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Most of San Francisco’s Immigrants Come From These Countries

Updated: May 09, 2022 08:00
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Photo of SF’s Chinatown by David Yu

Nearly 14% of the United States population is composed of immigrants. But in reality, the vast majority of Americans today are here because of relatives who immigrated from other countries some time in the last several hundred years.

And while the distinctive American culture and spirit is the result of blending many diverse cultures and histories, the United States has for centuries had an up-and-down relationship with immigration. Each era of immigration has been met with reductive ideas and resistance, whether the backlash was directed toward the Chinese, Irish, Italians, or Mexicans.

Immigration laws have targeted specific groups at various times, stoking intolerance and preventing people from truly joining American society. Over time, however, as laws changed to be more equitable and immigrants found their footings, we have reaped the rewards of innovation in business, music, art, literature, dance, food, societal norms, entertainment, and sports—all while realizing a greater understanding of and respect for different cultures, religions, and ideas. Stacker compiled a list of the countries most immigrants to San Francisco come from, using data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Countries are ranked by highest number of foreign-born residents who lived in San Francisco as of 2019’s five-year estimates.

Keep reading to find out more about the immigrant community in your home city.

#50. Romania

San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA Metro Area
– Number of residents: 3,099
– Percent of foreign born residents: 0.2%

National
– Number of residents: 162,046
– Percent of foreign born residents: 0.4%
– #45 most common country of origin

#49. Eritrea

San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA Metro Area
– Number of residents: 3,129
– Percent of foreign born residents: 0.2%

National
– Number of residents: 45,119
– Percent of foreign born residents: 0.1%
– #90 most common country of origin

#48. Portugal

San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA Metro Area
– Number of residents: 3,136
– Percent of foreign born residents: 0.2%

National
– Number of residents: 171,118
– Percent of foreign born residents: 0.4%
– #44 most common country of origin

#47. South Africa

San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA Metro Area
– Number of residents: 3,201
– Percent of foreign born residents: 0.2%

National
– Number of residents: 104,022
– Percent of foreign born residents: 0.2%
– #56 most common country of origin

#46. Yemen

San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA Metro Area
– Number of residents: 3,277
– Percent of foreign born residents: 0.2%

National
– Number of residents: 54,152
– Percent of foreign born residents: 0.1%
– #82 most common country of origin

#45. Singapore

San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA Metro Area
– Number of residents: 3,459
– Percent of foreign born residents: 0.2%

National
– Number of residents: 34,014
– Percent of foreign born residents: 0.1%
– #101 most common country of origin

#44. Spain

San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA Metro Area
– Number of residents: 3,632
– Percent of foreign born residents: 0.3%

National
– Number of residents: 115,113
– Percent of foreign born residents: 0.3%
– #55 most common country of origin

#43. Turkey

San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA Metro Area
– Number of residents: 3,633
– Percent of foreign born residents: 0.3%

National
– Number of residents: 119,380
– Percent of foreign born residents: 0.3%
– #54 most common country of origin

#42. Poland

San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA Metro Area
– Number of residents: 3,875
– Percent of foreign born residents: 0.3%

National
– Number of residents: 410,841
– Percent of foreign born residents: 0.9%
– #21 most common country of origin

#41. Egypt

San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA Metro Area
– Number of residents: 3,925
– Percent of foreign born residents: 0.3%

National
– Number of residents: 191,452
– Percent of foreign born residents: 0.4%
– #40 most common country of origin

#40. Cambodia

San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA Metro Area
– Number of residents: 4,140
– Percent of foreign born residents: 0.3%

National
– Number of residents: 151,066
– Percent of foreign born residents: 0.3%
– #46 most common country of origin

#39. Nigeria

San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA Metro Area
– Number of residents: 4,377
– Percent of foreign born residents: 0.3%

National
– Number of residents: 350,272
– Percent of foreign born residents: 0.8%
– #26 most common country of origin

#38. Malaysia

San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA Metro Area
– Number of residents: 4,419
– Percent of foreign born residents: 0.3%

National
– Number of residents: 76,521
– Percent of foreign born residents: 0.2%
– #74 most common country of origin

#37. Israel

San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA Metro Area
– Number of residents: 4,484
– Percent of foreign born residents: 0.3%

National
– Number of residents: 135,672
– Percent of foreign born residents: 0.3%
– #50 most common country of origin

#36. Argentina

San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA Metro Area
– Number of residents: 4,519
– Percent of foreign born residents: 0.3%

National
– Number of residents: 194,435
– Percent of foreign born residents: 0.4%
– #39 most common country of origin

#35. Laos

San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA Metro Area
– Number of residents: 4,716
– Percent of foreign born residents: 0.3%

National
– Number of residents: 181,546
– Percent of foreign born residents: 0.4%
– #42 most common country of origin

#34. Australia

San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA Metro Area
– Number of residents: 5,068
– Percent of foreign born residents: 0.4%

National
– Number of residents: 92,483
– Percent of foreign born residents: 0.2%
– #64 most common country of origin

#33. Colombia

San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA Metro Area
– Number of residents: 5,193
– Percent of foreign born residents: 0.4%

National
– Number of residents: 761,374
– Percent of foreign born residents: 1.7%
– #12 most common country of origin

