Palo Alto, California Population 2023

69,823

Palo Alto is a city located in San Mateo County and Santa Clara County California. With a 2023 population of 69,823, it is the 133rd largest city in California and the 586th largest city in the United States.Palo Alto is currently growing at a rate of 0.6% annually and its population has increased by 1.82% since the most recent census, which recorded a population of 68,572 in 2020. Spanning over 26 miles, Palo Alto has a population density of 2,927 people per square mile.

The average household income in Palo Alto is $232,529 with a poverty rate of 6.7%. The median rental costs in recent years comes to - per month, and the median house value is -. The median age in Palo Alto is 42.6 years, 40.8 years for males, and 44.6 years for females.

Palo Alto is located in Santa Clara County within the Bay Area. This city is known for having one of the highest costs of living in the United States, as well as having one of the most educated populations in the nation.

Palo Alto Population Statistics

Palo Alto is home to over 7,000 businesses which provide jobs to over 98,000 people. Notable businesses in the area include the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, Amazon’s A9.com, HP, Houzz, and Xerox.

Palo Alto Population Growth

Palo Alto experienced substantial growth in its early years, although that growth has slowed in recent years. The population in 1920 was climbing toward 6,000 and more than doubled at the time of the next census in 1930. The population in 1950 surpassed 25,000 before doubling again in 1960. It was about this time that growth slowed before declining by 1.5% in 1980. However, the next census in 1990 showed that the population was on the rise again and has continued to grow ever since. Recent population estimates show that it has increased over 4% since the last census in 2010, indicating that while growth has slowed, it should be expected to continue.

The region that is now Palo Alto was originally inhabited by the Ohlone. The city was not explored by the Europeans until 1769, according to written records. It was in 1777 when Father Junipero Serra established Mission Santa Clara de Asis, which was under the control of Spain. After the Mexican War of Independence, Mexico was made an independent country, and the land sold or granted.

Following the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, Mexican citizens could choose to become U.S. citizens, and their land grants count be recognized. The grant Rando Rinconada del Arroyo de San Francisquito was granted in 1841 and was sold in 1849. A hacienda was constructed that was the site of bullfights and fiestas but was destroyed during an earthquake in 1906.

In 1855, a township by the name of Mayfield was established. The San Francisco and San Jose railroad was extended to Mayfield in 1863. In 1875, a French financier purchased land that came to be known as Ayrshire Farm. Another man, Leland Stanford, began purchasing property and established the Palo Alto Stock Farm. He also bought Ayrshire Farm, which sold to Leland Stanford St., the founder of Stanford University. Before founding the university, Stanford wanted to build the college in Mayfield but had a condition that alcohol was to be banned from the town. However, this didn’t happen and led to the establishment of Temperance Town. Stanford University was established, and a train stop was located in the area. The area was initially known as University Park but upon its incorporation in the late 1900s was named Palo Alto.

Palo Alto quickly grew to be as large as Mayfield, and in the 20th century, Mayfield was annexed to become part of Palo Alto. More land was annexed as the city continued to grow, both in terms of development and population.

Today, the city’s economy revolves around the tech industry, as it is a focal point of Silicon Valley. It also has a large student population because of Stanford University. The residents of Palo Alto are some of the most educated in the country. However, Palo Alto has become known as a city with one of the highest costs of living in the nation.

Palo Alto Demographics

According to the most recent ACS, the racial composition of Palo Alto was:

  • White: 56.33%
  • Asian: 33.34%
  • Two or more races: 6.54%
  • Black or African American: 1.9%
  • Other race: 1.39%
  • Native American: 0.41%
  • Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: 0.08%
The current population of Palo Alto, California is 69,823 based on our projections of the latest US Census estimates.The last official US Census in 2020 recorded the population at 68,572.

Palo Alto, California Population 2023

Population by Race

White

Asian

Two or more races

Black or African American

Other race

Native American

Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander

Palo Alto Population by Race

Palo Alto Population Pyramid 2023

Palo Alto Median Age

42.6

Total

40.8

Male

44.6

Female

Palo Alto Adults

There are 52,464 adults, (13,133 of whom are seniors) in Palo Alto.

