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San Francisco County


Facts & Information

The Cities and communities of San Francisco County, California *

San Francisco

San Francisco consolidated city and county has only one incorporated city. There are many neighborhoods and areas within the city/county, some of which are:

Alamo Square, Anza Vista, Balboa Park, Bayview District, Bernal Heights, The Castro, Cathedral Hill, Chinatown, Civic Center, Cole Valley, Crocker-Amazon, Diamond Heights, Dogpatch, Duboce Triangle, Eldton, Embarcadero, Eureka Valley, Excelsior, Fillmore, Financial District, Fisherman's Wharf, Forest Hill, Fort McDowell, Fort Winfield Scott, Glen Park, Golden Gate Park, Haight-Ashbury, Hayes Valley, Hunters Point, Ingleside, Little Osaka, Japantown, Little Saigon, Lower Haight, Marina District, Mission Bay, Mission District, Mount Davidson, Nob Hill, Noe Valley, North Beach, Ocean Beach, Oceanview, Pacific Heights, Park Merced, Parkside, Potrero Hill, Presidio of San Francisco, Richmond District, Russian Hill, Sea Cliff, South of Market (SoMa), St. Francis Wood, Stonestown, Sunset District, Telegraph Hill, The Tenderloin, Theater District, Treasure Island, Twin Peaks, Union Square, Visitacion Valley, Western Addition, West Portal, Westwood Highlands, Westwood Park, Yerba Buena Island

*This list of cities may not be complete. The list may contain towns, cities, villages, boroughs, neighborhoods, townships, ghost towns and other populated places.

If you have information about any of these unlinked communities, please send it to us and we will add a page for that community. Some of these places above may only be neighborhoods or local area names and are not listed with the census at all or just included in a larger surrounding designated census area..

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Information & Facts about San Francisco County, California

Attractions & other Information - Climate - Economy - Genealogy - Geography -
Government - History - Libraries - Location - Organizations & Groups -
Other Facts & Figures - Population - Schools


San Francisco City and County
1 Dr. Carlton B Goodlett Place
City Hall
San Francisco, CA 94102-4603
Phone: (415) 554-4000
Fax: (415) 554-5163

San Francisco Assessor-Recorders office

San Francisco is a consolidated city-county and is the only such designated in California. It became such in 1856. The city was incorporated on 15 April 1850. The City Mayor is also the county executive and instead of a city council, there is a board of supervisors. The Mayor and other elected officials are cnosidered to be the executive branch of the city/county government. The legislative branch is the board of supervisors which has 11 members. These members are elected from specific districts from within the city. When the mayor dies, the president of the board of supervisors becomes the acting mayor.

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1860 - 56,802
1870 - 149,473
1880 - 233,959
1890 - 298,997
1900 - 342,782
1910 - 416,912
1920 - 506,676
1930 - 634,394
1940 - 634,536
1950 - 775,357
1960 - 740,316
1970 - 715,674
1980 - 678,974
1990 - 723,959
1992 - 728,921
1999 - 746,777
2000 - 776,733
2003 - 751,682
2004 - 744,230
2005 - 739,426

Housing units:
2005 - 354,963

2000 - 16,526 persons per square mile

San Francisco is the second most densely populated major city in the United States.

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San Francisco County is located on the tip of the San Francisco Peninsula in the north coastal area of California. The San Francisco Bay is a major attraction of the area and water surrounds the area on three sides.

Neighboring areas include:
South - San Mateo County
West - the Pacific Ocean
North - the Golden Gate Bridge area and Marin County
East - San Francisco Bay. Across the bay is Oakland and Alameda in Alameda County

Map page for San Francisco

Zip codes for the county:

94102, 94103, 94104, 94105, 94107, 94108, 94109, 94110, 94111, 94112, 94114, 94115, 94116, 94117, 94118, 94121, 94122, 94123, 94124, 94127, 94128, 94129, 94130, 94131, 94132, 94133, 94134

1895 maps of San Francisco County

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Annual Precipitation: 20.4 inches

Average low temperature: 51 degrees F.
Average high temperature: 63 degrees F.

Record High: 103 degrees F. on 14 June 2000
Record Low: 27 degrees F. on 11 December 1932

San Francisco enjoys mild wet winters and warm dry summers. Due to the proximity of the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay on three sides, the county is directly influenced by the cool currents of the ocean. This creates fairly stable temperatures year-round.

