Santa Rosa, California Population 2020
Santa Rosa is located in the state of California. It is the county seat for Sonoma County. It is one of the most populous cities in the San Francisco Bay Area but is only the 28th most populous in the state. It is also the largest city by population in Sonoma County, with recent estimates putting the population at just over 177,586.
Santa Rosa History
What is now Santa Rosa was originally inhabited by the Bitakomtara tribe. This tribe was very protective over the land and imposed harsh punishments for those who tried to enter. When the Europeans arrived, much of the tribe died from smallpox. The population of this tribe had dropped by 95% by the 20th century.
A permanent European settlement was established during the 1830s, and Santa Rosa was founded in 1833. By the mid-1800s, a post and general store were built, and several locals began planning out the city. Santa Rosa was incorporated as a city in 1868.
Once California became a state, the population of Santa Rosa grew at a slow and steady pace. Though it didn’t keep up with other cities, it continued on the upward trajectory even when other cities saw a decline in its population.
Another earthquake in 1969 led to the reconstruction of the downtown area. However, some of these historic buildings remain - including the Empire Building.
After World War II, the city saw more rapid growth because it was the site of Naval Auxiliary Landing Field Santa Rosa. During the 1950s and 1960s, the population increased quite significantly compared to previous years. This was mainly due to immigration and annexation.
The city is divided into four different quadrants: the Southeast, Southwest, Northeast, and Northwest. Santa Rosa has continued to grow with the addition of shopping centers, malls, banks, and commercial districts. The city has been named as one of the Best Places For Business and Careers by Forbes magazine, although that rating has dropped because of the reduced job growth, the high cost of housing and higher cost of doing business.
Santa Rosa Population Statistics
The city’s population is estimated to be over 186,000 and has increased quite a bit since the last census, which showed that the population was 167,815. Santa Rosa has an area of 51.5 square miles and a population density of over 4,241 people per square mile.
Over 27% of the population is 25 to 44 years old, over 23% are under the age of 18, and 13.5% are at least 65 years old. There are more females than males living in Santa Rosa, with 95.2 females for every 100 males. About 8.5% of the population lives below the poverty line.
The city’s top employers include the County of Sonoma, Kaiser Permanente, Sutter Medical Center of Santa Rosa, St. Joseph Health System and Santa Rosa Junior College, each of which employs thousands of people.
Santa Rosa Population Growth
Census data for Santa Rosa shows that the city has seen continued growth every ten years. The population grew fairly slowly through the early 20th century, but recently the city is seeing more substantial growth. The population hit 50,000 in 1970 and had more than doubled by the time of the 1990 census. The city surpassed 150,000 residents by the time of the last census in 2010. Now, estimates show that the population has grown at a rate of about 4.4% since the previous census, with the city steadily nearing 200,000 residents.
Santa Rosa Demographics
According to the most recent ACS, the racial composition of Santa Rosa was:
- White: 67.80%
- Other race: 15.79%
- Two or more races: 6.53%
- Asian: 5.50%
- Black or African American: 2.25%
- Native American: 1.59%
- Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: 0.53%