Cupertino, California

Last updated

City of Cupertino
Cupertino, United States Jan 04 (cropped).jpeg
Cupertino City Center.jpg
Aerial view of Apple Park dllu (cropped).jpg
Steve Jobs Theater - external (cropped).jpg
Le Petit Trianon (cropped).jpg
Clockwise from top: View of Cupertino from the Santa Cruz Mountains; Apple Park (Apple Inc. HQ); Le Petit Trianon; Steve Jobs Theater; Cupertino City Center
Flag of Cupertino, California.svg
Seal of Cupertino, California.svg
Santa Clara County California Incorporated and Unincorporated areas Cupertino Highlighted 0617610.svg
Location of Cupertino in Santa Clara County, California
Usa edcp relief location map.png
Red pog.svg
Location within the United States
Coordinates: 37°19′23″N122°01′55″W / 37.32306°N 122.03194°W / 37.32306; -122.03194 Coordinates: 37°19′23″N122°01′55″W / 37.32306°N 122.03194°W / 37.32306; -122.03194
Country United States
State California
County Santa Clara
Region San Francisco Bay Area
Incorporated October 10, 1955 [1]
Named for Arroyo San José de Cupertino
  Type Council–manager
City council [2]
  Total11.33 sq mi (29.34 km2)
  Land11.33 sq mi (29.34 km2)
  Water0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)  0.01%
236 ft (72 m)
  Density5,330.24/sq mi (2,058.06/km2)
Time zone UTC−8 (Pacific)
  Summer (DST) UTC−7 (PDT)
ZIP codes
95014, 95015
Area codes 408/669
FIPS code 06-17610
GNIS feature IDs 277496, 2410278

Cupertino ( /ˌkpərˈtn/ KOOP-ər-TEEN-oh) is a city in Santa Clara County, California, United States, 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 57,820 as of the 2020 census. [6]


It is known for being the home of Apple Inc., currently headquartered at Apple Park.


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 (Italian : Giuseppe da Copertino) was born Giuseppe Maria Desa, and was later named after the town of Copertino, where he was born, 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 20th century, Cupertino displaced the former name for the region, which was West Side.


In the 19th century, Cupertino 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). For decades, the intersection was dominated on the southeast corner by the R. Cali Brothers Feed Mill, [7] replaced today with the Cali Mill Plaza and City Hall. 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 in operation by the late 19th century.

Soon railroads, electric railways, and dirt roads traversed the West Side farmlands. Monta Vista, Cupertino's first housing tract, was developed in the mid-20th century 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, a rancher, Norman Nathanson, the Cupertino-Monta Vista Improvement Association, and the Fact Finding Committee, began a drive for incorporation. On September 27, 1955, voters approved the incorporation of the city of Cupertino (225 voted "yes" and 183 voted "no"). Cupertino officially became Santa Clara County's 13th city on October 10, 1955. The first city council consisted of Ralph Lindenmayer, Werner Wilson, John Saich, R. Ivan Meyerholz and Norman Nathanson. In fact, there is a residential road in northern Cupertino named after this influential rancher. Lindenmeyer was selected as the first mayor of Cupertino a week after the September 27 election. [8] [9]

Cupertino Improvement Association c. 1954 Cupertino Improvement Committee around 1954.jpg
Cupertino Improvement Association c. 1954

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, briefly renamed Cupertino Square, were also developed.

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 20th century, called Beaulieu by its owners, Charles and Ella Baldwin. Their mansion has now become the California History Center. De Anza College now[ when? ] has about 22,000 students.

Housing developments were rapidly constructed in the following years as developers created neighborhoods, including Fairgrove, Garden Gate, Monta Vista, Seven Springs, and other developments. The city is known for its high real estate prices.


