When looking at the population statistics of a city, it's essential to consider both its past and present. San Jose's population surpassed the million mark in 2009, but the city's population growth afterward slowed considerably. Traffic congestion was improved along major highways by the mid-2000s, and the city now has over 405,000 employees. The median income of residents of San Jose is the highest of any city in the U.S.
The city's growth has been directed mostly inward, though it has stayed within its urban growth boundaries since the 1970s. The city council enacted a new general plan in 1994 that maintained the city's 1974 urban growth boundaries, but a ballot initiative to loosen development restrictions in the foothills was unsuccessful. In fact, sixty percent of new housing construction in the city since the 1980s has been multifamily buildings, and the city's newest skyscraper, the Bank of Italy Building, was built in 1926 and is the oldest skyscraper in Downtown San Jose.
The population of San Jose City was originally inhabited by the Ohlone Native Americans. In the 1770s, the area was under Spanish rule. Franciscan missions were established here in 1769, and in 1777, the city was incorporated as Pueblo de San Jose de Guadalupe. After California became a state, it served as a farming community. It was under Mexican rule until 1850, when it became part of the United States. In 1850, San Jose became the first state capital in California.