Mid-Atlantic - conversations about US, UK and world politics


Is San Francisco a failed city?

  • During the first part of the pandemic, San Francisco County lost more than one in 20 residents

  • San Francisco now has the fewest children per capita of any large American city, and a $117,400 salary counts as low-income for a family of four.

  • I’d gotten used to the crime, rarely violent but often brazen; to leaving the car empty and the doors unlocked so thieves would at least quit breaking my windows.

  • The budget to tackle homelessness and provide supportive housing has been growing exponentially for years.

  • In 2021, the city announced that it would pour more than $1 billion into the issue over the next two years. But almost 8,000 people remain on the streets.

  • Every tent costs taxpayers roughly $60,000 a year.

  • The San Francisco Bay Area is 52 percent white, 6.7 percent Black, and 23.3 percent Asian.

  • SF isn’t turning red on any electoral maps.

  • The widest income disparities in the Bay Area are in San Francisco County, where the top 5% of households makes an average of $808,105 annually, compared with $16,184 for the lowest 20%.

  • Bay Area residents in the 90th percentile of incomes earned $384,000 a year, compared to just $32,000 for those in the bottom 10th percentile.

  • Despite California’s strong economy, low- and middle-income earners have seen fewer gains than those in the top bracket in recent decades.

  • San Francisco remains the most expensive rental market in the U.S. – with average one-bedroom rent costing $2,700 per month as of December 2020 (a 23% decrease year-over-year).

  • “San Francisco has some of the most extreme inequality anywhere in the world, and many of the best-known companies growing here have some of the largest gaps between executive pay and worker pay.

  • San Francisco voters overwhelmingly backed a new law that will levy an extra 0.1% tax on companies that pay their chief executive more than 100-times the median of their workforce. The surcharge increases by 0.1 percentage point for each factor of 100 that a CEO is paid above the median, up to a maximum of 0.6%.

  • Tim Cook, the chief executive of Apple, was paid $134m in 2019, more than 2,300 times the firm’s median pay of $57,600.

  • 1 in 4 Bay Area families isn't making enough to live here,

  • 8,011 homeless individuals were counted in San Francisco's 2019 point-in-time street and shelter count. This was an increase of more than 14% over the 2017 count.