Palo Alto is a city located in Santa Clara County, California. With a 2020 population of 66,292, it is the 139th largest city in California and the 579th largest city in the United States. Palo Alto is currently declining at a rate of -0.28% annually but its population has increased by 2.93% since the most recent census, which recorded a population of 64,403 in 2010. Palo Alto reached it's highest population of 67,406 in 2016. Spanning over 26 miles, Palo Alto has a population density of 2,779 people per square mile.
The average household income in Palo Alto is $224,622 with a poverty rate of 5.90%. The median rental costs in recent years comes to $2,471 per month, and the median house value is $2.00 Mn. The median age in Palo Alto is 41.9 years, 39.9 years for males, and 43.3 years for females. For every 100 females there are 96.5 males.
Palo Alto is located in Santa Clara County within the Bay Area. This city is known for having one of the highest costs of living in the United States, as well as having one of the most educated populations in the nation.
Palo Alto Population Statistics
Palo Alto is home to over 7,000 businesses which provide jobs to over 98,000 people. Notable businesses in the area include the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, Amazon’s A9.com, HP, Houzz, and Xerox.
Palo Alto Population Growth
Palo Alto experienced substantial growth in its early years, although that growth has slowed in recent years. The population in 1920 was climbing toward 6,000 and more than doubled at the time of the next census in 1930. The population in 1950 surpassed 25,000 before doubling again in 1960. It was about this time that growth slowed before declining by 1.5% in 1980. However, the next census in 1990 showed that the population was on the rise again and has continued to grow ever since. Recent population estimates show that it has increased over 4% since the last census in 2010, indicating that while growth has slowed, it should be expected to continue.
The region that is now Palo Alto was originally inhabited by the Ohlone. The city was not explored by the Europeans until 1769, according to written records. It was in 1777 when Father Junipero Serra established Mission Santa Clara de Asis, which was under the control of Spain. After the Mexican War of Independence, Mexico was made an independent country, and the land sold or granted.
Following the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, Mexican citizens could choose to become U.S. citizens, and their land grants count be recognized. The grant Rando Rinconada del Arroyo de San Francisquito was granted in 1841 and was sold in 1849. A hacienda was constructed that was the site of bullfights and fiestas but was destroyed during an earthquake in 1906.
In 1855, a township by the name of Mayfield was established. The San Francisco and San Jose railroad was extended to Mayfield in 1863. In 1875, a French financier purchased land that came to be known as Ayrshire Farm. Another man, Leland Stanford, began purchasing property and established the Palo Alto Stock Farm. He also bought Ayrshire Farm, which sold to Leland Stanford St., the founder of Stanford University. Before founding the university, Stanford wanted to build the college in Mayfield but had a condition that alcohol was to be banned from the town. However, this didn’t happen and led to the establishment of Temperance Town. Stanford University was established, and a train stop was located in the area. The area was initially known as University Park but upon its incorporation in the late 1900s was named Palo Alto.
Palo Alto quickly grew to be as large as Mayfield, and in the 20th century, Mayfield was annexed to become part of Palo Alto. More land was annexed as the city continued to grow, both in terms of development and population.
Today, the city’s economy revolves around the tech industry, as it is a focal point of Silicon Valley. It also has a large student population because of Stanford University. The residents of Palo Alto are some of the most educated in the country. However, Palo Alto has become known as a city with one of the highest costs of living in the nation.