Known popularly as the Bay Area, San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose form a hub that is known for high-tech companies such as Google, Yahoo, Intel and Cisco (Silicon Valley), as well as incredible views of the world-famous Golden Gate Bridge and Pacific Ocean. The Bay Area has a population of 6.8 million, with San Jose (894,000) and San Francisco (777,000) as the largest cities.
In 2004, this part of California boasted an average personal income of $49,276. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce's Bureau of Economic Analysis, the average Bay Area resident earns 49% more than the average American. Average income has grown 7.6% over the past 35 years, just above the national average.
Supermarket giant Safeway and home-grown Hewlett-Packard are the Bay Area's largest employers, while Chevron, Wells Fargo and Gap also have their headquarters and large workforces in the area. Globalization plays a large and growing force in job creation in the area: 60% of Bay Area manufacturers' revenues come from overseas.
According to a 2004 AT Kearney study, five fields will continue to contribute to growth in the Bay Area:
- Advanced technology R&D
- New product concept marketing
- Cross-disciplinary research
- Global integrated management
Three areas continue to weaken in the Bay Area:
- Mass production
- Back-office operations
- Product and process enhancement
For more information on colleges and universities in California, explore our California state page.