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Silicon Valley’s output was $275 billion in 2019, broadly adding – in direct terms – around 1.3% to the GDP of the US, already the world’s largest economy.

The area grew out of an initiative by Stanford University in the 1940s to incentivise technological research by establishing new companies, seeking seed capital and producing cutting-edge information technology hardware and software.

Silicon Valley was the leading force driving – and benefiting from – the popularisation of the personal computer in the 1980s and of the internet in the 1990s. By 2018, the region’s per capita output reached $128,308 per year, or twice the average for the US.

If it were a country, Silicon Valley’s GDP per capita would be the third highest in the world behind only Monaco and Liechtenstein, according to World Bank estimates.

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Vision of Humanity is brought to you by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), by staff in our global offices in Sydney, New York, The Hague, Harare and Mexico. Alongside maps and global indices, we present fresh perspectives on current affairs reflecting our editorial philosophy.