Santa Cruz, California Population 2021

64,538
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Santa Cruz is a city located in California. With a 2020 population of 64,538, it is the 140th largest city in California and the 595th largest city in the United States. Santa Cruz is currently declining at a rate of -0.05% annually but its population has increased by 7.66% since the most recent census, which recorded a population of 59,946 in 2010. Santa Cruz reached it's highest population of 64,815 in 2017. Spanning over 16 miles, Santa Cruz has a population density of 5,066 people per square mile.

The average household income in Santa Cruz is $109,733 with a poverty rate of 20.90%. The median rental costs in recent years comes to $1,889 per month, and the median house value is $854,200. The median age in Santa Cruz is 28.8 years, 29 years for males, and 28.4 years for females. For every 100 females there are 96.7 males.

Santa Cruz is a city located in the state of California. It serves as the county seat for Santa Cruz County, and it is also the most populous city within the county. The city has developed a reputation for its alternative lifestyles and socially liberal way of life.

Santa Cruz Population Statistics

Santa Cruz’s top employer is the University of California at Santa Cruz, which provides jobs to over 7,600 people. The County of Santa Cruz, City of Santa Cruz, Plantronics and Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk are other top employers in the city.

Santa Cruz Population Growth

Santa Cruz’s population has experienced steady growth since it was founded. The population during the 19th century rose to over 5,500 people. This number doubled in 1910. A slight population decline occurred in 1920, but by the next census, the population was on the upswing once again. The population grew to over 25,000 according to the 1960 poll and had more than doubled by the year 2000. The most recent estimates show that the community has risen by 7.5% since the 2010 census, indicating that more growth is in this city’s future.

The area that is now Santa Cruz was first inhabited by the Awaswas Natives. Many tribes resided within this area, and the Europeans called them the Costanoan people. The Europeans first came to Santa Cruz in 1602 during an expedition. It was only in the late 18th century when Father Fermin Lasuen established La Mision de la Exaltacion de la Santa Cruz – or Mission Santa Cruz – as the 12th mission to be found in California. Later, Governor Diego de Borica established Villa de Branciforte at what is now Santa Cruz. This town was only one of three towns built in the state through the Spanish colonial period.

Mexico assumed control of the mission in the 1820s, and the government tried to change the name to Pueblo de Figueroa. However, this didn’t stick, and the name remained Santa Cruz. Mission lands were broken into land grants during the 1830s and 1840s. It was also during the 1840s when immigrants began coming to Santa Cruz. When the territory was ceded to the United States following the Mexican-American War, California became a state in 1850. That year, Santa Cruz County was established, and Santa Cruz was incorporated as a town 16 years later.

During the 19th century, Elihu Anthony came to the area and helped the city grow and thrive with the establishment of a Protestant church, commercial blocks, and a blacksmith foundry. In the latter half of the 19th century, the railroad lines helped boost industry and population. During the Civil War, a powder mill was an essential part of the economy. They are located along the San Lorenzo River, this mill manufactured smokeless powder used by the U.S. military. The mill was in operation through 1914.

In the 20th century, Santa Cruz began to build a reputation as being a city of social activism. The Resource Center for Nonviolence was established in 1976. In the 1990s, Santa Cruz designated itself as a nuclear-free zone, and its city council was the first to denounce the Iraq War in 2003. The city also has progressive views and supports alternative lifestyles. It was one of the first cities in the country to approve medicinal marijuana, and it has the site of many protests, rallies, and even riots in 2010 that resulted in property damages of more than $100,000.

The city is home to the University of California Santa Cruz. It is also a popular tourist destination, with people coming from all over to view such sites as the Santa Cruz Boardwalk and the redwood forests. The city’s economy primarily centers on tourism, education, technology, and agriculture.

