Riverside San Bernardino
The Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario metro, also referred to as the Inland Empire, is a 28,000-square-mile region in Southern California comprised of San Bernardino and Riverside counties.
Valleys in the southwestern portion of the region, adjacent to Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego County, are the most populous in the metro. These areas abut the San Bernardino and San Jacinto mountains, behind which lies the high desert area of Victorville/Barstow to the north and, to the east, the low desert Coachella Valley, home of Palm Springs.
The Riverside-San Bernardino metro contains a population of nearly 4.4 million. The largest city is Riverside with 314,400 residents, followed by San Bernardino. Although population growth slowed during the housing crisis, four of the six most populous municipalities are still gaining residents at a pace faster than the nation.
The Riverside-San Bernardino metro has one of the largest economies in the United States. While the region's economic expansion has been fueled by a number of factors, robust population growth has been the primary demand driver. Despite recent pull backs in housing costs, still-high home prices throughout much of Southern California leave residents seeking more affordable options in the Inland Empire. The resulting increase in population will continue to heighten the need for housing, retail goods, personal services and government services.
There has also been exceptional growth in wholesale trade and warehousing as the area becomes an important distribution hub for the Southwest.
Riverside-San Bernardino is the premier location in the Los Angeles Basin for new distribution facilities. This is due to its large pool of experienced workers, relatively inexpensive land, and highly efficient intermodal transportation system that reduces the cost of both aggregating and distributing shipments.
During the past year, the Riverside-San Bernardino metro recorded higher industrial absorption than most other industrial markets in the state. The distribution system also benefits two major cargo airports: Ontario International and the Southern California Logistics Airport in Victorville.