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San francisco

San Francisco, officially the City and County of San Francisco, is a cultural, commercial, and financial center in the U.S. state of California. Located in Northern California, San Francisco is the 17th most populous city in the United States, and the fourth most populous in California, with 873,965 residents as of 2020. It covers an area of about 46.9 square miles (121 square kilometers), mostly at the north end of the San Francisco Peninsula in the San Francisco Bay Area, making it the second most densely populated large U.S. city, and the fifth most densely populated U.S. county, behind only four of the five New York City boroughs. San Francisco is the 12th-largest metropolitan statistical area in the United States with 4.7 million residents, and the fourth-largest by economic output, with a GDP of $592 billion in 2019. With San Jose, California, it forms the San Jose–San Francisco–Oakland, CA Combined Statistical Area, the fifth most populous combined statistical area in the United States, with 9.6 million residents as of 2019. Colloquial nicknames for San Francisco include SF, San Fran, The City, and Frisco.

In 2019, San Francisco was the county with the seventh-highest income in the United States, with a per capita income of $139,405. In the same year, San Francisco proper had a GDP of $203.5 billion, and a GDP per capita of $230,829. The San Jose–San Francisco–Oakland, CA Combined Statistical Area, with a GDP of $1.09 trillion as of 2019, is the country's third-largest economy. Of the 105 primary statistical areas in the U.S. with over 500,000 residents, this CSA had the highest GDP per capita in 2019, at $112,348. San Francisco was ranked 12th in the world and second in the United States on the Global Financial Centres Index as of March 2021.

San Francisco was founded on June 29, 1776, when colonists from Spain established the Presidio of San Francisco at the Golden Gate and Mission San Francisco de Asís a few miles away, both named for Francis of Assisi. The California Gold Rush of 1849 brought rapid growth, making it the largest city on the West Coast at the time. San Francisco became a consolidated city-county in 1856. San Francisco's status as the West Coast's largest city peaked between 1870 and 1900, when around 25% of California's population resided in the city proper. After three-quarters of the city was destroyed by the 1906 earthquake and fire, San Francisco was quickly rebuilt, hosting the Panama-Pacific International Exposition nine years later. In World War II, San Francisco was a major port of embarkation for service members shipping out to the Pacific Theater. It then became the birthplace of the United Nations in 1945. After the war, the confluence of returning servicemen, significant immigration, liberalizingattitudes, along with the rise of the "beatnik" and "hippie" countercultures, the Sexual Revolution, the Peace Movement growing from opposition to United States involvement in the Vietnam War, and other factors led to the Summer of Love and the gay rights movement, cementing San Francisco as a center of liberal activism in the United States. Politically, the city votes strongly along liberal Democratic Party lines.

A popular tourist destination, San Francisco is known for its cool summers, fog, steep rolling hills, eclectic mix of architecture, and landmarks, including the Golden Gate Bridge, cable cars, the former Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary, Fisherman's Wharf, and its Chinatown district. San Francisco is also the headquarters of companies such as Wells Fargo, Twitter, Square, Airbnb, Levi Strauss & Co., Gap Inc., Salesforce, Dropbox, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Uber, and Lyft. The city, and the surrounding Bay Area, is a global center of the sciences and arts and is home to a number of educational and cultural institutions, such as the  University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), the University of San Francisco (USF), San Francisco State University (SFSU), the de Young Museum, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the SFJAZZ Center, and the California Academy of Sciences.

The San Francisco Bay Area, popularly referred to as the Bay Area, is a populous region surrounding the San Francisco, San Pablo, and Suisun Bay estuaries in Northern California. Although the exact boundaries of the region are variously defined, the Bay Area is defined by the Association of Bay Area Governments to include the nine counties that border the aforementioned estuaries: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, Sonoma, and San Francisco. Other definitions may exclude parts of or even entire counties, or expand the boundaries to include neighboring counties that do not border the bay such as Santa Cruz and San Benito (more often included in the Central Coast regions); or San Joaquin, Merced, and Stanislaus (more often included in the Central Valley).

Home to approximately 7.75 million people, Northern California's nine-county Bay Area contains many cities, towns, airports, and associated regional, state, and national parks, connected by a complex multimodal transportation network. The larger federal classification, the combined statistical area of the region which includes fourteen counties, is the second-largest in California (after the Greater Los Angeles area), the fifth-largest in the United States, and the 41st-largest urban area in the world with 9.67 million people. The Bay Area's population is ethnically diverse: for example, roughly half of the region's residents are Hispanic, Asian, African American, or Pacific Islander, all of whom have a significant presence throughout the region.

