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After World War II, FMC (later United Defense, and currently BAE Systems) continued as a defense contractor, with the San Jose facilities designing and manufacturing military platforms such as the M113 Armored Personnel Carrier, the Bradley Fighting Vehicle, and various subsystems of the M1 Abrams battle tank.
IBM established its West Coast headquarters in San Jose in 1943 and opened a downtown research and development facility in 1952.
The rapid growth of the high-technology and electronics industries further accelerated the transition from an agricultural center to an urbanized metropolitan area. San Jose's location within the booming high tech industry, as a cultural, political, and economic center has earned the city the nickname "Capital of Silicon Valley".
San Jose is one of the wealthiest major cities in the United States and the world, and has the third highest GDP per capita in the world (after Zurich, Switzerland and Oslo, Norway), according to the Brookings Institution.
Today the Circle of Palms Plaza in downtown is the historical marker for the first state capital.
San Jose lies between the San Andreas Fault, the source of the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, and the Calaveras Fault.
San Jose is shaken by moderate earthquakes on average one or two times a year.
San Jose's position in Silicon Valley triggered further economic and population growth. Efforts to increase density continued into the 1990s when an update of the 1974 urban plan kept the urban growth boundaries intact and voters rejected a ballot measure to ease development restrictions in the foothills.
Sixty percent of the housing built in San Jose since 1980 and over three-quarters of the housing built since 2000 have been multifamily structures, reflecting a political propensity toward Smart Growth planning principles.) (1.91%) is water.
The city was a station on the Butterfield Overland Mail route.