While more than half of all Bay Area residents work in the county where they live, San Francisco and Silicon Valley continue to import workers from other communities, primarily in the East Bay.
The Bay Area’s dynamic economy and transportation system provide workers access to jobs throughout the region’s 7,000-square-mile area. Although many people travel across county borders as part of their commute, nearly 60 percent work and live in the same county. In Santa Clara County, 87 percent stay in-county – the highest in the Bay Area – with its numerous job centers also attracting thousands of commuters from outside of the nine-county Bay Area. By contrast, four in ten Contra Costa County residents commute to neighboring counties for work.
San Francisco leads the Bay Area in attracting the most workers from outside its boundaries, with a net inflow of more than 200,000 commuters each day. Santa Clara County follows with a net inflow of 120,000 commuters each day. Both counties attract workers from suburban areas, particularly San Mateo and Alameda counties. In addition to commute patterns within the nine counties, the region experiences a net inflow of an additional 120,000 commuters from outside the Bay Area each day.
of Santa Clara County's employed residents work in the county (highest in the region)
of Contra Costa County employed residents commute to jobs in the county (lowest in the region)
Commute Flows between Bay Area Counties (2016)
Sources & Methodology
The Census Transportation Planning Package is produced only every five years and relies upon 5-year rolling average data for all data tables. In order to analyze trends related to the Bay Area, commute patterns were evaluated for all interactions between the nine Bay Area counties and for all interactions between other California counties and any Bay Area county. Commute flows between non-California counties and the San Francisco Bay Area were assumed to be negligible.
U.S. Census Transportation Planning Package
Table A302103 5-Year Average (2012-2016)