The San Francisco Bay Area is one of the wealthiest regions in the U.S, partly due to Silicon Valley. According to the United States Census Bureau, of the 280 defined metropolitan areas, the San Francisco Bay Area has the highest median household income in the nation with $73,460 in the year 2007. It also has approximately 123,621 households classified as millionaires. Among medium-sized cities, Pleasanton has the highest household income in the country, and Livermore the third highest. Nevertheless, disposable income is very comparable with the rest of the country, largely because the increased cost of living offsets increased income.
While only 26% of households nationwide boast incomes of over $75,000 a year, 48% of households in the San Francisco Bay Area enjoy such incomes. The percentage of households with incomes exceeding the $100,000 mark in the Bay Area was double the nationwide percentage. Roughly one third (31%) of households in the San Francisco Bay Area had a six figure income, versus less than 16% at the nationwide level. In June 2003, a study by Stanford University reviewing US Census Bureau statistics determined the median household income in the San Francisco Bay Area to be roughly 60% above national average. Overall the largest income bracket in the Bay Area were households making between $100,000 and $150,000 annually, who constituted roughly 18% of households. On a national level the largest income bracket were households with incomes between $30,000 and $40,000 who constituted 13% of all households nationwide.
Six of the top ten California places with the highest per capita income are in the San Francisco Bay Area (Belvedere, Atherton, Woodside, Portola Valley, Diablo). Of the 100 highest income counties by per capita income in the United States, six are in the San Francisco Bay Area (Marin, San Mateo, San Francisco, Santa Clara, Contra Costa, Alameda). According to Forbes Magazine, published in 2005, 12 of the top 50 most expensive Zip Codes are in the Bay Area (Atherton, Ross, Diablo, Belvedere-Tiburon, Nicasio, Portola Valley, Los Altos-Los Altos Hills, Los Gatos-Monte Sereno, the Cow Hollow-Marina District of San Francisco, Alamo, and Burlingame-Hillsborough).
Forty-seven San Francisco Bay Area residents made the Forbes magazine’s 400 richest Americans list, published in 2007. Thirteen live within San Francisco proper, placing it seventh among cities in the world. Among the forty-two were several well-known names such as Steve Jobs, George Lucas, and Charles Schwab. The highest-ranking resident is Larry Ellison of Oracle at No. 4. He is worth $19.5 billion. Additionally, a Forbes Magazine survey of the super wealthy concluded that the San Francisco Bay Area had the highest concentration of the super wealthy relative to other locations such as New York City and Dallas. “America’s Greediest Cities”.http://www.forbes.com/2007/11/30/greediest-cities-billionaires-forbeslife-cx_ee_1203greed.html. (Forbes Magazine, 12/03/07)
A study by Claritas indicates that in 2004, 5% of all households within the San Francisco and San Jose metropolitan areas held $1 million in investable assets.
As of 2007, there were approximately 80 public companies with annual revenues of over $1 billion a year, and 5-10 more private companies. Nearly 2/3 of these are in the Silicon Valley section of the Bay Area.