Moving to San Francisco, California

Moving to San Francisco, California

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    Are you thinking about moving to San Francisco, CA? You will make one of the best decisions of your life by creating “The Golden City,” your new golden home.

    The 17th most populated city in the US and 4th most populated city in California, San Fransisco, Is one of the most renowned cities in the US, known for providing everything beautifully craved in its 49 square miles of area. 

    Home to the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island, the University of California, San Francisco, Chinatown, and the Presidio, the land tells the story of its long and varied history to one of the most progressive cities in the state with its iconic landmarks and stunning vistas.

    Are you intrigued by all this? Keep reading to learn more about relocating to San Francisco, CA, what life in San Francisco will be like, and what you can expect.

    Quick facts regarding moving to San Francisco, CA

    Where is San Francisco, CA, located?

    San Francisco, California, sits on the San Francisco Peninsula, bordered by the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay on the West Coast of the United States. The city is in northern California, surrounded by the San Francisco Bay to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west.

    Population of San Francisco, CA

    Home to about 715,717 residents as of 2023, here’s a quick breakdown of San Francisco’s population:

    • San Francisco has had an annual population decline of – 6.3% over the past five years 
    • The median age in San Francisco, CA is 38.3 years.
    • The male-female ratio in San Francisco, CA, is 50.8% of males and 49.2% of females.
    • The poverty rate in San Francisco, CA, is 10%.

    Diversity of San Francisco, CA

    San Francisco, CA, is known for its diverse population. According to the 2020 census, the city’s racial and ethnic makeup is as follows:

    • White: 44.9%
    • Asian: 34.3%
    • Hispanic or Latino: 15.2%
    • Black or African American: 5.1%
    • Two or more races: 7.2%
    • Native American: 0.4%
    • Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander: 0.4%

    Is San Francisco, CA safe?

    San Francisco is among the top three cities, with over 4,400 property crime incidents per 100,000 residents.

    • According to FBI crime data analysis, San Francisco has one of the nation’s highest rates of motor vehicle theft. 
    • San Francisco, California, has a high crime rate of 54 per one thousand residents, surpassing 98% of all California communities.
    • The most prevalent crime in San Francisco, C, A is property crime, focusing significantly on motor vehicle theft. 
    • The chance of being a victim of violent or property crime in San Francisco is one in 18.
    • The possibility of being a victim of violent crime is one in 186 residents in San Francisco.
    Crime typeSan FranciscoCaliforniaUS
    Violent crime39.625.222.7
    Property crime79.237.134

    The safe neighborhoods in San Francisco, CA are:

    • Outer Sunset
    • Crocker-Amazon
    • The Inner Sunset
    • Oceanview
    • Noe Valley
    • Bernal Heights
    • Excelsior
    • Financial District
    • Sea Cliff
    • Nob Hill

    Cost of Living in San Francisco, CA

    Living a reasonable life in San Francisco, California, is much pricier than the national and state averages. The cost of living index is 169.9% of the national average, and housing costs are a whopping 202% higher than the state average and 286.6% of the national average.

    • Grocery prices in San Francisco are 31% higher than the national average, and healthcare costs are also 31% higher.
    • The average cost of living in San Francisco, CA, is $4,561 for a single person and $9222 for a family of four, respectively, including rent. 
    • The median household income is $126,187, 50% more than the state median. An individual’s median income is $70,270, 71% more than the state average.
    • To live comfortably, a single person with no children needs an after-tax salary of $84,026.

    Here is a summary of the cost of living in San Francisco, CA:

    CategorySan FranciscoU.S. Average
    Cost of Living Index169.9% of the national average100%
    Housing286.6% of the national average100%
    Groceries31% higher100%
    Healthcare31% higher100%
    Median Household Income$126,187Varies by state
    Median Individual Income$70,270Varies by state
    Salary Needed for Comfortable Living (Single, No Children)$84,026Varies by city

    Job Market in San Francisco, CA

    Job growth in San Francisco, CA, is expected to rise by 7.7% in 2022, maintaining an average annual growth rate of 2.5% from 2023 to 2027. 

    The sectors with the highest job growth rates include construction, health and education, and professional and managerial services. If you have a degree, experience, or a job in one of these sectors, moving to San Francisco, CA, will be a good move for you.

