San Mateo is Spanish for St. Matthew, and the county covers much of the peninsula below San Francisco. It was established in 1856, along with the other eight original counties that were formed when California gained its statehood. It has a population of about 700,000, and Redwood City is the county seat.
Another notable city in San Mateo County is Menlo Park. Located on the far eastern edge of the county, the city is part of the area densely populated with technology companies known as Silicon Valley. It is home to the headquarters of Facebook, Oracle, Visa, YouTube, Sony Interactive Entertainment, Electronic Arts, and several other tech-related companies and venture capital firms.
The local economy has been greatly boosted by these companies. Facebook’s Initial Public Offering in 2013 more than doubled the area’s weekly wage to 50% higher than Manhattan’s. The county then became the highest wage-earner in the country.
In 2016, all of San Mateo’s county’s municipalities, small to mid-sized businesses, and 20% of residents began receiving their electricity from Peninsula Clean Energy, rather than the prominent utility provider Pacific Gas & Electric. This is a Community Choice Aggregation program that offers locals a greener choice of energy and lower prices.