2013 (MMXIII) was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar, the 2013th year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 13th year of the 3rd millennium, the 13th year of the 21st century, and the 4th year of the 2010s decade.
2013 was designated as:
International Year of Water Cooperation
International Year of Quinoa
January 10 – More than 100 people are killed and 270 injured in several bomb blasts in Pakistan.
January 11 – The French military begins a five-month intervention into the Northern Mali conflict, targeting the militant Islamist Ansar Dine group.
January 16–20 – Thirty-nine international workers and one security guard die in a hostage crisis at a natural gas facility near In Aménas, Algeria.
January 27 – An estimated 233 people die in a nightclub fire at the Kiss nightclub in the Santa Maria, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.
February 12 – North Korea conducts its third underground nuclear test, prompting widespread condemnation and tightened economic sanctions from the international community.
February 15 – A meteor explodes over the Russian city of Chelyabinsk, injuring 1,489-1,492 people and damaging over 4,300 buildings. It is the most powerful meteor to strike Earth’s atmosphere in over a century. The incident, along with a coincidental flyby of a larger asteroid, prompts international concern regarding the vulnerability of the planet to meteor strikes.
February 21 – American scientists use a 3D printer to create a living lab-grown ear from collagen and animal ear cell cultures. In the future, it is hoped that similar ears could be grown to order as transplants for human patients suffering from ear trauma or amputation.
February 28 – Benedict XVI resigns as pope, becoming the first to do so since Gregory XII in 1415, and the first to do so voluntarily since Celestine V in 1294.
March 13 – Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina is elected the 266th pope, whereupon he takes the name Francis and becomes the first Jesuit pope, the first pope from the Americas, and the first pope from the Southern Hemisphere.
March 24 – Central African Republic President François Bozizé flees to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, after rebel forces capture the nation’s capital, Bangui.
March 25 – The European Union agrees to a €10 billion economic bailout for Cyprus. The bailout loan will be equally split between the European Financial Stabilisation Mechanism, the European Financial Stability Facility, and the International Monetary Fund. The deal precipitates a banking crisis in the island nation.
April 2 – The United Nations General Assembly adopts the Arms Trade Treaty to regulate the international trade of conventional weapons.
April 15 – Two Chechnya-born Islamist brothers (one of whom was a United States citizen) explode two bombs at the Boston Marathon in Boston, Massachusetts, in the United States, killing 3 and injuring 264 others.
April 24 – The 2013 Savar building collapse, one of the worst industrial disasters in the world, kills 1,134 people in Bangladesh.
April 30 – Willem-Alexander is inaugurated as King of the Netherlands following the abdication of Beatrix.
May 6 – Three women, missing for more than nine years, are found alive in Cleveland, Ohio. Police arrest Ariel Castro, their abductor, later that day.[importance?]
May 15 – In a study published in the scientific journal Nature, researchers from Oregon Health & Science University in the United States describe the first production of human embryonic stem cells by cloning.
May 22 – British Army soldier Fusilier Lee Rigby of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers is murdered in Woolwich, southeast London by Islamic terrorists Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale.
May 31 – The El Reno tornado, near El Reno, Oklahoma, United States, having a record-breaking width 2.6 miles (4.2 km), with maximum wind speeds up to 301 mph (484 km/h), is the widest tornado ever recorded on earth.
June 6 – Former CIA employee Edward Snowden discloses operations engaged in by a U.S. government mass surveillance program to news publications and flees the country, later being granted temporary asylum in Russia.
June 25 – Emir of Qatar Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani abdicates and his son Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani assumes power.
Kevin Rudd defeats Julia Gillard in an Australian Labor Party leadership ballot and consequently becomes Prime Minister of Australia, three years after Gillard replaced Rudd.
United States v. Windsor (570 U.S. 744) decided in the Supreme Court of the United States, overturning a key section of the Defense of Marriage Act and hence granting federal recognition to same-sex marriage in the United States.[importance?]
July 1 – Croatia becomes the 28th member of the European Union.
July 3 – Amid mass protests across Egypt, President Mohamed Morsi is deposed in a military coup d’état, leading to widespread violence.
July 21 – Philippe is sworn in as King of the Belgians, following the abdication of Albert II.
August 14 – Following the military coup in Egypt, two anti-coup camps are raided by the security forces, leaving 2,696 dead. The raids were described by Human Rights Watch as "one of the world’s largest killings of demonstrators in a single day in recent history".
August 21 – 1,429 are killed in the Ghouta chemical attack during the Syrian Civil War.
August 29 – The United Kingdom Parliament votes against UK military attacks on Syria.
2013 Australian federal election: The Liberal/National Coalition led by Tony Abbott defeats the Labor Government led by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. Abbott would be sworn in on September 18th.
The International Olympic Committee awards Tokyo the right to host the 2020 Summer Olympics.
September 21 – al-Shabaab Islamic militants attack the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya, killing at least 62 civilians and wounding over 170.
October 10 – Delegates from some 140 countries and territories sign the Minamata Treaty, a UNEP treaty designed to protect human health and the environment from emissions and releases of mercury and mercury compounds.
October 18 – Saudi Arabia rejects a seat on the United Nations Security Council, making it the first country to reject a seat on the Security Council. Jordan takes the seat on December 6.
November 5 – The unmanned Mars Orbiter Mission is launched by India from its launchpad in Sriharikota.
November 8 – Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda), one of the strongest tropical cyclones on record, hits the Philippines and Vietnam, causing devastation with at least 6,241 dead.
November 12 – Three Studies of Lucian Freud, a series of portraits of Lucian Freud by the British painter Francis Bacon, sells for US$142.4 million in a New York City auction, setting a world record for an auctioned work of art.
November 15 – The PlayStation 4 was released, the week before the release of the Xbox One.[importance?]
November 17 – Fifty people are killed when Tatarstan Airlines Flight 363 crashes at Kazan Airport, Russia.
November 21 – Euromaidan pro-EU demonstrations begin in Ukraine after President Viktor Yanukovych rejects an economic association agreement between the European Union and Ukraine in favor of closer ties to Russia.
November 24 – Iran agrees to limit their nuclear development program in exchange for sanctions relief.
December 7 – Ninth Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization delegates sign the Bali Package agreement aimed at loosening global trade barriers.
December 14 – Chinese unmanned spacecraft Chang’e 3, carrying the Yutu rover, becomes the first spacecraft to "soft"-land on the Moon since 1976 and the third ever robotic rover to do so.
December 15 – Fighting between ethnic Dinka and Nuer members of the presidential guard break out in Juba, South Sudan, plunging the country into civil war.
December 25 – 38 people are killed in the Christmas Day bombings in Iraq.
