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Monday, October 8, 2018

Cupertino Update 2018

It has been over a year since I last looked at Cupertino's "Live-Work-Commute"

This is an update with newer data (2015 now vs. 2014 earlier).  Data and charts are from the US Census tool "OnTheMap" as referenced in that earlier post - here:

Perma Link to this post:


The data shows that the jobs-worker imbalance has changed dramatically in just that one year since the last post.  Data for 2014 showed about 10,000 more jobs than workers.  With 2015 data we find about 15,000 more jobs than workers, a 50% increase in excess jobs vs. a 7% increase in resident workers.  60% of resident workers added this year commute out of Cupertino.  With new workers and new residents, the percentage of those who live AND work in Cupertino is still under 7%, just as it was in 2014.
More residents = more commuting OUT
More jobs = more commuting IN
It seems that adding more resident workers increases the number of commuters out of the city.  Perhaps they come for the schools?  None of this includes any additional workers at the new Apple headquarters which wasn't open when this data was obtained.

Growth in a city can be compared to filling a 3 gallon bucket.  Put in 1 gallon and no problem.  Put in a 2nd gallon, "100% growth - no problem!", put in a 3rd gallon and "Hey, 50% growth, no problem!"  Put in one more drop and it overflows.  That is the situation we may be getting to.

The limit is not how high you can build apartment/condos.  The limit is getting people in and out.  Cupertino, like Sunnyvale and Mountain View was never laid out as a city with a nice street grid allowing easy access to any part.  There are only a handful of streets connecting Cupertino to its neighbor Sunnyvale or to any of the other neighboring towns.  The rest are cul-de-sacs and local streets that wind around and go from nowhere to nowhere.
Streets going nowhere - on purpose.
C.f., "Limits to Growth" -


37,000 Commute In,  22,000 Commute Out,  2,700 live and work in Cupertino
From Census tool,  "OnTheMap"
37,000 Commute In,
22,000 Commute Out,
2,700 live and work in Cupertino
We compare this 2015 data to 2014 in the table below (click image to enlarge):

This is a bit busy so let's take it piece-by-piece (with occasional rounding):

"Commute-In" Part:
(click images to enlarge)

In 2015, over 37,000 workers commuted into Cupertino for jobs.  This contrasts with almost 32,000 people commuting into Cupertino in 2014.  That is over 5,000 more commuting into Cupertino.  That is a big difference in only one year.  It does not include new workers in the Apple Headquarters which was not open in 2015.

A key point is that out of the 40,000 jobs in Cupertino in 2015 only 2,700 were held by Cupertino residents.  I.e., only 6.8% of jobs in Cupertino are held by Cupertino residents.  The remaining residents commuted out.  That is hardly different from 2014 when only 6.4% of Cupertino jobs were held by Cupertino residents.

"Commute-Out" Part:
(click images to enlarge)

In 2015, there were 22,344 workers commuting out of Cupertino for jobs.  This contrasts with 21,574 people commuting out in 2014.

One key point here is that out of the 25,000 workers residing in Cupertino in 2015 only 2,700 worked in Cupertino.  I.e., 89% of those living in Cupertino commuted out.  That is hardly different from 2014 when 91% of Cupertino residents commuted out.
More housing = more commuting
"Build it and they will commute"
The second key point is that while 1,293 more workers resided in Cupertino, an additional 770 = 60% of those additional resident workers commuted out.  Only 523 more lived and worked in Cupertino.  As more resident workers were added, the number commuting out increases more than the number working in Cupertino.  In other words, all the housing added has increased the number commuting-out, just as all the jobs added has increased the number commuting-in.

Jobs/Worker Ratio:
(click images to enlarge)

This is the kicker.  The ratio of jobs per resident worker increased from 1.4-to-1 to 1.6-to-1 while the ratio of commuting-in to commuting-out increased from 1.5-to-1 to 1.7-to-1.

This means that in the one year from 2014 to 2015, the number of jobs per resident worker increased from 14 jobs for every 10 Cupertino resident workers, to 16 jobs for every 10 resident workers.

Similarly, in the one year from 2014 to 2015 the commute ratio increased from 15 commuting-in for every 10 commuting-out, to 17 commuting-in for every 10 commuting-out.

The commuting imbalance gets more extreme both in and out as more jobs and more residents are added.

Commute Radii:
10-25 Mile Radius - see map below
Commuting IN:
50% Commute less than 10 miles to work in Cupertino (inside smaller circle below)
24% Commute between 10 and 25 miles to Cupertino (between two circles below)

Commuting OUT:
63% Commute less than 10 miles to work outside Cupertino (inside smaller circle below)
19% Commute between 10 and 25 miles to work outside Cupertino (between two circles below)

10 Mile Radius Inner Circle
25 Mile Radius Outer Circle

25-50 Mile Radius - see map below
Commuting IN:
16% Commute between 25 and 50 miles to work in Cupertino (between two circles below).
10% Commute more than 50 miles to work in Cupertino (outside larger circle below).

Commuting OUT:
10% of residents commute 25 to 50 miles to work outside Cupertino (between two circles below)
9% of residents commute more than 50 miles to work outside Cupertino (outside larger circle below)

25 Mile Radius Inner Circle
50 Mile Radius Outer Circle

Commute Cities:
Where Cupertino residents work:
San Jose - 20%, Cupertino - 11%, Sunnyvale - 10%, Santa Clara - 9%, Palo Alto - 8%, Mountain View - 6%, San Francisco - 4%, Fremont - 3%, etc.

Where Cupertino workers live:

San Jose - 28%, Sunnyvale - 8%, San Francisco - 7%, Cupertino - 7%, Santa Clara - 7%, Mountain View - 3%, Fremont - 3%, etc.

The most recent data shows that for all the debate about easing congestion and enabling people to bike or walk to work, most people that actually commute apparently don't care.  They probably don't even know about the debate.  They commute.  

They choose a home because it has good schools, it is the biggest they can afford, convenient shopping, isn't too far to a lot of work places, etc., etc.  "Walkable", "bikeable" clearly does not figure into any decision-making about where to live or the data would reflect it.  Instead, the data shows people commute.  They commute as much here as anywhere else in the US.

(Click on image to enlarge)

It will be very interesting to see how the effect of Apple Headquarters and other developments change the data (or not) in future updates.

For now, this is...