Entrepreneur

This map reveals exactly where Silicon Valley gets its talent

Above: Detail of a map showing where Silicon Valley gets its talent.

Where does Silicon Valley’s talent come from? This incredibly detailed map tells all.

The visualization, made by Bloomberg Businessweek, shows the top 100 sources of “imported talent,” from both U.S. states and foreign countries.

According to Bloomberg, “Asian Americans became the majority of the tech workforce in the Valley” in 2010; and one third of Valley startups “are founded by Indian Americans.” In addition, Mexico, Texas, and Arizona rank among the top ten sources of Silicon Valley talent, Bloomberg claims.

Most importantly, this graphic makes crystal-clear why countless entrepreneurs and investors consider immigration reform a top priority.

See the graphic in full right here on BusinessWeek’s site.


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79 comments
Sumi Allen
Sumi Allen

The point of the story is that Silicon Valley is all Gold diggers and no talent.  :)

This is a terrible list full of propaganda.  First, MIT and the Air Force DEVELOPED the internet and funded it's development between Stanford and UCLA.  Where are both of them on this chart?  

S N
S N

Pure propoganda from a hack.  Please don't use the title "This map reveals exactly where Silicon Valley gets its talent"...TALENT?  Silicon Valley Talent?  "Silicon Valley Talent" means only one thing to people...The smart techies, venture people, and business people that make up the tech engine of the world....not legal and illegal immigrants washing floors and dishes.  P L E A S E.  


Oh gee, Silicon Valley is getting most of it's "Talent" from Mexico!  HAHAHAHAHAHA


The entire article is ridiculous.

j. becker
j. becker

So, here is the glaring error that I see in this list.  Did anyone notice that despite the fact that they are located in California, they don't hire anyone from the state.


Next question is, does this include personnel who manufacture the products since most of it is off-shore?  I live in the area and don't really see that the preponderance of employees is Mexican.

Kim Koyle
Kim Koyle

Oregon! woot woot. hope Oregonians keep heading to San Jose, so that I can get a job back in Oregon. Lived in both, back here now. Not fond of paying $1600 for a decent studio…and that was 8 years ago.

Ann Marie Hake Hughes
Ann Marie Hake Hughes

Ok, so this is at least the third time you shared it, but you have not answered where the data comes from, so that it can be examined if these are all tech positions or if some are support positions, admin positions, accounting positions, lawyers for tech companies, mail room clerks for tech companies, receptionists, whatever.

Gypsy Guy
Gypsy Guy

This is ample proof that we must continue to focus on legalizing the 20M illegals in this country while continuing to ignore legal immigration reform. Please send these stats to our lawmakers ASAP.

Patrick Lane
Patrick Lane

Looks like New Mexico made it to Silicon Valley at number 38 in the talent pool!

Robyn-Dale Y. Samuda
Robyn-Dale Y. Samuda

Immigrants make up a large proportion of the US workforce. There are more immigrants at the helm of popular silicon valley companies

Robyn-Dale Y. Samuda
Robyn-Dale Y. Samuda

We're going to have to prove our talents. Create something new and amazing with potential to impact the globe. I haven't seen any such tech based solutions with that level of impact from Jamaica yet, unfortunately.

Virginia Mushkatblat
Virginia Mushkatblat

well, if you put money that these immigrants made on a per capita basis, instead of sheer numbers of people, what the picture will look like? as these numbers are not really different neither for New York nor Los Angeles... what's important is who really made it, so let's look at Google, with 50%/50% , Facebook with 100%, snapchat etc. and let's place the demographics all over it. This will reflect a bit better the chances to succeed - not just try...

Peter James Herz
Peter James Herz

Great more from Mexico than everywhere else .. valle de silicones?

Hossein Hondori
Hossein Hondori

other middle east!? is that another way of not mentioning IRAN?

Aung Thiha
Aung Thiha

Philippine beats china and india? That surprises me.

boe var
boe var

WOW!!! Philippines number 6!!

Charles Potts
Charles Potts

Stupid, worthless infographic with no differentiation of skills.

Har Kawa
Har Kawa

I had no idea Mexico could have as many people ready (combination of prepared+want to move out) as to be the 1st source.

Varadarajan Seshamani
Varadarajan Seshamani

Complicated map. Plain numbers would be clearer. If a third off the Valley entrepreneurs are Indian, that is not reflected in the graphic - it is not to scale.

Ann Marie Hake Hughes
Ann Marie Hake Hughes

Looking for more details. Are these all direct tech employees or support people as well? I can't find where this data was pulled from. I know. Some people are just so annoying when looking for facts and data...sorry bout that.

Julian Balderas
Julian Balderas

This is very deceptive considering the source.. To clarify, Mexico is not #1 recruited for tech jobs.. Equally important work, but it's not tech.

Vladimir Rodionov
Vladimir Rodionov

Yes, Mexico is #1 source of tech talents in Silicon Valley :) and Philippines is #6.

Jerry West
Jerry West

Forty-nine states are mentioned, but not California. Is this a comment on the general level of education in California that we can't even make the "top 100" cut in our own state?

