San Francisco, United States Population

Population in Urban Area, now

3,312,276
  • World: 144th
  • North America: 19th
  • United States: 14th

Population in City Area, mid 2020

893,815
  • World: 329th
  • North America: 26th
  • United States: 16th

San Francisco Population Graphs

  • Urban Area
  • City Area

San Francisco Population Review

The city of San Francisco is located in the state of California in the United States. It is home to an estimated 893,000 people in the city and 3.3 million in the metropolitan area. It is the 16th most populous city in the United States and the fourth most populous in California. It covers a relatively small amount of land—mostly in the north end of the San Francisco Peninsula in the San Francisco Bay Area—making it the second-most densely populated major U.S. city, with 18,562 people per square mile.

San Francisco has experienced steady growth since its inception in 1776 when Colonists from Spain founded it. The 1840s saw rapid growth, as the California Gold Rush drew people from around the country that were looking to make it rich. San Francisco was the largest city in California until 1900. Shortly after this, the 1906 earthquake and subsequent fire destroyed three-quarters of the city, greatly reducing the city’s population.

A costly city

San Francisco is one of the most expensive cities in the United States. It has the highest salaries, disposable income, and median home prices, as well as median rents, in the entire country. The average price of a home in San Francisco is $1.7 million. The average rent in the city for a one-bedroom apartment is around $3,500 per month. However, compared to the national average, San Francisco’s citizens are considered quite wealthy. In 2018, the city had the seventh highest income in the country, with a per capita personal income of $130,696. As of 2019, the San Francisco metro area had the highest rated world liveability rankings of any American city.

LGBT culture in San Francisco

The lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community of San Francisco is one of the most well-established, largest, and prominent LGBT communities in the world. It was the one of the most important cities in the world for the founding of LGBT rights and activism and the city calls itself the “gay Mecca” of the world. Beginning as far back as the 19th century, San Francisco’s gay culture existed in a parallel world steeped in taboo and shame. However, in the 1960s through to the 1980s, San Francisco became the face of gay activism and the fight for equal rights. Riots sparked in 1979 by the murder of openly gay supervisor Harvey Milk begin the rapid alteration of laws and rights in the city.

The rise of the AIDS epidemic was especially hard hitting the LGBT community of San Francisco. 15,548 people died in San Francisco alone due to AIDS prior to the introduction of drugs to help treat and slow the progression of the disease. A total of almost 20,000 people died within the first 15 years of the AIDS crisis in the city.

One of the fastest growing cities in the country

Despite it’s costly real estate, San Francisco continues to attract new residents. By 2035, it’s estimated that the city will be home to 3.6 million people. In fact, the city is growing at such a rate that the city’s Planning Director has said that they will require 92,000 more housing units and 191,000 new jobs to accommodate the people flocking to the city. Up to 80% of the city’s population growth will most likely occur in only 20% of the city’s land, which will continue to greatly increase the city’s already high population density.

A mixed bag of ethnicities

Because of San Francisco storied past and its historical acceptance of the “unwanted”, San Francisco’s population is quite varied. While about 46% of the city is white, 34% are Asian and 7.75% identify as being from another, unlisted race. There is 5.5% of the city that are of two or more races and 5.2% that are black or African American.

Review Updated: November 28, 2020

San Francisco Urban Area Population History

1950 1,855,000
1951 1,887,000
1952 1,920,000
1953 1,953,000
1954 1,987,000
1955 2,021,000
1956 2,056,000
1957 2,091,000
1958 2,127,000
1959 2,164,000
1960 2,200,000
1961 2,231,000
1962 2,263,000
1963 2,295,000
1964 2,328,000
1965 2,361,000
1966 2,395,000
1967 2,429,000
1968 2,464,000
1969 2,499,000
1970 2,529,000
1971 2,541,000
1972 2,553,000
1973 2,565,000
1974 2,578,000
1975 2,590,000
1976 2,602,000
1977 2,615,000
1978 2,627,000
1979 2,640,000
1980 2,656,000
1981 2,685,000
1982 2,715,000
1983 2,745,000
1984 2,775,000
1985 2,805,000
1986 2,836,000
1987 2,867,000
1988 2,899,000
1989 2,930,000
1990 2,961,000
1991 2,987,000
1992 3,014,000
1993 3,041,000
1994 3,068,000
1995 3,095,000
1996 3,123,000
1997 3,151,000
1998 3,179,000
1999 3,207,000
2000 3,230,000
2001 3,235,000
2002 3,240,000
2003 3,246,000
2004 3,251,000
2005 3,256,000
2006 3,261,000
2007 3,267,000
2008 3,272,000
2009 3,277,000
2010 3,283,000
2011 3,288,000
2012 3,293,000
2013 3,298,000
2014 3,304,000
2015 3,309,000
2016 3,315,000
2017 3,320,000
2018 3,325,000
2019 3,318,000
2020 3,314,000

San Francisco Urban Area Population Projections

2021 3,313,000
2022 3,318,000
2023 3,328,000
2024 3,343,000
2025 3,363,000
2026 3,386,000
2027 3,413,000
2028 3,441,000
2029 3,471,000
2030 3,501,000
2031 3,532,000
2032 3,563,000
2033 3,593,000
2034 3,623,000
2035 3,652,000

City Area Population Estimate & Projections

2010 805,550
2011 815,677
2012 829,027
2013 839,841
2014 851,116
2015 863,836
2016 872,795
2017 879,166
2018 883,305
2019 888,560
2020 893,815

Map of San Francisco, United States

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