Living in San Francisco vs the Rest of the World

Income Inequality

We know living in San Francisco is expensive. But just how expensive is it really? We quickly break down some comparisons of what it would take for people outside of San Francisco to try and afford San Francisco real estate and cost of living.

The median income in San Francisco is $75,604 per year. 1.4 typical urban Americans earning $52,988 would have to work all year to make the same amount of money. Rural Americans have it slightly tougher: 1.8 of them would be needed, earning $41,198 per year to match the income of one San Francisco resident.

Income disparities get significantly larger once we leave the U.S. The median income in India is just $616 per year. 122 typical Indians would be needed to generate as much income as one typical San Francisco resident. Finally, 240 Africans earning the continent’s median income of $315 per year would match the income of one worker in San Fransisco.

Cost of Living

The median cost of a one bedroom apartment in San Francisco is more than $3,000 per month. The median rent cost for the same sized apartment in other urban areas was only $699, and in rural areas it was $354. In India, the cost of housing per month comes to $91 and in Kenya a one-bedroom apartment can be expected to cost $88 per month.

With a $3,000/month rent cost in San Francisco and a $75,000 typical annual income, San Franciscans will have a much harder time finding housing to match their incomes than those from other areas of the U.S., both urban and rural alike.

The median San Franciscoan will have to work half the year to make rent, while those in other cities and rural areas can cover their annual rent by working just two months.

Moving outside the U.S., the challenges grow. With a $616 median income and $91 per month for the typical one-bedroom apartment, non-communal housing in India becomes unaffordable for most. The situation is worse in Africa, where someone would have to work three years to afford one year of rent.