Palo Alto, California Population 2020

66,292

Palo Alto is a city located in Santa Clara County, California. With a 2020 population of 66,292, it is the 139th largest city in California and the 579th largest city in the United States. Palo Alto is currently declining at a rate of -0.28% annually but its population has increased by 2.93% since the most recent census, which recorded a population of 64,403 in 2010. Palo Alto reached it's highest population of 67,406 in 2016. Spanning over 26 miles, Palo Alto has a population density of 2,779 people per square mile.

The average household income in Palo Alto is $224,622 with a poverty rate of 5.90%. The median rental costs in recent years comes to $2,471 per month, and the median house value is $2.00 Mn. The median age in Palo Alto is 41.9 years, 39.9 years for males, and 43.3 years for females. For every 100 females there are 96.5 males.

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: 59.68%
  • Asian: 32.61%
  • Two or more races: 4.60%
  • Black or African American: 1.55%
  • Other race: 1.07%
  • Native American: 0.31%
  • Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: 0.19%
The current population of Palo Alto, California is 66,292, based on our projections of the latest US Census estimates. The US Census estimates the 2018 population at 66,666. The last official US Census in 2010 recorded the population at 64,403.

Population by Race

Race Population Percentage
White39,99759.68%
Asian21,85332.61%
Two or More Races3,0804.60%
Black or African American1,0421.55%
Some Other Race7141.07%
American Indian and Alaska Native2050.31%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander1280.19%

Palo Alto Population Pyramid 2020

Palo Alto Median Age

41.9


Total

39.9


Male

43.3


Female

Palo Alto Adults

There are 51,186 adults, (12,480 of whom are seniors) in Palo Alto.

Palo Alto Age Dependency

73.1

Age Dependency Ratio

32.2

Old Age Dependency Ratio

40.9

Child Dependency Ratio

Palo Alto Sex Ratio

Female

34,104

50.89%

Male

32,915

49.11%

Palo Alto Households and Families

Palo Alto Renter vs Owner Occupied by Household Type

Palo Alto Household Types

Type Owner Renter
Married66.4%33.6%
All55.1%44.9%
Female53.1%46.9%
Male46.8%53.2%
Non Family37.2%62.8%

55.1%

Rate of Home Ownership

Type Count Average Size Owned
All26,2122.5455.1
Married14,7493.266.4
Non Family8,7241.3637.2
Female1,9322.7553.1
Male8072.6846.8

3.08

Average Family Size

2.54

Average Household Size

3.3%

Unmarried (Opposite Sex)

0.3%

Unmarried (Same Sex)

Palo Alto Education

Education Attained Count Percentage
Less Than 9th Grade6771.43%
9th to 12th Grade5491.16%
High School Graduate2,1314.50%
Some College3,6557.71%
Associates Degree1,5853.34%
Bachelors Degree13,48928.46%
Graduate Degree25,31653.41%

Palo Alto Educational Attainment by Race

Name Total High School Bachelors
White27,96527,73423,308
Asian15,06714,62112,963
Hispanic2,3571,8821,262
Multiple Races1,0681,032731
Black722666421
Other Race497325190
Islander11911949
Native American1039329

The highest rate of high school graduation is among islander people with a rate of 100.00%.

The highest rate of bachelors degrees is among asian people with a rate of 86.04%.

Name Average Male Female
Overall$100,882$138,490$71,954
Less Than High School$19,752$21,853$18,333
High School Grad$21,781$22,130$21,462
Some College$47,366$52,256$43,078
Bachelors Degree$84,240$111,820$62,382
Graduate Degree$133,503$159,774$97,691

$100,882

Average Earnings

$138,490

Average Male

$71,954

Average Female

Palo Alto Language

Palo Alto Language by Age

Palo Alto Language

60.24% of Palo Alto residents speak only English, while 39.76% speak other languages. The non-English language spoken by the largest group is Asian and Pacific Island languages, which is spoken by 22.25% of the population.

Palo Alto Poverty

Palo Alto Poverty by Race

Name Total In Poverty Poverty Rate
White36,7721,6434.47%
Asian21,7701,5727.22%
Hispanic3,76952413.90%
Other69316123.23%
Multiple3,0601364.44%
Black996606.02%
Native1953618.46%
Islander12821.56%

5.90%

Overall Poverty Rate

4.88%

Male Poverty Rate

6.89%

Female Poverty Rate

Poverty in Palo Alto

The race most likely to be in poverty in Palo Alto is Other, with 23.23% below the poverty level.

The race least likely to be in poverty in Palo Alto is Islander, with 1.56% below the poverty level.

The poverty rate among those that worked full-time for the past 12 months was 0.51%. Among those working part-time, it was 7.01%, and for those that did not work, the poverty rate was 13.58%.

Name Poverty
Less Than High School19.44%
High School19.34%
Some College8.66%
Bachelors or Greater3.88%
Name Poverty
Male Unemployed15.84%
Female Unemployed12.39%
Female Employed2.98%
Male Employed1.75%

Palo Alto Income

Palo Alto Income by Household Type

Name Median Mean
Households$157,120$224,622
Families$196,775$267,631
Married Families$217,229-
Non Families$81,392$133,349

Palo Alto Marital Status

Palo Alto Marital Status

Marriage Rates

58.3%

Overall Marriage Rate

60.2%

Male Marriage Rate

56.6%

Female Marriage Rate

Palo Alto Married by Age and Sex

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

Palo Alto Veterans

1,929

Number of Veterans

1,804

Male Veterans

125

Female Veterans

War Veterans
Vietnam642
Korea343
World War II316
Second Gulf War239
First Gulf War135
Name Veterans % of Total
White1,6565.15%
Asian1751.10%
Black546.78%
Hawaiian2823.53%
Hispanic170.66%
2 or More100.70%
Indian64.51%

$Palo Alto Veterans by Education

4.01%

Veteran Poverty Rate

20.52%

Veteran Disability Rate

Palo Alto Employment Status

62.8%

Labor Force Participation

60.6%

Employment Rate

3.5%

Unemployment Rate

Palo Alto Place of Birth

Origin of Non-Citizens

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

Origin of Naturalized Citizens

36.77%

Born in California

65.58%

Native Born

34.42%

Foreign Born

15.76%

Non Citizen

Place of Birth

65.58% of Palo Alto residents were born in the United States, with 36.77% having been born in California. 15.76% of residents are not US citizens. Of those not born in the United States, the largest percentage are from Asia.

Year Population Growth Annual Growth Rate
202066,292-187-0.28%
201966,479-187-0.28%
201866,666-553-0.82%
201767,219-187-0.28%
201667,4065740.86%
201566,832-69-0.10%
201466,9012460.37%
201366,6555390.82%
201266,1167581.16%
201165,3588131.26%
201064,5455,9470.97%
200058,5982,6980.47%
199055,9006750.12%
198055,225-815-0.15%
197056,0403,7530.70%
196052,28726,8127.46%
195025,4758,7014.27%
194016,7743,1222.08%
193013,6527,7528.75%
19205,9001,4142.78%
19104,4862,82810.47%
19001,6580.00%