San Mateo County ("san muh-TAY-o") (Spanish for: St. Matthew County) is a county located in the San Francisco Bay Area of the U.S. state of California. It covers most of the San Francisco Peninsula just south of San Francisco, and north of Santa Clara County. San Francisco International Airport is located at the northern end of the county, and Silicon Valley begins at the southern end. As of 2005 the population was 712,462. The county seat is Redwood City. It is among the 20 most affluent counties in the United States, in term of personal, per capita and household income, strongly Democratic and ethnically diverse. The county's built-up areas are mostly suburban, and are home to several corporate campuses.
The county bears the Spanish name for Saint Matthew. As a place name, San Mateo appears as early as 1776 and several local geographic features were also designated San Mateo on early maps including variously: a settlement, an arroyo, a headland jutting into the Pacific (Point Montara), and a large land holding (Rancho San Mateo). Until about 1850, the name appeared as San Matheo.
Caltrain, the commuter rail system, traverses the county from north to south, running alongside the Highway 101 corridor for most of the way. Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) trains serve San Francisco International Airport and the northern portion of the county, terminating at Millbrae.
Caltrain, BART, and SamTrans converge at the Millbrae Intermodal station.
As of the census of 2000, there were 707,161 people, 254,103 households, and 171,265 families residing in the county. The population density was 1,575/sq mi (608/km²). There were 260,576 housing units at an average density of 580/sq mi (224/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 59.49% White, 3.51% Black or African American, 0.44% Native American, 20.04% Asian, 1.33% Pacific Islander, 10.17% from other races, and 5.02% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 21.88% of the population. 7.4% were of Italian, 7.1% Irish, 7.0% German and 5.3% English ancestry according to Census 2000. 55.6% spoke English, 19.3% Spanish, 6.5% Tagalog, 4.5% Chinese or Mandarin and 1.4% Cantonese as their first language.
There were 254,103 households out of which 31.1% had children under the age of 18, 53.0% were married couples living together, 10.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.6% were non-families. 24.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.74 and the average family size was 3.29.
In the county, the population was spread out with 22.9% under the age of 18, 7.9% from 18 to 24, 33.2% from 25 to 44, 23.5% from 45 to 64, and 12.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 97.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.6 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $70,819, and the median income for a family was $80,737. Males had a median income of $51,342 versus $40,383 for females. The per capita income for the county was $36,045. About 3.50% of families and 5.80% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.00% of those under age 18 and 5.10% of those age 65 or over.
|2004||69.5% 197,922||29.3% 83,315||1.3% 3,620|
|2000||64.3% 166,757||31.0% 80,296||4.8% 12,346|
|1996||60.6% 152,304||29.2% 73,508||10.2% 25,720|
|1992||54.0% 149,232||27.2% 75,080||18.9% 52,196|
|1988||55.7% 141,859||42.9% 109,261||1.3% 3,360|
|1984||46.9% 122,268||51.9% 135,185||1.2% 3,178|
|1980||36.6% 87,335||48.8% 116,491||14.6% 34,811|
|1976||44.4% 102,896||50.6% 117,338||5.0% 11,507|
|1972||42.8% 109,745||52.8% 135,377||4.4% 11,175|
|1968||47.2% 106,519||43.7% 98,654||9.1% 20,495|
|1964||64.3% 140,978||35.6% 77,916||0.1% 297|
|1960||48.0% 97,154||51.7% 104,570||0.3% 528|
San Mateo is part of California's 12th and 14th congressional districts. The 12th district seat became vacant upon the death of former Democratic representative Tom Lantos on February 11, 2008, but was filled by a special election held April 8, 2008 when former state senator Jackie Speier was elected to complete Lantos' term in the 110th Congress. The 14th district's representative is Democrat Anna Eshoo. In the State Assembly, San Mateo is in the 12th, 19th, and 21st districts, which are held by Democrats Fiona Ma, Gene Mullin, and Ira Ruskin, respectively. In the State Senate, San Mateo is in the 8th and 11th districts, which are held by Democrats Leland Yee and Joe Simitian, respectively.
San Mateo County encompasses a variety of habitats including estuarine, marine, oak woodland, redwood forest, coastal scrub and oak savannah. There are numerous species of wildlife present, especially along the San Francisco Bay estuarine shoreline, San Bruno Mountain, Fitzgerald Marine Reserve and the forests on the Montara Mountain block. Several creeks discharge to the San Francisco Bay including San Mateo Creek and Laurel Creek and several coastal streams discharge to the Pacific Ocean such as Frenchmans Creek and San Vicente Creek.
The county is home to several endangered species including the San Francisco garter snake and the San Bruno elfin butterfly, both of which are endemic to San Mateo County. The endangered California clapper rail is also found on the shores of San Francisco Bay, in the cities of Belmont and San Mateo. The endangered wildflower Hickman's potentilla is found near the Pacific Ocean on the lower slopes of Montara Mountain. The endangered wildflowers White-rayed pentachaeta, Pentachaeta bellidiflora, San Mateo Woolly Sunflower, Eriophyllum latilobum, Marin Dwarf Flax, Hesperolinon congestum and the San Mateo Thornmint, Acanthomintha duttonii, are found in the vicinity of the Crystal Springs Reservoir.
Some students in San Mateo County's public schools attend outdoor education in La Honda. San Mateo Outdoor Education is a residential school that teaches major concepts of ecology via exploration of forest, pond, garden, tidepool, wetland, and sandy shore habitats. The center's mascot is the banana slug, a large yellow gastropod. The school uses songs from the famous Banana Slug String Band.
There are a number of well known structures within San Mateo County:
Source: http://www.sanmateocountyparks.org/ County Parks http://www.eparks.net/smc/department/esa/home/0,2151,5556687_10575168,00.html
Source: http://www.parks.ca.gov/parkindex/default.asp?tab=3 State Parks, Choose San Mateo