The Oakland metro is located on the east side of the San Francisco Bay and is comprised of Alameda and Contra Costa counties. It encompasses 1,470 square miles, including nearly 20 miles of coastline. The flat plains of the San Francisco Bay fill about two-thirds of Oakland, while the remainder of the city lies within the hills of the East Bay range.
The Oakland metro has a population of over 2.6 million persons in more than 30 municipalities. Oakland is the largest city, with 400,200 citizens. Redevelopment projects, especially in older areas of Oakland and Hayward are expected to help the area post annual growth of 1.1 percent through 2017.
Oakland is part of the Greater Bay Area, which comprises one of the largest regional economies in the United States. Local GMP will exceed 2.4 percent this year. Retail sales have also moved into positive territory following the recession, with gains during each of the past two years. Annual growth of 1.4 percent is projected this year.
Alameda and Contra Costa counties are magnets for business and employment. Many companies are attracted to Oakland for its affordability relative to other Bay Area cities. As such, the region is home to five Fortune 500 firms: Safeway, Chevron, Ross Dress for Less Stores, Clorox and wholesaler SYNNEX Corp.
Oakland serves as one of California’s most strategic locations for companies that depend on the ability to move goods and ideas quickly and seamlessly by air, water, land or cyberspace. The Port of Oakland plays an integral role in the local economy, handling approximately 99 percent of all containerized cargo that enters Northern California. Besides international trade and logistics, other key industries are food production and distribution, healthcare and life sciences, and digital media.