San Francisco, CA

Population: 850,282

Key findings

  • San Francisco has a Livability Score of 64/100, which is considered below average
  • San Francisco crime rates are 123% higher than the California average
  • Cost of living in San Francisco is 47% higher than the California average
  • San Francisco real estate prices are 110% higher than the California average
  • Rental prices in San Francisco are 26% higher than the California average

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      San Francisco, CA

      Known lovingly as the city by the bay, San Francisco is home to over 800,000 people who enjoy Northern California's splendor. Home to the world-famous Golden Gate Bridge that connects San Francisco proper with its neighboring communities, the city is known for its miraculous hills and tolerance. Home prices in San Francisco are out of this world, and it is one of the country's most expensive housing markets. While you may have to downsize in order to find a place that fits your budget, the tradeoff is mild weather and wonderful cultural opportunities.

      San Francisco became one of America's leading cities during the Gold Rush, and the city's sense of adventure is alive and well today just as in old. The city is also surprisingly resilient as it has been devastated by fire and earthquake, and yet it has been able to rebound and rebuild each and every time. Those who are new to the area will be impressed with the Bay Area's Rapid Transit system that can easily move you from one area of the city to another. There are over 1,000 stops in the San Francisco Municipal Transit Authority's network. The public transit system is also surprisingly affordable.

      One of the reasons that many call San Francisco home is the city's diversity. Culinary options are plentiful for this reason, and you will never have a bad meal in the city. Chinatown is a popular area for foodies for obvious reasons, but there is also a Koreatown that offers equally delicious food. While Fisherman's Wharf is a tourist trap, it is also home to some of the top seafood restaurants in the city. Spending a day down on the waterfront is a great way to enjoy the city's skyline as well.

      San Francisco is a sports fans dream as it is home to the Giants, Warriors, and 49ers. Catching a Giants game in their waterfront stadium is a bucket list item for many baseball fans. Getting to Levi's Stadium for a 49ers game is a bit trickier since the stadium is actually located in Santa Clara, but the new stadium has brought good luck to the team. The city is also home to several good universities between UC Cal Berkeley and the University of San Francisco.

      Those who move to San Francisco should make sure that they have a jacket with them at all times during the summer. Once the winds change off of the Pacific Ocean, the temperatures can drop quickly. This same phenomenon keeps temperatures moderate though during the hottest months of the year, and this cool weather is a welcome escape from other places in California that are extremely hot in the summer months.

      Top Rated Schools in San Francisco

      Name Grades Students Proficiency
      Lowell High9 - 122,71889%
      Chinese Immersion School At DeavilaKG - 539785%
      Yu (alice Fong) ElementaryKG - 857984%
      Sunset ElementaryKG - 540282%
      Ulloa ElementaryKG - 551582%
      Chin (john Yehall) ElementaryKG - 527380%
      Lawton Alternative ElementaryKG - 860178%
      Lilienthal (claire) ElementaryKG - 869075%
      See all San Francisco schools

      San Francisco Reviews

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      FIlthy, Crime Infested Biohazard ! Stay Away !

      It took liberals just 25 years to turn this once great world-class city into literal third-world trash pile. I've lived in the SF Bay Area for the past 29 years (20 years too long), and I have witnessed the decline first-hand. It's time to move out of the Bay Area and out of CA altogether. If you are not a hard left communist, you're not welcomed here anymore. I won't even mention the insane leftist policies, taxes, and "fees." It's never enough of your money for these wealthy communists !

      Among many other things, San Francisco is losing one convention after another. Why? The reasons are many: human waste in the streets, out of control crime, violent bums, ridiculous "environmental fees", and the general cost of doing business here. How can you have a health convention at a venue where there is fresh human waste right outside of its door?! AIDS, hepatitis, cholera, typhus? Come one, come all! SF has got it all!

      In any normal country the politics of this city would be classified as insane. SF has $50 million dollars allocated for "homeless services" in its annual budget, but most of that goes to the Democrat politicians' pockets. The corruption here is unbelievable. Instead of dealing with city's REAL problems, city council has banned plastic straws. I am not joking. Google it.

      I write this negative review with great sadness, because I remember what a special treat it was to come to SF for dinner on a Saturday night in the late 1980's and early 90's. The streets used to be clean, and free of bums, cars were not broken into, and it was not scary to walk Union Square at 10PM. Walking the streets at 10PM today could get you killed. You think I'm joking???

      The city has been destroyed. More than 400 SF restaurants closed down in 2019. The city is now a "sanctuary city" for illegal aliens, including criminal illegal aliens. When crime happens, police tell you to "file report online", and that's all that happens. With over 800 car break ins per month, what do you expect? They won't investigate any of this!

      Leftists destroy everything they touch, and what's left of San Francisco is just another example of it.

      For your own safety and health, stay away from this hellhole !
      • 40 -15

      What a HORRIBLE, DIRTY, NASTY place!
      It's the Sodom and Gomorrah of the USA. It's full of sex offenders, molesters, disgusting gay bars and sick parades, the people walk around with lifeless, hopeless, depressed looks on their faces, and crime is unbelievable.

