East Bay Region

The East Bay region is comprised of Alameda and Contra Costa County, containing 29 cities and unincorporated communities. Occupying 1,450 square miles of the San Francisco Bay Area, the East Bay contains 2,231,290 residents. Home to large research institutions and  University of California Berkeley and

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Alameda and Contra Costa Counties, collectively known as the ‘East Bay,’ occupy 1,450 square miles on the eastern shore of the San Francisco Bay. The 2012 Census lists 2,231,290 residents with a larger portion of young families than the nation as a whole. Nationally, 22.8% are under the age of 25, while in the East Bay, 32.4%. With a major port, it is not surprising that the population is much more diverse than the nation as a whole. Nationally, 74.8% of the population is White, while in the East Bay only 54.1%. On the other hand, the East Bay’s percentage of Asians is 24.3% compared to 5.6% nationally, and the percentage of Latinos or Hispanics is 23.3% compared to 16.3 % nationally. At 12.8% the percentage of Blacks or African Americans is slightly less than the national average of 13.6%.

A large part of the East Bay population is also well educated. Leading a cluster of colleges and universities, the percentage of residents holding a Bachelor’s degree is over a third more in the East Bay than nationally (24.4% compared to 17.9%). The percentage of those holding a graduate or professional degree is almost half again as large (15.7% compared to 10.6%).

While other parts of the Bay area have reputations for specific industry sectors – wine, venture capital, social media, high tech manufacturing – the East Bay is more notable for its diversity. New industry sectors are represented here as well. Among many others, digital media is represented by Pandora, Gracenote, Pixar and Tippett Studio; software by Oracle, Workday and GE’s new Global Software Center of Excellence; biotechnology by Bayer Healthcare, Boehringer Ingelheim and Bio-Rad; and Fathom is a rising star in 3D printing – engaged in selling, servicing, designing and contract manufacturing.

The East Bay is off the charts, however in energy. Chevron leads a cluster of oil refinery companies and is active in developing alternative energy as well. Overall, the East Bay may have the most concentrated collection of research and commercial development in clean technology -- not only in alternative energy, but also energy storage, green transportation, building energy efficiency, grid management and other clean tech related industries.

The moderating influence of the Bay has blessed the East Bay with what one rating service has called the "best climate in the nation." With more land available for housing development than most other parts of the Bay Area, housing is relatively less expensive than other parts of the extremely competitive Bay Area housing market. The wide range of housing choices includes: affordable housing units, urban live-work lofts, family friendly suburbs, hill homes with bay views, exclusive retirement communities, and executive estates next to marinas, the Delta or surrounded by vineyards.

Along with population growth have come amenities such as Berkeley’s Arts District, Walnut Creek’s Lesher Center for the Arts, Oakland’s revitalized Uptown, and regional shopping destinations such as Walnut Creek’s downtown, Berkeley’s Fourth Street, and Livermore’s Paragon Outlets. For the sports fan, the East Bay is also home to major league baseball, NFL football and NBA basketball as well as Division I college sports at the University of California, Berkeley.