Santa Rosa is a city located in Sonoma County California. Santa Rosa has a 2023 population of 175,065. It is also the county seat of Sonoma County.Santa Rosa is currently declining at a rate of -0.53% annually and its population has decreased by -1.58% since the most recent census, which recorded a population of 177,882 in 2020.
The average household income in Santa Rosa is $108,164 with a poverty rate of 9.8%. The median rental costs in recent years comes to - per month, and the median house value is -. The median age in Santa Rosa is 40 years, 38.4 years for males, and 41.7 years for females.
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.
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.
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.
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.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the San Francisco earthquake destroyed much of the downtown area, but the population did not drop. However, growth slowed even further.
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.
According to the most recent ACS, the racial composition of Santa Rosa was:
Two or more races
Black or African American
Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
Average Family Size
Average Household Size
Rate of Home Ownership
Less Than 9th Grade
9th to 12th Grade
High School Graduate
High School Graduation Rate
The highest rate of high school graduation is among white people with a rate of 87.59%.
The highest rate of bachelors degrees is among asian people with a rate of 42.09%.
Other Indo-European Languages
Asian and Pacific Island Languages
66.1% of Santa Rosa residents speak only English, while 33.9% speak other languages. The non-English language spoken by the largest group is Spanish, which is spoken by 26.09% of the population.
Overall Poverty Rate
Male Poverty Rate
Female Poverty Rate
The race most likely to be in poverty in Santa Rosa is Black, with 25.01% below the poverty level.
The race least likely to be in poverty in Santa Rosa is Asian, with 6.43% below the poverty level.
The poverty rate among those that worked full-time for the past 12 months was 1.55%. Among those working part-time, it was 10.58%, and for those that did not work, the poverty rate was 18.11%.
Overall Marriage Rate
Male Marriage Rate
Female Marriage Rate
The age group where males are most likely to be married is 55-64, while the female age group most likely to be married is 45-54.
Second Gulf War
First Gulf War
World War II
Less Than 9th Grade
High School Graduate
Bachelors or Greater
Veteran Poverty Rate
Veteran Disability Rate
Labor Force Participation
Non citizens include legal permanent residents (green card holders), international students, temporary workers, humanitarian migrants, and illegal immigrants.
Born in Santa Rosa
79.95% of Santa Rosa residents were born in the United States, with 61.58% having been born in California. 12.14% of residents are not US citizens. Of those not born in the United States, the largest percentage are from Latin America.