      Seems like THOUSANDS of homeless, heroin addicted bums and crazies fill the streets, and WORST of all- the city is SO FULL OF HUMAN FECES that there are now "POOP MAPS" to help folks avoid the used syringes and feces that fill the streets.

      Housing prices are stratospheric, and only rich Liberal millionaires can afford to live there. Driving is insane, parking is impossible, and I guarantee your car WILL be broken into if parked on the street for more than 2 days.

      Nancy Pelosi and her Liberal cohorts have ruined this area, and made it the worst place in America to live.

      The only GOOD things about San Fransisco?
      The fact that the entire city is built on improperly compacted, non-indigenous soils, on a KNOWN MAJOR FAULT LINE, and has a huge probability of being completely destroyed by a major earthquake!
      • 36 -25
      The Real SF is Awesome, and Most Tourists Never See it

      San Francisco is beautiful. The tourist-trappy h*llholes downtown are a forsaken wasteland. Why? Beacuse no self respecting San Franciscan would be caught dead within half a mile of Pier 39. So of course it's dirty. It's a part of town that exists only for visitors who don't know any better than to watch sealions and pay insane prices for bad chocolate.

      Where should you go instead for a positive experience? Anywhere else in the city! SF is composed of little neighborhoods far away from downtown that each act as their own pretty little village. Try the Castro, the Mission, Noe Valley, West Portal, Bernal for cute stores, excellent food from all over the world, and gorgeous hillside veiws of the city. These are the areas where families live, where small businesses are run, where people will smile at you and say good morning. Wander around each, and you'll get a distinct feel for each little neighborhood microcosm. These places are only a quick transit ride away from hotels downtown, and offer much more positive expiriences then most tourists see. Try a bowl of ramen, get a burrito, go to an in costume sing-a-long of The Sound of Music at the Castro theater. Hike in one of our parks, see the Exploratorium, and rent roller skates in Golden Gate park. That's the real San Francisco.
      • 19 -27
      My Favorite City

      I absolutely loved visiting this city. My family and I had such an amazing time here and I am very interested in coming back for college.
      • 5 -37
      AVOID visiting San Francisco

      If you don't work or go to school San Francisco, then AVOID visiting because of:
      (1) homeless, most with serious mental health issues, living on the streets throughout the city (including tourist areas);
      (2) significantly higher crime rates than average throughout all of California (major crimes in San Francisco include assault, rapes, and robbery);
      (3) highest rat population in San Francisco than at any other time;
      (4) human excrement on sidewalks throughout the city and the homeless defecating and urinating in broad daylight right in front of tourists and their families;
      (5) used needles and syringes littering children's playgrounds, parks, and street gutters; and
      (6) diseases (e.g., tuberculosis, hepatitis, HIV, typhus, and bubonic plague).
      IF you must see San Francisco, then see it safely ---- from a VIDEO tour!!
      • 41 -9
      Watch the Fall of a City

      If you watch the progression of views of visitors you will notice how just 6 years has destroyed a once beautiful City. In 2010 everyone loved SF. in 2018 it is so bad because of homelessness it has become a dump. The progressive leaders have made straws illegal but needles and crapping in public not. I have lived here for decades, I once moved away in the late 80s and missed it so much. Now I cannot walk around and look at the sites because you have to watch your step or you may step in a pile with possible ooze of Hep B. The City Politicians are so afraid they might offend someone they do not even attempt to hold anyone accountable. Crime here is off the hook, Only violent crime is even considered for possible arrest. Cars are broken into in broad daylight with people walking by. San Francisco has 3000 IV drug users and 2500 homeless per sq mile. and about 3 outside restrooms and those are always full of people shooting up which is why people shoot up, urinate and, defecate on the streets. If you're coming to San Francisco, Don't forget to keep your belongings locked in the trunk and your purse and camera close to your heart, as in clutched. Better yet, go to a City that respects itself and it's permanent residents, San Francisco does not.
      • 61 -5
      Welcome to Slum Francisco

      Do you like the smell of stale urine?Do you like seeing homeless people shooting up drugs on sidewalks in broad daylight?Do you like the sight and smell of human feces?Do you like aggressive panhandlers?Do you love tent cities?Do you love having your car broken into constantly?Do you like getting robbed/assaulted by a crazy person without provocation?Ever been attacked by a machete or hatchet?Then Slum Francisco is the place for you!Come and enjoy our steamy plies of human waste-- prepared fresh daily on city sidewalks especially for you! Enjoy garbage and used syringes discarded in parks, sidewalks and train stations. Explore the many tent cities around town. Experience the Third World without having to leave the USA! Don't miss out!
      • 60 -7
      A Great City But PLEASE Clean it UP!

