2016 News Releases

Institute Report: Silicon Valley, San Francisco household incomes up

October 3, 2016 – The median household income has risen to $102,000 in Silicon Valley and $92,000 in San Francisco, the Joint Venture Silicon Valley Institute for Regional Studies reported today.

median household income chart median household income table

An Institute analysis of the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2015 American Community Survey released September 15 shows that between 2014 and 2015, the median household income in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties rose by one percent, or nearly $1000. During the same period, the figure in San Francisco increased more rapidly, 5.5 percent, to reach the $92,000 mark.

change by income chart

Over the same year, the Census data shows, Silicon Valley lost 17,500 low-to-moderate-income households ($35,000 to $150,000) and 4000 very low-income households ($10,000-$25,000). San Francisco had similar losses.

”Year after year we’re seeing a continued shift toward a larger share of high-income households in our region,” said Rachel Massaro, Joint Venture Vice President and Senior Researcher for the Institute. “It’s possible that the lower-income households are starting to make more money, but it’s more likely that those residents are leaving the region and being replaced by higher earners.”

income of $150,000 or more chart

The number of Silicon Valley households with an annual income of $150,000 or more increased by 13.5 percent between 2014 and 2015, a figure reached by 304,000 out of the region’s nearly 900,000 total households.

“This continual shift toward high-income households is compounding income inequality, which is already a huge issue in Silicon Valley,” added Massaro.

poverty status chart poverty status table

The Institute’s report also revealed that while poverty rates remained relatively unchanged (8.3% in Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties combined), the federal poverty measure underestimates poverty in our region and is likely getting worse each year.

The federal poverty threshold for a family of four only went up by 1.7 percent (to $24,250) between 2014 and 2105, whereas the cost of goods and services in the Bay Area went up by 2.6 percent and the cost of housing has risen sharply.

On a more positive note, the childhood poverty rate in Silicon Valley, which fell a whopping three percent between 2013 and 2014, remained low in 2015 at 9 percent.

About the Silicon Valley Institute for Regional Studies

About the Silicon Valley Institute for Regional Studies

The Silicon Valley Institute for Regional Studies provides research and analysis on a host of issues facing Silicon Valley’s economy and society. The Institute is housed within Joint Venture Silicon Valley. For more information, visit www.siliconvalleyindicators.org.

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