Palo Alto Age Dependency

72.8

Age Dependency Ratio

33.4

Old Age Dependency Ratio

39.4

Child Dependency Ratio

Palo Alto Sex Ratio

Female34,95451.42%
Male33,01948.58%

Palo Alto Population by Age

Palo Alto Renter vs Owner Occupied by Household Type

3.13

Average Family Size

2.58

Average Household Size

56.3%

Rate of Home Ownership

Married

Male

Female

NonFamily

owner

renter

Palo Alto Households and Families

Male

Female

Less Than 9th Grade

9th to 12th Grade

High School Graduate

Some College

Associates Degree

Bachelors Degree

Graduate Degree

Palo Alto Educational Attainment by Sex (over 25)

Palo Alto Educational Attainment by Race

High School Graduation Rate

Bachelors Rate

The highest rate of high school graduation is among islander people with a rate of 100%.

The highest rate of bachelors degrees is among asian people with a rate of 75.91%.

Palo Alto Educational Attainment by Race

All

Male

Female

$108,705

Average Earnings

$147,949

Average Male

$77,227

Average Female

Palo Alto Earnings by Educational Attainment

Palo Alto Language by Age

Only English

Spanish

Other Indo-European Languages

Asian and Pacific Island Languages

Other Languages

Palo Alto Language

61.48% of Palo Alto residents speak only English, while 38.52% speak other languages. The non-English language spoken by the largest group is Asian and Pacific Island languages, which is spoken by 27.64% of the population.

Palo Alto Language

Palo Alto Poverty by Race

rate

6.7%

Overall Poverty Rate

4.39%

Male Poverty Rate

6.6%

Female Poverty Rate

Poverty in Palo Alto

The race most likely to be in poverty in Palo Alto is Other, with 30.3% below the poverty level.

The race least likely to be in poverty in Palo Alto is Islander, with 3.51% below the poverty level.

The poverty rate among those that worked full-time for the past 12 months was 0.5%. Among those working part-time, it was 6.3%, and for those that did not work, the poverty rate was 12.56%.

Palo Alto Poverty

Palo Alto Poverty Rate by Education

Palo Alto Poverty Rate by Employment Status and Sex

Palo Alto Income by Household Type

Households

Families

MarriedFamilies

NonFamilies

mean

median

Income by Household Type

Palo Alto Marital Status

Married

Widowed

Divorced

Separated

NeverMarried

Marriage Rates

57.4%

Overall Marriage Rate

59.5%

Male Marriage Rate

55.3%

Female Marriage Rate

Palo Alto Married by Age and Sex

male

female

Palo Alto Marriage

The age group where males are most likely to be married is 45-54, while the female age group most likely to be married is 45-54.

Palo Alto Marital Status by Race

Married

Widowed

Divorced

Separated

NeverMarried

Palo Alto Marital Status

Second Gulf War

First Gulf War

Vietnam

Korea

World War II

1,607

Number of Veterans

1,374

Male Veterans

233

Female Veterans

Palo Alto Veterans by War

Palo Alto Veterans by Age

count

Palo Alto Veterans by Race

Palo Alto Veterans by Education

Less Than 9th Grade

High School Graduate

Some College

Bachelors or Greater

7.74%

Veteran Poverty Rate

28.09%

Veteran Disability Rate

Palo Alto Veterans by Education

LaborForceParticipation

62.9%

Labor Force Participation

60.8%

Employment Rate

3.3%

Unemployment Rate

Palo Alto Employment by Age

LaborForceParticipation

Palo Alto Employment by Race

LaborForceParticipation

Palo Alto Employment by Education

Origin of Non-Citizens

Europe

Asia

Africa

Oceania

Latin America

North America

Non citizens include legal permanent residents (green card holders), international students, temporary workers, humanitarian migrants, and illegal immigrants.

Origin of Naturalized Citizens

Europe

Asia

Africa

Oceania

Latin America

North America

38.28%

Born in Palo Alto

65.44%

Native Born

33.68%

Foreign Born

14.92%

Non Citizen

18.76%

Naturalized

Place of Birth

65.44% of Palo Alto residents were born in the United States, with 38.28% having been born in California. 14.92% of residents are not US citizens. Of those not born in the United States, the largest percentage are from Asia.

Palo Alto Place of Birth

Note: data after 2020 is projected based on recent growth

Palo Alto Population by Year