Plan Bay Area 2040, published jointly in 2017 by the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), projects growth in the numbers of households and jobs for each city and county in the nine-county Bay Area between 2010 and 2040.  For Santa Clara County, which had 604,300 households in 2010, how many more households are predicted by 2040?


It’s not just San Jose that will see population growth. The remaining 14 cities in Santa Clara County plus the unincorporated territory outside of cities are projected to add 109,700 new households by 2040. Of these jurisdictions, Sunnyvale and Mountain View are expected to see the most growth with a total of 57,100 new households. But even the cities of Los Altos Hills and Monte Sereno will grow by 7% and 8.5%, respectively.


Plan Bay Area directs most of the County’s growth to San Jose, the Bay Area’s largest city. The City of San Jose alone is expected to increase its number of households by 146,900, anticipating the addition of 5,000 homes annually. This is contrasted with San Jose’s General Plan 2040, which includes a goal of 120,000 units, or 4,000 homes annually. According to the San Jose Planning Department website, housing production over the past 30 years has averaged closer to 3,000 homes per year.


Our neighbor to the east, Alameda County, is projected to grow by 189,100 households, or 35%, between now and 2040.  Overall, the Bay Area is projected to see household growth of 818,700, with San Francisco growing by 40% and San Mateo County growing by 23%. Like San Jose, Plan Bay Area projects that the cities of San Francisco and Oakland will take on more of the expected population growth than surrounding jurisdictions.


According to Plan Bay Area, the number of households calling Santa Clara County home will increase by 42% between now and 2040.  To put this in perspective, this number is equivalent to the total households combined in these Santa Clara County cities:  Palo Alto, Los Altos, Mountain View, Cupertino, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, Milpitas, Saratoga, Los Gatos, Campbell and Morgan Hill.  Another comparison?  This growth is 85% of San Jose’s current number of households.


Plan Bay Area 2040 also projects that the number of jobs in the County will grow by 378,300 over that same timeframe, a 42% increase from 911,500 in 2010 to 1,289,900 in 2040.  This increase represents 30% of the employment growth predicted for the Bay Area, so Santa Clara County’s share of regional employment will grow marginally from 26.6% to 27.5%.


Santa Clara County currently has a jobs-housing imbalance, with 1.51 jobs for every household (1.6 jobs per household is more balanced).  This results in 100,000 more workers coming into the County each day for work.  The bad news is that the Plan Bay Area numbers don’t project a fix to this imbalance.  The good news is that they don’t suggest that the problem will worsen.