July 22 – Prince George of Cambridge
Further information: Category:2013 deaths
January · February · March · April · May · June · July · August · September · October · November · December
Main article: Deaths in January 2013
January 1 – Patti Page, American singer (b. 1927)
January 2 – Ladislao Mazurkiewicz, Uruguayan footballer (b. 1945)
January 3 – Sergiu Nicolaescu, Romanian film director, actor, and politician (b. 1930)
David R. Ellis, American film director (b. 1952)
Jiřina Jirásková, Czech actress (b. 1931)
James M. Buchanan, American Nobel economist (b. 1919)
Sakine Cansız, Kurdish activist (b. 1958)
Mariangela Melato, Italian actress (b. 1941)
Nguyễn Khánh, Vietnamese general and politician (b. 1927)
Aaron Swartz, American programmer (b. 1986)
January 14 – Conrad Bain, Canadian-American actor (b. 1923)
January 15 – Nagisa Oshima, Japanese film director (b. 1932)
January 19 – Stan Musial, American baseball player (b. 1920)
January 21 – Michael Winner, British film director and producer (b. 1935)
January 22 – Said Ali al-Shihri, Saudi Arabian deputy leader (b. 1971)
January 23 – Józef Glemp, Polish cardinal (b. 1929)
January 31 – Hassan Habibi, 1st Vice President of Iran (b. 1937)
Main article: Deaths in February 2013
Robert Coleman Richardson
Donald A. Glaser
February 1 – Ed Koch, American lawyer and politician (b. 1924)
February 2 – Chris Kyle, United States Navy sniper (b. 1974)
Donald Byrd, American trumpet player (b. 1932)
Reg Presley, British singer, songwriter and musician (b. 1941)
Ronald Dworkin, American philosopher and lawyer (b. 1931)
Reeva Steenkamp, South African model (b. 1983)
Mindy McCready, American country singer (b. 1975)
Tony Sheridan, British singer, songwriter, and musician (b. 1940)
Kevin Ayers, British singer, songwriter, and musician (b. 1944)
Chieko Honda, Japanese voice actress (b. 1963)
Otfried Preußler, German children author (b. 1923)
Armen Alchian, American economist (b. 1914)
Robert Coleman Richardson, American Nobel physicist (b. 1937)
February 22 – Wolfgang Sawallisch, German conductor and pianist (b. 1923)
February 23 – Julien Ries, Belgian cardinal (b. 1920)
February 25 – Carmen Montejo, Cuban-Mexican actress (b. 1925)
February 26 – Stéphane Hessel, French diplomat and writer (b. 1917)
Van Cliburn, American pianist (b. 1934)
Dale Robertson, American actor (b. 1923)
February 28 – Donald A. Glaser, American Nobel physicist (b. 1926)
Main article: Deaths in March 2013
March 1 – Bonnie Franklin, American actress (b. 1944)
March 3 – Luis Cubilla, Uruguayan footballer (b. 1940)
Hugo Chávez, President of Venezuela (b. 1954)
Paul Bearer, American professional wrestling manager (b. 1954)
Stompin’ Tom Connors, Canadian country-folk singer (b. 1936)
Alvin Lee, British guitarist (b. 1944)
Peter Banks, British guitarist (b. 1947)
Damiano Damiani, Italian film director and screenwriter (b. 1922)
March 8 – Hartmut Briesenick, German athlete (b. 1949)
Larisa Avdeyeva, Russian mezzo-soprano (b. 1925)
Princess Lilian, Duchess of Halland (b. 1915)
March 12 – Clive Burr, British drummer (b. 1957)
March 13 – Malachi Throne, American actor (b. 1928)
March 14 – Ieng Sary, Vietnamese-born Cambodian politician (b. 1925)
José Alfredo Martínez de Hoz, Argentine executive and policy maker (b. 1925)
Jason Molina, American singer-songwriter (b. 1973)
March 19 – Harry Reems, American pornographic actor (b. 1947)
March 20 – Zillur Rahman, 18th President of Bangladesh (b. 1929)
Chinua Achebe, Nigerian writer (b. 1930)
Pietro Mennea, Italian athlete (b. 1952)
March 22 – Bebo Valdés, Cuban pianist, bandleader, and composer (b. 1918)
Boris Berezovsky, Russian businessman (b. 1946)
Joe Weider, Canadian-born American bodybuilder and publisher (b. 1919)
March 27 – Hjalmar Andersen, Norwegian skater (b. 1923)
March 28 – Richard Griffiths, English actor (b. 1947)
Main article: Deaths in April 2013
April 1 – Moses Blah, 23rd President of Liberia (b. 1947)
April 2 – Jesús Franco, Spanish film director and screenwriter (b. 1930)
April 3 – Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, German-born British novelist and screenwriter (b. 1927)
April 4 – Roger Ebert, American film critic and writer (b. 1942)
April 6 – Bigas Luna, Spanish film director (b. 1946)
Annette Funicello, American actress and singer (b. 1942)
Sara Montiel, Spanish singer and actress (b. 1928)
Margaret Thatcher, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (1979–1990) (b. 1925)
April 9 – Paolo Soleri, Italian-born American architect (b. 1919)
April 10 – Robert Edwards, British Nobel physiologist (b. 1925)
Maria Tallchief, American prima ballerina (b. 1925)
Jonathan Winters, American comedian and actor (b. 1925)
Hilary Koprowski, Polish virologist and immunologist (b. 1916)
April 13 – Chi Cheng, American musician (b. 1970)
Colin Davis, British conductor (b. 1927)
Armando Villanueva, 121st Prime Minister of Peru (b. 1915)
Deanna Durbin, Canadian-born singer and actress (b. 1921)
Carlos Graça, 6th Prime Minister of São Tomé and Príncipe (b. 1931)
April 18 – Storm Thorgerson, British graphic designer (b. 1944)
Allan Arbus, American actor and photographer (b. 1918)
François Jacob, French Nobel biologist (b. 1920)
Tamerlan Tsarnaev, Russian-American terrorist (b. 1986)
April 22 – Richie Havens, American folk singer (b. 1941)
April 26 – George Jones, American country music singer (b. 1931)
April 28 – János Starker, Hungarian-born American cellist (b. 1924)
Main article: Deaths in May 2013
Jorge Rafael Videla
May 2 – Jeff Hanneman, American guitarist (b. 1964)
Christian de Duve, Belgian Nobel biochemist (b. 1917)
Morgan Morgan-Giles, English admiral and politician (b. 1914)
César Portillo de la Luz, Cuban guitarist and composer (b. 1922)
May 6 – Giulio Andreotti, Italian politician, 41st Prime Minister of Italy (b. 1919)
May 7 – Ray Harryhausen, American filmmaker and creator of visual effects (b. 1920)
Jeanne Cooper, American actress (b. 1928)
Bryan Forbes, English film director, screenwriter, film producer, actor and novelist (b. 1926)
May 13 – Kenneth Waltz, American political scientist (b. 1924)
May 15 – Henrique Rosa, President of Guinea-Bissau (2003–2005) (b. 1946)
May 16 – Heinrich Rohrer, Swiss Nobel physicist (b. 1933)
May 17 – Jorge Rafael Videla, Argentinian politician, 42nd President of Argentina (b. 1925)
Steve Forrest, American actor (b. 1925)
Nam Duck-woo, 12th Prime Minister of South Korea (b. 1924)
May 20 – Ray Manzarek, American keyboardist (b. 1939)
May 22 – Henri Dutilleux, French composer (b. 1916)
May 23 – Georges Moustaki, French singer and songwriter (b. 1934)
