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 883,305 people and 198 constituent neighborhoods, San Francisco is the fourth largest community in California. San Francisco has a large stock of pre-World War II architecture, 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 90.74% 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 (14.84%), business and financial occupations (10.08%), and sales jobs (9.83%).

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. Such areas are often places that visitors and locals go for waterfront activities or taking in the scenery.

One downside of living in San Francisco is that it can take a long time to commute to work. In San Francisco, the average commute to work is 33.92 minutes, which is quite a bit higher than the national average. On the other hand, local public transit is widely used in the city, so leaving the car at home and taking transit is often a viable alternative. In addition, it is also a pedestrian-friendly city. Many of San Francisco’s neighborhoods are dense enough and have amenities close enough together that people find it feasible to get around on foot.

San Francisco is a big city, and with that comes lots of benefits. One benefit is that most big cities have public transit, but San Francisco really shines when it comes to the extensiveness and use of its public transit system. More than most large American cities, San Francisco citizens use public transit daily to get to and from work. And while there are transportation options, most people in San Francisco ride the bus. Whereas in some cities one is destined to sit in traffic every morning to get to work and every evening to get home, in San Francisco a lot leave their cars at home (if they even choose to own one), and hop a ride on the bus.

Do you like to read, write and learn? If you move to San Francisco, you'll likely find that many of your neighbors like to as well. San Francisco is one of the more educated communities in America, with a full 57.14% of its adults having a college degree or even advanced degree, compared to a national average across all communities of 21.84%.

The per capita income in San Francisco in 2010 was $64,157, which is wealthy relative to California and the nation. This equates to an annual income of $256,628 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 15.25% of the city’s residents. Important ancestries of people in San Francisco include Irish, German, English, Italian, and French.

Foreign born people are also an important part of San Francisco's cultural character, accounting for 34.44% of the city’s population.

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