San Jose | World’s Best Cities

San Jose

It’s fascinating what a well-educated, well-paid and diverse population can do for a city’s rankings. In the case of San Jose, the economic, cultural and political capital of Silicon Valley, it’s everything, and it’s given the city its highest-ever finish in our ranking. The city boasts the highest household income in the country. All that capital lures the best talent on the planet, meaning San Jose also tops our People category, with the smartest residents in the nation and the second-most diverse. The bounty of universities in the area is a performance driver all its own, creating symbiotic integrations with the tech companies in the city that have access to funding and innovation like few others. Given the optimal conditions of a lauded, coveted school and the on-ramp it provides to jobs in the same city, San Jose will continue to stock its talent pipeline for years to come. The region, home to Google, Facebook, Cisco Systems, eBay and PayPal, is #6 for Fortune 500 HQs eager for graduates. There are a massive number of corporate offices in the city—with rumored plans for a new Google campus that could house up to 25,000 employees—but given the plentiful prosperity, San Jose is an incredibly livable and worthwhile destination. As California’s oldest civilian Spanish settlement, the city has many museums spanning its fascinating history.