By the Numbers: Immigrant Contributions to Silicon Valley

As federal lawmakers discuss the scope of President Trump's border wall and the fate of hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children, Silicon Valley officials have launched a “One Voice for Immigrant Communities” initiative to support the many foreign-born residents who live here. Below are some of the facts released as part of the that campaign and in past publications by the Santa Clara County Office of Immigrant Relations.

Screen Shot 2018-01-23 at 4.04.55 PMWith a foreign-born population of nearly 40 percent, Santa Clara County is one of the most demographically diverse regions in the world.

Screen Shot 2018-01-23 at 4.05.06 PM

Approximate number of languages spoken by South Bay residents. More than half of the county’s resident speak a language other than English. The top 10 languages spoken in the region are English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Cantonese, Tagalog, Hindi, Mandarin, Korean, Telugu and Tamil, respectively.

Screen Shot 2018-01-23 at 4.05.13 PM

Latinos account for more than a quarter of those who call Santa Clara County home. And just about a as many people who who live in Silicon Valley speak Spanish as either their sole or secondary language.

Screen Shot 2018-01-23 at 4.05.21 PMNearly two-thirds of immigrants over the age of 16 are employed, making their participation in the labor force a slightly higher rate than that of their U.S.-born counterparts.

Screen Shot 2018-01-23 at 4.05.31 PMThe amount of money immigrants in the South Bay contributed to the local economy through consumption and taxes.

Screen Shot 2018-01-23 at 4.05.40 PM

Less than half of immigrants in the region are U.S. citizens. According to figures cited in a fact sheet by the county Office of Immigrant Relations, an estimated 180,000 of them are unauthorized—down from 241,000 in 2001.

Screen Shot 2018-01-23 at 4.05.46 PM

The percentage of children in the South Bay who have at least one immigrant parent. Immigrant parents throughout California have more children per family in the public school system compared to their U.S.-born counterparts.

Screen Shot 2018-01-23 at 4.05.54 PM

The amount of DACA recipients—beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals—who personally know someone who has been deported.

Source: Santa Clara County Office of Immigrant Relations


  1. We are not talking foreign born population or immigrants. We are talking about illegal aliens. People here illegally.To conflate as if they are all the same thing is very disingenuous and an obvious indication of bias and an attempt to mislead.

  2. Shame on you people for trying to confuse the issue between legal and illegal immigrants. Now post the facts about the damage and crime brought to the valley by “illegal immigrant” , I dare you!

  3. Criminal illegals cost SCC taxpayers at least $40.7 million each year to house them. Total costs much more

    76.9% of incarcerated aliens were here illegally in FY2009 – a 35% increase from 2003 to 2009. Our taxes partially reimburse *guard* costs – not total costs to state prisons (65%) and local jails (80%) under the SCAAP program to house them. Using SCC’s jail’s cost per day rate, this cost US taxpayers ~$9.9 billion in FY2009. Criminal illegals comprise 25.6% of the federal prison population. SCC’s is appreciably larger. But using 25.6%, criminal illegals cost SCC taxpayers over $40.7 million each year based on our average jail population of 3,638 average daily inmate count. Source: published 2011 GAO study: Criminal Alien Statistics

  4. The 9/21/17 National Academies of Science report determined that first generation immigrants cost US taxpayers $279 billion per year and cost more than native-born residents. Overall impact is “generally positive” at Federal level, but negative at state and local levels with significant variation across states.

    The report supports the administration’s efforts to reduce chain-migration, illegals, and low-skilled migrants. Politifact concludes the administration “cherry picked” data to claim that immigrants cost $300 billion / year, didn’t dispute the report’s findings. The SCC Office of Immigrant Relations evidently did too and relied on dubious data sources. Unlike the Academy’s report, they cite no sources to support their claims.

    SCC’s figures conflate and obfuscate illegal and legal immigration as others have pointed out.

  5. The percentage reported are worthless. The fox is watching the hen house. When are we going to realze that depending on who is doing the research equates to the results. If you have five people doimg the researc, you will have 5 different results. Are the sheep still believing everything they are told ?

  6. > The amount of money immigrants in the South Bay contributed to the local economy through consumption and taxes.

    Wait. What?

    We now measure “contribution to the local economy” by the amount of consumption and taxes?

    Well, then, raise taxes and pass out more food stamps.

    And encourage more food stamp users to buy steak and give it to their pets.

    More consumption.

  7. SJOutside, you got it!

    If “immigrants” (meaning tens to hundreds of thousands of ‘undocumented’ immigrants) contribute $77 Billion annually to our local economy, it’s no wonder we’re all so rich! Software and electronics companies have nothing to do with the wealth flowing in. It’s because of all the illegals.

    And if every Mexican citizen moved north of the border, we’d all be super-rich!

    But there’s an easier way—just move the U.S./Mexico border south, down to El Salvador.

    Easy-peasy! Let’s do it!!

    * * * * * * * * * *

    There’s an old saying: Figures don’t lie, but liars figure.

    Did anyone else notice a lot of ‘figuring’ in this article …?

    • Illegal immigration is harmful. Just ask Greece and Turkey. The negative economic impact to Germany is .3% of their GDP – about $10.4 billion. Like ours, European illegals are typically unskilled, illiterate in the native language, and not prepared for a first world society.

      Sanctuary policies harm our homeless population. Resources are diverted away from aiding them.

  8. The national academy of sciences presents a far different picture from the Pollyanna narrative SJI fabricates.

    Regardless, states, local jurisdictions and the poor suffer the most from the effects of illegal immigration. Which seems to suggest that the liberals – self-styled advocates for the poor – are actually more hypocrites than anything else.

  9. If 724,000 immigrants contribute $77 billion dollars to the local economy, that would average about $106,000 each? Really? Your numbers don’t make sense and you are blurring the lines between legal and illegal immigrants.

  10. What our politicians really see is, of the 724 thousand immigrant in the valley 89% vote for Democrats.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *