An aerial view of San Jose, California
An aerial view of San Jose. Photo courtesy of The 111th Photography.

The Silicon Valley Pain Index is produced by the San Jose State University Human Rights Institute. The annual study focuses on racial discrimination and wealth inequality.

The report was first published in 2020 following the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police and was inspired by an index compiled about New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

The Human Rights Institute released its latest findings this week. Here is the full report.


Number of African American residents making less than $35,000 living in three cities in Santa Clara County (i.e., Los Altos Hills, Los Gatos, and Monte Sereno). In Los Altos Hills, there are more than 150 low-income households, and all are white.

.001 Percent of households (eight individuals/households holding $10 billion+) in Silicon Valley that own $260 billion in total wealth ($50 billion in liquid assets or cash, which is six times more than the total wealth of the bottom 50% of the region, or about 500,000 households, combined).

.01 Percent of households (56 individuals/families holding $1 billion+) in Silicon Valley that owns $323 billion of total wealth, with $63 billion in liquid wealth.

.1 Percent of households (about 950) that own $122 billion in liquid wealth. Note: When looking at total wealth in the U.S., the top .1% increased their net worth by 71% during the pandemic, from $12.5 trillion in 2020 to $17.6 trillion by the end of 2022.

1 Percent of households (about 9,500) that owns 37% of the Silicon Valley’s liquid wealth, which is 48 times more wealth than the bottom 50% of regional households combined. Note: In the United States, the top 1% has 23 times more wealth than the bottom 50%.

1 Ranking of San Jose in youth homelessness in the nation, with 85 unhoused young adults (age 18-24) for every 100,000 residents.

2 Percent of Latinas in the tech sector, even though Latinas are about 13% of the population in Santa Clara County.

2.4 Rate at which African Americans are filing unemployment insurance claims in comparison to that of whites.

3 Percent of Santa Clara County that is African American. Less than 1% of the public contracts in the county go to African American vendors.

3 Number of cities in Santa Clara County (i.e., Cupertino, Palo Alto, Santa Clara) that did not put forward a plan on affordable housing by the deadline in 2022, which is required by new state laws.

3 Ranking of San Jose State University for poorest facility conditions within the CSU system, which has 23 universities.

3.7 Number of minimum-wage jobs needed to cover the cost of a two-bedroom apartment in San Jose.

5.5 Number of months that the San Jose Police Department has not hired a senior analyst to advance its racial equity goals as of June 13, 2023.

6.8 Percent increase of inflation in June, 2022 from previous year for the entire SF Bay Area region, which was the peak. In April, 2023 the inflation rate was 4.2%.

8 Percent of homes that were sold in 2022 that were below $600,000; 28% were sold to buyers paying in cash.

9.9 Percent drop in reading and writing, along with a 10.3% drop in math scores at Alum Rock Union School District in 2022 which serves 8,500 students, while in the Campbell Union High School District, which serves 8,900 students, it had less than a 1% decrease in math scores and a 2.8% increase in reading and writing scores.

10 Percent of households (about 95,500) that own 66% of the liquid wealth in Silicon Valley.

11 Average wait time in hours to receive emergency services at the Santa Clara County Valley Medical Center (VMC), while the wait time for an ultrasound is six weeks and for an MRI SCAN is three to four months.

13 Percent less likely for a woman to be interviewed for a tech position than a man; 33% of tech job interviews only interview men.

19 Number of hate crimes (i.e., physical action with a motivation based on prejudice) that were charged by the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office. These crimes were directed at African Americans, Asian Americans, Latinos, LGBTQ+ people and Muslims.

14 Percent of Black and Latino households who can afford a median-priced home. Further, only 27% of all Silicon Valley residents can afford a median-priced home.

16 Percent of African Americans in poverty, compared to Vietnamese Americans (10%), Latino (9%), Filipino (7%), Korean (5%), white (5%) and Asian Indian (2%).

16 Percent of middle school and high school female identifying students who have considered suicide (7% for students identifying as male).

16.3 Equity gap between underrepresented minority students’ (e.g., African American, Latino, and Native American) six-year graduation rate at SJSU and white students from 2016-2022. The equity gap increased 2.6% from 2015-2021.

17 Dollar amount of San Jose’s minimum wage, which ranks the city 7th among the 15 cities in Santa Clara County, even though San Jose was a national leader in 2012. Mountain View’s minimum wage is $18.10, while Los Altos Hills, Los Gatos and Saratoga require a minimum wage of $15.50.

