In the United States, migration trends have been among the most interesting social data sets to examine. Within these macro trends, migration in and out of Silicon Valley in particular stands out as the most fascinating and impactful in terms of sheer numbers as well as diversity and talent.
Silicon Valley is rapidly outpacing the rest of California in regards to overall population growth. Net population growth is defined by net natural change (births minus deaths) in addition to net migration (immigration and emigration). Within Santa Clara and San Mateo County, the two counties most closely associated with Silicon Valley, we can see that although the rate of natural population change has remained stable in the past two decades, the migration rate has varied wildly, dipping negative during the Dot-com bust, and only recently making a comeback.
However, upon a closer look at the migration statistics during the Dot-com bust, it becomes evident that foreign immigration rates generally remained stable during this time; the overall negative migration rate was a result of domestic departures. Foreign immigration rates to the Silicon Valley would most likely be much higher if not capped by the government’s current H-1B Visa policy. These outdated policies are hurting the overall economy as well as individual entrepreneurs.
As a result, Silicon Valley currently has a significant percentage of residents who are foreign born. Furthermore, Silicon Valley also currently employs a higher percentage of educated foreign born residents than the same industries in the rest of the United States.
In recent times, however, the rapidly rising costs of living and gentrification have started to drive top talent out of Silicon Valley. As a result, now may be the perfect time to look abroad for career opportunities, or consider working remotely for your current job while traveling the world as a digital nomad.