May 26 – Jack Vance, American novelist (b. 1916)
May 31 – Jean Stapleton, American actress (b. 1923)
Main article: Deaths in June 2013
Frank Lautenberg, American politician (b. 1924)
Jiah Khan, Indian actress (b. 1988)
Jerome Karle, American Nobel Prize-winning chemist (b. 1918)
Esther Williams, American swimmer and actress (b. 1921)
Pierre Mauroy, Prime Minister of France (b. 1928)
Richard Ramirez, American serial killer (b. 1960)
Yoram Kaniuk, Israeli writer (b. 1930)
Taufiq Kiemas, 5th First Gentleman of Indonesia (b. 1942)
June 9 – Iain Banks, British novelist (b. 1954)
June 11 – Robert Fogel, American Nobel Prize-winning economic historian (b. 1926)
Heinz Flohe, German footballer (b. 1948)
Stan Lopata, American baseball player (b. 1925)
Kenneth G. Wilson, American Nobel Prize-winning physicist (b. 1936)
Josip Kuže, Croatian footballer and coach (b. 1952)
Ottmar Walter, German footballer (b. 1924)
James Gandolfini, American actor (b. 1961)
Gyula Horn, Prime Minister of Hungary (1994–1998) (b. 1932)
Bobby Bland, American singer and songwriter (b. 1930)
Richard Matheson, American author and screenwriter (b. 1926)
June 24 – Emilio Colombo, 40th Prime Minister of Italy (b. 1920)
June 26 – Marc Rich, Belgian-born American commodities trader and criminal (b. 1934)
June 27 – Alain Mimoun, French track and field athlete (b. 1921)
Margherita Hack, Italian astrophysicist (b. 1922)
Jim Kelly, American martial artist and actor (b. 1946)
Main article: Deaths in July 2013
Princess Fawzia Fuad of Egypt, Queen consort of Iran (1941–1948) (b. 1921)
Douglas Engelbart, American computer scientist and inventor (b. 1925)
July 3 – Radu Vasile, Romanian politician, 57th Prime Minister of Romania (b. 1942)
July 12 – Amar Bose, American engineer and entrepreneur (b. 1929)
July 13 – Cory Monteith, Canadian actor and musician (b. 1982)
Mel Smith, British comedian and actor (b. 1952)
Bert Trautmann, German-born British footballer (b. 1923)
July 20 – Helen Thomas, American journalist (b. 1920)
July 22 – Dennis Farina, American actor (b. 1944)
Emile Griffith, American welterweight boxer (b. 1938)
Djalma Santos, Brazilian footballer (b. 1929)
Walter De Maria, American sculptor and composer (b. 1935)
Bernadette Lafont, French actress (b. 1938)
July 26 – JJ Cale, American singer and songwriter (b. 1938)
July 28 – Eileen Brennan, American actress and singer (b. 1932)
July 29 – Christian Benítez, Ecuadorian footballer (b. 1986)
July 30 – Antoni Ramallets, Spanish footballer (b. 1924)
July 31 – Michael Ansara, American actor (b. 1922)
Main article: Deaths in August 2013
Prince Friso of Orange-Nassau
August 5 – George Duke, American keyboardist (b. 1946)
August 8 – Karen Black, American actress (b. 1939)
László Csatáry, Hungarian war criminal (b. 1915)
Eydie Gormé, American singer (b. 1928)
August 12 – Prince Friso of Orange-Nassau, (b. 1968)
August 14 – Gia Allemand, American actress (b. 1983)
August Schellenberg, Canadian-American actor (b. 1936)
Marich Man Singh Shrestha, 28th Prime Minister of Nepal (b. 1942)
Lisa Robin Kelly, American actress (b. 1970)
August 18 – Dezső Gyarmati, Hungarian water polo player (b. 1927)
Cedar Walton, American pianist (b. 1934)
Lee Thompson Young, American actor (b. 1984)
Elmore Leonard, American novelist (b. 1925)
Marian McPartland, British-born pianist (b. 1918)
August 21 – C. Gordon Fullerton, American astronaut (b. 1936)
August 24 – Julie Harris, American actress (b. 1925)
August 25 – Gylmar dos Santos Neves, Brazilian footballer (b. 1930)
August 30 – Seamus Heaney, Irish Nobel poet (b. 1939)
August 31 – David Frost, British journalist and broadcaster (b. 1939)
Main article: Deaths in September 2013
Pál Csernai, Hungarian footballer and manager (b. 1932)
Tommy Morrison, American boxer (b. 1969)
Ronald Coase, British Nobel economist (b. 1910)
Frederik Pohl, American writer (b. 1919)
Sushmita Banerjee, Indian writer (b. 1963)
Rochus Misch, German bodyguard of Adolf Hitler (b. 1917)
Ray Dolby, American engineer and inventor (b. 1933)
Otto Sander, German actor (b. 1941)
September 17 – Eiji Toyoda, Japanese industrialist (b. 1913)
Ken Norton, American boxer (b. 1943)
Marcel Reich-Ranicki, German literary critic (b. 1920)
Hiroshi Yamauchi, Japanese businessman (b. 1927)
Saye Zerbo, 3rd President and 4th Prime Minister of Burkina Faso (b. 1932)
September 22 – David H. Hubel, Canadian-born American Nobel neuroscientist (b. 1926)
Main article: Deaths in October 2013
Peter Broadbent, English footballer (b. 1933)
Tom Clancy, American writer (b. 1947)
Giuliano Gemma, Italian actor (b. 1938)
October 3 – Sergei Belov, Russian basketball player (b. 1944)
October 4 – Võ Nguyên Giáp, Vietnamese General (b. 1911)
October 5 – Carlo Lizzani, Italian film director (b. 1922)
Patrice Chéreau, French opera and theatre director, filmmaker, actor and producer (b. 1944)
Ovadia Yosef, Israeli religious leader (b. 1920)
October 9 – Wilfried Martens, Belgian politician, 44th Prime Minister of Belgium (b. 1936)
October 10 – Scott Carpenter, American astronaut (b. 1925)
María de Villota, Spanish racing driver (b. 1980)
Erich Priebke, German SS captain and convicted war criminal (b. 1913)
George Herbig, American astronomer (b. 1920)
Oscar Hijuelos, American novelist (b. 1951)
October 14 – Bruno Metsu, French football coach (b. 1954)
October 16 – Ed Lauter, American actor (b. 1938)
October 17 – Lou Scheimer, American producer (b. 1928)
Jovanka Broz, First Lady of Yugoslavia (b. 1924)
Lawrence Klein, American Nobel economist (b. 1920)
October 23 – Anthony Caro, British sculptor (b. 1924)
October 24 – Manolo Escobar, Spanish singer (b. 1931)
Hal Needham, American stuntman, film director, actor and writer (b. 1931)
Bill Sharman, American basketball player and coach (b. 1926)
Marcia Wallace, American actress and comedian (b. 1942)
October 27 – Lou Reed, American singer, songwriter, and musician (b. 1942)
October 28 – Tadeusz Mazowiecki, 1st Prime Minister of Poland (b. 1927)
Main article: Deaths in November 2013
November 1 – Hakimullah Mehsud, Emir of Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (b. c. 1979)
November 2 – Walt Bellamy, American basketball player (b. 1939)
November 7 – Amparo Rivelles, Spanish actress (b. 1925)
Al Ruscio, American actor (b. 1924)
John Tavener, British composer (b. 1944)
November 15 – Glafcos Clerides, 4th President of Cyprus (b. 1919)
November 17 – Doris Lessing, British Nobel writer (b. 1919)
November 19 – Frederick Sanger, British Nobel biochemist (b. 1918)
November 20 – Joseph Paul Franklin, American murderer (b. 1950)