17.6 Percent increase in funding for the San Jose Police Department since 2019 (i.e., $498 million total spending in 2022).

18 Percent of whites in Silicon Valley that think racism is an “extremely serious problem” compared to 39% of African Americans, 30% of Latinos and 29% of Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders.

20 Percent decrease in homes listed on the available market from the previous year, which is the highest drop in housing supply in the nation.

21 Number of schools and childcare centers surrounding the Reid-Hillview Airport, where children's blood tests were found with elevated levels of lead on par with the lead levels in children during the height of the Flint, Michigan water crisis.

26 Percent of Black homeownership in Santa Clara County, versus 63% for whites. This gap has widened since 2015 when it was 35% vs. 60%.

27 Percent of city and county managers in Silicon Valley that are women.

28 Percent of Silicon Valley households that do not earn enough money to meet their most basic needs without assistance (public and private).

32 Ranking of San Jose City’s Parks out of the 100 largest U.S. cities when looking at resident proximity to parks, park size, and amenities. San Jose has a $464 million park maintenance backlog for repairs.

33 Percent of wealth owned by the 10.01% to 49.99% of households (i.e., those making between $50,000 and $400,000).

34 Number of community members that responded to Milpitas Union Schools Districts request to open up a “room or a small space” for teachers in their district due to the high cost of rent.

37 Percent students not meeting English standards in 2022—a 2.6% point drop from before the pandemic in 2019.

40 Percent of LGBTQ+ Santa Clara County residents 50+ years old who report to being discriminated against within the past several years due to being perceived as LGBTQ+.

43 Percent of transgender, nonbinary, intersex and gender expansive (TGNB) people in a 2022 study in Santa Clara County who reported difficulty finding work in their field; 76% of those participants attributed this difficulty to their TGNB identity.

45 Percent reduction of software-related job postings in San José metro area since just before the pandemic; information technology postings have dropped 37%.

46 Percent TGNB residents who have bachelor's degrees in Santa Clara County, yet 42% had an income under $25,000 and 70% report struggling to get by.

47 Percent of the tech layoffs who are women from September to December 2022, even though women represent 39% of tech workers.

48.6 Percent of students not meeting math standards in 2022, a 5.2% point drop from before the pandemic in 2019.

49 Percent of residents who do not have air conditioning in their homes in Santa Clara County. With only 14 cooling centers total in the county, there is only one cooling center per 134,642 people.

50 Percent of renters who are burdened by housing costs, which means they are spending more than 30% of their income on housing. This figure jumps to 58% for renters above 65.

50 San Jose’s ranking out of 50 metro areas in the U.S. in price-to-rent ratio (38)—the city remains one of the most difficult in the country to purchase a home.

54 Percent of households (220,000) that hold 1% of the collective wealth in Silicon Valley. These households generally hold less than $5,000 in cash and other assets.

56 Ratio of liquid assets of Silicon Valley residents to that of the 39 city governments, up from 48 in 2018; if Ultra High Net Worth (UHNW) households (assets of $30+ million) are included it grew to 72.

57 Percent of jobs in San Jose that are tied to the tech sector, with the median tech salary in California being $120,000.

61 Percent higher wages that white workers with a bachelor’s degree receive in comparison to Latino workers with a bachelor’s degree.

62 Percent higher wages that white workers with a bachelor’s degree receive in comparison to African American workers with a bachelor’s degree.

62 Number of sexual assaults that the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office believes occurred when passengers rode with Uber in 2018-2019.

65 Number of traffic fatalities involving pedestrians, motorcycles, and cyclists in San Jose in 2022, which was an all-time high; 32 were pedestrians.

67 Percent of LGBTQ+ Santa Clara County residents who are 50+ years old and report living in poverty, even though they have completed some college or more.

70 Coefficient score of income inequality in Silicon Valley on the Absolute Gini Index (where a score of 0 reflects a perfectly equal and 100 represents a completely unequal distribution of income), up 5 points from 2019, while California and the U.S. are down 1 and 3 points respectively.

81.2 Percent of Santa Clara County residents of color that live in areas with unsafe levels of nitrogen dioxide, a harmful gas found in fuel exhaust.

