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 of California.
San Francisco is also the 4th most populous city in California (behind Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Jose).
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 the 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 Diversity and Population Statistics
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 relatively 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 would 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 provide for 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.