How Big Is San Francisco? Compare Its Size in Miles, Acres, Kilometers, and Population

Dog Park Series - San Franciso
© Mathieu LE MAUFF/

Written by Jesse Elop

Updated: May 31, 2023

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When you hear “San Francisco”, you might think of Oracle Park, the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, or Fisherman’s Wharf. You may also think about the bustling energy of the city and the many people who call it home. Have you ever wondered just how many people that is? How big is the city in total? This article will explore San Francisco’s size and how many people live there.

Total Population:
The City of San Francisco
The Bay Area
815,201 people
7,753,000 people
Area (city)46.9 mi2
121 km2
30,016 acres
Population Density (city)18,633 people per mi2
Area and Population of San Francisco


Golden Gate Bridge, The United States

The Golden Gate Bridge is an iconic landmark in San Francisco, California that symbolizes America’s ingenuity and resolve.


The earliest archaeological evidence of human inhabitation in the San Francisco area dates to 8,000-10,000 B.C. The Ohlone were the predominant indigenous people of the Bay Area before colonial settlement. The city of San Francisco was founded on June 29, 1776, by Spanish colonists. By 1847, the population was about 459 people. In 1906, the deadliest earthquake in United States history shook the city. The population at the time of the earthquake was about 400,000 people. Contemporary accounts reported 498 deaths, but historians now estimate several thousands of people died. The city was rebuilt rapidly and underwent major infrastructural changes following the devastating event. The Golden Gate Bridge was later constructed during the Great Depression in 1937 and has been a major landmark in the city ever since.


 As of 2021, the total population of San Francisco city was 815,201 people. In the greater Bay Area, there is an approximate population of 7,753,000 people. The Bay Area includes Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma counties. The city of San Francisco has the second highest population density in the United States – second to New York City. There are 18,633 people per square mile living in San Francisco. A 2022 study estimates that there are 7,754 people experiencing homelessness in the city and 38,000 experiencing homelessness in the greater Bay Area.

Downtown San Francisco and bay area on sunny day

This view of San Francisco portrays the bay on a beautiful sunny day.


San Francisco has a majority-minority population. This means that minority demographics collectively comprise most of the population. The census reports that 45% of the city is white, 34% is Asian, 5% African American, 8% other races, and 7% multiple races. 48.9% of the population is women and 6.2% of the population identifies as LGBTQ+. This is the highest proportion of LGBTQ+ people in any major U.S. city and is 2.6 percentage points higher than the national average.

The most common job titles of San Franciscans are “Intern”, “Sales Associate”, and “Administrative Assistant”. The largest employer in the city is Salesforce Inc. with over 9,000 employees. The second largest employer is Wells Fargo and Company with 7,021 employees in the city and 12, 035 in the Bay Area.


So, how big is San Francisco? The total area is 46.9 mi2. This is equal to 121 km2 or 30,016 acres. For comparison, the city is just slightly larger than Disney World which has a total area of 43 mi2. San Francisco is also about twice the area of Manhattan. The largest city in the United States by area is Sitka, Alaska. Sitka is 2,870 mi2 – over 61 times the size of San Francisco! San Francisco is also 7 miles long and 7 miles wide. Without traffic, it takes approximately 23 minutes to drive from the north to south border of the city, and walking the length of the city takes about 2 ½ hours.

Japanese Tea Garden, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California: 03/23/2018 - cherry blossoms in March

These cherry blossoms are in the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park.

© photo prove our life

San Francisco has several parks including Golden Gate Park. Golden Gate Park is the largest park in the city consisting of 1,017 acres. The park is 3 miles long and ½ a mile wide on average. In the park, there are 9 lakes, 9 trails, and over 1,000 species of plants. Another popular park, albeit smaller, is Alamo Square. This park is 12.7 acres and is located near the Painted Ladies, the famous Victorian houses painted in multiple colors. There are also several dog parks throughout the city.

San Francisco is home to multiple major league sports teams. The Giants are the Major League Baseball team that play at Oracle Park in the city. The 49ers are their National Football League team, but they play out of Levi Stadium in Santa Clara, California. The Golden State Warriors are the National Basketball Association team and they play at Chase Stadium.

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About the Author

Jesse Elop is a graduate from the University of Oregon now working at the University of Washington National Primate Research Center. He is passionate about wildlife and loves learning about animal biology and conservation. His favorite animals- besides his pup, Rosie- are zebras, mandrills, and bonobos. Jesse's background in biology and anthropology have supplied him with many fun facts that might just pop up in some of his articles!

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