    The average annual salary in San Francisco, CA, is $111,000.

    • San Francisco’s median salary is $72,384.
    • The unemployment rate in San Francisco, CA, is 3.4%, lower than the long-term average of 5.14%.
    • San Francisco, CA’s average annual household income is $106,931.
    • San Francisco’s median household income is $69,778.

    The top employers in San Francisco, CA, are:

    • Wells Fargo & Co.
    • Sutter Health
    •, Inc.
    • California Pacific Medical Center
    • University of California, San Francisco
    • Kaiser Permanente
    • San Francisco Unified School District
    • City and County of San Francisco
    • Pacific Gas & Electric Co.
    • Charles Schwab Corporation

    The most common job in San Francisco, CA, are:

    • Internship
    • Sales Associate
    • Administrative Assistant
    • Volunteer
    • Cashier
    • Customer Service Representative
    • Consultant
    • Account Executive
    • Project Manager
    • Office Assistant

    The highest-paying jobs in San Francisco, CA, are as follows:

    • CRNA (Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist)
    • Hospitalist
    • Dentist
    • Emergency Management Directors
    • Electronics Engineers
    • Software Developers
    • Nuclear Medicine Technologists
    • Aerospace Engineers
    • Sales Operations Managers
    • Director, Global Marketing

    Tax rates in San Francisco, CA

    After moving to San Francisco, CA, you need to pay the following taxes listed below:

    • Sales Tax: In San Francisco, CA, the total local sales tax is 8.625%, including the California state, San Francisco County, and San Francisco city taxes.
    • Property Tax: For Fiscal Year 2023-24, the secured property tax rate in San Francisco is 1.17769382%.
    • Income Tax: California uses a progressive income tax system, with 1% to 12.3% rates.

    Housing market in San Francisco, CA

    The San Francisco housing market is competitive, with homes getting about 3 offers and selling in approximately 28 days. Last month’s median sale price was $1.41 million, a 0.88% decrease from the previous year.

    • Buying a house in California’s San Francisco averaged $1.41million.
    • The median home value in San Francisco is $1,254,436, down 7.7% from the past year.
    • The median list price per square foot was $984 last month, reflecting a 2.2% decrease from last year.
    • Rent for all bedrooms and property types in San Francisco averages $3,378.

    The table below states the housing and rental prices of San Fransisco in comparison with the national average. 

    Housing costsSan FranciscoUS
    Median home cost$1,254,436$338,100
    Rental cost of a studio$2,737 to $2,737$1080
    Rental cost of 1 bedroom$2,159 to $5,175$1180
    Rental cost of 2 bedroom$3,945$1430
    Rental cost of 3 bedroom$3,378$1860

    Top neighborhoods in San Francisco, CA

    The best places to live in San Francisco, CA, are as follows:

    • Fisherman’s Wharf
    • Chinatown
    • North Beach
    • Russian Hill
    • Telegraph Hill
    • The Castro
    • Treasure Island
    • Broadway and Columbus in Chinatown/North Beach
    • The Tenderloin and Little Saigon
    • Divisadero Street

    Education system in San Francisco, CA

    San Francisco has a top public school and some highly-ranked universities worldwide. The  key starts regarding the education system in San Francisco is stated below:

    • Mission San Jose High School is ranked eighth in California, and Lowell High School is ranked 19th in the state, making them highly-rated schools in San Francisco.
    • In the 2020-2021 school year, the San Francisco Unified School District is ranked #105 out of 1,167 school districts in California, placing it in the top 10% based on combined math and reading proficiency testing data.
    • On average, schools in San Francisco rank 5 out of 10, putting them in the bottom 50% of California public schools.
    • San Francisco, California, has 134 public schools serving 56,257 students and 113 private schools serving 25,174 students.
    • The student-teacher ratio in San Francisco stands at 19:1, which is lower than the California state average.
    • The tuition at the University of San Francisco, a private institution, is $58,222 for on-campus and off-campus students.

