State of the Valley

Upon review of data and survey results from Santa Clara and San Mateo counties, it is clear that residents are leaving the region because of the high cost of living, with Latino/a/x, Black, women, renters, low-income and respondents under age 35 being most concerned about financial insecurity.

The rate at which residents require government or community assistance is greatest for Latino residents, and nearly half of all children live in a household that needs public assistance to get by. Within the same region, there exists a worsening wealth gap, with a quarter of wage earners holding 92% of the region's wealth. 

Joint Venture screenshot: mayor speaking and cover of reportFurther, the rate at which students graduate from high school is declining in the area, though more students are eligible for direct access to a UC or CSU campus.

Survey of Silicon Valley

The following are key findings from the annual poll [1] conducted by Joint Venture Silicon Valley.

  • Residents are leaving the region because of the high cost of living and housing costs.
    • 56% of survey respondents reported they are likely to leave the region in “the next few years.” This is up nine percentage points from last year.
    • The overall cost of living (84%) and high housing costs (77%) are the main reasons reported for wanting to move.
    • 76% of survey respondents indicated the cost of housing as the most serious problem in the Bay Area, followed by the cost of living, homelessness and the increasing frequency of wildfires and drought.
    • 72% of survey respondents think the region is a “good” or “excellent” place to pursue a career, but the rates are far lower for Black respondents at 60%.
  • Financial insecurity is a serious concern in the region, with Latino/a/x, Black, women, renters, low-income, and respondents under age 35 being most concerned.
    • 40% of survey respondents report feeling financially insecure with higher percentages reported for Latino/a/x, Black and women (44%) respondents.
    • Feelings of housing and food insecurity are greatest for renters (51%) with 20% of renters in the region reporting they suffered a pay cut due to reduced hours or demand and 15% of renters reported they were laid off or permanently lost a job.
    • 24% of respondents reporting their income to be less than $50,000 a year had to take a cut in pay, 20% were furloughed or temporarily laid off and 23% said they were laid off permanently or lost a job. This group is also the most likely to be worried about rent, mortgage, groceries, or food.
    • 46% of respondents under the age of 35 were worried about paying for food and housing.

Silicon Valley Index

Joint Venture: Silicon Valley Index coverThe following draws from the Silicon Valley Index[2] published by Joint Venture Silicon Valley for Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties.


  • The region experienced its first population decline in over 12 years.
    • 40,000 residents left the region in 2021 alone. One-third left for Bay Area suburbs, 25% moved to the Sacramento area, and the reamaining residents left for Seattle, Portland, Dallas, New York and Las Vegas. 
    • Further, the birth rate in the region is at its lowest since 1979.
  • The youth population is declining, 
    • Residents under the age of 18 decreased by 1.3% between 2020-21 while 18-24 increased by 1.4% and 25-44 decreased by 0.3%.
  • The region is largely comprised of residents who identify as Asian, white and Latinx.
    • In 2020, residents within the region identified largely as Asian, comprising 38.8% of the population, 29.2% white, 24.1% Latino/a/x, 5.6% multiple races and 2.2% African American/Black.
  • Two-fifths of residents are foreign born. 
    • In 2020, 39% of region residents were born outside of the United States. 
  • After English, Spanish is the most commonly spoken language at home, followed by Chinese
    • In 2019, 49% of county residents spoke English at home; 35% spoke Spanish and 18% spoke Chinese
    • Another 12% spoke other Indo-European languages; 9% spoke Vietnamese; 8% spoke Tagalog, 8% spoke other Asian or Pacific Islander languages; 2% spoke a Slavic language; and 2% spoke Korean.
  • Residents of the region are highly educated.
    • In 2019, 24% had a graduate or professional degree, 28% a bachelor's degree, 22% some college or associate's degree, 14% high school graduate, and 11% less than high school. 


  • Job growth has been declining.
    • In 2020-21 within the region, job growth decreased by 9%.
  • Community infrastructure and services is the highest area of employment.
    • 50% of all jobs in the region are in the area of community infrastructure and services (including healthcare, social services and state and local government jobs) followed by 27% in innovation and information products and services (including computer hardware design and manufacturing, semiconductors, internet, technical research, software), 16% in business infrastructure and services (wholesale trade, personnel and accounting services, administrative services, techncial management), 4% in other areas, and 4% in other manufacturing fields.
  • There is a large divide between science and engineering degrees conferred at universities in the region with far fewer women conferring a STEM degree than men.
    • In 2020, 40% of awards were conferred to women and 60% conferred to men, a trend that has held over the past ten years prior.
  • The average annual earnings within the region are $170,000 per year while the median income was $138,000.
    • In 2021, the average annual earnings in the region is slightly lower than San Francisco ($173,029), above the Bay Area ($138,483) and above the state ($89,183) and nation ($71,718). Average wages in the region have grown the greatest with year over year growth since 2009, currently at $138,000.
  • Unemployment is highest for Black/African American residents.
    • Overall unemployment dropped to a low of 2.9%, but unemployment in 2020 was 7% for Black residents, 4% for Latino/a/x, 3% for white, 4% for other races and 5% for two or more races within the Valley. 
  • There is a large gap in wealth inequality in the region. 
    • 25% of the earners in the region hold 92% of the wealth while the top 10% of earners hold 75% of the wealth. 

