Local Blogs

By Steve Levy

Palo Alto by the Numbers

Uploaded: Jan 18, 2014

Below are some facts about Palo Alto's population. Some come from the 1990, 2000 and 2010 Census and some come from the 2008-2012 American Community Survey.
In 2013 there were 66,363 residents living in 26,718 housing units.

Between 1990 and 2000 Palo Alto added 2,757 residents. Between 2000 and 2010 city population increased by 5,805.

Also between 2000 and 2010 the Asian population increased by 7,371 and accounts for 27% of Palo Alto residents.

In 2010 17.1% of the population was over 65 compared to 11.4% statewide.

62.4% of housing units are single family and 37.6% are in multiple family structures. 57.5% are owner occupied and 42.5% are renter occupied, close to the state average of 44.0%.

In 2010 17,869 or 67.4% of households had no children. The % of residents under 18 (23.4%) was close to the 25.0% state average.

80% of residents over 25 have at least a Bachelor's degree (30% statewide) and 51% have an advanced degree (11% statewide).

Median (half above, half below) HH income is $122,000 and average HH income is around $180,000.

The poverty rate is 4.9% (statewide average is 15.3%) and the unemployment rate for residents is 3.2% (November 2013) compared to 8.5% statewide.

31% of residents are foreign born, slightly below the county average of 37%. 83% of foreign born residents have at least a Bachelor's degree. Slightly more than half of the foreign born residents are already citizens.

Between 2010 and 2013 the State Department of Finance estimates that Palo Alto added nearly 2,000 residents but fewer than 300 households, which implies that most of the population growth went into existing units.

These are the numbers.

We can discuss what this implies for planning and infrastructure, about whose voices are here to be counted in developing policies for Palo Alto's future policies, and what these trends imply the city will look like in the future.

One trend is clear. We have an above average share of residents over 65, they will age over the next 10-20 years and their share will grow substantially if they are able and interested in remaining in the city.