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Increasing Inequalities in Silicon Valley Highlighted in New Report by Grantee SJSU Human Rights Institute

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A new report by San José State University’s (SJSU) Human Rights Institute features data that highlights Silicon Valley’s persistent racial, employment, education, housing, and income/wealth inequality, as well as the astronomical concentration of wealth in the hands of a small number of households and companies.

The fourth annual Silicon Valley Pain Index (SVPI) is a meta-analysis of over 60 recent studies and reports conducted on Silicon Valley since June 2022, when the last SVPI was released. The 2023 SVPI is composed of over 110 statistics designed to be read from start to finish, to demonstrate the increase in inequality.

The SJSU Human Rights Institute, supported by the Foundation’s Community and Opportunity program, provides research and policy analysis guided by international human rights law. The SVPI report provides an efficient, easily digestible, and statistical overview of structured inequalities to inform policy and practice in Silicon Valley. It also serves to measure Santa Clara County’s performance as a “human rights county,” which it declared in 2018 in accordance with the International Bill of Human Rights, and in accordance with the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women in 2023.

Some highlights from the 2023 SVPI include:


Percent of households in Silicon Valley that own six times more wealth than the bottom 50 percent of the region (i.e., 500,000 households).


Ranking of San José in youth homelessness in the U.S., with a rate of 85 unhoused young adults (ages 18-24) for every 100,000 residents.


Rate at which Black people are filing unemployment insurance claims in comparison to that of White people.


Percent of Black and Latino households who can afford a median-priced home.


Percent of Black people living in poverty, compared to Vietnamese Americans (10%), Latinos (9%), Filipinos (7%), Koreans (5%), Whites (5%), and Asian Indians (2%).


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


Dollars spent per pupil in schools in San José’s Alum Rock school district, where 79% of students are considered economically 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.


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


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.


Number of clients that Second Harvest of Silicon Valley provides groceries for each month on average, up 10,000 from last year, and an 80% increase since 2019.

72 million

Amount in dollars that Google, Adobe, Intel, and Zoom donated to local nonprofits in 2021, which was about .02% of their total revenue.

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.

Read the full report here or learn more on the Human Rights Institute’s website.

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