Historical population
1960 3,664
1970 17,895388.4%
1980 34,29791.7%
1990 40,26317.4%
2000 50,54625.5%
2010 58,30215.3%
2020 60,3813.6%
U.S. Decennial Census [10]

63 percent of Cupertino's population was of Asian ancestry in 2010, [11] compared to 32 percent in Santa Clara County overall. [12] Money 's Best Places to Live, "America's best small towns", ranked Cupertino as #27 in 2012, [13] the second highest in California. In 2014, Movoto Real Estate ranked Cupertino the seventh "happiest" suburb in the United States, ranking highly in the categories of income, safety, marriage, and education. [14]


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 $140,199. 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. [15]

According to the 2005–2007 American Community Survey, White Americans made up 37.4% of Cupertino's population. Black 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 had an Asian American majority as this group now represented 55.7% of the city's population. Pacific Islander Americans remained at 0.1% of the population. Also, 2.5% of the population were from some other race and 2.4% of the population are from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos remained 4.0% of Cupertino's population. [16] In the 2000 census, non-Hispanic whites made up 47.8% of Cupertino's population. [17] According to the 2005–2007 American Community Survey, non-Hispanic whites now represented 35.3% of the city's population. [18]


The 2010 United States Census [19] reported that Cupertino had a population of 58,302. The population density was 5,179.1 people per square mile (1,999.7/km2). The racial makeup of Cupertino was 18,270 (31.3%) White, 344 (0.6%) Black American, 117 (0.2%) American Indian, 36,895 (63.3%) Asian (28.1% Chinese, 22.6% Indian, 4.6% Korean, 3.3% Japanese, 1.3% Vietnamese), 54 (0.1%) Pacific Islander, 670 (1.1%) from other races, and 1,952 (3.3%) from two or more races. Hispanic of any race were 2,113 persons (3.6%); 2.4% of Cupertino's population is of Mexican ancestry.

The census reported that 57,965 people (99.4% of the population) lived in households, 61 (0.1%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 276 (0.5%) were institutionalized.

There were 20,181 households, out of which 9,539 (47.3%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 13,802 (68.4%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 1,393 (6.9%) had a female householder with no husband present, 581 (2.9%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 378 (1.9%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 89 (0.4%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 3,544 households (17.6%) were made up of individuals, and 1,612 (8.0%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.87. There were 15,776 families (78.2% of all households); the average family size was 3.28.

The population was spread out, with 16,075 people (27.6%) under the age of 18, 3,281 people (5.6%) aged 18 to 24, 15,621 people (26.8%) aged 25 to 44, 16,044 people (27.5%) aged 45 to 64, and 7,281 people (12.5%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39.9 years. For every 100 females, there were 97.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.6 males.

There were 21,027 housing units at an average density of 1,867.9 per square mile (721.2/km2), of which 12,627 (62.6%) were owner-occupied, and 7,554 (37.4%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 0.8%; the rental vacancy rate was 4.7%. 36,464 people (62.5% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 21,501 people (36.9%) lived in rental housing units.

Demographic profile [20] 2010
Total population58,302 – 100.0%
Not Hispanic or Latino48,536 – 96.0%
White alone18,270 – 31.3%
Black or African American alone344 – 0.6%
American Indian and Alaska Native alone117 – 0.2%
Asian alone36,895 – 63.3%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone54 – 0.1%
Some other race alone670 – 1.1%
Two or more races alone1,952 – 3.3%
Hispanic or Latino or (of any race)2,113 – 3.6%

In 2015, Forbes ranked Cupertino as one of the most educated places in the U.S. in respect to the percentage of high school and college graduates. [21]


Cupertino is located at 37°19′23″N122°01′55″W / 37.32306°N 122.03194°W / 37.32306; -122.03194 (37.3229978, −122.0321823), [5] 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. Cupertino borders San Jose and Santa Clara to the east, Saratoga to the south, Sunnyvale and Los Altos to the north, and Loyola to the northwest.

Several streams run through Cupertino on their way to south San Francisco Bay, including (from north to south): Permanente Creek, Stevens Creek, San Tomas Aquino Creek and its Smith Creek, the Regnart Creek and Prospect Creek tributaries of Calabazas Creek, and Saratoga Creek.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 11.3 square miles (29 km2), [22] 99.99% of it land and 0.01% of it water.


