$160B+ Economies of San Bernardino and Riverside County

By: Sharjeel Sohaib


Jan 1, 2022


There are more than 10 counties in California that have unmatched size of economies. For instance, the following counties, as part of the State of California make up trillions of dollars in total GDP.

  1. Los Angeles = $659 billion
  2. Santa Clara: $340 billion
  3. Orange County: $221 billion
  4. San Diego: $208 billion
  5. San Francisco: $175 billion
  6. San Mateo: $124 billion
  7. Alameda: $122 billion
  8. San Bernardino: $82.2 billion
  9. Sacramento: $81.6 billion
  10. Riverside: $78.3 billion

Riverside and San Bernardino’s $160 Billion Plus Economies

Per statistics shared by Jonathan Lanser of Southern California News Group, GDP of both Riverside and San Bernardino counties is just above $160 Billion.

We know both counties heavily depend on logistics and warehousing operations and serve as two of the most preferred destinations for logistics, industrial leasing, and distribution operations for Walmart, Amazon, and other big retail giants.

In fact, Amazon has invested billions in the local economy of the Inland Empire.

Amazon invested $19.3B in the Inland Empire since 2010

Amazon U.S. Economic Impact Report

This indicates that each county in the state has its own thriving economy, and both San Bernardino and Riverside also enjoy sizable GDPs despite the massive economic disparity issues that still need solutions.

Difference Between the Economies of Riverside and San Bernardino

Riverside and San Bernardino counties make up the Inland Empire region and together have a GDP of $160 Billion. However, there are significant differences between the both. For instance, household income in Riverside, California, is 52% higher than it is in San Bernardino and is 8% above the national average. There are other dissimilarities as well:

  • San Bernardino unemployment rate is 10.6%.
  • Riverside’s unemployment rate is 7.1%.

Population with an income of greater than $200K/annum is also greater in Riverside compared to San Bernardino (the former has 4.7% of its population in this category of earners where the latter has 1.3% people earning that amount). Similarly, unemployment is also lower in Riverside than in San Bernardino.

New Developments and the Promise of Inland Empire

San Bernardino and Riverside are not the biggest counties in California in terms of GDP. But, if we move beond mere numbers, there’s a lot happening in the region that makes it a preferred choice for certain industry sectors, such as the logistics and electric vehicle industries.

Cybersecurity Programs

California State University, San Bernardino, or CSUSB, has established two leading cybersecurity programs in the country. The National Security Agency (NSA) awarded a $3M grant to CSUSB to build cyber security talent in the country. The university will execute this project in collaboration with the Riverside Community College District’s LAUNCH Apprenticeship Network, San Bernardino County Schools, and the company Tomorrow’s Talent.

California Air Resources Board

The California Air Resources Board is building a state-of-the-art vehicle emissions testing and research facility at the University of California, Riverside.


Loma Linda University, a global leader in healthcare, will open its $1 billion expansion in 2021

Leading Companies

Southern California’s Inland Empire region is home to some of the best companies in their respective niches. These include:

  • Esri:  A geographic information system software company with 49 offices worldwide and employees from 73 countries
  • Garner Holt Productions, the world’s largest manufacturer of animatronic figures for entertainment, military training, and prosthetics, with installations in 32 countries
  • Bourns: Bourns Electronics is based in Riverside, California. It manufactures electrical components for the automotive industry. It is part of three billion dollar companies from the Inland Empire
  • Stater Bros. Markets is a privately held supermarket chain, based in San Bernardino, California, consisting of 171 stores located throughout Southern California. The company’s last reported revenues were $5 Billion in 2020.

Our goal at Startempire Wire is to act as a megaphone to connect the dots between the best startups, events, and people in the Inland Empire. Don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel, and like/follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Source: UCR Business



  • Avatar Of Sharjeel

    Sharjeel joined Startempire Wire as emerging technologies editor. Earlier, he worked at Silicon Canals, a leading English language technology media source for the Benelux and wider Europe. He covered the European technology and startup ecosystem digging into latest funding rounds of startups.


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