Snowfall is extremely rare, officially falling only 10 times since 1852. Fog is another story however with probable heavy fog especially in summer and early fall when cold ocean water combines with the high heat on the mainland. Various areas of the county experience different weather patterns. The Sunset District usually has thick fog as opposed to the areas in the eastern portions that experience only about 105 cloudy days each year.

San Francisco County climate

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Other Facts and Figures:

Median household income:
2000 - $55,221
2003 - $51,302
2005 - $57,496

Per capita income:
2002 - $54,639

Median price home:
2000 - $396,400
2005 - $537,000

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The Ohlone lived in the area thousands of years ago. A Spanish explorer, Don Gaspar de Portola, arrived with his group on 2 November 1769. In March of 1776, the Spanish built a fort at the Golden Gate and a mission, Mission San Francisco de Asis, named for St. Francis of Assisi. It was known as Mission Dolores. Upon achieving independence from Spain in 1821, the area belonged to Mexico. In 1835, William Richardson built his homestead near today's Portsmouth Square. He, along with other local leaders, laid out a plan for a new settlement they named Yerba Buena. Soon more settlers began to arrive to live in the emerging settlement. California became part of the United States on 7 July 1846 and Yerba Buena was claimed very shortly afterward by Captain John B. Montgomery. The community was renamed San Francisco a year later. A big change was coming when gold was discovered in 1848 and the rush began. Treasure seekers arrived in droves coming in from the gold fields and elsewhere. The little town grew from 1,000 residents in 1848 to 25,000 by December 1849. Even the sailors of ships docked in the port of San Francisco caught the fever and left their ships in their moorings to strike it rich in the hills. Once California became a state, Fort Point at the Golden Gate and a fort on Alcatraz island were built to help secure the bay. Later, in 1859, when silver had been discovered, even more growth occurred in the area. San Francisco grew rapidly and so did the lawlessness and riotous living. The Barbary Coast area of the town was well-known for its wild ways. With continued growth the rest of the century, the city grew in size, population and flamboyant living. Many grand hotels were built as well as massive and opulent mansions, mainly in the Nob Hill area

The thriving city was shocked into reality when on 18 April 1906 at 5:12 am, a major earthquake shook the city and all of Northern California. The quake lasted 49 seconds and shook the area with great force. Though many buildings collapsed, the worst damage occurred as fires raged throughout the city. These burned out of control for days as the residents tried valiantly to find the water to fight the fires. The Presidio crews dynamited buildings to create firebreaks to attempt the stop the destruction. Unfortunately, once the flames were stopped, nearly all of the city was in ruins including most of the downtown area. Hundreds died during the disaster and more than half the city was left homeless. Tent cities appeared everywhere and many just deserted their homes permanently.

The residents of San Francisco did not take this disaster sitting down, they responded by rebuilding rapidly. Though some called for massive changes to the city, including relocation of streets, the city opted to begin quickly on what had already been there before the quake. Some mansions became great hotels and banks loaned funds to residents whose homes and businesses had disappeared. As the city rebuilt, many new buildings emerged. By 1915, San Francisco hosted the Panama-Pacific International Exposition to celebrate its resurrection.

San Francisco continued to emerge as a financial capital, even as disaster fell in 1929 with the stock market crash. During this desperate time, not one bank based in the city failed. During the Great Depression of the 1930s, both the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge and the Golden Gate Bridge were constructed. Also during this time, the fort on Alcatraz was transformed into a maximum security prison. Finally in 1939-40, as if to celebrate its complete return, the city hosted a World's Fair, the Golden Gate International exposition in 1939-40. Treasure Island was created in the bay for this exposition.

The Port of San Francisco was one of the busiest seaports on the west coast, but as container shipping made pier-based ports outdated, many of the ships began to moor at the Port of Oakland. The decline left many areas empty and unused. Much later, these buildings have been re-vitalized and many are used for shopping and recreation bringing people into this part of town once again.

history page for the city and county of San Francisco

State historical landmarks in San Francisco County
National Register of Historic Places in San Francisco County

San Francisco County Timeline

Learn more about the 1906 Great Earthquake

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Total land area: 46 square miles
Total water area: 185.2 square miles

elevation: 63 feet above sea level

San Francisco is located in the Pacific Time Zone and does participate in Daylight Savings Time during the Spring and Summer months.

A notable part of the geography of the area is the water. Large areas of the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay are within the boundaries. There are also islands, including Alcatraz, Treasure Island and Yerba Buena Island. The Farallon Islands, 27 miles offshore in the Pacific, are not inhabited but are part of the county.