Crowd

DEMOGRAPHICS

POPULATION: 881,549

  • Hispanic or Latino of any race: 15.2%

  • White (non-Hispanic): 40.5% 

  • Black (non-Hispanic): 5.2%

  • Asian: 34.4%

The 2020 United States census showed San Francisco's population to be 873,965, an increase of 8.5% from the 2010 census. With roughly one-quarter the population density of Manhattan, San Francisco is the second-most densely populated large American city, behind only New York City among cities greater than 200,000 population, and the fifth-most densely populated U.S. county, following only four of the five New York City boroughs.

San Francisco forms part of the five-county San Francisco–Oakland–Hayward, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area, a region of 4.7 million people, and has served as its traditional demographic focal point. It is also part of the greater 14-county San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland, CA Combined Statistical Area, whose population is over 9.6 million, making it the fifth-largest in the United States as of 2018.

San Francisco has a majority minority population, as non-Hispanic whites comprise less than half of the population, 41.9%, down from 92.5% in 1940. As of the 2020 census, the racial makeup and population of San Francisco included: 361,382 Whites (41.3%), 296,505 Asians (33.9%), 46,725 African Americans (5.3%), 86,233 Multiracial Americans (9.9%), 6,475 Native Americans and Alaska Natives (0.7%), 3,476 Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders (0.4%) and 73,169 persons of other races (8.4%). There were 136,761 Hispanics or Latinos of any race (15.6%).

In 2010, residents of Chinese ethnicity constituted the largest single ethnic minority group in San Francisco at 21% of the population; the other Asian groups are Filipinos (5%) and Vietnamese (2%). The population of Chinese ancestry is most heavily concentrated in Chinatown, Sunset District, and Richmond District, whereas Filipinos are most concentrated in the Crocker-Amazon (which is contiguous with the Filipino community of Daly City, which has one of the highest concentrations of Filipinos in North America), as well as in SoMa. The Tenderloin District is home to a large portion of the city's Vietnamese population as well as businesses and restaurants, which is known as the city's Little Saigon.

The principal Hispanic groups in the city were those of Mexican (7%) and Salvadoran (2%) ancestry. The Hispanic population is most heavily concentrated in the Mission District, Tenderloin District, and Excelsior District. The city's percentage of Hispanic residents is less than half of that of the state. The population of African Americans in San Francisco is 6% of the city's population. The percentage of African Americans in San Francisco is similar to that of California. The majority of the city's black population reside within the neighborhoods of Bayview-Hunters Point, Visitacion Valley, and in the Fillmore District.

As of 2010, 55% (411,728) of San Francisco residents spoke only English at home, while 19% (140,302) spoke a variety of Chinese (mostly Taishanese and Cantonese), 12% (88,147) Spanish, 3% (25,767) Tagalog, and 2% (14,017) Russian. In total, 45% (342,693) of San Francisco's population spoke a language at home other than English.

San Francisco has several prominent Chinese, Mexican, and Filipino ethnic neighborhoods including Chinatown and the Mission District. Research collected on the immigrant clusters in the city show that more than half of the Asian population in San Francisco is either Chinese-born (40.3%) or Philippine-born (13.1%), and of the Mexican population 21% were Mexican-born, meaning these are people who recently immigrated to the United States. Between the years of 1990 and 2000, the number foreign born residents increased from 33% to nearly 40%, During this same time period, the San Francisco Metropolitan area received 850,000 immigrants, ranking third in the United States after Los Angeles and New York.

HOUSING UNITS:   346,527

 

OWNER-OCCUPIED HOUSING UNIT RATE:   37.6%

MEDIAN VALUE OF HOUSING UNIT:   $1,471,200

MEDIAN GROSS RENT:   $1,895

Colourful Terraced Houses

HOUSING

San Fran Rents
Dollar Bill in Jar

ECONOMY

San Francisco has seen the job market increase by 1.3% over the last year. Future job growth over the next ten years is predicted to be 39.1%, which is higher than the US average of 33.5%.

Tax Rates for San Francisco

  • The Sales Tax Rate for San Francisco is 8.5%. The US average is 7.3%.

  • The Income Tax Rate for San Francisco is 9.3%. The US average is 4.6%.

  • Tax Rates can have big impact when Comparing Cost of Living.