Bill Foulkes, British footballer (b. 1932)
Chico Hamilton, American drummer and bandleader (b. 1921)
Arik Einstein, Israeli singer, songwriter, and actor (b. 1939)
Tony Musante, American actor (b. 1936)
November 27 – Nílton Santos, Brazilian footballer (b. 1925)
November 28 – Mitja Ribičič, Slovene politician, 25th Prime Minister of Yugoslavia (b. 1919)
Paul Walker, American actor (b. 1973)
Yury Yakovlev, Soviet and Russian film actor (b. 1928)
Main article: Deaths in December 2013
December 1 – Heinrich Boere, Dutch-German Nazi war criminal (b. 1921)
December 2 – Vernon Shaw, 5th President of Dominica (b. 1930)
Nelson Mandela, 1st President of South Africa and Nobel laureate (b. 1918)
Colin Wilson, English writer, philosopher and novelist (b. 1931)
December 7 – Édouard Molinaro, French film director and screenwriter (b. 1928)
December 8 – John Cornforth, Australian–British Nobel chemist (b. 1917)
December 9 – Eleanor Parker, American actress (b. 1922)
December 10 – Jim Hall, American guitarist and composer (b. 1930)
Jang Sung-taek, North Korean politician (b. 1946)
Tom Laughlin, American actor, director, screenwriter, author, educator and activist (b. 1931)
Audrey Totter, American actress (b. 1917)
December 14 – Peter O’Toole, British-Irish actor (b. 1932)
Harold Camping, American evangelist (b. 1921)
Joan Fontaine, Japanese-born British American actress (b. 1917)
December 16 – Ray Price, American singer and songwriter (b. 1926)
December 18 – Ronnie Biggs, British criminal (b. 1929)
December 20 – Lord Infamous, American rapper (b. 1973)
December 21 – Peter Geach, British philosopher (b. 1916)
Mikhail Kalashnikov, Russian inventor (b. 1919)
Yusef Lateef, American jazz musician and composer (b. 1920)
Vito Rizzuto, Italian-Canadian mobster (b. 1946)
December 26 – Marta Eggerth, Hungarian-American singer and actress (b. 1912)
December 28 – Joseph Ruskin, American actor (b. 1924)
Wojciech Kilar, Polish composer (b. 1932)
Eero Mäntyranta, Finnish Olympic cross-country skier (b. 1937)
December 31 – James Avery, American actor (b. 1945)
Chemistry – Martin Karplus, Michael Levitt, and Arieh Warshel
Economics – Eugene Fama, Lars Peter Hansen and Robert J. Shiller
Literature – Alice Munro
Peace – Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons
Physics – François Englert and Peter Higgs
Physiology or Medicine – James E. Rothman, Randy W. Schekman, and Thomas C. Südhof
San Francisco (/ˌsæn frənˈsɪskoʊ/, also /fræn-/, Spanish: [sam fɾanˈsisko]; Spanish for "Saint Francis"), officially City and County of San Francisco and colloquially known as SF, San Fran, or "The City", is the cultural, commercial, and financial center of Northern California. San Francisco is the 13th-most populous city in the United States, and the fourth-most populous in California, with 883,305 residents as of 2018. It covers an area of about 46.89 square miles (121.4 km2), mostly at the north end of the San Francisco Peninsula in the San Francisco Bay Area, making it the second most densely populated large U.S. city, and the fifth-most densely populated U.S. county, behind only four of the five New York City boroughs. San Francisco is the 12th-largest metropolitan statistical area in the United States, with 4,729,484 people in 2018. With San Jose, it forms the fifth-most populous combined statistical area in the United States, the San Jose–San Francisco–Oakland, CA Combined Statistical Area (9.67 million residents in 2018).
As of 2018, it was the seventh-highest income county in the United States, with a per capita personal income of $130,696. As of 2015, San Francisco proper had a GDP of $154.2 billion, and a GDP per capita of $178,479. The CSA San Francisco shares with San Jose and Oakland was the country’s third-largest urban economy as of 2017, with a GDP of $907 billion. Of the 500+ primary statistical areas in the U.S., this CSA had among the highest GDP per capita in 2017, at $93,938. San Francisco was ranked 16th in the world and third in the United States on the Global Financial Centres Index as of March 2019.
San Francisco was founded on June 29, 1776, when colonists from Spain established Presidio of San Francisco at the Golden Gate and Mission San Francisco de Asís a few miles away, all named for St. Francis of Assisi. The California Gold Rush of 1849 brought rapid growth, making it the largest city on the West Coast at the time. San Francisco became a consolidated city-county in 1856. San Francisco’s status as the West Coast’s largest city peaked between 1870 and 1900, when around 25% of California’s population resided in the city proper. After three-quarters of the city was destroyed by the 1906 earthquake and fire, San Francisco was quickly rebuilt, hosting the Panama-Pacific International Exposition nine years later. In World War II, San Francisco was a major port of embarkation for service members shipping out to the Pacific Theater. It then became the birthplace of the United Nations in 1945. After the war, the confluence of returning servicemen, significant immigration, liberalizing attitudes, along with the rise of the "hippie" counterculture, the Sexual Revolution, the Peace Movement growing from opposition to United States involvement in the Vietnam War, and other factors led to the Summer of Love and the gay rights movement, cementing San Francisco as a center of liberal activism in the United States. Politically, the city votes strongly along liberal Democratic Party lines.
A popular tourist destination, San Francisco is known for its cool summers, fog, steep rolling hills, eclectic mix of architecture, and landmarks, including the Golden Gate Bridge, cable cars, the former Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary, Fisherman’s Wharf, and its Chinatown district. San Francisco is also the headquarters of five major banking institutions and various other companies such as Levi Strauss & Co., Gap Inc., Fitbit, Salesforce.com, Dropbox, Reddit, Square, Inc., Dolby, Airbnb, Weebly, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Yelp, Pinterest, Twitter, Uber, Lyft, Mozilla, Wikimedia Foundation, Craigslist, and Weather Underground. The city, and the surrounding Bay Area, is a global center of the sciences and arts and is home to a number of educational and cultural institutions, such as the University of San Francisco (USF), University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), San Francisco State University (SFSU), the De Young Museum, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the SFJAZZ Center, and the California Academy of Sciences.
