Techs who swore to leave the Bay Area are coming back


Rizal Wong, a junior partner at technology and business communications firm Sard Verbinnen and Company, left the Bay Area in December, swapping a studio in Oakland for a cheaper one in his hometown of Sacramento, near his family. But after being vaccinated, he moved to San Francisco in April.

“I felt like I was taking my life back,” said Mr. Wong, 22. “Meeting colleagues who have also been vaccinated and having a drink after work definitely makes me more normal.”

Mr. Wong, like many who left the Bay Area, didn’t get very far. Of the more than 170,000 people who moved from surrounding San Francisco, Berkeley and Oakland in 2020, the vast majority moved elsewhere in California, according to change of address data from the US Postal Service analyzed by CBRE, a real estate company. .

About 20,000 have moved to the San Jose area, for example. Another 16,000 went to Los Angeles, nearly 15,000 to Sacramento and 8,000 to Stockton, in the Central Valley of California. The more than 77,000 people who left metro San Jose, a proxy for Silicon Valley, went to similar places: San Francisco, Sacramento and Los Angeles. In February, the San Francisco Chronicle reported similar numbers using data from the Postal Service.

Net migration out of the San Francisco and San Jose areas – which takes into account people who moved – was around 116,000 last year, up from around 64,000 in 2019, according to analysis of service data. postal.

Almost every year for several decades, thousands more residents have left Silicon Valley and San Francisco than they have moved in, according to state data. Often this movement is offset by an influx of immigrants from other countries – which was limited during the pandemic.

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