Cupertino is located in the heart of Silicon Valley. It is the home of Apple. But what really distinguishes Cupertino is that it is home to two of the most highly ranked school districts in the U.S., Cupertino Union School District (k-8), and Fremont Union High School District (9-12). Thus Cupertino is a magnet for people who want their kids to go to the best schools. Even the lowest ranked schools are among the best in California.
So Cupertino* has a disproportionate number of young families in spite of its modest population of around 60,000 people and 20,200 households. In terms of physical size it is also one of the smaller cities in the area consisting of 11.2 square miles. 46% of families have children under 18. 28% of the population is under 18. Over 63% of the population is Asian compared to a 31% Caucasian population. 49% of the population is foreign born. 39% of the population has a graduate college degree. 75% of the working population are professionals. 78% of them drive to work alone and 0.9% cycle to work.
As you can see from this 2010 census data Cupertino is not your ordinary run of the mill town. Families are highly educated and come here with the expectation that their children will go to a top ranked schools and university. Students are highly competitive academically. So Cupertino is largely about schools, very highly nationally ranked schools. Most of these schools are not for those who are not college bound. Many parents born in the U.S. have complained about schools being too competitive. Because Asians have a high respect for education there are a disproportionate number of Asians, especially Chinese and Indians. This high demand for schools have driven the prices of houses very high for a city of our character. The median price of a home is $1.52M at the end of 2014. There is typically a shortage of houses driving up the price. I purchased my first house here for $24,000 in 1975.
Since there are so many young students in our city the streets around many of the schools are crowded with parent driving their children to school. This makes the streets especially dangerous for those riding to school on bikes. Due to the general perception that the streets are not safe to bike on parents, especially those below high school age, drive their kids to school making the streets even more congested and dangerous.
Since most residents move here for the schools most residents commute to jobs out of town. Those who work here cannot afford to buy a house here so commute from other cities. So streets and freeways tend to be quite crowded during these commute hours. Currently there are indications for rapid growth. Apple is building Apple Campus II there R&D flagship with an anticipated 14,000 employees mostly commuting here from out of town. The Main Street development is starting to open. The Vallco shopping mall is planning to become a 2,000,000 sq. ft. office complex with a mix of housing as will. There are other proposed redevelopments such as The Oaks, Target property, Marrina, and Cupertino Center that are slated for redevelopment and expansions in the next few years. These are all sizeable properties and redevelopments, most being mixed use. This has been a cause of much controversy due to the potential of traffic congestion and the increased burden on schools and other infrastructures.
* Ref: Cupertino Census