    Middle schools in San Francisco, CA:

    • A P Giannini Middle School
    • Roosevelt Middle School
    • Presidio Middle School
    • Aptos Middle School
    • Herbert Hoover Middle School

    Elementary schools in San Francisco, CA:

    • Clarendon Alternative Elementary School
    • Lau (Gordon J.) Elementary School
    • Lawton Alternative Elementary School
    • Sunset Elementary School
    • Ulloa Elementary School

    High schools in San Francisco, CA:

    • Lowell High School
    • Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts
    • Abraham Lincoln High School
    • George Washington High School
    • Mission High School

    Colleges and universities in San Francisco, CA:

    Public Transportation in San Francisco, CA 

    The average one-way commute is about 34.1 minutes, longer than the US average of 26.4 minutes, ranking San Francisco as having the 5th worst average commute in the country.

    For getting to work:

    • Car: 64.6% of workers in San Francisco drive.
    • Public Transportation: 16% of workers use public transportation.
    • Working from Home: 11% of workers work from home.

    In San Francisco, CA, you’ll get the below listed public transportation options for commuting and traveling within and beyond the city.:

    • San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA): Operates buses, trains, cable cars, and streetcars within the city, covering extensive areas.
    • Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART): A regional train system connecting San Francisco with nearby cities, offering convenient Bay Area travel.
    • Caltrain: Provides commuter rail service along the San Francisco Peninsula, linking the city with South Bay and Silicon Valley.
    • Ferries: Golden Gate and SF Bay ferries offer water transportation across the bay, connecting San Francisco with North Bay and East Bay cities.

    Weather and climate in San Francisco, CA

    San Francisco, CA, has two seasons: a dry season from May to October and a wet season from November to April, experiencing a Mediterranean climate.

    • The wettest month in San Francisco is February, with an average rainfall of 3.98 inches.
    • Snow in San Francisco is rare, with the last significant snowfall occurring in 1976; however, occasional snowfall is recorded on Mt. Tamalpais, an hour north of the city.
    • San Francisco enjoys a moderate number of sunny days per year, but characteristic fog, especially during summer, can limit sunshine.
    • September is the hottest month, with an average high of 71°F.
    • January is the coldest month, with an average low of 41°F and a high of 57°F.

    Here is a table showing the average high and low temperatures for each month in San Francisco, CA:

    MonthAverage High (°F)Average Low (°F)

    Things to Do in San Francisco, CA

    Check out the list of things to do and places to see in San Francisco, CA:

    • Check out Alcatraz Island, a former federal prison turned tourist hotspot with a glimpse into its history and stunning San Francisco Bay views.
    • Walk or bike across the iconic Golden Gate Bridge for breathtaking city and bay views.
    • Experience San Francisco’s history by riding its unique cable cars.
    • Explore Pier 39, a lively waterfront area with shops, restaurants, a carousel, and a sea lion colony.
    • Stroll down Lombard Street, famous for being the “crookedest” street with a steep hill and sharp turns.
    • Visit Golden Gate Park for attractions like the California Academy of Sciences, the de Young Museum, and the Japanese Tea Garden.
    • Discover the vibrant food scene and cultural attractions in the Mission District.
    • Explore modern and contemporary art at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA).
    • Enjoy panoramic views of the city and bay from Coit Tower, a historic landmark.
    • Visit the California Academy of Sciences, featuring an aquarium, planetarium, natural history museum, and a four-story rainforest.
    • Explore the Presidio, a former military fort turned park with scenic views, historic buildings, and hiking and biking trails.

    Pros and Cons of Living in San Francisco, CA

    Here is a detailed table summarizing the pros and cons of living in San Francisco, CA :

    Pros of Living in San FranciscoCons of Living in San Francisco
    Beautiful landscapeHigh cost of living
    Cultural diversityExorbitant housing costs
    A great blend of urban life and natureHomelessness and anti-homeless measures
    Vibrant food and drink sceneTraffic congestion and long commutes
    Numerous job opportunitiesHigh taxes
    Efficient public transportationLimited outdoor space
    Active and outdoor opportunitiesPoor work/life balance

    Final Verdict

    Regardless of what you are up to, moving to California, San Francisco will take no longer to make you feel at home right at once. You will enjoy the diverse community of people, bustling city and nightlife, gold hunting, flourishing business and job opportunities, fantastic cuisine scenes, and the enthralling natural landscapes of the city at a fair share of the cost of living and crime rates. But, even with these drawbacks, if the city fits your budget and expectations, have a great move to San Francisco, CA!