Income and Salaries for San Francisco

  • The average income of a San Francisco resident is $49,986 a year. The US average is $28,555 a year. 

  • The Median household income of a San Francisco resident is $78,378 a year. The US average is $53,482 a year.

The three principal cities of the Bay Area represent different employment clusters and are dominated by different, but commingled, industries. San Francisco is home to the region's financial industry, tourism, and is host to numerous conventions. The East Bay, centered around Oakland, is home to heavy industry, metalworking, oil, and shipping, while San Jose is the heart of Silicon Valley where a major pole of economic activity around the technology industry resides. Furthermore, the North Bay is a major player in the country's agriculture and wine industry. In all, the Bay Area is home to the second highest concentration of Fortune 500 companies, second only to the New York metropolitan area, with thirty such companies based throughout the region. In 2019, the greater fourteen-county statistical area had a GDP of $1.086 trillion, the third-highest among combined statistical areas. The smaller nine-county Bay Area had a GDP of $995 billion in the same year, which nonetheless would rank it 5th among U.S. statesand 17th among countries.

Several major corporations are headquartered in the Bay Area. Among the Fortune 500 companies located in the region include technology companies Google, Facebook, Apple Inc., Hewlett Packard, Intel, Adobe Inc., Applied Materials, eBay, Cisco Systems, Symantec, Oracle, Netflix, Sony Interactive Entertainment, Electronic Arts, and Salesforce; energy companies Chevron and PG&E; financial service companies Charles Schwab Corporation, Visa Inc., and Wells Fargo; apparel retailers Gap Inc., Levi Strauss & Co., and Ross Stores; aerospace and defense contractor Lockheed Martin; local grocer Safeway; pharmaceutical company McKesson; and biotechnology companies Genentech and Gilead Sciences. The largest manufacturers include Tesla Inc., Lam Research, Bayer, Chevron, and Coca-Cola. The Port of Oakland is the fifth-largest container shipping port in the United States, and Oakland is also a major rail terminus. In research, NASA's Ames Research Center and the federal research facility Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory are based in Mountain View and Livermore respectively. In the North Bay, Napa and Sonoma counties are known for their famous wineries, including Fantesca Estate & Winery, Domaine Chandon California, and D'Agostini Winery.

San Francisco has a diversified service economy, with employment spread across a wide range of professional services, including financial services, tourism, and (increasingly) high technology. In 2016, approximately 27% of workers were employed in professional business services; 14% in leisure and hospitality; 13% in government services; 12% in education and health care; 11% in trade, transportation, and utilities; and 8% in financial activities. In 2019, GDP in the five-county San Francisco metropolitan area grew 3.8% in real terms to $592 billion. Additionally, in 2019 the 14-county San Jose–San Francisco–Oakland combined statistical area had a GDP of $1.086 trillion, ranking 3rd among CSAs, and ahead of all but 16 countries. As of 2019, San Francisco County was the 7th highest-income county in the United States (among 3,142), with a per capita personal income of $139,405. Marin County, directly to the north over the Golden Gate Bridge, and San Mateo County, directly to the south on the Peninsula, were the 6th and 9th highest-income counties respectively.

The legacy of the California Gold Rush turned San Francisco into the principal banking and finance center of the West Coastin the early twentieth century. Montgomery Street in the Financial District became known as the "Wall Street of the West", home to the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, the Wells Fargo corporate headquarters, and the site of the now-defunct Pacific Coast Stock Exchange. Bank of America, a pioneer in making banking services accessible to the middle class, was founded in San Francisco and in the 1960s, built the landmark modern skyscraper at 555 California Street for its corporate headquarters. Many large financial institutions, multinational banks, and venture capital firms are based in or have regional headquarters in the city. With over 30 international financial institutions, six Fortune 500 companies, and a large support infrastructure of professional services—including law, public relations, architecture and design—San Francisco is designated as an Alpha(-) World City. The 2017 Global Financial Centres Index ranked San Francisco as the sixth-most competitive financial center in the world.

Since the 1990s, San Francisco's economy has diversified away from finance and tourism towards the growing fields of high tech, biotechnology, and medical research. Technology jobs accounted for just 1 percent of San Francisco's economy in 1990, growing to 4 percent in 2010 and an estimated 8 percent by the end of 2013. San Francisco became a center of Internet start-up companies during the dot-com bubble of the 1990s and the subsequent social media boom of the late 2000s (decade). Since 2010, San Francisco proper has attracted an increasing share of venture capital investments as compared to nearby Silicon Valley, attracting 423 financings worth US$4.58 billion in 2013. In 2004, the city approved a payroll tax exemption for biotechnology companies to foster growth in the Mission Bay neighborhood, site of a second campus and hospital of the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Mission Bay hosts the UCSF Medical Center, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences, and Gladstone Institutes, as well as more than 40 private-sector life sciences companies.

