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Department of Aging and Adult Services Older Adults in San Francisco

Our population of older adults is growing substantially. Investing in this community is important for the future of our City and region.
(Scroll down for an infographic of the data on this page.)

Growing Population

Older adults are the fastest growing age group. Nearly 30% of San Francisco residents will be age 60 or older by 2030.

Percentage of older adults in San Francisco by year:

  • 2010: 19%
  • 2020: 23%
  • 2030: 27%

Ethnicity

We are among the nation’s most diverse. Over the past two decades, our community of older adults has shifted to become predominantly a population of immigrants. 54% of San Francisco's older adults speak a primary language other than English. In addition, 12% self-identify as LGBTQ.

Ethnicities by percentage of the older adult population:

  • Asian/Pacific-Islander: 27% in 1990 | 43% in 2016
  • White: 55% in 1990 | 40% in 2016
  • Latino: 8% in 1990 | 10% in 2016
  • Black/African-American: 10% in 1990 | 6% in 2016

Challenges Ahead

Many San Francisco older adults are living on a fixed income. They face higher housing costs and are more likely to live alone than in other urban communities throughout California.

  • Poverty: 14% are severely poor, living below the federal poverty level.
  • Limited Retirement Income: Average Social Security benefits are $15,214 per year.
  • High Housing Costs
    • The average cost needed for a single older renter to meet basic needs: $31,488
    • The average cost needed for a single older homeowner to meet basic needs: $42,024
  • Social Isolation: Nearly 30% are living alone.
     

Aging at home can lead to better health and prolonged independence, however the cost for in-home care is becoming increasingly out of reach for those who may benefit from supportive services.

  • Rising Home Care Costs: The average cost for in-home support services in San Francisco is $32,880.