Andrew Appleton
Andrew Appleton

What would be more interesting would be to see the statistic on Silicon Valley workers diagnosed with Mental Health disorders such as; Depression and Anxiety and including BiPolar as well as Schizophrenia. Add to that the levels of THC consumed in this niche communities and that in and of itself is what separates Silicon Valley from other areas with loads of start ups. I would predict that these higher percentages of individuals suffering from these mental health disorders would mimic other areas such as Wall Street.

Talib Morgan
Talib Morgan

What does this mean?  Is this where people grew up?  Went to college? Lived before moving to Silicon Valley?  

Rick Geiger
Rick Geiger

What is truly most interesting is that folks in Silicon Valley think of themselves as having "talent" like they are artists or ballet dancers...


The arrogance of this "talent" nomenclature tells us a lot about a culture that does not value people.  Note to Silicon Valley:  About 95% of the time having lots of money or making lots of money in business has nothing at all to do with what you call "talent."

Jinggo Aniñon
Jinggo Aniñon

Philippines at #6! I'd like to look at the raw data! :-)

Alan Pedroza
Alan Pedroza

@S N Are you jealous? Most Mexicans can be and are better tech engineers than people from USA. We develop as good as we wash floors and dishes, you pay us for that because you are afraid to get your hands dirty.

Econdataus Admin
Econdataus Admin

@S N Agreed. This map is so different from the actual Census figures at http://econdataus.com/svbirthplace.htm , you have to wonder what the author was up to. Since the author has not responded to any comments or direct requests (I sent one a couple of days ago), we can only speculate. I suspect that it was designed to drum up support for immigration reform. Two of the big errors that I see in the map are that it ranks Mexico as the top source of Silicon Valley talent and it ranks the individual states too highly. It may accomplish the latter by allocating most or all California natives to those states according to where they last lived or visited, however briefly. In any event, ranking Mexico as the top source was likely meant to gain support for letting illegal immigrants from Mexico stay here. Ranking the states too highly was likely meant to make it appear that few, if any, American workers are being displaced in Silicon Valley. To the degree that they are, then the map suggests that we should blame all those immigrants from those other darn states!


Econdataus Admin
Econdataus Admin

If you have any questions about the instructions, let me know. Also, the reason for the multiple responses is just that I was trying to respond to anyone who appeared to have been misled by the data in the same way that I was.

Diego Echeagaray
Diego Echeagaray

Yes. There are lots of highly skilled Mexicans scientists who have to migrate in order to do what they are best at. Otherwise, if they stay in Mexico, the highest they can ever aspire to is high-school teaching!

Diego Echeagaray
Diego Echeagaray

Unfortunately (for Mexico), yes. There are lots of highly skilled Mexicans scientists who have to migrate in order to do what they are best at. Otherwise, if they stay in Mexico, the highest they can ever aspire to is high-school teaching!

Gabriel Méndez
Gabriel Méndez

Mexico has a lot of high educated proffesional  people working in all around the states, i see a  lack of information and awarness of it  from others inmigrants and residents .  100,000 graduated engineers each year and growing.

Diego Echeagaray
Diego Echeagaray

Unfortunately (for Mexico), yes. There are lots of highly skilled Mexican scientists who have to migrate in order to do what they are best at. Otherwise, if they stay in Mexico, the highest they can ever aspire to is high-school teaching!

Eduardo Chavez
Eduardo Chavez

UAM, IPN, el Tec, la UNAM, hay gente muy talentosa ahí

Diego Echeagaray
Diego Echeagaray

@Vladimir Rodionov Unfortunately (for Mexico), yes. There are lots of highly skilled Mexicans scientists who have to migrate in order to do what they are best at. Otherwise, if they stay in Mexico, the highest they can ever aspire to is high-school teaching!

Cory Huff
Cory Huff

@Rick Geiger Really? Software development doesn't require talent? As an actor and someone who has worked with a fair number of developers, I'd say there is a certain level of talent required to reach the upper echelons in either field. 

Econdataus Admin
Econdataus Admin

I work in Silicon Valley and could see that it was way off. For example, if you look at the pie charts at http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_14383730 , you'll see that they give the percentage of Hispanic workers in computer and mathematical occupations in Silicon Valley in 2006-2008 as a mere 4.7%.  It gives their percentage of ALL Silicon Valley workers as 24.3%, however.  The latter figure looks much closer to what is suggested by the chart.


In fact, in looking at the chart more closely, I think the author may have been getting cute or sloppy (depending on whether or not it was intentional) with the wording.  Note the key in the upper left that reads "Average annual influx of residents, 2008-12".  In other words, the chart may simply be showing who moved into the valley during that period and from where.  This does seem to be contradicted by "Tech Immigrants" in the title but the world "Talent" at the end of the title could be interpreted as anyone who works.  Then the line, "Silicon imports its brains. Where do they come from?" could be claimed by the author to be referring to the pool of ALL immigrants and it is from this pool that tech workers are drawn.  Of course, none of this can be known for sure unless and until the author gives his sources and explains his calculations.  I'm not holding my breath for that to happen.


In any case, I think that you need to take any graphs or studies on the Internet with a grain of salt.  If they provide no clear source, I ignore them.  If they do provide sources and I have the time and inclination, I will try to crunch the numbers myself.  If not, I at least wait until the graph or study has received scrutiny by a number of other analysts (including those on the "other side") and make a judgement, depending on all of their arguments and whatever analysis I can do myself.