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Report says wealth gap widening in Silicon Valley

Downtown San Jose, the center of Silicon Valley
Susan Smith
Flickr / Creative Commons
Downtown San Jose, the center of Silicon Valley

A group that analyzes regional economy and quality of life issues says their new findings paint a bleak picture of the growing wealth disparity in the nation’s tech hub.

The group - Joint Venture Silicon Valley, will soon release the full data in their annual Silicon Valley Index report– including data on last year's economic trends.

Silicon Valley includes all of Santa Clara, San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties, along with part of Alameda County, including Fremont. The report's data comes from California's Employment Development Department, the census and other sources.

Among the findings the top 10 percent of Silicon Valley earners hold 75 percent of the wealth.

Last year, the average annual income in the region was 170 thousand dollars -– more than double the national average. Helping support this economy are service workers - with a much lower an average income of just 31 thousand dollars a year.

The report also found that about a third of Silicon Valley households require some form of assistance from the government or community.

As the conditions in Silicon Valley have been changing, so, too, are the people who live there. About 40 thousand residents left last year to other areas.

This marks Silicon Valley’s first population decline in more than a dozen years.