western edge. The closest equivalent to a downtown is the busy intersection of Stevens Creek and De Anza Boulevards, which is bordered by two open-air shopping centers, a gas station, and the high-rise Cupertino City Center mixed-use complex (with offices, condominiums, restaurants, and a hotel).

The goal of developing a true downtown has been regularly debated by the City Council ever since the city was incorporated in 1955. The underlying concern is that a downtown would compete directly against all the other West Valley downtown areas, which have been barely staying alive because of the dominance of large shopping malls in Silicon Valley. Key examples include Westfield Shoppingtown Valley Fair, Santana Row, and Westgate Mall in San Jose; Cupertino's own Vallco Fashion Park; Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto; and the Pruneyard in Campbell.


Cali Mill Plaza is located at the intersection of Stevens Creek and De Anza Boulevards, where Cupertino, originally known as West Side, was established.
Cali Mill Plaza is located at the intersection of Stevens Creek and De Anza Boulevards, where Cupertino, originally known as West Side, was established.

Cupertino is sometimes referred to as the "heart" of Silicon Valley, as the worldwide headquarters for Apple Computer is located here (in a modern complex circled by the playfully named Infinite Loop). Other companies headquartered in Cupertino include Ducati, NetManage, Packeteer, Portal Software, and Symantec. Over 60 high-tech companies have offices here, including Hewlett-Packard, IBM, and Sun Microsystems.

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%.



Like most West Valley cities, Cupertino was originally developed in the early 20th century by settlers of predominantly European descent. However, since the 1980s, Cupertino's demographics have gradually shifted so that Asian immigrants (mostly of Chinese, Japanese, and Indian descent) now form one of the largest groups.

A major cause of this demographic shift is that many immigrants moving into the Bay Area wish to enroll their children in high-quality public schools, and select the well-known Cupertino Union School District and Fremont Union High School District.

One sign of the demographic shift is the rise of Chinese-oriented shopping centers in Cupertino. The largest one is the Cupertino Village complex (which has a 99 Ranch Market as its anchor) north of Vallco Fashion Park, which replaced the unsuccessful Vallco Village project.


As of the censusTemplate:GR of 2000, there are 50,546 people, 18,204 households, and 13,616 families residing in the city. The population density is 1,783.9/km² (4,620.5/mi²). There are 18,682 housing units at an average density of 659.3/km² (1,707.7/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 50.14% White, 0.69% Black or African American, 0.20% Native American, 44.44% Asian, 0.13% Pacific Islander, 1.26% from other races, and 3.14% from two or more races. 3.98% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

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

In the city the population is 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 are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 38 years. For every 100 females there are 99.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 96.8 males.

The median income for a household in the city is $100,411, and the median income for a family is $109,455. Males have a median income of $91,191 versus $58,375 for females. The per capita income for the city is $44,749. 4.8% of the population and 3.7% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 4.6% of those under the age of 18 and 5.0% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.

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

The crime rate for Cupertino is low compared to average suburban cities, with just two homicides between 1997 and 2002.


The city's symbol is a conquistador hat. A sculpture of this hat used to sit in a plaza at the Civic Center, and it is also used as the city logo. Previous versions looked like a stylized snail, although the current version actually looks like a hat.


Missing image
Location of Cupertino, California

Cupertino is located at 37°19'3" North, 122°2'31" West (37.317492, −122.041949) at the southern end of 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 28.3 km² (10.9 mi²)Template:GR. 28.3 km² (10.9 mi²) of it is land and none of it is covered by water.

Cupertino has mild weather with wet winters and dry summers.

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 (45.6 °C) - June 1961
  • Low - 16 °F (−8.9 °C) - December 1990



The city is served by an excellent road system. Two freeways intersect in Cupertino, and like any typical middle-class California suburb, it has multi-lane boulevards with landscaped medians and a full set of 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.

Cupertino has bike lanes on its boulevards, but they are frequently ignored by careless or speeding drivers, and bicyclists must exercise extreme caution.

There is no commuter rail or light rail service in the city. Caltrain commuter rail runs through the cities to the north and east. Bus service is provided by the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority. The quality of service is poor, although it is trapped by the fact that the population density of the area it serves is too low.

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 Mineta San Jose International Airport in San Jose. The closest general aviation airport is in Palo Alto.


Colleges and universities (postsecondary education)

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.

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

K-12 (primary and secondary education)

Cupertino is very well known for its high achieving primary and secondary schools. For example, Faria Academics Plus School is the number one ranked elementary public school in the state of California, per California API test scores.

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.

The controversy at Stevens Creek Elementary

On November 22, 2004, Stephen Williams filed suit in federal district court against the Cupertino Union School District, alleging violations of his rights under the First Amendment. Williams has taught the fifth grade at Stevens Creek Elementary School for six years and describes himself as an "orthodox Christian."

With the assistance of the Alliance Defense Fund, Williams alleged that the school had violated his rights when principal Patricia Vidmar began to screen the handouts that he intended to give to his fifth-grade class during lessons on the history of the United States. Media coverage indicates that this was probably done in response to complaints by Williams's students (and their parents) that he was talking about God all the time.

The handouts included quotations from the Declaration of Independence, various state constitutions, George Washington's journal, John Adams's diary, and William Penn's writings. The quotations appear to have been selected to highlight the use of religious references by the Founding Fathers of the United States and other earlier leaders; there were no quotations from Roger Williams, a Colonial-era proponent of the separation of church and state. There was also a handout that included quotations from various U.S. presidents and Jesus Christ on why it is good to read the Bible.

Unfortunately for the school district, the Associated Press incorrectly reported that Williams was alleging that he was being prevented from teaching the Declaration of Independence. FOX News, conservative websites, and such commentators as Alan Keyes ([1] ( played up the story as a blatant instance of hostility to religion. These interpretations were based on the Alliance Defense Fund press release. As Media Matters for America explained ([2] (

Even the lawsuit ... acknowledged that the school has not imposed an outright prohibition on the mention of God or the discussion of religious beliefs in the classroom. The lawsuit recognized that "other teachers are permitted to show films and distribute handouts containing references to God," and that Williams had been permitted to teach "lessons on the origins of religious holidays" during that school year and had provided handouts relating to religion in the past "without any problems." Despite that acknowledgement, an Alliance Defense Fund press release about the lawsuit was headlined "Declaration of Independence Banned from Classroom".

The full text of the Declaration of Independence (like that of the U.S. Constitution) already appears in all California social studies public school textbooks, including the one used at Stevens Creek.

Because of the play given to the distorted version of the story, the school, the school district, and Williams were buffeted by a wave of email, faxes, phone calls, and postal mail. Some of the messages received by the school were threatening in nature, so the school's security officer had to patrol the school more aggressively during the month of December 2004.

The City of Cupertino also received some messages from out-of-state people who do not understand that California school districts are funded and regulated by the state Department of Education.

On December 9, 2004, Fox News's Hannity and Colmes program visited Flint Center and filmed a show there with Williams and his attorney. The Center was packed by a crowd of more than 3,000.

Sister cities

External links


Template:Cities of Santa Clara County, California de:Cupertino he:קופרטינו it:Cupertino


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