Recent Census Shows San Fran getting richer and more crowded


Window Replacement Center in San Fransisco

In just the last five years, the median income in San Francisco County has increased by 30 percent, according to new U.S. Census data.

As reported recently in SFGate.com, in 2012, the average San Franciscan made $73,802. Five years later, that same person is bringing in $96,265 — almost $40,000 more than the U.S. average. Nearly 21 percent of the population makes $200,000 or more annually, up from just 13.3 percent in 2012.

These figures come from the American Community Survey, an ongoing inquiry into the demographics of the nation's cities and states that the U.S. Census publishes every five years.

The survey reflects a few of the changes longtime residents and politicians have been worrying about for years — mostly the city recruiting more expensive, younger, wealthier and less diverse.

Even though the population grew by 7 percent over the last five years, the housing stock grew by just 3.88 percent, a marginal increase reflected by rising rents and longer commute times. 32.5 percent of residents' income goes toward housing, up from 28.5 percent in 2012. This means that housing costs continue to rise, and that even people earning higher incomes must give up more for a home than ever before. In fact, the median amount people are spending on rent grew by $250 — from $1,447 in 2012 to $1,709 in 2017.

Increased housing, along with a growing population, could account for longer commutes in and around the city as people are forced to move further away from the city in search of more affordable rent and real estate. The average commute time grew to 32.8 minutes, an increase of nearly three minutes from 2012 to 2017. More than 14.2 percent of commuters said their daily travel time to or from work took them an hour or more. In 2012, that figure was 10.6 percent.

Between 2012 and 2017, the population of San Francisco grew by about 60,000 people, due to births and in-migration. The percentage of men in the city increased by 0.3 percent, while the percentage of the population aged 20-34 grew by 0.6 percent – minor inflations but reflective of ongoing, long-term trends.

Though the percentage of white residents remained steady around 50 percent, the population of black residents continued to drop. Just 5.3 percent of San Franciscans were black in 2017, while 50 years ago nearly three times that number lived in the city.

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