The Trillion Dollar Club

Long-time readers of this blog will recall my last State of the City address focused on just how gigantic the Bay Area economic powerhouse is. I knew it was big…but had no idea just how big it was, despite having lived here for many years.

Today the Federal Bureau of Economic Analysis released the 2020 gross domestic product numbers by county. This is the best estimate of how much money each county in the United States contributes to the overall national economy.

And the results are even more striking. Because1 the six Bay Area counties collectively generated more than $1 trillion dollars in economic output last year.

That’s right. $1 trillion dollars. Which, as they say, ain’t half bad.

Here’s the breakdown by county:

This is all the more striking because the Bay Area is, geographically, just a tiny, tiny sliver of the United States:

And remember, most of that cited land area (except for San Francisco) is uninhabited (it also includes lakes, streams, parks, etc.)

Of course, nothing is one-sided. The very economic success of the Bay Area is the source of many, if not most, of the problems that afflict us every day. Traffic. High cost of living. Lack of affordable housing.

But still. With that kind of economic power behind us we ought to be able to find a way to solve those problems…if we try.


  1. assuming I accounted for inflation correctly; the Bureau quotes everything in “chained 2012 dollars” so I had to make some adjustments 

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