san mateo history san mateo politics economy of san mateo san mateo tourism


Located in San Mateo County, San Mateo City has a population of about 92,000, and its low crime, dramatic scenery and valuable land create a desirable place to live. Early settlers were attracted to this region for many of the same reasons.

The peninsula of San Mateo county captured the imagination of early 1900s businessmen such as George H. Irving, who found the low cost of land conducive to his vision of property development. Early industries such as the Pacific Car and Equipment Company and Pacific Coast Steel Company supplied materials to the growing region. The building of the railroad connected San Francisco to the town of San Mateo and brought more economic opportunities. Many San Franciscans were attracted to the beautiful landscape, its temperate climate, and its accessibility by train ride in a little over 30 minutes.

Today, the largest job sector is within the managerial and professional occupations, which employs 43 percent of the population, (21,000 workers); next was sales and clerical (13,500); followed by service occupations (6,500); production and transportation (3,800); construction (3,600); and farming, fishing and forestry (56). Retail and wholesale trade are an important source of revenue in the city, with retail (products such as automobile and recreational vehicles, furniture, building materials and electronics) generating the largest portion of sales. Sixty-seven percent of San Mateo’s population (age 16 years and older) is currently working, for a total of 50,000 people in the labor force.

Estimated median household income for San Mateo is $80,000 and per capita income is $36,000 according to the most recent surveys. The estimated median house value is $780,000. Prices for homes are higher than the national average, and so affordable housing can be a difficult prospect for families looking for property within the city itself. About 3.8 percent of families are below the poverty level, which is lower than the United States average of 9.8 percent. As of May 2009, San Mateo unemployment was at 6.7 percent, considerably lower than the California unemployment rate of 11.2 percent.

To promote growth and assist existing companies, the city created Business Resource Center (BRC) in 2007. Situated in the downtown area, the Business Resource Center offers a range of financial information, training, and instruction on obtaining permits to encourage economic development in San Mateo. The BRC offers most services free, or at a minimal charge, to businesses that can benefit from its assistance.


Copyright Ian Durr 2009 All Rights Reserved