The richest cities in America are in California. But are people moving away after the pandemic?

Michael Loren

California boasts the largest number of wealthy cities in America. A 24/7 Wall Street aggregation of the data from a U.S. census finds that the three cities that comprise what we know as Silicon Valley - San Jose, Sunnyvale, and Santa Clara - have an average income of almost twice the national average.

Residents of Silicon Valley make an average of $117,474 per household and over a quarter of their residents (25.7%) earn $200,000 or more. Other cities that ranked in the top 25 wealthiest cities in California include San Francisco, Napa, and Thousand Oaks (an area outside Los Angeles).

Because the average household income of these cities is significantly above the national average ($60,336), it only makes sense that the cost of living in these cities has been driven up over the past few years. An average home in San Jose, according to Zillow, is now $1,303,422. And with bidding wars becoming a norm over the purchase of these new homes, the trend looks to continue to go up.

An interesting recent development, though, is that many workers have been offered the option to work from home in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Because of this, people are no longer tied to an office. Many of them do not need to live in pricey locations and they're beginning to look outside to what their money can buy them in more affordable cities in the United States.

Some people are calling it the "Silicon Valley Exodus." The chatter is that people in the richest city in the country have begun to realize that, if they can work from anywhere, they might be better off finding a place that is less expensive. Business Insider published a story at the end of 2020 that inferred that tech's elite were moving to states like Texas and Florida. There is data to support this exodus, but many think it's not as dramatic as many people believe.

Yes, many people are moving out of the Silicon Valley area, but they aren't going very far. Silicon Valley realtor Mary Pope-Handy is quoted as saying, "People have been leaving San Francisco, but a lot of them are staying within 60 miles."

San Jose resident Theo Martin says, "People aren't, like, moving to Iowa. They're just getting a little more air away from the city." So, while some experts believe that this perceived migration of remote workers will continue, most data supports that the Silicon Valley stronghold on its spot as the richest area of the country will continue.

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Professional writer and journalist with concentration in data analysis. I specialize in interpreting data to give you unbiased, understandable information related to the state of California.

Los Angeles, CA
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