Santa Cruz Demographics

According to the most recent ACS, the racial composition of Santa Cruz was:

  • White: 73.94%
  • Asian: 10.14%
  • Other race: 6.85%
  • Two or more races: 6.35%
  • Black or African American: 2.09%
  • Native American: 0.44%
  • Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: 0.20%
The current population of Santa Cruz, California is 64,538, based on our projections of the latest US Census estimates. The US Census estimates the 2018 population at 64,643.The last official US Census in 2010 recorded the population at 59,946.

Santa Cruz, California Population 2021

2019 and 2020 population is estimated by projecting the raw 2018 numbers.

Year Total Population Growth Annual Growth Rate
2021271,957-628-0.23%
2020272,585-628-0.23%
2019273,213-628-0.23%
2018273,841-1,015-0.37%
2017274,8564600.17%
2016274,3968930.33%
2015273,5032,6420.97%
2014270,8612,0450.75%
2013268,8162,4760.92%
2012266,3401,4820.56%
2011264,8581,7110.65%
2010263,1470.00%

Santa Cruz Metro Area Population by Year

Population by Race

Race Population Percentage
White47,70573.94%
Asian6,54510.14%
Some Other Race4,4226.85%
Two or More Races4,0946.35%
Black or African American1,3492.09%
American Indian and Alaska Native2810.44%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander1260.20%
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Santa Cruz Population by Race

Santa Cruz Population Pyramid 2021

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Santa Cruz Median Age

28.8


Total

29


Male

28.4


Female

Santa Cruz Adults

There are 56,277 adults, (7,906 of whom are seniors) in Santa Cruz.

Santa Cruz Age Dependency

33.4

Age Dependency Ratio

16.3

Old Age Dependency Ratio

17

Child Dependency Ratio

Santa Cruz Sex Ratio

Female

32,809

50.85%

Male

31,713

49.15%

Santa Cruz Population by Age

Santa Cruz Renter vs Owner Occupied by Household Type

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Santa Cruz Household Types

Type Owner Renter
Married68.1%31.9%
All47%53%
Female41.2%58.8%
Non Family34.4%65.6%
Male31.3%68.7%

47.0%

Rate of Home Ownership

Santa Cruz Households and Families

Type Count Average Size Owned
All22,5792.447
Non Family11,6391.7534.4
Married8,1613.0668.1
Female1,8963.2641.2
Male8833.1931.3

2.93

Average Family Size

2.4

Average Household Size

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Santa Cruz Households by Type

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Education Attained Count Percentage
Less Than 9th Grade1,3513.72%
9th to 12th Grade8762.41%
High School Graduate4,49312.36%
Some College7,28320.04%
Associates Degree2,7927.68%
Bachelors Degree10,17527.99%
Graduate Degree9,37925.80%
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Santa Cruz Educational Attainment by Sex (over 25)

Santa Cruz Educational Attainment by Race

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Name Total High School Bachelors
White26,32125,86515,479
Hispanic5,5574,0261,494
Asian2,3812,2421,592
Other Race1,9851,125300
Multiple Races1,5211,461705
Black808755389
Native American17214162
Islander787830

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 66.86%.

Santa Cruz Educational Attainment by Race

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Name Average Male Female
Overall$46,701$54,843$39,059
Less Than High School$22,159$20,662$23,431
High School Grad$32,977$35,625$22,375
Some College$36,398$41,430$29,759
Bachelors Degree$54,343$66,267$42,971
Graduate Degree$73,838$92,130$58,061

$46,701

Average Earnings

$54,843

Average Male

$39,059

Average Female

Santa Cruz Earnings by Educational Attainment

Santa Cruz Language by Age

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Santa Cruz Language

73.75% of Santa Cruz residents speak only English, while 26.25% speak other languages. The non-English language spoken by the largest group is Spanish, which is spoken by 14.32% of the population.

