Santa Rosa is a city located in Sonoma County, California. With a 2020 population of 177,132, it is the 28th largest city in California and the 149th largest city in the United States. Santa Rosa is currently declining at a rate of -0.13% annually but its population has increased by 5.55% since the most recent census, which recorded a population of 167,815 in 2010. Santa Rosa reached it's highest population of 182,475 in 2016. Spanning over 43 miles, Santa Rosa has a population density of 4,166 people per square mile.
The average household income in Santa Rosa is $91,292 with a poverty rate of 11.51%. The median rental costs in recent years comes to $1,531 per month, and the median house value is $490,000. The median age in Santa Rosa is 38.3 years, 36.4 years for males, and 40.4 years for females. For every 100 females there are 93.9 males.
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.
Santa Rosa Population Growth
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.