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

More than half of all residents in the Big Tech hub of Silicon Valley are planning to ditch the region due to spiraling costs and quality-of-life issues, according to the results of a poll released this week.

A whopping 64% of residents in Silicon Valley, home to corporate heavyweights such as Google, Meta and Apple, say they are concerned the region is on the wrong track, according to the 2022 Silicon Valley poll conducted by Joint Venture and the Silicon Valley Institute for Regional Studies.

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

Among individuals who plan to leave, 67% cited housing costs, while 47% pointed to a falling quality of life and 43% were sick of the area’s high taxes.

“There’s a mood out there – the mood is gloomy. The mood is darkening,” Russell Hancock, the CEO of Joint Venture and president of the Silicon Valley Institute for Regional Studies, said during a briefing on the poll’s findings.

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“The folks that are working in Silicon Valley think that despite their work, the overall region is losing ground,” Hancock added.

The poll results surfaced during a period in which several prominent businesses, including some based in the Bay Area, have opted to leave California for other states. Firms that have relocated include Tesla, Oracle, Hewlett Packard and Charles Schwab.

Silicon Valley
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Silicon Valley’s high cost of housing was a top concern for residents, with 76% of respondents identifying steep rent and home costs as an “extremely serious problem.”

Other “extremely serious problems” flagged by locals included cost of living, with 72% of respondents using that description, homelessness at 71% and the region’s propensity for droughts at 58%.

Silicon Valley
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Taking into account all factors, 36% of Silicon Valley dwellers who responded to the poll said the Bay Area’s quality of life has gotten worse over the last five years.

The results skewed based on political leanings, with 62% of Republicans saying the quality of life has 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 poll was conducted from Sept. 9 through Sept. 20.