Data Points

GDP breakdown: Economic growth in the Bay Area

(Photo by Bill Oxford via Unsplash)

About 1.7 percent of the nation’s total value of goods and services were produced in Santa Clara County in 2018, the highest of any Bay Area county. 

According to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, which recently released gross domestic product estimates, Santa Clara County produced the second most in the state next to Los Angeles County. 

More than $300 billion of goods and services were produced in Santa Clara County in 2018, while San Francisco produced $162.5 billion, second in the region and fifth in the state. San Francisco produced about 1 percent of the nation’s GDP. 

Here’s how the counties ranked by GDP in 2018.

1
1. Santa Clara County — $316.5 billion
2
2. San Francisco — $162.5 billion
3
3. Alameda County — $130.7 billion
4
4. San Mateo County — $105.0 billion
5
5. Contra Costa County — $77.5 billion
6
6. Sonoma County — $28.6 billion
7
7. Solano County — $23.3 billion
8
8. Marin County — $20.9 billion
9
9. Napa County — $10.0 billion
1. Santa Clara County — $316.5 billion
2. San Francisco — $162.5 billion
3. Alameda County — $130.7 billion
4. San Mateo County — $105.0 billion
5. Contra Costa County — $77.5 billion
6. Sonoma County — $28.6 billion
7. Solano County — $23.3 billion
8. Marin County — $20.9 billion
9. Napa County — $10.0 billion

Economist Christopher Thornberg of the economic advisory firm Beacon Economics in Los Angeles, said that the estimates provide a broader picture of economic growth than simply using employment figures. He said the estimates capture both the value of employment and the value of machinery in the creation of goods and services. 

“It helps you see that weird dichotomy” between growth in employment and the growth in both employment and capital, he said. 

For example, while manufacturing employment in the U.S. has declined sharply since 1990, manufacturing production has actually increased because firms are producing more with machines.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, Beacon Economics