San Francisco, CA
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San Francisco profile


Living in San Francisco


San Francisco is a very large coastal city (i.e. on the ocean, a bay, or inlet) located in the state of California. With a population of 881,549 people and 198 constituent neighborhoods, San Francisco is the fourth largest community in California. Much of the housing stock in San Francisco was built prior to World War II, making it one of the older and more historic cities in the country.

San Francisco home prices are not only among the most expensive in California, but San Francisco real estate also consistently ranks among the most expensive in America.

San Francisco is a decidedly white-collar city, with fully 91.01% of the workforce employed in white-collar jobs, well above the national average. Overall, San Francisco is a city of professionals, managers, and sales and office workers. There are especially a lot of people living in San Francisco who work in management occupations (15.52%), business and financial occupations (9.97%), and sales jobs (9.71%).

Also of interest is that San Francisco has more people living here who work in computers and math than 95% of the places in the US.

Of important note, San Francisco is also a city of artists. San Francisco has more artists, designers and people working in media than 90% of the communities in America. This concentration of artists helps shape San Francisco’s character.

San Francisco is one of the most attractive larger cities for people who are young, single, educated, and upwardly-mobile career starters. This makes it a good place to live for young singles in their 20s and 30s and who have undergraduate or graduate degrees and are starting their professional careers. Although San Francisco is a large city, this demographic is significant enough that young professionals will find many others like themselves here, with really good opportunities for friendships, recreation, romance, and more.

San Francisco is also nautical, which means that parts of it are somewhat historic and touch the ocean or tidal bodies of water, such as inlets and bays. Quite often, nautical areas such as these attract visitors and locals who come to enjoy the scenery and various waterfront activities.

In San Francisco, however, the average commute to work is quite long. On average, people spend 34.28 minutes each day getting to work, which is significantly higher than the national average. One bright side is that local public transit is widely used, so it may be an option to avoid the headache of driving in the heavy traffic by leaving the car at home and taking transit. In addition, the city is also quite pedestrian-friendly, because many neighborhoods are very dense and have amenities close enough together that people find it feasible to get around on foot.

One of the benefits of being a big city like San Francisco is having a public transportation system, but in San Francisco the transit system is the mode of choice for lots of people getting to and from work every day. You will find many people using the bus for their daily commute, even though other transportation options exist. If you ask these commuters, many will tell you that not having to drive in the snarl of big city traffic is one of main reasons for leaving the car at home, or even not owning a car at all. With so many people taking the bus San Francisco benefits from a reduction in air pollution and traffic.

Do you have a 4-year college degree or graduate degree? If so, you may feel right at home in San Francisco. 58.06% of adults here have a 4-year degree or graduate degree, whereas the national average for all cities and towns is just 21.84%.

The per capita income in San Francisco in 2018 was $68,883, which is wealthy relative to California and the nation. This equates to an annual income of $275,532 for a family of four. However, San Francisco contains both very wealthy and poor people as well.

San Francisco is an extremely ethnically-diverse city. The people who call San Francisco home describe themselves as belonging to a variety of racial and ethnic groups. The greatest number of San Francisco residents report their race to be White, followed by Asian. San Francisco also has a sizeable Hispanic population (people of Hispanic origin can be of any race). People of Hispanic or Latino origin account for 15.24% of the city’s residents. Important ancestries of people in San Francisco include Irish, German, English, Italian, and French.

In addition, San Francisco has a lot of people living here who were born outside of the US (34.28%).

The most common language spoken in San Francisco is English. Other important languages spoken here include Chinese and Spanish.