As of 2019, San Francisco is the highest rated American city on world liveability rankings.
3.1Race, ethnicity, religion, and languages
3.2Education, households, and income
4.2Tourism and conventions
5Culture and contemporary life
6Entertainment and recreation
6.3Beaches and parks
7Law and government
8.1Colleges and universities
8.2Primary and secondary schools
9.1Freeways and roads
9.4Cycling and walking
See also: History of San Francisco and Timeline of San Francisco
Spanish Empire 1776–1821
First Mexican Empire 1821–1823
Mexico United Mexican States 1823–1848
United States 1848–present
Mission San Francisco de Asís (Mission Dolores)
Yelamu villages in San Francisco
Bond of the City and County of San Francisco, issued 1. October 1863
The earliest archaeological evidence of human habitation of the territory of the city of San Francisco dates to 3000 BC. The Yelamu group of the Ohlone people resided in a few small villages when an overland Spanish exploration party, led by Don Gaspar de Portolá, arrived on November 2, 1769, the first documented European visit to San Francisco Bay. Seven years later, on March 28, 1776, the Spanish established the Presidio of San Francisco, followed by a mission, Mission San Francisco de Asís (Mission Dolores), established by the Spanish explorer Juan Bautista de Anza.
View of San Francisco 1846–47
1853 United States Coast Survey map
Upon independence from Spain in 1821, the area became part of Mexico. Under Mexican rule, the mission system gradually ended, and its lands became privatized. In 1835, Englishman William Richardson erected the first independent homestead, near a boat anchorage around what is today Portsmouth Square. Together with Alcalde Francisco de Haro, he laid out a street plan for the expanded settlement, and the town, named Yerba Buena, began to attract American settlers. Commodore John D. Sloat claimed California for the United States on July 7, 1846, during the Mexican–American War, and Captain John B. Montgomery arrived to claim Yerba Buena two days later. Yerba Buena was renamed San Francisco on January 30 of the next year, and Mexico officially ceded the territory to the United States at the end of the war. Despite its attractive location as a port and naval base, San Francisco was still a small settlement with inhospitable geography.
Francis Samuel Marryat, Hilltop of San Francisco, California, Looking toward the Bay, 1849. M.& N. Hanhart Chromolithograph
Port of San Francisco in 1851
The California Gold Rush brought a flood of treasure seekers (known as "forty-niners", as in "1849"). With their sourdough bread in tow, prospectors accumulated in San Francisco over rival Benicia, raising the population from 1,000 in 1848 to 25,000 by December 1849. The promise of great wealth was so strong that crews on arriving vessels deserted and rushed off to the gold fields, leaving behind a forest of masts in San Francisco harbor. Some of these approximately 500 abandoned ships were used at times as storeships, saloons and hotels; many were left to rot and some were sunk to establish title to the underwater lot. By 1851 the harbor was extended out into the bay by wharves while buildings were erected on piles among the ships. By 1870 Yerba Buena Cove had been filled to create new land. Buried ships are occasionally exposed when foundations are dug for new buildings.
California was quickly granted statehood in 1850, and the U.S. military built Fort Point at the Golden Gate and a fort on Alcatraz Island to secure the San Francisco Bay. Silver discoveries, including the Comstock Lode in Nevada in 1859, further drove rapid population growth. With hordes of fortune seekers streaming through the city, lawlessness was common, and the Barbary Coast section of town gained notoriety as a haven for criminals, prostitution, and gambling.
Entrepreneurs sought to capitalize on the wealth generated by the Gold Rush. Early winners were the banking industry, with the founding of Wells Fargo in 1852 and the Bank of California in 1864. Development of the Port of San Francisco and the establishment in 1869 of overland access to the eastern U.S. rail system via the newly completed Pacific Railroad (the construction of which the city only reluctantly helped support) helped make the Bay Area a center for trade. Catering to the needs and tastes of the growing population, Levi Strauss opened a dry goods business and Domingo Ghirardelli began manufacturing chocolate. Immigrant laborers made the city a polyglot culture, with Chinese Railroad Workers, drawn to "Old Gold Mountain", creating the city’s Chinatown quarter. In 1870, Asians made up 8% of the population. The first cable cars carried San Franciscans up Clay Street in 1873. The city’s sea of Victorian houses began to take shape, and civic leaders campaigned for a spacious public park, resulting in plans for Golden Gate Park. San Franciscans built schools, churches, theaters, and all the hallmarks of civic life. The Presidio developed into the most important American military installation on the Pacific coast. By 1890, San Francisco’s population approached 300,000, making it the eighth-largest city in the United States at the time. Around 1901, San Francisco was a major city known for its flamboyant style, stately hotels, ostentatious mansions on Nob Hill, and a thriving arts scene. The first North American plague epidemic was the San Francisco plague of 1900–1904.
At 5:12 am on April 18, 1906, a major earthquake struck San Francisco and northern California. As buildings collapsed from the shaking, ruptured gas lines ignited fires that spread across the city and burned out of control for several days. With water mains out of service, the Presidio Artillery Corps attempted to contain the inferno by dynamiting blocks of buildings to create firebreaks. More than three-quarters of the city lay in ruins, including almost all of the downtown core. Contemporary accounts reported that 498 people lost their lives, though modern estimates put the number in the several thousands. More than half of the city’s population of 400,000 was left homeless. Refugees settled temporarily in makeshift tent villages in Golden Gate Park, the Presidio, on the beaches, and elsewhere. Many fled permanently to the East Bay.
"Not in history has a modern imperial city been so completely destroyed. San Francisco is gone." –Jack London after the 1906 earthquake and fire
The Palace of Fine Arts at the 1915 Panama–Pacific Exposition
Rebuilding was rapid and performed on a grand scale. Rejecting calls to completely remake the street grid, San Franciscans opted for speed. Amadeo Giannini’s Bank of Italy, later to become Bank of America, provided loans for many of those whose livelihoods had been devastated. The influential San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association or SPUR was founded in 1910 to address the quality of housing after the earthquake. The earthquake hastened development of western neighborhoods that survived the fire, including Pacific Heights, where many of the city’s wealthy rebuilt their homes. In turn, the destroyed mansions of Nob Hill became grand hotels. City Hall rose again in splendid Beaux Arts style, and the city celebrated its rebirth at the Panama–Pacific International Exposition in 1915.
It was during this period San Francisco built some of its most important infrastructure. Civil Engineer Michael O’Shaughnessy was hired by San Francisco Mayor James Rolph as chief engineer for the city in September 1912 to supervise the construction of the Twin Peaks Reservoir, the Stockton Street Tunnel, the Twin Peaks Tunnel, the San Francisco Municipal Railway, the Auxiliary Water Supply System, and new sewers. San Francisco’s streetcar system, of which the J, K, L, M, and N lines survive today, was pushed to completion by O’Shaughnessy between 1915 and 1927. It was the O’Shaughnessy Dam, Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, and Hetch Hetchy Aqueduct that would have the largest effect on San Francisco. An abundant water supply enabled San Francisco to develop into the city it has become today.