Poverty and Basic Needs

  • Poverty in the region affects 5% of the population.
    • The poverty rate in the region is lower than the rest of the Bay Area, state and nation, but still results in 5% of the population living in poverty.
    • Poverty in the region is greatest for American Indian residents at 14% living in poverty, followed by Black residents at 12%, and Latino/a/x residents at 11%.
    • The poverty rate decreased from 10% in 2012 to the current rate of 5%.
  • One-third of households require public assistance to get by, with Latino/a/x residents struggling the greatest. 
    • While 5% of residents live below the poverty line, another 28% live above the poverty line but below the standard of living within the region, for a combined 33% of the population not making enough money to meet household self-sufficiency standards.
    • For Latino/a/x residents, the rate who require government or community assistance is 61%, the rate is 82% for non-citizen Latino/a/x residents, and 90% for Latino/a/x families where neither parent speaks English.
    • Nearly half of children in the region (46%) live in households that are not self-sufficient.
  • Food insecurity is a hardship for 21% of the population.
    • In 2021, 21% of the population reported food insecurity, up from 15% the prior year with 33% of children receiving free or reduced-price lunch.

High School Graduates

  • The rate of high school graduates is declining with more students eligible for UC and CSU.
    • High school graduation rates declined slightly in 2020 from prior years to 83%.
    • The rate of students who are UC and CSU eligible upon graduation increased to 63%, above that of the state, where 50% of students are eligible for direct entry into the public university system.
  • UC/CSU eligibility rates vary by ethnicity.
    • While UC/CSU eligibility rates have increased in the region, rates vary by ethnicity with the region failing to adequately prepare African American/Black, Latino/a/x and Pacific Islander students at the highest rates with only around 41% of these students groups meeting eligibility.
    • In contrast, 84% of Asian and 70% of white students were eligible upon graduation.

Job Projections

Associate Degree, Certificate or Some College

  • The greatest growth in job openings in the region are in the health sciences.

Top 20 occupational projections by percent increase in projected openings between 2018 and 2028 requiring an associate degree, certificate or some college in the San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara Metropolitan Statistical Area.

* indicates a field in which De Anza offers an associate degree or certificate

** indicates a field in which De Anza offers a transfer path

Occupational Title Projected Employment Increase Median Annual Wage
Occupational Therapy Assistants** 33.3% $53,883
Respiratory Therapists 27.4% $100,970
Diagnostic Medical Sonographers 25% $102,564
Physical Therapist Assistants** 20% $75,730
Health Technologists and Technicians, All Other* 19.8% not available
Agricultural and Food Science Technicians 19.3% not available
Medical Assistants* 19.3% $47,033
Web Developers* 19.1% not available
Life, Physical and Social Science Technicians, All Other 16.7% $66,394
Paralegals and Legal Assistants* 16.6% $88,161
Radiologic Technologists 16.5% $87,610
Preschool Teachers, Except Special Education* 16.3% $39,142
Massage Therapists 16.3% $34,487
Medical Records and Health Information Technicians* 15.2% not available
Nursing Assistants 14.9% not available
Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Workers, All Other** 14.8% not available
Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers 14.7% $70,279
Computer Numerically Controlled Machine Tool Programmers, Metal and Plastic* 14.6% not available
Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians 14.3% $70,756
Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists 14.3% $98,539

Bachelor's Degree

  • The greatest growth in job openings in the region with a bachelor's degree are varied and include design, software, research, sciences and medical fields.

Top 20 occupational projections by percent increase in projected openings between 2018 and 2028 requiring a bachelor's degree in the San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara Metropolitan Statistical Area.

*** indicates a field in which De Anza offers a certificate, degree or transfer path

Occupational Title Projected Employment Increase Median Annual Wage
Film and Video Editors*** 37.9% not available
Information Security Analysts*** 33.6% not available
Operations Research Analysts 33.1% $96,833
Proofreaders and Copy Markers*** 30.0% not available
Software Developers, Applications*** 25.2% not available
Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists 23.5% $97,883
Substance Abuse, Behavorial Disorder, and Mental Health Counselors 22.0% $54,780
Medical and Health Services Managers 18.7% $129,964
Financial Managers 18.6% $164,967
Social Science Research Assistants*** 17.6% $51,215
Biological Scientists, All Other*** 17.1% $107,548
Social Scientists and Related Workers*** 16.7% $86,895
Athletic Trainers*** 16.7% $63,851
Statistical Assistants 16.7% $60,671
Education Administrators, Preschool and Childcare Center/Program+++ 16.0% $51,629
 Coaches and Scouts 15.2%  $40,889
 Registered Nurses*** 15.1% $149,520
 Biological Technicians*** 15.0% $63,391
 Financial Specialists, All Other 14.4% no available
 Training and Development Specialists 14.3% $88,058

Source: California Employment Development Department (EDD)



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