86 Percent of jobs held by African Americans at Apple Inc. that are lower-paid sales or administrative support roles.

90 Percent of Santa Clara Valley Medical Care (VMC) doctors report that the county is not providing enough resources and workers to support them, while 76% of the doctors believe that VMC is not providing adequate care to patients.

99 Percent risk of a three-foot flood in Silicon Valley between today and 2050, which would submerge 29,748 homes, 27 schools, 147 hazardous waste sites, and 212 EPA-listed contaminated sites in flood waters.

99.8 FEMA risk index score of Santa Clara County, which is considered “very high.” This is double the national average due to the increased risk of coastal flooding, droughts, heat waves, wildfires, landslides, and earthquakes.

160 Number of overdose deaths by fentanyl in Santa Clara County in 2022. Incredibly, this is 14.5 times the number of fentanyl deaths in 2018. A vast majority of 2022 deaths (109) were in San Jose. Further, between 2018 and 2021 fentanyl overdose deaths increased by 12 times in Santa Clara County, four times the increase for the state of California (3x) in the same period.

200 Number of county-employed doctors out of 288 who state they plan to leave Santa Clara Valley Medical Care (VMC) in the next three years.

246 Number of houseless people who died on the streets of Santa Clara County in 2022, down four people from 250 in 2021.

295 Number of eviction filings of multi-family properties in November 2022 (116 in December), which is a significant increase from 22 notices in April 2022, the first month landlords could file evictions after the suspension of state protections against evictions.

300 Number of “ghost” guns that Santa Clara County law enforcement agencies took off of the streets in 2021, which is more than double that of the previous year.

362 Number of San Jose police officers that received one complaint from the public about their conduct (i.e., 33% of force), an increase for the 3rd year in a row (66 officers had two complaints, 20 officers had three, and eight officers had four complaints).

400 Number of temporary homes for the unhoused that have been completed since 2021, when the mayor established the goal of building 1,000 interim homes.

400 Number of instances of discriminatory language found so far in Santa Clara County’s project to rid discriminatory language from county property records.

550 Amount in dollars of the decline in median household income since 2019 because the Consumer Price Index has increased faster than income gains.

570 Number of child care businesses that have closed in Santa Clara County since July 2020.

600 Number of families that become homeless each year in Santa Clara County.

600 Number of parts per billion (ppb) of lead in the drinking water of a child care center in the Alum Rock neighborhood, which is 120 times the limit of 5 ppb allowed.

739 Amount in dollars of the average monthly costs of transportation in Silicon Valley for a family of four, a 40% increase since 2018.

789 Number of housing units built for the homeless, under construction or about to break ground in San Jose by the end of 2022. The city’s goal was 1,695 units, set in 2021.

891 Number of houseless families (i.e., people with children) in San Jose on a single night in January, 2023, up from 401 the previous year.

1,004 Number of new San Jose metro apartments built in 2022, down 50% from last year. In the same time, Austin and Houston built over 4,000 apartments, while Seattle and Miami built 3,000.

1,191 Ratio of students to one psychologist at Santa Clara County schools, which is 15% below the state average (i.e., 1,041 to 1).

1,226 Number of houseless families (i.e., people with children) in Santa Clara County, up from 891 the previous year, with 20% unsheltered.

2050 Year the water in the San Francisco Bay, which surrounds Silicon Valley, will rise one to two feet.

2100 Year the water in the San Francisco Bay will rise five to seven feet.

2,549 Median monthly rent in dollars for a two-bedroom in the San Jose metro area, which is a 3% increase from the previous year.

2,853 Number of aggravated assaults in San Jose in 2022, the highest level since 2002.

4,176 Median monthly rent in dollars in the San Jose, which is over a 6% increase from the previous year.

4,316 Number of San Jose homes that are off-market, empty homes.

4,705 Number of apartments available in San Jose in March, 2023; Silicon Valley apartments have a 4.4% vacancy rate, with units empty on average for 35 days.

5,000 Number of K-12 students that have left Santa Clara County in past year, which is a 2% drop.

6,340 Number of houseless people in San Jose on a single night in January, 2023, a 5% drop from the year before.

9,903 Number of houseless people in Santa Clara County on a single night in January, 2023, a 1% drop from the year before; with about two-thirds living in encampments or other places not designed for habitation.

