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Silicon Valley population hits 3 million

crowd w/ report cover New data from Silicon Valley Institute for Regional Studies

San Jose baby represents three millionth resident

May 5, 2015 – Silicon Valley’s population has reached three million for the first time, Joint Venture’s Silicon Valley Institute for Regional Studies announced today.

Researchers at the Institute, using population data from the state and daily growth calculators for the region, predicted that Silicon Valley would top the three million mark by early May.

“This milestone goes hand-in-hand with our hot economy,” said Russell Hancock, president and CEO of Joint Venture, which houses the Institute. “Still, it’s a startling figure that puts our explosive growth in perspective.”

Rachel Massaro, Joint Venture vice president and senior research associate for the Institute, said Silicon Valley has been growing at the rate of one person every 16 minutes, or nearly 90 people a day.

“This is one of the fastest growing regions in the state, and it’s driven largely by the lure of our innovation engine, by foreign immigration and local births,” Massaro said. “This contributes to Silicon Valley’s worsening transportation and housing crunch.”

In conjunction with the release of the study, Joint Venture designated a baby boy born today at Kaiser Permanente in Santa Clara to represent the 3 millionth resident of Silicon Valley. The baby, Max, was born to Bing Yuan and Dan Danner of San Jose at 9:39 a.m., PDT. He weighed eight pounds, eleven ounces and measured just over 21 inches in length.

mom and dad with baby

The Institute identifies Silicon Valley as Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties, plus the the cities of Fremont, Union City and Newark in Alameda County and Scotts Valley in Santa Cruz County.

The data is part of a 32-page brief released today by the Institute, “Population Growth in Silicon Valley.” The report examines Silicon Valley’s population dynamics, including overall population growth, growth by city and county, birth and death rates, and the changing population composition in terms of age and gender. It also examines recent California Department of Finance (DOF) population and K-12 enrollment projections through 2023.

Additionally, the report examines population trends as they relate to the recent economic recession. Silicon Valley’s population dynamics are closely tied to the economy overall, including employment, income, cost of living and other factors; in particular, in and out migration, as well as birth and death rates, vary with changes in economic growth and development, which affect both behavioral and environmental change and influence population dynamics.

A large portion of Silicon Valley residents live within just six of its 39 cities – San Jose, Fremont, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, Daly City and San Mateo – the study reports. Several cities are growing more than three times faster than the state as a whole.

Silicon Valley’s growth rate accelerated between 2011 and 2013, when it peaked at its highest since 1998, before slowing slightly since then. This growth is occurring despite declining birth rates since 2008, and is driven by foreign immigration as well as natural growth.

The 2015 Silicon Valley Index produced by the Institute reported the region has increased by some 30,000 people annually since 2011 and that it added 42,000 people in 2013.

Three million was the entire population of California a century ago and is double the number of people who were living in Silicon Valley in the mid-1960s.

It is roughly equivalent to one percent of the current U.S. population, twice the population of Manhattan and three times that of Delaware.

If it were a city, Silicon Valley would be the nation’s third largest behind New York (8.4 million) and Los Angeles (3.9 million). As a state it would rank 31st, between Mississippi and Iowa. As a country, think Armenia.

Three million people live in one million households and they use more than 400 million gallons of water and produce 13.2 million pounds of trash daily. A third of them will commute to work in their own cars.

The population study may be downloaded from the Institute website.

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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