Silicon Valley is losing its luster with young adults, as recent polling shows millennials are gearing up to leave the San Francisco area at an increased rate.
Reuters, citing a Brunswick Group survey, reported two-fifths of people between the ages of 18 and 34 that are employed in the tech sector plan to leave the San Francisco area during the next twelve months. Meanwhile, Reuters reported growth in the number of new residents setting down roots in Silicon Valley was 38,000 in 2018, marking a ten year low. In 2013, at the peak, the area added more than 102,000 residents. Reuters noted that migration to other areas of the country is playing a role, with Santa Clara County — home to Alphabet, the Google parent, and Apple — seeing the biggest decline.
Another poll conducted by the San Jose Mercury News and the Silicon Valley Leadership Group and covered by Reuters revealed that two-thirds of those living in the Bay Area said the quality of life has worsened during the past five years, with housing costs increasing, homelessness on the rise and traffic jams a common occurrence. Wildfires that are increasing in rate, the lack of water over the longer term and climate change issues were also among the top ten reasons people were leaving.
The survey also showed the area could become less diverse, with African Americans the leading ethnic groups that signaled they would leave the Bay Area. Of the African American survey responsents, 71 percent said they were considering leaving. That was followed by Latinos with 53 percent signaling a change. Reuters noted that other cities around the country including Boston, Austin, Texas and Raleigh, North Carolina may be attractive to millenials. All of the cities have a lower cost of living than Silicon Valley and have their fair share of universities.
It’s not only residents that are leaving Silicon Valley, however. Reuters pointed to VF Corp.’s move last year when it announced it was leaving San Francisco for Denver, which is also growing.