11,300 Amount in dollars of monthly mortgage payments in San Jose, up 47% from the previous year due to increase interest rates. This makes the typical home 165% more expensive to purchase than rent, the highest difference among the biggest 50 metro areas.

12,400 Amount in dollars of the wage gap between male and female identified workers without a high school diploma, a $5,300 increase from 2019.

13,769 Number of San Jose homes that are non-occupied (i.e., those homes that are for rent, waiting to be sold, or not on the market).

17,788 Amount in dollars spent per pupil in Alum Rock Union School District, where 79% of the students are socioeconomically disadvantaged. In contrast, Saratoga Union Elementary School spends $6,000 more per pupil (i.e., $23,755) and only 3% of students are considered socioeconomically disadvantaged.

21,900 Approximate cost in dollars per year for a preschooler’s child care.

26,450 Approximate cost in dollars per year for infant care in Silicon Valley.

32,252 Average in dollars of per capita income for Latino workers, who trail African Americans ($44,606), Asian Americans ($71,667) and whites ($91,852). 36,120 Number of visits to SJSU Food Pantry by 3,855 unique students in AY 22-23, up from 25,560 visits (29% increase) and 2,874 unique students from previous year (25% increase). Note: This figure is from internal SJSU Cares Data sent directly to the lead author.

49,500 Average annual income in dollars for service workers (about $24 per hour, fulltime, year-round).

59,000 Amount in dollars of the wage gap between male and female identified workers with a bachelor’s degree, a $7,500 increase from 2019.

60,000 Average annual wages in dollars for full-time Latino workers, who trail African Americans ($78,000), Asian Americans ($122,000) and whites ($142,000). Blacks and Latinos had an inflation-adjusted growth rate of less than 1% over the past 5 years, the lowest among all groups.

155,000 Number of CalFresh (California Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) who are enrolled to receive food assistance, up 10,000 from 2021.

179,000 Average annual income earnings (i.e., wages and supplements) for workers.

193,000 Number of Silicon Valley homes and businesses without power during the atmospheric river event in March 2023.

245,234 Amount in dollars that a buyer needs to earn to purchase the average cost for a two-bedroom home in San Jose.

460,000 Number of clients that Second Harvest of Silicon Valley provides groceries for each month on average, up 10,000 households from last year, and an increase of 80% since pre-pandemic.

550,000 Number of guns owned in Santa Clara County, which is one gun for every four people.

976,482 Number of residents in San Jose in 2022—a drop of 1.48% from the previous year. This is the first time since 2013 that San Jose fell below 1 million residents.

1.33 Million Median sales price in dollars for an existing single-family home in San Jose, down 14.4% from previous year.

1.53 Million Median sales price in dollars of an existing home in Silicon Valley in 2022, up 7% from previous year; 76% of homes sold were above $1 million.

33 Million Amount in dollars of San Jose State’s “renewal needs” for its academic facilities, ranking it the highest among the 23 campus CSU system.

42 Million Amount in dollars pulled out of Silicon Valley Bank on March 9, 2023, which led to the bank’s failure.

72 Million Amount in dollars that Zoom, Google, Intel and Adobe donated to local nonprofits in 2021, where each donated only between 0.01% and 0.03% of their total revenue.

689 Million Amount in dollars of the cost of the new Santa Clara County jail, up 177% from an estimated $390 million in January 2022; plans to build the jail are currently on hold.

280 Billion Amount in dollars of Google’s revenue, up from $258 billion in 2021, and $183 billion in 2020.

382 Billion Amount in dollars of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Santa Clara County, an increase of 19% from 2019; if the county were a nation, it would be ranked as the 38th largest world economy.

394 Billion Amount in dollars of Apple Inc.’s revenue in 2022, up from $366 billion from 2021, and $275 billion in 2020.

1 Trillion Total market capitalization of Nvidia Corporation in May of 2023; Nvidia joins Apple ($2.7T) and Alphabet Inc. (formerly Google, $1.6T) as corporations with trillion-dollar + valuations, and is the first $1T microchip producer in U.S. history.

1.1 Trillion Total household wealth in Silicon Valley in dollars (e.g., cash accounts, stocks, options, bonds, mutual funds, managed accounts, hedge funds, exchange traded fund, annuities, education/custodial accounts, retirement accounts, and cashvalue life insurance).

1.5 Trillion Total household wealth in Silicon Valley in dollars if one also factors in the value of real estate assets.

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