San Jose or San José is the third-largest city in California and the tenth-largest in the United States. As the county seat of Santa Clara County, it is located in the southern end of the San Francisco Bay Area, a region commonly referred to as Silicon Valley. Once a small farming city, San Jose became a magnet for suburban newcomers in new housing developments between the 1950s to the present, and is now the most populous city in the United States north of Los Angeles and west of Chicago. Its estimated population as of 2009 is 1,006,892. The greater metropolitan area contains approximately 7.4 million residents. It is one of the primary cities of the San Francisco Bay Area, and the largest in terms of population, land area, and industrial development. San Jose was founded on November 29, 1777, as El Pueblo de San José de Guadalupe, the first town in the Spanish colony of Nueva California, which later became Alta California. The city served as a farming community to support Spanish military installations at San Francisco and Monterey. When California gained statehood in 1850, San Jose served as its first capital. After more than 150 years as an agricultural center, San Jose experienced increased demand for housing from soldiers and other veterans returning from World War II, as well as aggressive expansion during the 1950s and 1960s by annexing more land area. By the 1990s, San Jose's location within the booming local technology industry earned the city its nickname Capital of Silicon Valley.