Climate data for Cupertino, California
Average high °F (°C)58
Daily mean °F (°C)49
Average low °F (°C)42
Source: NOAA


Cupertino is made up of numerous subdivisions, most of them developed since the 1960s. Most of Cupertino's contemporary properties were developed around 1960. The area between Stevens Creek Boulevard, Miller Avenue, Bollinger Road, and Lawrence Expressway contains 224 Eichler homes, built during the 1950s. [23] Two of the newest parts of Cupertino are among its oldest housing tracts. Monta Vista and Rancho Rinconada were developed outside of the city's boundaries in the 1950s and before. Rancho Rinconada was annexed in 1999 [24] and the last part of Monta Vista was annexed in 2004. [25] The neighborhood of Seven Springs is at the southwestern tip of Cupertino and was developed in the late 1980s. The newest and most northwestern neighborhood, Oak Valley, borders Rancho San Antonio Park and was developed around the turn of the millennium.

Cupertino is known for its high housing prices as the majority of residential properties are multimillion-dollar homes as of 2021, with the entry-point into a single-family home at around 1.6 million dollars in the Cupertino HS area, and the entry point at around 2.2 million dollars in the Monta Vista HS area. Many smaller homes start from the mid $2 millions, mid-size homes start from the high $2 millions, and larger executive homes start from mid $3 millions and can go up to as much as $5 million, as of today. However, townhouses and condos with similar square footage are relatively less expensive, owing mainly to negligible lot sizes and the many common walls and areas. Over the course of thirteen years since the last late 2008 market crash, overall real estate prices have more than doubled.


Cali Mill Plaza, containing the Cypress Hotel and various restaurants Cali-mill-pano.jpg
Cali Mill Plaza, containing the Cypress Hotel and various restaurants
Cali Mill Plaza at night Cali Mill Plaza Night.jpg
Cali Mill Plaza at night

Cali Mill Plaza marks the traditional center of the city and the historical location of Crossroads. Recently, Main Street Cupertino has been developed and has become Cupertino's downtown.


The headquarters of Apple Inc. on Apple Park Way in Cupertino Aerial view of Apple Park dllu.jpg
The headquarters of Apple Inc. on Apple Park Way in Cupertino

Cupertino is one of many cities that claim to be the "heart" of Silicon Valley, as many semiconductor and computer companies were founded there and in the surrounding areas. The new worldwide headquarters for Apple Inc. is located there in a modern circular complex. It is a 150-acre (610,000 m2) campus between Interstate 280, N Wolfe Rd, E Homestead Rd and along Tantau Ave one mile east of the old campus. The nine properties (50-acre (0.2 km2)) south of Pruneridge Avenue were bought in 2006, the property (100-acre (0.4 km2) north of it in 2010 (from Hewlett-Packard).

On June 7, 2011, Steve Jobs gave a presentation to Cupertino City Council, detailing the architectural design of the new building and its environs. [26] The campus houses 13,000 employees in one central four-story circular building surrounded by extensive landscaping, with parking mainly underground and the rest centralized in a parking structure.

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

A winter morning at the farmers' market at Vallco Shopping Mall Cupertinomarket.jpg
A 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, 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 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 by the loss of one of its anchor stores, Emporium.

In 2002, Cupertino had a labor force of 25,780 with an unemployment rate of 4.5%. The unemployment rate for 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, the Permanente Quarry. Owned and operated by Lehigh Southwest Cement, it was founded by Henry J. Kaiser as the Kaiser Permanente Cement Plant in 1939. It provided the majority of the cement used in the construction of the Shasta Dam.[ citation needed ] It supplied the 6 million barrels (950,000 m3) of cement over a nine-mile (14 km)-long conveyor system. [27] [ failed verification ][ citation needed ] The cement plant is the sole reason for the railroad line that runs through the city.

Top employers

According to the city's 2013 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, [28] the top employers in the city are:

#EmployerNo. of employees
1 Apple 15,000
2 Cupertino Union School District 1,597
3 Foothill–De Anza Community College District 1,183
4 Fremont Union High School District 961
5 Seagate Technology 500
7 Chordiant 285
8 Trend Micro 250
9The Forum at Rancho San Antonio250
10 Target 220

Law and government


The city seal of Cupertino from 1999 to 2007 CupertinoCitySeal.jpg
The city seal of Cupertino from 1999 to 2007

Cupertino was incorporated in 1955. The highest body in the city government – the City Council – is made up of five members who serve overlapping, four-year terms. The council 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.