The Bay Bridge, under construction in 1935, took forty months to complete.
In ensuing years, the city solidified its standing as a financial capital; in the wake of the 1929 stock market crash, not a single San Francisco-based bank failed. Indeed, it was at the height of the Great Depression that San Francisco undertook two great civil engineering projects, simultaneously constructing the San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge and the Golden Gate Bridge, completing them in 1936 and 1937, respectively. It was in this period that the island of Alcatraz, a former military stockade, began its service as a federal maximum security prison, housing notorious inmates such as Al Capone, and Robert Franklin Stroud, the Birdman of Alcatraz. San Francisco later celebrated its regained grandeur with a World’s fair, the Golden Gate International Exposition in 1939–40, creating Treasure Island in the middle of the bay to house it.
The USS San Francisco steams under the Golden Gate Bridge in 1942, during World War II.
During World War II, the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard became a hub of activity, and Fort Mason became the primary port of embarkation for service members shipping out to the Pacific Theater of Operations. The explosion of jobs drew many people, especially African Americans from the South, to the area. After the end of the war, many military personnel returning from service abroad and civilians who had originally come to work decided to stay. The United Nations Charter creating the United Nations was drafted and signed in San Francisco in 1945 and, in 1951, the Treaty of San Francisco officially ended the war with Japan.
Urban planning projects in the 1950s and 1960s involved widespread destruction and redevelopment of west-side neighborhoods and the construction of new freeways, of which only a series of short segments were built before being halted by citizen-led opposition. The onset of containerization made San Francisco’s small piers obsolete, and cargo activity moved to the larger Port of Oakland. The city began to lose industrial jobs and turned to tourism as the most important segment of its economy. The suburbs experienced rapid growth, and San Francisco underwent significant demographic change, as large segments of the white population left the city, supplanted by an increasing wave of immigration from Asia and Latin America. From 1950 to 1980, the city lost over 10 percent of its population.
Over this period, San Francisco became a magnet for America’s counterculture. Beat Generation writers fueled the San Francisco Renaissance and centered on the North Beach neighborhood in the 1950s. Hippies flocked to Haight-Ashbury in the 1960s, reaching a peak with the 1967 Summer of Love. In 1974, the Zebra murders left at least 16 people dead. In the 1970s, the city became a center of the gay rights movement, with the emergence of The Castro as an urban gay village, the election of Harvey Milk to the Board of Supervisors, and his assassination, along with that of Mayor George Moscone, in 1978.
Bank of America completed 555 California Street in 1969 and the Transamerica Pyramid was completed in 1972, igniting a wave of "Manhattanization" that lasted until the late 1980s, a period of extensive high-rise development downtown. The 1980s also saw a dramatic increase in the number of homeless people in the city, an issue that remains today, despite many attempts to address it. The 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake caused destruction and loss of life throughout the Bay Area. In San Francisco, the quake severely damaged structures in the Marina and South of Market districts and precipitated the demolition of the damaged Embarcadero Freeway and much of the damaged Central Freeway, allowing the city to reclaim The Embarcadero as its historic downtown waterfront and revitalizing the Hayes Valley neighborhood.
Two recent decades have seen two booms driven by the internet industry. First was the dot-com boom of the late 1990s, startup companies invigorated the San Francisco economy. Large numbers of entrepreneurs and computer application developers moved into the city, followed by marketing, design, and sales professionals, changing the social landscape as once-poorer neighborhoods became increasingly gentrified. Demand for new housing and office space ignited a second wave of high-rise development, this time in the South of Market district. By 2000, the city’s population reached new highs, surpassing the previous record set in 1950. When the bubble burst in 2001, many of these companies folded and their employees were laid off. Yet high technology and entrepreneurship remain mainstays of the San Francisco economy. By the mid-2000s (decade), the social media boom had begun, with San Francisco becoming a popular location for tech offices and a common place to live for people employed in Silicon Valley companies such as Apple and Google.
The Ferry Station Post Office Building, Armour & Co. Building, Atherton House, and YMCA Hotel are historic buildings among dozens of historical landmarks in the city according to the National Register of Historic Places listings in San Francisco.
The San Francisco Peninsula
San Francisco is located on the West Coast of the United States at the north end of the San Francisco Peninsula and includes significant stretches of the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay within its boundaries. Several picturesque islands—Alcatraz, Treasure Island and the adjacent Yerba Buena Island, and small portions of Alameda Island, Red Rock Island, and Angel Island—are part of the city. Also included are the uninhabited Farallon Islands, 27 miles (43 km) offshore in the Pacific Ocean. The mainland within the city limits roughly forms a "seven-by-seven-mile square", a common local colloquialism referring to the city’s shape, though its total area, including water, is nearly 232 square miles (600 km2).
Cars navigate Lombard Street to descend Russian Hill.
There are more than 50 hills within the city limits. Some neighborhoods are named after the hill on which they are situated, including Nob Hill, Potrero Hill, and Russian Hill. Near the geographic center of the city, southwest of the downtown area, are a series of less densely populated hills. Twin Peaks, a pair of hills forming one of the city’s highest points, forms an overlook spot. San Francisco’s tallest hill, Mount Davidson, is 928 feet (283 m) high and is capped with a 103-foot (31 m) tall cross built in 1934. Dominating this area is Sutro Tower, a large red and white radio and television transmission tower.
The nearby San Andreas and Hayward Faults are responsible for much earthquake activity, although neither physically passes through the city itself. The San Andreas Fault caused the earthquakes in 1906 and 1989. Minor earthquakes occur on a regular basis. The threat of major earthquakes plays a large role in the city’s infrastructure development. The city constructed an auxiliary water supply system and has repeatedly upgraded its building codes, requiring retrofits for older buildings and higher engineering standards for new construction. However, there are still thousands of smaller buildings that remain vulnerable to quake damage. USGS has released the California earthquake forecast which models earthquake occurrence in California.
San Francisco’s shoreline has grown beyond its natural limits. Entire neighborhoods such as the Marina, Mission Bay, and Hunters Point, as well as large sections of the Embarcadero, sit on areas of landfill. Treasure Island was constructed from material dredged from the bay as well as material resulting from the excavation of the Yerba Buena Tunnel through Yerba Buena Island during the construction of the Bay Bridge. Such land tends to be unstable during earthquakes. The resulting soil liquefaction causes extensive damage to property built upon it, as was evidenced in the Marina district during the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. Most of the city’s natural watercourses, such as Islais Creek and Mission Creek, have been culverted and built over, although the Public Utilities Commission is studying proposals to daylight or restore some creeks.
Main article: List of Landmarks and Historic Places in San Francisco
Downtown San Francisco, seen from Twin Peaks, in October 2006
Downtown San Francisco, seen from Twin Peaks at dusk, in December 2009
Aerial view from the west in April 2018. San Francisco is seen in the foreground, with Oakland in the background.