      A fun place to visit for a few days and probably a great city in which to live. We visited for 6 days and as tourists and found it a couple of days too long!The city features fabulous architecture and one really should spend a few hours just looking into some of the older building lobbies in the financial district.With the odd exception, the food in the restaurants was really unremarkable.The city itself is very dirty. Litter is everywhere and in the financial and shopping district, there is a pervasive smell of stale urine. What was astonishing was that the shopkeepers (large and small) did not take enough pride of ownership to police the areas in front of their shops by picking up litter and washing down the sidewalks to remove that urine smell. It was VERY offensive! I understand there is a large number of homeless people just as there is where I live but the lack of cleanliness would not be tolerated here.The shopping was good but with a few exceptions consisted of shops found in other cities. Fisherman's wharf is disappointing and is basically like a fair ground without the rides.There is some fabulous scenery and is not to be missed and to get wonderful views of the city, Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz take the Sausalito ferry. Sausalito is definitely worth the visit; you will feel a definite change in vibe and a different set of views back to San Francisco.
      • 24 -15
      Best City in the Bay

      Honestly if you want to be safe stay out of the Tendernob. Don't go to the Bayview and avoid the projects. If you can follow those rules you will be introduced to one of the most remarkable cities outside of Europe. If you can't then might as well be in East L.A. If you are into food, nightlife, entertainment, sight seeing and proximity to the mountains then SF is your place. The kicker is that you won't want to leave. If you enjoy exploring your neighborhood just go for a walk and you are sure to be entertained. My wife and I go on weekend walks and just emerge ourselves in whatever neighborhood we chose to explore.
      • 2 -42
      It's Fun Living In San Francisco, CA

      When I lived in San Francisco, CA, I loved it. There were plenty of great places to choose from to live in. They were a bit pricey, but having two roommates helps with the rent. There are also other types of housing, but I was interested in apartment living. The weather is nice. It is hot in the summers, and the winters aren't bad at all.

      Another great thing about living in San Francisco is the abundance of things to do and see. Take the McArdle Roadway and look at the telescope. Head on down to the wharf for fun and interesting things to do and see. Take a ride on the merry go round. San Francisco, CA is close to many other fascinating places, so you will have no problem finding things to do and see when you live in the area. Taking the trolley down the major hills was also an experience, one that is well known to all the people that live in the area.

      San Francisco has an array of great restaurants to go to. If you love seafood, you will have your pick of a bunch of great places. The shopping in the area is good too. Make sure that you check out the small shops although, they do tend to come and go, they have great items that are always on sale. I used to buy lots of gifts from these smaller shops.
      • 2 -38
      City by the Bay with great progressive spirit

      We just got back from our annual meeting of public health types there (American Public Health Association)...over 10,000 strong. During the World Series, which the Giants swept, so the city was in a euphoric state of mind. We just joined in. During the time there...ate and imbibed great. Took a walking audit, helped the less fortunate, and took a bicycle tour that assessed some of the great improvements the city is making in its built environment. Presenters from the SF Dept. of Health were incredible. IMO, that sets the tone for a city that cares. I am not naive about cost of living, congestion, etc. but there is just too much cool stuff happening in my favorite American city.
      • 2 -33
      San Francisco, CA - Will I go back?

      I visited San Francisco for a few days in 2010 and was impressed. The San Francisco lifestyle is moderately fast paced with people maintaining a city pace of living. It is a great city for people who enjoy walking around in a comfortable environment. When visiting Fisherman's Wharf, there are many beautiful things to see. The Pacific Ocean is a magnificent thing to see. Additionally, they have seals on the piers. Watching the seals is a very peaceful part of the experience, it allows you to relax and bask in the ambience of San Francisco. I traveled to San Francisco with no expectations and really enjoyed myself. The customer service in San Francisco was marvelous.

      I also went to see The Producers in San Francisco. It was a magnificent experience to watch a great play in San Francisco. The theater was very spacious and quite nice. All of the views allowed a great viewing experience. Additionally, the acting was superb. The talent on stage was tremendous and made the price of admission very reasonable.

      One of the things I didn't like about San Francisco was the safety. If you didn't know where you were going, you could easily wind up in a bad part of town. For this reason, you should familiarize yourself with the dangerous parts of San Francisco. I felt safe with the exception of the bad areas. All in all, San Francisco was an amazing experience. There were many nice places to eat and places to shop. The public transportation was great as the trolley's were a lot of fun. I look forward to going back to San Francisco as soon as possible. Next time, I will be more familiar with all the great things the city has to offer.
      • 2 -31
      Visiting San Francisco, CA

      I visit San Francisco at least once a year. I love the climate, the restaurants, and the fact that it's easy to travel around the city on foot or via public transportation, since San Francisco is so compact. I usually stay in one of the vintage hotels in the Union Square or SoMa neighborhoods, since they're usually reasonably priced and easy to reach from the airport. While these San Francisco neighborhoods can be expensive, there's enough inexpensive ethnic restaurants and other attractions there to make it worthwhile.

      One of my favorite things to do in San Francisco is to go to Golden Gate Park, especially on Sundays, when the park is closed to cars. The park is full of people walking, riding bikes, and generally enjoying themselves, especially on sunny days. Then I usually walk over to Clement Street in the Inner Richmond neighborhood, eat Burmese food for lunch and explore the many bookstores in the area. This is my idea of a perfect San Francisco weekend excursion.
      • 1 -31
      Reason for reporting
      Source: The San Francisco, CA data and statistics displayed above are derived from the 2016 United States Census Bureau American Community Survey (ACS).