Mayor Lee Announces U.S. Census Bureau Results for San Francisco Population

New 805,235 Population Total Makes San Francisco the Fourth Most Populous Incorporated Area in State

03/08/11—Mayor Edwin M. Lee today announced the U.S. Census Bureau’s release of 2010 Census redistricting data for the City and County of San Francisco, showing a population total of 805,235 since the last official Census count in 2000. San Francisco’s population grew by 3.7 percent over the last decade. Newly released 2010 Census data for California reveals a 10 percent overall growth and population of 37,263,308 with no gain in Congressional seats.

“We are pleased at the outcome of our investment to ensure an accurate, complete and inclusive count of all San Francisco residents,” said Mayor Lee, who as City Administrator oversaw the 2010 Census effort. “The results show, that even in these challenging economic times, San Francisco continues to attract a diverse and increasing number of residents and businesses. The work we invested in the Census count will now translate into representation, roads, transportation, resources and most importantly, much needed federal and state funding for critical programs and services over the next ten years.”

The city began preparing for the 2010 Census in late 2008. The Office of Civic Engagement & Immigrant Affairs (OCEIA) developed a comprehensive strategic plan, organized a citywide campaign, and issued $600,000 in community based outreach grants. OCEIA worked with the Mayor’s Office, the Board of Supervisors, the City Attorney, the Assessor/Recorder, Public Defender, numerous city departments, a network of over 30 community-based organizations, a Bay Area Funders Collaborative, and a 25-member San Francisco Complete Count Committee of civic, community, faith-based and labor leaders to ensure that the eight most underserved neighborhoods of the City (Bayview, Chinatown, Excelsior, Mission, South of Market, Tenderloin, Visitation Valley and Western Addition) were included during the 2010 Census. OCEIA also employed a 100-member team of JOBS NOW! workers, mostly District 10 residents, in the City’s southeast sector, where the mail participation rate improved by a phenomenal nine percent over 2000.

For the 2010 Census, California spent $2 million for statewide efforts, while San Francisco alone dedicated $809,000 to the effort. According to U.S. Census officials, because San Francisco invested far more in organization, citywide involvement, resources, and support than any other jurisdiction in California, the City’s mail in participation rate was 72%, a 4% overall increase over 2000 and one of the highest rates of improvement in California, exceeding the projections of the Census Bureau.

“This was an intentional and effective cross collaboration between the community, Mayor, President and Board of Supervisors, City departments, and the U.S. Census Bureau,” said OCEIA Executive Director Adrienne Pon, who led the City’s complete count efforts. “For many residents, especially our most vulnerable, participating in the 2010 Census was a first step to civic engagement.”

San Francisco was one of ten hardest-to-count counties in the state and among the top 50 cities in the nation with the highest number of hard-to-count populations in the 2000 Census. A 2007 Social Compact study revealed that an estimated 100,000 San Francisco residents were undercounted by the 2000 U.S. Census, costing the City over $300 million lost in potential federal funding over the past decade. 

The decennial Census count is a snapshot of the nation’s population at a specific point in time. The Census Bureau’s Population Estimates Program (PEP) produces annual estimates for years after the last published decennial census, as well as for past decades. Existing data series such as births, deaths, Federal tax returns, Medicare enrollment, and immigration, are used to update the decennial census base counts. PEP estimates are used in Federal funding allocations, in setting the levels of national surveys, and in monitoring recent demographic changes. In 2008, San Francisco was the first major California city to successfully challenge the U.S. Census Bureau’s annual population estimates. 

During the 2010 Census, the City successfully argued for bilingual census materials and inclusion of same-sex married couples in the census surveys. It also challenged the U.S. Census Bureau’s policy of counting prison inmates in their temporary county jail locations rather than in the communities where they actually live.

Today’s released Census data includes summaries of population totals, as well as data on race, Hispanic origin and voting age for multiple geographies within the state, such as census blocks, tracts, voting districts, cities, counties and school districts. The San Francisco data will be available within 24 hours and posted on the U.S. Census Bureau’s new American FactFinder site, go to: . Additional results from the 2010 Census survey will be released by the Census Bureau through June 2013.