State and federal representation

In the California State Legislature, Cupertino is in the 15th Senate District , represented by Democrat Dave Cortese, and in the 28th Assembly District , represented by Democrat Evan Low. [29] A small portion of the community is in the 24th Assembly District, Represented by Democrat Marc Berman. [30]

In the United States House of Representatives, Cupertino is in California's 17th congressional district , represented by Democrat Ro Khanna. [31]


The city is served by an interconnected road system. Two freeways, State Route 85 and Interstate 280, intersect in Cupertino, with multi-lane boulevards with landscaped medians and traffic lights at all major intersections. Streets 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 many of its boulevards, and has an extension of the Stevens Creek Trail through McClellan Ranch Park and Blackberry Farm. [32] Bicycle traffic is heavy usually around morning and noon times around DeAnza College. The VTA has buses running through Cupertino at major arteries. Cupertino's main streets are well lit, while a few older roads towards the Monta Vista High School area are a little dim.

Dedicated on April 30, 2009, Cupertino opened 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 cost of the bridge project was $14,800,000. [33]

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 a 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 service that takes commuters into San Jose, and the quality of service is therefore considered to be relatively poor. Cupertino is also served by VTA's 523 Rapid bus, which runs from northern Sunnyvale and the Caltrain station to Downtown San Jose with limited stops and signal priority.

Cupertino is landlocked and, like most Bay Area cities, relies 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.


Primary and secondary

RankElementary school (CUSD)2013 API scoreChangePrevious Rank
1William Faria*999+11
3L. P. Collins993+85
4Nelson S. Dilworth992+43
5R. I. Meyerholz982+47
6Abraham Lincoln98006
7Garden Gate979−74
8William Regnart976+18
9Louis E. Stocklmeir973+410
10Stevens Creek972−19
11C. B. Eaton969+211
13West Valley955−214
14Blue Hills949−1712
15John Muir945+716
16Dwight D. Eisenhower932−117
17D. J. Sedgwick932−1515
18Manuel De Vargas894+418
19Chester W. Nimitz879+1419
RankMiddle School (CUSD)2013 API scoreChangePrevious Rank
1John F. Kennedy 986+12
2Joaquin Miller983−41
3Sam H. Lawson970−43
5Warren E. Hyde908+25
RankHigh School (FUHSD)2013 API scoreChangePrevious Rank
1Monta Vista957−11
4Homestead 873−14

Cupertino is known for its high-achieving primary and secondary school students. For example, Murdock-Portal Elementary and Faria Elementary School are tied for highest score for elementary public school in the state of California, per California 2013 API test scores. As of 2013, John F. Kennedy Middle School is the best public middle school in the state, and Lawson Middle School is the third best in the state. Furthermore, Monta Vista High School is ranked number 23 out of all the public high 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 (except for a tiny portion of the northeast corner of the city which belongs to the Santa Clara Unified School District). 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. Lawson Middle School 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.

Colleges and universities

Cupertino is home to De Anza College, one of the two community colleges in the Foothill–De Anza Community College District. The University of San Francisco has satellite campuses in Cupertino.

Public libraries

Santa Clara County Library operates the Cupertino Library, which is located adjacent to city hall. [34] The library, which was redesigned and rebuilt in 2004, [35] is the busiest branch in the Santa Clara County Library system, with about 3 million items circulated annually. [36]

Weekend schools

The San Francisco Japanese School, a weekend educational program for Japanese citizen children living abroad, holds classes at J.F. Kennedy Middle School in Cupertino, [37] as well as Harker, a private school.

Places of interest

Apple Park is the headquarters of Apple, and Apple Campus is its former headquarters.

The Deep Cliff and Blackberry Farm golf courses are located near Monta Vista High School.

The De Anza College has a large enclosed theater called the Flint Center which is the primary venue for performing arts in the West Valley. It is widely used as a music hall by orchestras, such as the California Youth Symphony, as well as numerous professional performers and groups. The center was also home to the unveiling of several Apple products, such as the Macintosh computer and the iMac. [38]

The Fujitsu Planetarium at De Anza College is the largest school Planetarium west of the Rocky Mountains and since its renovation, is one of the most modern in the world. [39]

Rancho San Antonio County Park is a recreational area for hikers and biking activity, located between the Monta Vista area of Cupertino and the border of Los Altos.

Notable people

Sister cities

Cupertino is twinned with: [40]

Friendship cities

Cupertino also has friendly relations with: [40]

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