More than half of Silicon Valley residents want to leave: ‘The mood is darkening’

More than half of all residents of Silicon Valley’s big tech hub plan to leave the region due to rising costs and quality of life issues, according to results of a survey released this week.

According to the 2022 Silicon Valley Survey conducted by Joint Venture and the Silicon Valley Institute, a whopping 64% of residents in Silicon Valley, home to corporate heavyweights like Google, Meta and Apple, say they are concerned the region is on the wrong track for regional studies.

Meanwhile, 56% of respondents said they would likely move out of the Bay Area “within the next few years.” The figure is even higher for working-age residents, with 59% of adults aged 18-64 saying they would likely seek greener pastures.

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Of those planning to move, 67% cited housing costs, while 47% pointed to a declining quality of life and 43% were fed up with the high taxes in the area.

“There is a mood out there – the mood is somber. Sentiment is darkening,” said Russell Hancock, CEO of Joint Venture and president of the Silicon Valley Institute for Regional Studies, during a briefing on the survey results.

Silicon Valley
More than half of all Silicon Valley residents plan to leave the region.
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Silicon Valley
Silicon Valley is home to many big tech companies.
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“People who work in Silicon Valley think that despite their work, the entire region is losing ground,” Hancock added.

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The survey results came at a time when several prominent companies, including some in the Bay Area, have chosen to leave California for other states. Companies that have moved include Tesla, Oracle, Hewlett Packard and Charles Schwab.

Silicon Valley
Local residents are concerned about rising costs and quality of life issues.
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Silicon Valley
The residents of Silicon Valley complained about the high housing and living costs.
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The high cost of housing in Silicon Valley was a major concern for residents, with 76% of respondents calling the high cost of rent and housing an “extremely serious problem.”

Other “extremely serious issues” cited by locals were the cost of living, with 72% of respondents using that description, homelessness at 71% and the region’s vulnerability to drought at 58%.

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Silicon Valley
36% of Silicon Valley residents who took part in the survey said the quality of life in the Bay Area has deteriorated over the past five years.
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Silicon Valley
56% of residents say they plan to leave the area.
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All factors considered, 36% of Silicon Valley residents who took part in the survey said the quality of life in the Bay Area has deteriorated over the past five years.

The results were skewed by political leanings, with 62% of Republicans saying quality of life had gotten “much worse,” compared to just 23% of Democrats.

Joint Venture and its partners calculated results from an online survey of 1,736 residents in five Bay Area counties. The survey was conducted from September 9th to 20th.

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