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Millennials, Gen Z among largest share of residents leaving San Francisco

Millennials and Generation Z were among the biggest share of people to flee San Francisco as the embattled city continues to see a population decrease since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

The number of San Francisco residents ages 25-29 plummeted 21% between April 2020 and June 2022, according to US Census data reviewed by the San Francisco Chronicle. About 94,000 people in that age group lived in the California city in April 2020 before shrinking down to 74,000 in June 2022 — the largest drop amongst age groups.

City dwellers ages 30 to 34 decreased from 105,000 in 2020 to about 88,000 in 2022, the newspaper reported – enough for a 16% drop.

And residents ages 20-24 and 35-39 also fell by about 10% each, according to the Census data compiled by the Chronicle.

San Franciscans ages 20-24 were more than 44,000 in 2020 before dropping to about 40,000 in 2022. And people ages 35-39 reached 81,000 in 2020 before decreasing to a bit under 73,000 in 2022, the data indicates.

Other notable decreases were ages 0-4 and 45-49, with an 11.7% drop and 9.6% decline, respectively, according to the Chronicle.

Storm clouds hover over San Francisco in this view from the hills of Oakland, Calif., on Tuesday, March 14, 2023.
The West Coast city has seen a drop in population since 2020.

Meanwhile, the fastest growing population by five-year age bracket were senior citizens ages 75-79, notching a 15% increase, the Chronicle reported.

Overall, San Francisco’s population dropped from 873,000 to about 808,500 in the two years leading up to June 2022, the data shows. Other major cities in the country have also faced population declines.

The city has grappled with sky-high crime, rampant homelessness and exorbitant home prices in recent years.

Remote work has also contributed to the exodus. At the start of 2023, about 30% of job postings based in the city allowed for either hybrid or fully remote work, the Chronicle reported. In 2019, only 5% of job openings offered that.

A large number of businesses have also closed up shop in the city. At least 22 big-name stores have closed or announced plans to leave the area around the city’s Union Square since January 2022.

Since 2019, 47% of businesses in the area have shut their doors, the San Francisco Standard previously reported.   

The Census data dump also revealed San Francisco was inching closer to becoming a minority-majority city, the San Francisco Standard reported Thursday.

About 51% of the city’s population was white at the start of July 2022, according to the data.

There were 411,000 white people, 310,000 Asian people, 46,000 black people, 40,000 multiracial people, 6,000 Native American people and 3,700 Pacific Islanders, the news outlet reported. 

Source: The New York Post