Santa Cruz Language

Santa Cruz Poverty by Race

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Name Total In Poverty Poverty Rate
White36,6395,91316.14%
Hispanic10,5543,36231.86%
Asian3,7581,40037.25%
Other3,5921,26535.22%
Multiple3,17559118.61%
Black1,05329227.73%
Native2475120.65%
Islander1031312.62%

20.90%

Overall Poverty Rate

19.26%

Male Poverty Rate

22.50%

Female Poverty Rate

Poverty in Santa Cruz

The race most likely to be in poverty in Santa Cruz is Asian, with 37.25% below the poverty level.

The race least likely to be in poverty in Santa Cruz is Islander, with 12.62% below the poverty level.

The poverty rate among those that worked full-time for the past 12 months was 3.61%. Among those working part-time, it was 31.81%, and for those that did not work, the poverty rate was 31.38%.

Santa Cruz Poverty

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Name Poverty
Less Than High School41.70%
High School18.54%
Some College12.56%
Bachelors or Greater6.01%

Santa Cruz Poverty Rate by Education

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Name Poverty
Female Unemployed46.29%
Male Unemployed38.88%
Female Employed16.26%
Male Employed13.53%

Santa Cruz Poverty Rate by Employment Status and Sex

Santa Cruz Income by Household Type

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Name Median Mean
Households$77,921$109,733
Families$113,151$143,424
Married Families$132,388-
Non Families$43,608$73,510
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Income by Household Type

Santa Cruz Marital Status

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Marriage Rates

30.5%

Overall Marriage Rate

31.4%

Male Marriage Rate

29.7%

Female Marriage Rate

Santa Cruz Married by Age and Sex

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Santa Cruz Marriage

The age group where males are most likely to be married is Over 65, while the female age group most likely to be married is 35-44.

Santa Cruz Marital Status by Race

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Santa Cruz Marital Status

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2,167

Number of Veterans

2,009

Male Veterans

158

Female Veterans

War Veterans
Vietnam997
Second Gulf War340
First Gulf War208
Korea142
World War II75

Santa Cruz Veterans by War

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Age Group Veterans
65 to 74722
75+715
35 to 54305
18 to 34220
55 to 64205

Santa Cruz Veterans by Age

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Name Veterans % of Total
White1,9074.56%
Hispanic2652.44%
2 or More1113.40%
Other782.19%
Asian320.52%
Black322.84%
Hawaiian76.14%

Santa Cruz Veterans by Race

Santa Cruz Veterans by Education

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12.74%

Veteran Poverty Rate

35.50%

Veteran Disability Rate

Santa Cruz Veterans by Education

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62.5%

Labor Force Participation

57.7%

Employment Rate

7.7%

Unemployment Rate

Santa Cruz Employment by Age

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Santa Cruz Employment by Race

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Santa Cruz Employment by Education

Origin of Non-Citizens

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

Origin of Naturalized Citizens

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61.65%

Born in California

85.36%

Native Born

14.64%

Foreign Born

9.17%

Non Citizen

5.47%

Naturalized

Place of Birth

85.36% of Santa Cruz residents were born in the United States, with 61.65% having been born in California. 9.17% of residents are not US citizens. Of those not born in the United States, the largest percentage are from Latin America.

Santa Cruz Place of Birth

Year Population Growth Annual Growth Rate
202164,538-35-0.05%
202064,573-35-0.05%
201964,608-35-0.05%
201864,643-172-0.27%
201764,8154190.65%
201664,3963140.49%
201564,0829101.44%
201463,1724410.70%
201362,7317771.25%
201261,9545200.85%
201161,4348561.41%
201060,5785,9851.05%
200054,5935,5531.08%
199049,0407,5571.69%
198041,4839,4072.61%
197032,0766,4802.28%
196025,5963,6261.54%
195021,9705,0742.66%
194016,8962,5011.61%
193014,3953,4782.80%
192010,917-229-0.21%
191011,1465,4877.01%
19005,659630.11%
18905,5961,6983.68%
18803,8981,3374.29%
18702,5611,61110.43%
18609500.00%

Santa Cruz Population by Year