The top employer in the city is the city government itself, employing 5.6% (31,000+ people) of the city's workforce, followed by UCSF with over 25,000 employees. The largest private-sector employer is Salesforce, with 8,500 employees, as of 2018. Small businesses with fewer than 10 employees and self-employed firms make up 85% of city establishments, and the number of San Franciscans employed by firms of more than 1,000 employees has fallen by half since 1977. The growth of national big box and formula retail chains into the city has been made intentionally difficult by political and civic consensus. In an effort to buoy small privately owned businesses in San Francisco and preserve the unique retail personality of the city, the Small Business Commission started a publicity campaign in 2004 to keep a larger share of retail dollars in the local economy, and the Board of Supervisors has used the planning code to limit the neighborhoods where formula retail establishments can set up shop, an effort affirmed by San Francisco voters. However, by 2016, San Francisco was rated low by small businesses in a Business Friendliness Survey.

Like many U.S. cities, San Francisco once had a significant manufacturing sector employing nearly 60,000 workers in 1969, but nearly all production left for cheaper locations by the 1980s. As of 2014, San Francisco has seen a small resurgence in manufacturing, with more than 4,000 manufacturing jobs across 500 companies, doubling since 2011. The city's largest manufacturing employer is Anchor Brewing Company, and the largest by revenue is Timbuk2.

Technology

San Francisco became a hub for technological driven economic growth during the internet boom of the 1990s, and still holds an important position in the world city network today. Intense redevelopment towards the "new economy" makes business more technologically minded. Between the years of 1999 and 2000, the job growth rate was 4.9%, creating over 50,000 jobs in technology firms and internet content production.

In the second technological boom driven by social media in the mid 2000s, San Francisco became a location for companies such as Apple, Google, Facebookand Twitter to base their tech offices and for their employees to live. Since then, tech employment has continued to increase. In 2014, San Francisco's tech employment grew nearly 90% between 2010 and 2014, beating out Silicon Valley's 30% growth rate over the same period.

The tech sector's dominance in the Bay Area is internationally recognized and continues to attract new businesses and young entrepreneurs from all over the globe. San Francisco is now widely considered the most important city in the world for new technology startups. A recent high of $7 billion in venture capital was invested in the region. These startup companies hire well educated individuals looking to work in the tech industry, which helps the city have a well educated citizenry. Over 50% of San Franciscans have a four-year university degree, thus the city ranks high in terms of its population's educational level.

Tourism and conventions

Tourism is one of the city's largest private-sector industries, accounting for more than one out of seven jobs in the city. The city's frequent portrayal in music, film, and popular culture has made the city and its landmarks recognizable worldwide. In 2016, it attracted the fifth-highest number of foreign tourists of any city in the United States. More than 25 million visitors arrived in San Francisco in 2016, adding US$9.96 billion to the economy. With a large hotel infrastructure and a world-class convention facility in the Moscone Center, San Francisco is a popular destination for annual conventions and conferences.

Some of the most popular tourist attractions in San Francisco noted by the Travel Channel include the Golden Gate Bridge and Alamo Square Park, which is home to the famous "Painted Ladies". Both of these locations were often used as landscape shots for the hit American sitcom Full House. There is also Lombard Street, known for its "crookedness" and extensive views. Tourists also visit Pier 39, which offers dining, shopping, entertainment, and views of the bay, sun-bathing seals, and the famous Alcatraz Island.

San Francisco also offers tourists cultural and unique nightlife in its neighborhoods.

The new Terminal Project at Pier 27 opened September 25, 2014, as a replacement for the old Pier 35 Itineraries from San Francisco usually include round-trip cruises to Alaska and Mexico.

A heightened interest in conventioneering in San Francisco, marked by the establishment of convention centers such as Yerba Buena, acted as a feeder into the local tourist economy and resulted in an increase in the hotel industry: "In 1959, the city had fewer than thirty-three hundred first-class hotel rooms; by 1970, the number was nine thousand; and by 1999, there were more than thirty thousand." The commodification of the Castro District has contributed to San Francisco's tourist economy.

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