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Silicon Valley incomes rising, health insurance coverage gaining, poverty rates declining

Joint Venture Institute for Regional Studies reports on latest Census Bureau data

September 24, 2014 – A new census report shows Silicon Valley incomes up for the second straight year after a three-year downward trend, the Joint Venture Silicon Valley Institute for Regional Studies reported today.

An Institute analysis of the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2013 American Community Survey released last week also indicates a decline in the region’s poverty rate and an uptick in those with health insurance.

“The 2013 data shows that the recent economic trends for Silicon Valley indicate continued recovery following the recession, although disparities still exist,” said Rachel Massaro, Joint Venture vice president and senior research associate for the Institute.

Massaro said the latest survey also shows a significant increase in Silicon Valley households earning at least $150,000, up by 25,000 between 2012 and 2013.

“This is striking, given that the increase in the number of high-income Silicon Valley households was nearly five times greater than the increase in total households overall,” said Massaro.

“This means that established Silicon Valley residents are getting wealthier, in addition to more high-income households moving into the region.”

The Silicon Valley Institute for Regional Studies is an arm of Joint Venture Silicon Valley that produces the annual Silicon Valley Index and other independent reports on the region’s economic and societal trends.

The American Community Survey (ACS) is a mandatory statistical report that provides data every year to help determine how more than $400 billion in federal and state funds are distributed annually. The Institute extrapolates county-by-county data from the survey to arrive at regional totals for Silicon Valley.

Other findings in the ACS from 2012 to 2013 show:

  • Silicon Valley’s median household income rose 1.3 percent in 2013 to nearly $95,000. Income was up 1.7 percent in California and 0.2 percent in the U.S., marking the first increases since the recession.
  • The percentage of Silicon Valley’s working age population with health insurance increased by 1.5 percent, compared to less than one percent increases across the country.
  • The percentage of Silicon Valley’s population living under the federal poverty limit of 23,550 for a family of four dropped from 10.1 percent to 9.7 percent. That compares to rates of 16.8 percent for California and 15.8 percent nationwide.

Median Household Income chart

Percent of Pop with Health Insurance chart

Percent of Pop Living in Poverty chart

Distribution of Households by Income Ranges chart

About Joint Venture Silicon Valley

Joint Venture Silicon Valley was established in 1993. A nonprofit organization, the group convenes the region’s leaders across every major sector – government, business, academia, labor, and community organizations. The organization provides data and analysis on our region’s challenges, and leads initiatives to address those challenges. Joint Venture is funded by cities and counties, local companies, colleges and universities, labor and workforce institutions and foundations. For more information, visit www.jointventure.org.

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