San Francisco’s Chinatown is the oldest and one of the largest in North America.
Main article: Neighborhoods in San Francisco
See also: List of tallest buildings in San Francisco
The historic center of San Francisco is the northeast quadrant of the city anchored by Market Street and the waterfront. It is here that the Financial District is centered, with Union Square, the principal shopping and hotel district, and the Tenderloin nearby. Cable cars carry riders up steep inclines to the summit of Nob Hill, once the home of the city’s business tycoons, and down to the waterfront tourist attractions of Fisherman’s Wharf, and Pier 39, where many restaurants feature Dungeness crab from a still-active fishing industry. Also in this quadrant are Russian Hill, a residential neighborhood with the famously crooked Lombard Street; North Beach, the city’s Little Italy and the former center of the Beat Generation; and Telegraph Hill, which features Coit Tower. Abutting Russian Hill and North Beach is San Francisco’s Chinatown, the oldest Chinatown in North America. The South of Market, which was once San Francisco’s industrial core, has seen significant redevelopment following the construction of Oracle Park and an infusion of startup companies. New skyscrapers, live-work lofts, and condominiums dot the area. Further development is taking place just to the south in Mission Bay area, a former railroad yard, which now has a second campus of the University of California, San Francisco, and where the new Warriors arena will be built.
West of downtown, across Van Ness Avenue, lies the large Western Addition neighborhood, which became established with a large African American population after World War II. The Western Addition is usually divided into smaller neighborhoods including Hayes Valley, the Fillmore, and Japantown, which was once the largest Japantown in North America but suffered when its Japanese American residents were forcibly removed and interned during World War II. The Western Addition survived the 1906 earthquake with its Victorians largely intact, including the famous "Painted Ladies", standing alongside Alamo Square. To the south, near the geographic center of the city is Haight-Ashbury, famously associated with 1960s hippie culture. The Haight is now home to some expensive boutiques and a few controversial chain stores, although it still retains some bohemian character.
Skyscrapers are common in northeast San Francisco, the city’s downtown.
North of the Western Addition is Pacific Heights, an affluent neighborhood that features the homes built by wealthy San Franciscans in the wake of the 1906 earthquake. Directly north of Pacific Heights facing the waterfront is the Marina, a neighborhood popular with young professionals that was largely built on reclaimed land from the Bay.
The Transamerica Pyramid was the tallest building in San Francisco until 2016, when Salesforce Tower surpassed it.
In the south-east quadrant of the city is the Mission District—populated in the 19th century by Californios and working-class immigrants from Germany, Ireland, Italy, and Scandinavia. In the 1910s, a wave of Central American immigrants settled in the Mission and, in the 1950s, immigrants from Mexico began to predominate. In recent years, gentrification has changed the demographics of parts of the Mission from Latino, to twenty-something professionals. Noe Valley to the southwest and Bernal Heights to the south are both increasingly popular among young families with children. East of the Mission is the Potrero Hill neighborhood, a mostly residential neighborhood that features sweeping views of downtown San Francisco. West of the Mission, the area historically known as Eureka Valley, now popularly called the Castro, was once a working-class Scandinavian and Irish area. It has become North America’s first gay village, and is now the center of gay life in the city. Located near the city’s southern border, the Excelsior District is one of the most ethnically diverse neighborhoods in San Francisco. The predominantly African American Bayview-Hunters Point in the far southeast corner of the city is one of the poorest neighborhoods and suffers from a high rate of crime, though the area has been the focus of several revitalizing and controversial urban renewal projects.
The construction of the Twin Peaks Tunnel in 1918 connected southwest neighborhoods to downtown via streetcar, hastening the development of West Portal, and nearby affluent Forest Hill and St. Francis Wood. Further west, stretching all the way to the Pacific Ocean and north to Golden Gate Park lies the vast Sunset District, a large middle class area with a predominantly Asian population. The northwestern quadrant of the city contains the Richmond, also a mostly middle-class neighborhood north of Golden Gate Park, home to immigrants from other parts of Asia as well as many Russian and Ukrainian immigrants. Together, these areas are known as The Avenues. These two districts are each sometimes further divided into two regions: the Outer Richmond and Outer Sunset can refer to the more western portions of their respective district and the Inner Richmond and Inner Sunset can refer to the more eastern portions.
Many piers remained derelict for years until the demolition of the Embarcadero Freeway reopened the downtown waterfront, allowing for redevelopment. The centerpiece of the port, the Ferry Building, while still receiving commuter ferry traffic, has been restored and redeveloped as a gourmet marketplace.
San Francisco has a warm-summer Mediterranean climate (Köppen Csb) characteristic of California’s coast, with moist mild winters and dry summers. San Francisco’s weather is strongly influenced by the cool currents of the Pacific Ocean on the west side of the city, and the water of San Francisco Bay to the north and east. This moderates temperature swings and produces a remarkably mild year-round climate with little seasonal temperature variation.
Fog is a regular feature of San Francisco summers.
Among major U.S. cities, San Francisco has the coolest daily mean, maximum, and minimum temperatures for June, July, and August. During the summer, rising hot air in California’s interior valleys creates a low pressure area that draws winds from the North Pacific High through the Golden Gate, which creates the city’s characteristic cool winds and fog. The fog is less pronounced in eastern neighborhoods and during the late summer and early fall. As a result, the year’s warmest month, on average, is September, and on average, October is warmer than July, especially in daytime.
Because of its sharp topography and maritime influences, San Francisco exhibits a multitude of distinct microclimates. The high hills in the geographic center of the city are responsible for a 20% variance in annual rainfall between different parts of the city. They also protect neighborhoods directly to their east from the foggy and sometimes very cold and windy conditions experienced in the Sunset District; for those who live on the eastern side of the city, San Francisco is sunnier, with an average of 260 clear days, and only 105 cloudy days per year.
Temperatures reach or exceed 80 °F (27 °C) on an average of only 21 and 23 days a year at downtown and San Francisco International Airport (SFO), respectively. The dry period of May to October is mild to warm, with the normal monthly mean temperature peaking in September at 62.7 °F (17.1 °C). The rainy period of November to April is slightly cooler, with the normal monthly mean temperature reaching its lowest in January at 51.3 °F (10.7 °C). On average, there are 73 rainy days a year, and annual precipitation averages 23.65 inches (601 mm). Variation in precipitation from year to year is high. Above average rain years are often associated with warm El Niño conditions in the Pacific while dry years often occur in cold water La Niña periods. In 2013 (a "La Niña" year), a record low 5.59 in (142 mm) of rainfall was recorded at downtown San Francisco, where records have been kept since 1849. Snowfall in the city is very rare, with only 10 measurable accumulations recorded since 1852, most recently in 1976 when up to 5 inches (130 mm) fell on Twin Peaks.
