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Census: San Francisco wealthier than ever before

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But population growth dips

The new SF skyline lit up at night as seen from the bay. Photo by GagliardiImages

The U.S. Census released the results of its American Community Survey (ACS) on Thursday, providing an estimate of the latest population, income, and demographic makeup of San Francisco.

Unlike the full census, released only every 10 years, the ACS provides a yearly look at the changing makeup of American cities, although it is generally less precise.

What changed in the city between 2015 and 2016? San Francisco got bigger, richer, younger, and more crowded.

Here are the highlights on what’s changed. Note that these figures are only for San Francisco:

The city’s overall population grew to 870,877. That’s up from the 864,816 estimate the year before. Notably, this 6,000-person bloom is far less than the 11,000-13,000 we’ve seen in recent years.

Median household income is now $103,801/year. Yes, that’s a lot. Last year it was less than $92,100. The number of people living below the poverty line dropped from 12.3 to 10.1 percent.

Of course, it’s hard to tell if this reflects more San Franciscans earning more or poorer residents moving away to escape the high cost of living—or both.

Photo by digidreamgrafix

SF only added about 2,600 units of housing from 2015 to 2016. That puts us at a total of 392,823 last year. That’s only enough to absorb the simultaneous population increase if the newcomers have an average household size of about 2.33 persons.

The increase in housing from 2014 to 2015 had been more than 3,500, and more than 5,500 the year before, respectively.

The city’s median age is 38 years old. That’s down from 38.3 last year and 38.5 at the beginning of the decade. Perhaps surprisingly, the CIA World Factbook estimates that the general U.S. median is almost precisely this same number.

The city is getting less white, but slowly. According to this latest batch of numbers, those identifying as caucasian make up 51 percent of SF’s population, down from 51.1 percent last year and 54.4 percent in 2010.

The city’s black population is 6.3 percent, up a hair from last year’s 6.2 but down from 6.9 at the beginning of the decade. The Asian-identifying population rose to 37.8, up 0.3 percent year over year. And the Hispanic/Latino population declined a tiny 0.1 percent to 15.2.

Most notably, the catch-many “some other race” category is now at 9.1 percent, up from 8.1 the previous year. And those identifying as more than one race climbed up from 4.4 to 5.4 percent.

(Note that these figures come from the “race alone or in combination with one or more other races” category, which provides slightly different figures from the “one race” classification.)

Photo by eakkarat rangram