San Francisco Has Lost A Shocking Number Of Residents

People are leaving San Francisco due to high cost of living, horrible traffic, lack of quality housing, and a growing homeless population.

By Tiffany Velasquez | Published

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From 2020 to 2022, San Francisco lost well over 7 percent of its population. For perspective, this is a loss of over 250,000 residents in a city with a total population of around 855,000. The exact reasons as to why so many people are fleeing the area differ. 

With so many people leaving the San Francisco area, reasons range from the high cost of living, low inventory of quality houses, excessive homelessness, dirty streets, smog, bad weather, poor public transit, and more. Long-time residents are fed up with issues that only get worse as the years pass. People cannot get out of the city fast enough for whatever reason.

People moving out of San Francisco are heading to other cities in California like Los Angeles, Sunnyvale, San Diego, Sacramento, and San Jose. Only a small number of people actually moved out of state. If you ask any Texans, though, everyone from California is moving there.

The migration of people moving out of San Francisco peaked in 2020 at the height of the pandemic. In August of 2020, around 7,000 people who have been living in the Golden City filed a change in a permanent residence with the United States Post Office. Although the number of people who continue to leave the city has slowed, numbers continue to go in a downward direction.

Perhaps this peak was due to people looking for more space to work from home during the lockdown. Other reasons for this initial mass migration of people leaving the city were related directly to the excessive lockdown restrictions that the city imposed on its residents. It may have been a combination of multiple factors that forced ex-residents of the city to flee in search of a better way of living. 

Second to only New York City, San Francisco is densely populated. At the beginning of the year, reports by Vox stated that for every one person leaving, two were coming in. While this is conflicting with other reports, it may be that people come in with expectations and a dream, only to quickly realize that it is just that, a dream and leave the city shortly after.

San Francisco is home to one of the seven wonders of the modern world, The Golden Gate Bridge. Additionally, the bay area is home to 18 islands, including but not limited to Alcatraz, Brothers Island, and Angel Island. The city also boasts a rich cultural scene with a wide variety of food offerings, music, arts, museums, and architecture. 

The city also boasts a thriving tourism industry. As many as 26 million people visit the Sunset City annually. Overall, San Francisco is an iconic city with a unique atmosphere. 

For anyone curious about how much one needs to earn to live in San Francisco, you are looking at a necessary salary of around $100,000. Be prepared for some of the worst traffic in the country, even worse than New York City and Los Angeles. Additionally, be prepared for a massive homeless population that is only growing as the years go by.