Population in Urban Area, now
- World: 144th
- North America: 19th
- United States: 14th
Population in City Area, mid 2020
- 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.