Legislative Analyst Report - 2000 Census Data by District (Follow-up to File No. 012214)
From: Adam Van de Water, Office of the Legislative Analyst
Date: November 14, 2002
RE: 2000 Census Data by Supervisorial District (follow-up to File #: 012214)
Summary and Scope of Request
Supervisor Sandoval, through the Board, requested that the Office of the Legislative Analyst (OLA) analyze 2000 Census data for San Francisco as a whole as well as by supervisorial district. As the U.S. Census Bureau had only released information at the county level at the time, the OLA issued a report on February 26, 2002 summarizing that data.
The Census Bureau released data at the sub-county level August 27, 2002 allowing for approximate comparisons between supervisorial districts. This report is therefore issued as a follow-up to the February report and summarizes available data from the short and long-form of the 2000 Census by supervisorial district.
Explanation of Data
Title 13, United States Code, Section 9 prevents the Census Bureau from publishing results in which an individual"s data can be identified. To ensure this, the Census Bureau only provides sample data (social and economic questions on the long form sent to approximately 1-in-6 households) down to the census tract level and some data to the block group level1. For consistency across all data categories, the data discussed and presented here is all derived from census tracts which, with the exception of District 4, do not exactly correspond to supervisorial district boundaries.
The OLA used Geographic Information Systems (GIS) information provided by the Planning Department to map county census tracts to recently redistricted supervisorial boundaries. Census tracts wholly contained in or geographically centered in2 one district are included in that district"s totals (see attached map Appendix B for the overlay of census tracts and supervisorial district boundaries). While the data presented here may marginally over- or under-represent true district values, the OLA estimates that the overall margin of error in all cases is less than ten percent.
All data was collected in the spring of 2000 and some questions (such as income or commute behavior for most recent calendar year) reflect information from 1999. The data therefore does not reflect any socioeconomic changes since that time.
Finally, all data provided by the Census Bureau is subject to sampling and non-sampling error which may bias the final results. This could include variations between the sample and the true population (sampling error) or difficulties understanding or processing the forms (non-sampling error).
Summary of Results
Gender, Race & Ethnicity
San Francisco has narrowly more men than women (51% to 49%), driven largely by the gender gaps in Districts Six (60% male) and Eight (57% male).
The highest percentage of whites live in Districts Two, Eight, and Five; Asians in districts Four, Three, and Eleven; African Americans in Districts Ten, Five, and Six; and Latinos in Districts Nine, Eleven, and Six. District Ten qualifies as the most racially diverse district in the city. See Table 1 below.
NOTE: The option "Hispanic or Latino" on the census form is an ethnic identity and not a race and is therefore calculated separately from questions of racial heritage. The conflation of race and ethnicity may explain why the percentage of respondents who marked "Some Other Race" (see Appendix A) corresponds closely with the percentage of Hispanic or Latino in each district.
Table 1: Race and Ethnicity, Percentage and Rank by District
Black, African American
Hispanic or Latino
Citizenship and Language
District Eleven is the only district with a majority of foreign-born residents (52%). Based on race and language statistics, the majority of these residents are of Asian descent.
The greatest language barriers appear to be in the Asian communities in Districts Three and Six where 58% and 39% respectively of Asian/Pacific Islander speakers state that they speak English "Not Well" or "Not at All."
The highest home ownership rates occur in the southernmost districts (Districts Eleven, Seven, Four, and Ten) while the lowest home ownership rates occur in the more densely developed northeastern districts (Districts Six, Three, and Five). See Table 2 below.
With the exception of North Beach and Chinatown, the number of households with children and/or seniors largely coincides with home ownership rates. Districts Ten (41%) and Eleven (40%) have the most households with kids and Districts Three (28%), Four (34%), and Seven (31%) have the most households with residents 65 years and over.
Table 2: Home Ownership, Children and Elderly, Percentage and Rank by District
Home Ownership Rate
Households w/ Children Under 18
Households w/ Seniors 65 or Over
Income & Poverty
District Two has the highest per capita income at $75,877 and the fewest number of people below the federal poverty level3 at 5%. Conversely, District Eleven has the lowest per capita income at $19,176 (due in part to the high number of households with children, 40%, and elderly, 36%) and District Six has the highest number of people living below the federal poverty level at 23%. See Table 3 below as well as Appendix A for a breakdown of household income by $25,000 increments.
NOTE: While annually adjusted for inflation, the U.S. Census Bureau"s poverty thresholds do not adjust for cost of living by geographical area. San Francisco"s comparatively low percentage of individuals and families living below the poverty threshold likely reflects this fact.
San Francisco has a high number of `working poor" who do not fall below the federal poverty threshold but, due largely to the high costs of living, by all other standards are quite poor. For instance, the Public Policy Institute of California notes that while the Census poverty threshold for a family of four in 2000 is $17,463, HUD estimates San Francisco fair market two-bedroom rent at $16,344 annually4. In order to meet federal goals for housing to account for no more than one-third of a household"s income, a San Francisco family of four would need to earn $49,527, or 2.83 times the federal poverty threshold.
Table 3: Per Capita Income and Rank by District
Per Capita Income ($)
On average, rents appear lowest in Districts Six, Ten and Three to the west and highest in Districts Two, Seven, Four and Eight. See Appendix A for a breakdown of gross rent by $300 increments.
NOTE: Depending on the tenure of renters, rent control may undervalue the current market rate for some rental units.
Highest Educational Attainment
The highest number of residents with postgraduate degrees occur in Districts Two (29%), Eight (26%), Seven (24%), and Five (20%).
The majority of residents in Districts Eleven (71%), Ten (71%), Nine (65%), Six (62%), Four (54%), and Three (53%) have earned less than a Bachelor"s or Associate degree.
Transportation to Work
Driving alone continues to be the primary mode of travel to work for all Districts other than District Three, which has the highest percentage of residents who walk to work and one of the highest bus riderships.
Not surprisingly, BART and MUNI ridership is highest along existing lines (Districts Eight, Seven, Four, Nine and Eleven), walking is highest near major employment centers where parking is limited (Districts Three and Six), and driving is highest in more residential neighborhoods where parking is easier (Districts Seven, Four, Ten and Eleven).
1 U.S. Census Bureau subdivisions of County data include, in increasing order of specificity: county subdivisions, places, census tracts, block groups, and blocks. San Francisco has 177 census tracts each containing approximately 4,500 people.
2 This was relevant for the 23 census tracts (of a total of 177) in San Francisco that cross district boundaries.
3 The weighted average poverty threshold (what is often called the federal poverty level) for a single individual is $8,794.