Median household income in the metropolitan area that includes San Francisco, Oakland and Berkeley fell from $121,551 in 2019 to $116,005 in 2021, according to this month’s Census report.
The drop of $5,546, or 4.6 percent, was the largest dollar amount and percentage drop among the nation’s 25 most populous metropolitan areas. The second highest rate was in New York City, where median household income fell 4.2 percent to $3,321. The DC area saw a 1.4 percent decrease, from $111,974 in 2019 to $110,355 in 2021.
The biggest jump in both directions was in the sprawling Phoenix metropolitan area, where median household income rose 5.2 percent, from $71,954 in 2019 to $75,731 in 2021.
The exodus of wealth from San Francisco is linked to the region’s population decline during the pandemic, which has been the highest in the country, as far-flung workers flee to cheaper places like Miami or remote areas like Teton County, Wyo. some major companies, including Oracle and Charles Schwab, have moved their headquarters to Texas. San Francisco From 2020 to 2021, San Francisco lost 54,813 people, or 6.3 percent of its population, the largest population loss of any major US city during the pandemic.
Major cities shrank in the first year of the pandemic as gains were seen in the South and West
San Francisco’s population decline comes as many tech companies, including Twitter, Salesforce and Airbnb, allow their employees to work remotely full-time. It also comes as the city struggles with crime, with footage of drugstore and luxury shop robberies fueling right-wing attacks on liberal politics. San Francisco Mayor London Breed (D) declared a state of emergency in December in the city’s Tenderloin neighborhood, known for its rampant drug use and homelessness, saying the situation there “requires urgent action.” Chesa Boudin, a lightning rod for criticism of far-left crime policies, was fired as San Francisco’s district attorney in June.
Breed’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the census data late Saturday.
Although lower median household incomes could cause tax revenue challenges in the future, San Francisco expects budget surpluses for fiscal years 2022-2023 and 2023-2024, Breed said in December after ordering departments to “go back to basics.” ,” urging them to focus on recovering from the pandemic and “reviving” San Francisco. In July, Breed signed a budget for 2022-2023 that “prioritizes economic recovery, public safety, workers and families, homelessness and behavioral health needs.” That includes $7.2 million over two years to clean up the Tenderloin neighborhood alone.
However, as the dust from the pandemic still settles across much of the country, downtown San Francisco has been the slowest to recover of any city in the United States. Downtown activity is 31 percent of its pre-pandemic level, the lowest of any large or medium-sized U.S. city, according to a study by the University of California, Berkeley. That falls short of the 65 percent gain in downtown D.C., the 78 percent gain in New York City, and the 155 percent gain in Salt Lake City.