Ethnic diversity has long been one of San Francisco’s greatest assets. Unfortunately, due to complex histories of structural racism, dramatic disparities exist in health and socioeconomic outcomes.[i] Understanding current neighborhood ethnic compositions can aid in aligning city resources to address historic inequities, and tracking changing neighborhood ethnic compositions can demonstrate when a neighborhood might be going through gentrification, a process characterized by declining numbers of low-income, people of color and increasing numbers of high-income people and businesses catering to new wealth. Longtime residents in gentrifying neighborhoods often face financial distress and loss of community services and institutions. Displaced residents experience relocation costs, longer commutes, disruptions to health care, fragmentation of community support networks, and direct impacts on mental and psychological wellbeing.[ii]
The American Community Survey (ACS) surveys residents on an annual basis; however, five years of aggregated data are necessary provide numbers at a census tract or neighborhood level. Here we are comparing data from the 2008-2012 and 2013-2018 ACS data sets. Between the two time periods, the percentage of the population that was non-white did not significantly change in the CMTL area and, increased by only one percentage point in the city overall. Across the time periods, there are a significantly higher proportion of residents that are persons of color within the CMTL boundary - about 10 percentage points higher (69% vs. 59%). Within the boundary area, the census tracts that border Van Ness and Post have the lowest percentages of non-white residents, while those closer to Market Street all have 70% or higher non-white residents.
American Community Survey, 2008-2012 & 2013-2017
[i] Braveman, Paula, Susan Egerter, Jane An, David Williams. “ Race, Socioeconomic Factors and Health.” San Francisco, CA: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Commission to Build a Healthier America, April 2011. http://www.rwjf.org/content/dam/farm/reports/issue_briefs/2011/rwjf70446.
[ii] Phillips, Dawn, L. Flores Jr, and J. Henderson. “Development without Displacement: Resisting Gentrification in the Bay Area.” Causa Justa: Just Cause and Alameda County Public Health Department, Place Matters Team, Oakland, CA, 2014.