San Jose Rated Top US City for High Tech

By May 11, 2009

San Jose not only has the most successful pro team in the Bay Area (the NHL Sharks), it is also America’s top tech center, according to bizjournals’ “Top 100 Tech Centers.” San Jose is the best city in the U.S. for tech, scoring an aggregate score of 12.84 on bizjournal’s “High-tech index.” Nearly 12 percent of San Jose businesses are classified as high-tech, nearly triple the national average of four percent. There are 182.5 high-tech jobs for every 1,000 private-sector jobs, 329 percent higher than the average of all cities considered in the study, and 47 percent higher than any other market. Washington D.C. is the second best city for tech, according to the study, followed by Boston (3), Oakland-San Francisco (4) and Seattle (5). All of these areas have over 160,000 jobs in


Splitting San Jose and San Francisco-Oakland into two separate regions is a little strange, as these are not only the poles of Silicon Valley, but together make up the San Jose-Oakland-San Francisco Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Area, as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The top-ten list is rounded out by San Diego (6), Austin (7), Palm Bay/Melbourne, FL (8), Wichita, KS(9), and Raleigh, NC (10).

Bizjournals used data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2006 County Business Patterns report and 2007 American Community Survey.

Here are bizjuornal’s remarks about the top ten cities:

1. San Jose -- Victory was never in doubt. San Jose was the only metro to rank among the top 10 markets in each of the study’s five categories.

2. Washington -- Don’t be surprised. The federal government is no longer the Washington area’s sole economic support. Suburban Fairfax County, Va., has become a particularly strong high-tech hub.

3. Boston -- The Boston metro rose to high-tech prominence in the 1980s. Remember all the stories about the Route 128 corridor? It continues to benefit from a well-educated workforce.

4. San Francisco-Oakland -- It’s hard to tell where the San Jose area ends and San Francisco-Oakland begins. The two metros have 340,000 high-tech jobs between them.

5. Seattle -- Microsoft is the linchpin of Seattle’s technology sector, but it’s certainly not the only local success story. The market has more than 5,000 high-tech employers.

6. San Diego -- This is the third California entry in the top 10, more than any other state. Only five metros surpass San Diego’s ratio of 91.2 high-tech jobs per 1,000 private-sector jobs.

7. Austin -- The University of Texas and the state government both call Austin home, giving a hefty boost to the area’s booming technology sector.

8. Palm Bay-Melbourne, Fla. -- Cape Canaveral is a short drive up the Atlantic coast, making Palm Bay-Melbourne an obvious location for firms specializing in aerospace and related fields.

9. Wichita, Kan. -- It may not enjoy the same level of publicity as the others, but Wichita is a certified high-tech center, thanks to its concentration of aeronautics companies.

10. Raleigh -- Raleigh is the key vertex of North Carolina’s Research Triangle, with Durham and Chapel Hill at the other corners. Only San Jose, Washington and Austin have larger ratios of high-tech to private-sector businesses.

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