There are 43 hills located in the county. Many of these have their neighborhoods named for the hill, such as Nob Hill, Pacific Heights, Russian Hill, Potrero Hill and Telegraph Hill. Notable among the hills is Twin Peaks, one of the highest areas of the city. They are popular lookouts for those wanting a view of the city. The tallest of the hills is Mount Davidson at 925 feet above sea level.

Though neither the San Andreas nor the Hayward Faults run through San Francisco itself, both are responsible for much of the earthquake activity in the area. Because of the danger from earthquakes here, development is affected greatly with high structural standards and requirements for retrofitting on older buildings. Building codes are filled with regulations to help minimize damage when the next large earthquake hits. There is some concern for areas such as the Marina district that are built on soils that can liquefy during large quakes causing greater damage and mortality.

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San Francisco Genealogy

Cemeteries of San Francisco County

US GenWeb page for San Francisco County
Golden Nugget Library San Francisco County database

San Francisco County genealogy from Kindred Trails

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San Francisco Public Libraries
100 Larkin Street,
San Francisco, CA 94102
Phone: 415-557-4400

Law Library

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San Francisco Unified School District.

San Francisco State University

City College of San Francisco, with its main facility in the Ingleside district, is one of the largest two-year community colleges in the country

University of California, San Francisco is one of the campuses of the University of California system, and is San Francisco's second largest employer. It is one of the medical schools of the University of California. It also operates the UCSF Medical Center, ranked among the top 10 hospitals in the United States

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San Francisco has a busy and diverse economy. It has established its prominent position as a finance center for the entire western US coast. Montgomery Street, in the Financial District, is well known as the Wall Street of the West. The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco is also located here. Though big business is lured here by the financial prowess of the area, small businesses and self-employed companies make up 85 percent of the city establishments.

Tourism is the backbone of the San Francisco economy. The scenery and landmarks of San Francisco are well known throughout the world due to movies, television, radio, and books. Tourists come in droves to visit Fisherman's Wharf, Chinatown, museum and to shop. They come for concerts, shows and myriad other cultural art performances. The city that lured the adventurous and outgoing continues to draw people to it for the same reasons. The Information Era with its IT, computer chips and high tech business is growing and acts as a magnet for new concepts and development.

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Organizations & Groups

San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau

San Francisco Chamber of Commerce

The California Historical Society

National Civil War Association - San Francisco - committed to educating the public about the Civil War; presents living history through reenactments and lectures.

San Francisco Republican Party

The Redwood Empire The North Coast Visitor's Bureau
Serving nine coastal California Counties Josephine, Del Norte, Humboldt, Mendocino, Lake, Napa, Sonoma, Marin and San Francisco

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Attractions & Other Information

San Francisco is known for its famous fog and steep hills. Its many landmarks are recognized throughout the entire world. Some of the most prominent include:

Alcatraz Island, the famous Cable Cars, The Presidio, The Transamerica Pyramid, Lombard Street, the Coit Tower, Chinatown, The Golden Gate Bridge and the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge

San Francisco Symphony
San Francisco Opera
San Francisco Ballet

Museum of Modern Art (MOMA)

Public transit within the city of San Francisco is provided mostly by the San Francisco Municipal Railway (Muni). The city-owned system operates both a combined light rail/subway system (the Muni Metro) and a bus network that includes both trolleybuses and standard diesel buses. Additionally, Muni runs the F Market historic streetcar line and the iconic San Francisco cable car system. Commuter rail is provided by two complementary agencies. Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) is the regional rapid transit system which connects San Francisco with the East Bay through the Transbay Tube. It also extends south of the city through northern San Mateo County, to the San Francisco International Airport, and Millbrae. The Caltrain rail system runs from San Francisco along the Peninsula down to San Jose.

San Francisco International Airport (SFO), though located 13 miles south of the city in San Mateo County, is under the jurisdiction of the City and County of San Francisco.

Take a quick online tour of San Francisco
Virtual Museum of the City of San Francisco
San Francisco Museum and Historical Society
Wells Fargo History Museum

San Francisco County beach guide

California Academy of Sciences


Ripley's Believe It or Not!

San Francisco Botanical Gardens

San Francisco War Memorial and Performing Arts Center

fine Arts museums of San Francisco

San Francisco Zoo

Steinhart Aquarium

The San Francisco 49ers - Professional Football

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This page was created on 2 February 2007 and last updated on 19 April 2010 at 8:33 pm