San Francisco Population 2017

San Francisco, officially the City and County of San Francisco, is located in Northern California and the San Francisco Bay. It's the state's only consolidated city-county, and it's the most densely populated large city in the state. The population in 2016 is estimated to be over 860,000.

San Francisco is also the 4th most populous city in California (behind Los Angeles, San Diego and San Jose) with a 2010 population of 805,235 according to the last census. The 2016 estimated population of San Francisco is now 864,816.

San Francisco experienced its largest population boom from 1848 to 1849, when its population grew a massive 2,400% because of the California Gold Rush. Its population has grown very steadily since then, except for declines during the 1960s through the 1980s, and its population in 2016 is now 864,816. This population only represents the city proper, with a metropolitan area population of around 4.6 million.

San Francisco is also hub of the San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland metropolitan area, which has a population of 8.7 million.

San Francisco is the 13th most populous city in the country with a density of 6,266 people per square mile. It's the second most densely populated city in the country after New York City.

San Francisco Demographics

According to the 2015 census estimates, the ethnic makeup of San Francisco was:

  • White: 53.6% (non-Hispanic: 41%)
  • Asian: 35.3%
  • African Americans: 6.1%
  • Native Americans: 0.8%
  • Pacific Islanders: 0.5%
  • Other: 6.6%
  • Two or more: 4.2%
  • Hispanic or Latino of any race: 15.3%

The Chinese population of San Francisco represents the single largest ethnic minority group with 21.4% of the population. Other major Asian groups include: Filipinos (4.5%), Vietnamese (1.6%), Japanese (1.3%), Asian Indians (1.2%), Koreans (1.2%), Thais (0.3%), Burmese (0.2%) and Cambodians (0.2%).

Those of Chinese ancestry are concentrated mostly in Chinatown, Sunset District and Richmond District. Filipinos are concentrated heavily in Crocker-Amazon and SoMa, and the city has one of the largest Filipino communities outside of the Philippines.

San Francisco's age distribution shows that 13.4% of its population is under 18, 9.6% are 18 to 24, 37.5% are 25 to 44, 25.9% are 45 to 64 and 13.6% are 65 or older. The average age is 38.5 years, and San Francisco has a smaller percentage of children than any other major metropolitan area in the United States.

Interestingly, native-born Californians make up a fairly small percentage of San Francisco's population, as only 37.7% of its people were born in the state, while 25.2% were born in another state in the country. Over one third of San Francisco's population were born outside the country.

Because San Francisco's non-Hispanic whites make up less than half of its total population, San Francisco is now a minority-majority city. The most common Hispanic groups include Mexicans (7.4%), Salvadoran (2.0%), Nicaraguan (0.9%) and Guatemalan (0.8%). The African American population of the city has dropped over the past few decades. In 1970, 13.4% of San Francisco's population was African American, although today that number is just 6.1%.

San Francisco is also home to the largest percentage of gay and lesbian people in the United States at 15.4%, as well as the highest percentage of same-sex households.

San Francisco Population Growth

San Francisco is one of the 20 fastest growing cities in the United States. It's estimated that thousands of new residents will call San Francisco home by 2040, and the city Planning Director said that the city will need more than 92,000 more housing units and 191,000 new jobs to accommodate this growth. The Bay Area as a whole will need 1.1 million additional jobs and 660,000 new housing units to accommodate an estimated 2.1 million more people who will move to the city by 2040.

The population of San Francisco is projected to reach 969,000 by 2035, which is nearly a 20% increase from today's population, and development is already underway to help the city grow. 80% of the city's growth is likely to occur in just 20% of the city, and the density of San Francisco will only go up.

Year Population Change
2015 864,816 7.40%
2010 805,235 3.70%
2000 776,733 7.30%
1990 723,959 6.60%
1980 678,974 -5.10%
1970 715,674 -3.30%
1960 740,316 -4.50%
1950 775,357 22.20%
1940 634,536 0.00%
1930 634,394 25.20%
1920 506,676 21.50%
1910 416,912 21.60%
1900 342,782 14.60%
1890 298,997 27.80%
1880 233,959 56.50%
1870 149,473 163.10%
1860 56,802 89.30%
1850 30,000 0.00%

San Francisco Population in 2017 Source: Bernard Gagnon

San Francisco Race Data

Race Population Percentage
White 410,245 49.48%
Black or African American 47,611 5.74%
American Indian and Alaska Native 3,124 0.38%
Asian 278,274 33.56%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander 3,566 0.43%
Some Other Race 49,540 5.98%
Two or More Races 36,712 4.43%

Population Pyramid