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San Francisco & Bay Area Demographics

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A Lot of Things You Probably Don't Know
about San Francisco & the Bay Area

Who We Are; Where We Come From; What We Believe;
How We Live; What We Do; Money Earned & Money Spent

There is no city and metropolitan area quite like San Francisco and the Bay Area, and here are a selection of some of the details. Compiled by Paragon Real Estate from a variety of sources for your entertainment and, perhaps, mild edification.

For those specifically interested in real estate market analytics, dozens of updated analyses can be found here: Paragon Market Reports.


Depending on data source, these analyses pertain to the city and county of San Francisco itself, zip codes within San Francisco, or a multi-county San Francisco Metro Area. And, in a couple cases, the charts apply to state or national statistics. The region being measured is delineated clearly on each chart.

Ancestry, Age, Religion, Education, Employment,
Income, Language & Politics

Ethnicity, Race, Ancestry, Language

Chart link: SF METRO AREA Race, Ethnicity & Ancestry

Religious & Spiritual Practices & Beliefs

A Selection of Diverse Data Points

A Selection of Miscellaneous Percentages

Education & Income by Education & Sex

Spending Money

Employment, Wages & Commuting

Chart link: SF METRO AREA Employment Statistics

The Bureau of Labor statistics analyzes average annual wages for over 700
local occupations. Below is a diverse sampling of approximately 50 of them.

Bay Area Median Household Income by County

This U.S. Census Bureau chart published in 2017 illustrates median HH income
for the 25 most populous metro areas in the nation. The SF Metro Area now ranks first.

Median Household Income

Chart link: SF METRO AREA HH Income Breakdown

Poverty in the Bay Area

Bay Area Poverty by County

Bay Area Population, Population Growth & Density

Bay Area Population Growth since 1969

Bay Area population density by county

Bay Area Square Miles by County

Bay Area population by county

Commuting Statistics

Chart link: SF METRO AREA Commuting Statistics


The Ages of San Francisco

Foreign-Born Residents - Country of Birth
SF Metro Area

Population Migration into and out of California

Though this chart refers specifically to state data, the trends illustrated almost certainly apply to the Bay Area as well. Of course, foreign immigration numbers in 2017 and later years may change dramatically with the recent changes in national policies. If foreign migration into the state drops, and emigration out to other states continues (or accelerates) on the below trend, it would probably have significant ramifications for the Bay Area. This chart refers to 2016 data.

The issue of migrations into and out of California is more fully explored in this article: Article link: CA Migration Trends

The California Economy if Ranked as a Separate Country

Selected Statistics by San Francisco ZIP CODE

Income, Age, Education, Foreign Birth & Homeownership

Looking at this first chart below, you may wonder why neighborhoods like Pacific Heights and Russian Hill do not show up at the top of the income table, and why South Beach and the Presidio do. First of all, the zip codes for both Pacific Heights and Russian Hill include other, much less affluent neighborhoods: For example, the zip code for Russian Hill runs all the way into the Tenderloin, and that for Pacific Heights includes most of the Western Addition. Both zip codes also include many renters under long-term rent control. Both these situations skew their median household income figures lower.

On the other hand, the South Beach area is a recently built neighborhood, not long ago filled with parking lots and small commercial enterprises, but now filled with luxury condo buildings. The condos are quite expensive and since all the buildings have been built since 1990, there is no rent control, which means its renters generally pay high market rents. Whether owner or renter, one has to be earning a very substantial income to live there. The Presidio, and we are talking about the park (which contains rental housing), is under federal jurisdiction, so it too is exempt from rent control, and, of course, since it is right next to Pacific and Presidio Heights, its market rents are also quite high, which likewise affects the income requirements accordingly.

Unsurprisingly, degree of education correlates strongly with median household income figures.

How Americans Spend the Hours of Their Days

Unhappy Statistics about SF Crime

Bay Area Housing Affordability

Long-Term Trends in San Francisco Housing Affordability

Minimum Qualifying Income to Buy Median Priced House
by County

Assumes 20% downpayment and including principal, interest,
property tax and insurance costs.

Bay Area Median House Prices by County

Underpinning the Bay Area real estate market and general economy are often amazing, but sometimes worrisome statistics. Below are tables and charts ranking counties, zip codes and cities by a variety of parameters. The Bay Area ranks extremely high in income, education, employment rates and general health factors, often grabbing almost all the top rankings, but it is also unhappily high in income inequality, housing unaffordability and poverty.

Bay Area City & Zip Code Income Rankings

Atherton has the highest median household income and the highest median income per worker in the state, followed by a handful of other nearby, highly affluent, Silicon Valley communities. In San Francisco, South Beach and the Presidio zip codes make the top rankings, but note that several of the most expensive neighborhoods in SF are in zip codes that mix highly affluent with less affluent areas (such as Pacific Heights and Western Addition, or Russian Hill and the Tenderloin). SF neighborhoods also have much higher percentages of residents who are tenants, and generally speaking, renters have lower incomes than homeowners.

In Marin County, Belvedere, Tiburon, Kentfield and Mill Valley make the lists; in Contra Costa, the Diablo Valley & Lamorinda communities of Blackhawk, Alamo, Lafayette, Orinda and Moraga rank highest; in Alameda, Piedmont is in the top 10 cities for median worker earnings.

Bay Area zip codes utterly dominate the CA rankings for higher education, taking 14 of the top 15 spots out of about 2600 zip codes. Unsurprisingly, high positions in income usually correlate with the same in education (and having UC Berkeley and Stanford in our midst was a help): Top Bay Area Zip Codes for Higher Education

If you wish to explore Bay Area rankings by other criteria: Top 25 Rankings in California


All our reports and analyses can be found here: Paragon Market Reports

Economic & Demographic Context Factors in the Bay Area R.E. Market

San Francisco Real Estate Market Report

Bay Area County Markets & Demographics

SF Neighborhood Home Price Tables

SF Luxury House Market Update

SF Luxury Condo Market Update

Bay Area Apartment Building Market Report

The data herein is from a wide variety of third party sources deemed reliable - much of it from national, state and local government data sources - but it may contain errors, and is subject to revision. When the term San Francisco Metro Area is used, it signifies that the data includes various nearby counties outside the city, however different organizations vary in which counties they include in that description. Different analyses often pertain to somewhat different time periods. All data should be considered approximate or good-faith estimates.

© 2017 Paragon Real Estate Group