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Nearly half of San Franciscans have been victims of theft, new poll says

Broken car window in San Francisco, Calif. on Oct. 19, 2021. | Camille Cohen/The Standard

Nearly half of San Franciscans have been a victim of theft in the past five years and a quarter have been threatened or physically attacked, according to a new poll.

Findings from the SF Chronicle survey underscored the challenges of the city and the unhappiness of its residents, with 65% saying life in SF is worse today than when they moved here.  

The survey also found that 39% of residents have had their property damaged in the past five years.

The new poll of residents confirms the findings of The Standard’s poll of voters prior to the June 2022 election. By far, both studies found that the No. 1 reported problem in the city is homelessness, followed by crime/safety.

San Franciscans also feel that racism complicates the city’s ability to solve the problems it faces. Importantly, 73% of Black residents and 70% of Asian residents say racism plays a role in the city’s ability to deal with local issues, while 56% of white residents say so. Overall, only 12% of residents say that racism does not make solving problems more difficult.

Many San Franciscans report that they do not plan to stay in the city long-term, with 37% of residents saying they would likely leave the city in the next three years. The Standard’s spring poll found that just 16% of voters plan to move away in the next two years.

Plans to move away were most widespread among residents ages 18 to 34, with 54% saying they would leave in three years compared to 16% of residents above 65.

Garrett Leahy can be reached at