6. Population »

6. Population

San Francisco’s Population

- 25 Oct 2009

Since 1860, California’s population has doubled every 20 years and is now the most populated American state, with 36 million inhabitants in 2007 (almost 12 % of America’s population).

About 800 000 of them live in San Francisco, the second most densely populated city of the country. Three events have helped boost the city’s population: the Gold rush in the 19th century, the rapid industrialization after World War II and the rise of high technology in the Silicon Valley.

San Francisco, a city of diversity and multiculturalism


San Francisco is an extraordinarily cosmopolitan city, with almost 33 % of the population being of Asian descent, 15 % Hispanic, and 7.8 % African American. Because of this ethnic diversity, San Francisco is often called a “minority-majority” city, in other words a city where non-Hispanic Whites make up less than 50 % of the population.

The poverty rate in San Francisco is lower than the national average: San Franciscans enjoy high living standards and incomes. However, the city has seen the number of homeless increase dramatically since the 1980s, especially in the Tenderloin neighborhood.

San Francisco and the gay community

San Francisco is also home to largest gay and lesbian community in the United States (15 % of the population).

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