More immigrants sought permanent legal residence in Santa Clara County in 2017 than in any other Bay Area county, despite the high cost of living in the region that includes much of Silicon Valley.
Alameda County counted twice as many people seeking permanent residency as San Francisco, according to data from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and the California Department of Finance.
Here’s how the Bay Area counties rank by processed requests for permanent residence:
1. Santa Clara County — 15,890
2. Alameda County — 12,431
3. San Francisco — 6,629
4. Contra Costa County — 5,164
5. San Mateo County — 4,684
6. Solano County — 1,273
7. Sonoma County — 1,057
8. Marin County — 633
9. Napa County — 444
According to demographers with the California Department of Finance, the main reasons immigrants come to the Bay Area are for employment and to be with family who are living in the region.
“Broadly speaking, those are the principal forces,” said H.D. Palmer, a department spokesman.