The highest recorded temperature at the official National Weather Service downtown observation station (currently at the United States Mint building) was 106 °F (41 °C) on September 1, 2017. The lowest recorded temperature was 27 °F (−3 °C) on December 11, 1932. The National Weather Service provides a helpful visual aid graphing the information in the table below to display visually by month the annual typical temperatures, the past year’s temperatures, and record temperatures.
San Francisco falls under the USDA 10b Plant Hardiness zone.
hideClimate data for San Francisco (downtown),[a] 1981–2010 normals,[b] extremes 1849–present
Record high °F (°C)79
Mean maximum °F (°C)67.3
Average high °F (°C)56.9
Daily mean °F (°C)51.3
Average low °F (°C)45.7
Mean minimum °F (°C)40.3
Record low °F (°C)29
Average rainfall inches (mm)4.50
Average rainy days (≥ 0.01 in)11.711.111.06.53.81.50.31.01.73.98.911.673.0
Average relative humidity (%)80777572727175757371757875
Mean monthly sunshine hours185.9207.7269.1309.3325.1311.4313.3287.4271.4247.1173.4160.63,061.7
Percent possible sunshine61697378747070687371575469
Source #1: NOAA (sun 1961–1974)
Source #2: Met Office for humidity
Main article: Demographics of San Francisco
Source: U.S. Decennial Census,
See also: Population Graph
The U.S. Census Bureau estimates San Francisco’s population to be 883,305 as of July 1, 2018, with a population density of 18,838/sq mi. With nearly one-quarter the population density of Manhattan, San Francisco is the second-most densely populated large American city, behind only New York City among cities greater than 200,000 population, and the fifth-most densely populated U.S. county, following only four of the five New York City boroughs.
San Francisco forms part of the five-county San Francisco–Oakland–Hayward, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area, a region of 4.7 million people, and has served as its traditional demographic focal point. It is also part of the greater 14-county San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland, CA Combined Statistical Area, whose population is over 9.6 million, making it the fifth-largest in the United States as of 2018.
Race, ethnicity, religion, and languages
San Francisco has a minority-majority population, as non-Hispanic whites comprise less than half of the population, 41.9%, down from 92.5% in 1940. As of the 2010 census, the ethnic makeup and population of San Francisco included: 390,387 whites (48%), 267,915 Asians (33%), 48,870 African Americans (6%), and others. There were 121,744 Hispanics or Latinos of any race (15%).
In 2010, residents of Chinese ethnicity constituted the largest single ethnic minority group in San Francisco at 21% of the population; the other Asian groups are Filipinos (5%) and Vietnamese (2%). The population of Chinese ancestry is most heavily concentrated in Chinatown, Sunset District, and Richmond District, whereas Filipinos are most concentrated in the Crocker-Amazon (which is contiguous with the Filipino community of Daly City, which has one of the highest concentrations of Filipinos in North America), as well as in SoMa. The Tenderloin District is home to a large portion of the city’s Vietnamese population as well as businesses and restaurants, which is known as the city’s Little Saigon.
The principal Hispanic groups in the city were those of Mexican (7%) and Salvadoran (2%) ancestry. The Hispanic population is most heavily concentrated in the Mission District, Tenderloin District, and Excelsior District. The city’s percentage of Hispanic residents is less than half of that of the state. The population of African Americans in San Francisco is 6% of the city’s population. The percentage of African Americans in San Francisco is similar to that of California. The majority of the city’s black population reside within the neighborhoods of Bayview-Hunters Point, Visitacion Valley, and in the Fillmore District.
Map of racial distribution in San Francisco Bay Area, 2010 U.S. Census. Each dot is 25 people: White, Black, Asian, Hispanic, or Other (yellow)
Black or African American6.1%7.8%10.9%13.4%0.8%
American Indian and Alaska Native0.5%0.4%0.5%0.4%–
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander0.4%0.5%0.5%––
Some other race6.6%6.5%5.9%1.5%-
Two or more races4.7%4.0%—
Hispanic or Latino (of any race)15.1%14.1%13.9%11.6%2.5%
Source: US Census
According to a 2014 study by the Pew Research Center, the largest religious groupings in San Francisco’s metropolitan area are Christians (48%), followed by those of no religion (35%), Hindus (5%), Jews (3%), Buddhists (2%), Muslims (1%) and a variety of other religions have smaller followings. According to the same study by the Pew Research Center, about 20% of residents in the area are Protestant, and 25% professing Roman Catholic beliefs. Meanwhile, 10% of the residents in metropolitan San Francisco identifies as agnostics, while 5% identifies as atheists.
As of 2010, 55% (411,728) of San Francisco residents spoke only English at home, while 19% (140,302) spoke a variety of Chinese (mostly Taishanese and Cantonese), 12% (88,147) Spanish, 3% (25,767) Tagalog, and 2% (14,017) Russian. In total, 45% (342,693) of San Francisco’s population spoke a language at home other than English.
Total Population805,235 – 100%
Hispanic or Latino121,774 – 15.1%
White390,387 – 48.5%
African American48,870 – 6.1%
Asian267,915 – 33.3%
American Indian and Alaska Native4,024 – 0.5%
Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander3,359 – 0.4%
Other53,021 – 6.6%
Two or more races37,659 – 4.7%
San Francisco has several prominent Chinese, Mexican, and Filipino ethnic neighborhoods including Chinatown and the Mission District. Research collected on the immigrant clusters in the city show that more than half of the Asian population in San Francisco is either Chinese born (40.3%) or Philippine born (13.1%), and of the Mexican population 21% were Mexican born, meaning these are people who recently immigrated to the United States. Between the years of 1990 and 2000, the number foreign born residents increased from 33% to nearly 40%, During this same time period, the San Francisco Metropolitan area received 850,000 immigrants, ranking third in the United States after Los Angeles and New York.
Education, households, and income
Of all major cities in the United States, San Francisco has the second-highest percentage of residents with a college degree, behind only Seattle. Over 44% of adults have a bachelor’s or higher degree. San Francisco had the highest rate at 7,031 per square mile, or over 344,000 total graduates in the city’s 46.7 square miles (121 km2).
San Francisco has the highest percentage of gay and lesbian individuals of any of the 50 largest U.S. cities, at 15%. San Francisco also has the highest percentage of same-sex households of any American county, with the Bay Area having a higher concentration than any other metropolitan area.
Income in 2011
Per capita income$46,777
Median household income$72,947
Median family income$87,329
San Francisco ranks third of American cities in median household income with a 2007 value of $65,519. Median family income is $81,136. An emigration of middle-class families has left the city with a lower proportion of children than any other large American city, with the dog population cited as exceeding the child population of 115,000, in 2018. The city’s poverty rate is 12%, lower than the national average. Homelessness has been a chronic problem for San Francisco since the early 1970s. The city is believed to have the highest number of homeless inhabitants per capita of any major U.S. city.
There are 345,811 households in the city, out of which: 133,366 households (39%) were individuals, 109,437 (32%) were opposite-sex married couples, 63,577 (18%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 21,677 (6%) were unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 10,384 (3%) were same-sex married couples or partnerships. The average household size was 2.26;