Newly released census numbers prove what antidotal evidence has long suggested: San Francisco's middle class is shrinking. The San Francisco Chronicle reported on the trend in a larger piece that looks at how this shift is affecting the the Mission District. But what stands out in the report are the statistics that paint a picture of a city that seems to be losing its economic diversity.
According to the Chronicle, the census data shows that between 2009 and 2014 the number of SF households earning between $75,000 and $100,000 dropped by 1.2 percent. The number of households making between $50,000 and $75,000 dropped almost two percentage points. The report points out that while those percentages seem small, the impact on some neighborhoods is not.
For example, in one area of the Mission, the median household income climbed from $71,083 (in 2010) to $93,750 (last year). The number of households earning $200,000 or more in the same region climbed from less than 1 percent to 16.1 percent in the roughly same time frame.
The number of SF households earning $200,000 + per year grew citywide, up by 3.7 percent to a total of 15 percent of the city's population. Even wealthy San Jose doesn't have those kinds of numbers. There, the amount of households making $200,000 and up each year is 13 percent of the population. In Los Angeles, it's 6.7 percent.
Malo Hutson, a University of California urban planning professor, told Chronicle reporters: "The middle class has moved out altogether and you have a city of highly educated, highly paid people and the low-wage workers that support them."
The report notes that many moves have been made recently by the city to make more affordable housing for middle class households (the median income is currently $78,400), including plans for building housing for teachers and increasing the number of affordable housing units.
· How the fade of S.F.'s middle class affects a slice of the city [San Francisco Chronicle]
· SF Could Build 80M Worth of Housing Reserved for Teachers [Curbed SF]
· Mayor Lee Calls for Increase in Affordable Housing [Curbed SF]