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One in Three Homes in This San Francisco Neighborhood Lives Below the Poverty Line

Written by Jiyun TsaiPublished Dec. 08, 2022 • 5:00am
New Census data enables analysis of the demographics of SF neighborhoods.

Ever wondered which San Francisco neighborhood has the most people? A new five-year dataset released today by the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey enables analysis of the nation's smallest geographies, which sheds light on the demographics of the city’s neighborhoods.

The most populous neighborhood is Sunset/Parkside, with 9.4% of SF's population or 81,000 people. The next biggest areas are the Mission and the Outer Richmond with 6.6% and 5.2% of the city’s population, respectively.

The Standard analyzed the new census 2017-2021 ACS data according to the city’s “Analysis Neighborhoods,” which correspond to census tract boundaries. The map divides SF into 41 areas; each area contains one or more census tracts.

In order to profile SF neighborhoods, The Standard accessed a variety of ACS data at the census tract level and aggregated tracts into neighborhood-level insight. Some of the neighborhoods were left out of the analysis given their extremely small populations.

Poverty in SF Neighborhoods

The Census reported today that 12.4% of U.S. homes live below the poverty line. For San Francisco as a whole, that figure was only 10.6%. But for three neighborhoods, poverty hits more than one-fifth of households: Treasure Island (22.9%), the Tenderloin (26.5%) and Chinatown (32.9%), where nearly one-third of households live in poverty.

To contrast the poverty data, The Standard mapped out households that have incomes of $200,000 or more. The Sunset/Parkside neighborhood has the highest number of wealthy households while the Presidio has the highest portion making over $200,000.

Race/Ethnicity in SF Neighborhoods

White people make up 43.4% of the SF population citywide, while Asian and Black people account for 34.4% and 5.2%, respectively. Out of the city’s 38 neighborhoods, 18 are more than half white, seven are more than half Asian and only one neighborhood —Bayview-Hunters Point—is over 25% Black. The map below shows more information by race/ethnicity.

Though Chinatown has the highest portion of Asian residents, Sunset/Parkside has the largest number of Asian residents.

College Graduates in SF Neighborhoods

Across the city, nearly 60% of the population aged 25 years and older have received a bachelor's degree, a much higher figure compared to the national level of 33.7%. The neighborhood that has the highest college graduation rate is the Marina, with 86.7%, while Chinatown has the lowest college graduate rate.

The most popular fields of study for undergraduates in San Francisco? Unsurprisingly, they are business and social science.

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