#32. Ethiopia

San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA Metro Area
– Number of residents: 5,259
– Percent of foreign born residents: 0.4%

National
– Number of residents: 249,777
– Percent of foreign born residents: 0.6%
– #34 most common country of origin

#31. Honduras

San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA Metro Area
– Number of residents: 5,426
– Percent of foreign born residents: 0.4%

National
– Number of residents: 651,123
– Percent of foreign born residents: 1.5%
– #16 most common country of origin

#30. Nepal

San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA Metro Area
– Number of residents: 5,856
– Percent of foreign born residents: 0.4%

National
– Number of residents: 140,904
– Percent of foreign born residents: 0.3%
– #49 most common country of origin

#29. Ireland

San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA Metro Area
– Number of residents: 5,933
– Percent of foreign born residents: 0.4%

National
– Number of residents: 121,469
– Percent of foreign born residents: 0.3%
– #53 most common country of origin

#28. Indonesia

San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA Metro Area
– Number of residents: 6,373
– Percent of foreign born residents: 0.4%

National
– Number of residents: 96,229
– Percent of foreign born residents: 0.2%
– #62 most common country of origin

#27. Italy

San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA Metro Area
– Number of residents: 6,697
– Percent of foreign born residents: 0.5%

National
– Number of residents: 332,857
– Percent of foreign born residents: 0.8%
– #30 most common country of origin

#26. Thailand

San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA Metro Area
– Number of residents: 8,227
– Percent of foreign born residents: 0.6%

National
– Number of residents: 255,345
– Percent of foreign born residents: 0.6%
– #32 most common country of origin

#25. Ukraine

San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA Metro Area
– Number of residents: 9,688
– Percent of foreign born residents: 0.7%

National
– Number of residents: 345,250
– Percent of foreign born residents: 0.8%
– #28 most common country of origin

#24. Pakistan

San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA Metro Area
– Number of residents: 10,289
– Percent of foreign born residents: 0.7%

National
– Number of residents: 376,127
– Percent of foreign born residents: 0.9%
– #25 most common country of origin

#23. Fiji

San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA Metro Area
– Number of residents: 10,615
– Percent of foreign born residents: 0.7%

National
– Number of residents: 47,004
– Percent of foreign born residents: 0.1%
– #86 most common country of origin

#22. Afghanistan

San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA Metro Area
– Number of residents: 10,714
– Percent of foreign born residents: 0.7%

National
– Number of residents: 101,548
– Percent of foreign born residents: 0.2%
– #59 most common country of origin

#21. Burma

San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA Metro Area
– Number of residents: 11,097
– Percent of foreign born residents: 0.8%

National
– Number of residents: 147,573
– Percent of foreign born residents: 0.3%
– #47 most common country of origin

#20. France

San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA Metro Area
– Number of residents: 11,396
– Percent of foreign born residents: 0.8%

National
– Number of residents: 181,554
– Percent of foreign born residents: 0.4%
– #41 most common country of origin

#19. Brazil

San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA Metro Area
– Number of residents: 12,784
– Percent of foreign born residents: 0.9%

National
– Number of residents: 433,479
– Percent of foreign born residents: 1.0%
– #20 most common country of origin

#18. Germany

San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA Metro Area
– Number of residents: 14,893
– Percent of foreign born residents: 1.0%

National
– Number of residents: 560,368
– Percent of foreign born residents: 1.3%
– #17 most common country of origin

Photo by Jeff Pierre on Unsplash

#17. Russia

San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA Metro Area
– Number of residents: 14,983
– Percent of foreign born residents: 1.0%

National
– Number of residents: 391,641
– Percent of foreign born residents: 0.9%
– #22 most common country of origin

#16. Peru

San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA Metro Area
– Number of residents: 15,028
– Percent of foreign born residents: 1.0%

National
– Number of residents: 451,076
– Percent of foreign born residents: 1.0%
– #18 most common country of origin

#15. Japan

San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA Metro Area
– Number of residents: 15,872
– Percent of foreign born residents: 1.1%

National
– Number of residents: 345,140
– Percent of foreign born residents: 0.8%
– #29 most common country of origin

#14. Iran

San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA Metro Area
– Number of residents: 17,298
– Percent of foreign born residents: 1.2%

National
– Number of residents: 382,260
– Percent of foreign born residents: 0.9%
– #23 most common country of origin

#13. Nicaragua

San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA Metro Area
– Number of residents: 19,072
– Percent of foreign born residents: 1.3%

National
– Number of residents: 251,913
– Percent of foreign born residents: 0.6%
– #33 most common country of origin

#12. Canada

San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA Metro Area
– Number of residents: 21,513
– Percent of foreign born residents: 1.5%

National
– Number of residents: 808,566
– Percent of foreign born residents: 1.8%
– #11 most common country of origin

#11. United Kingdom

San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA Metro Area
– Number of residents: 25,231
– Percent of foreign born residents: 1.7%

National
– Number of residents: 698,612
– Percent of foreign born residents: 1.6%
– #14 most common country of origin

#10. Taiwan

San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA Metro Area
– Number of residents: 30,324
– Percent of foreign born residents: 2.1%

National
– Number of residents: 381,098
– Percent of foreign born residents: 0.9%
– #24 most common country of origin

#9. South Korea

San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA Metro Area
– Number of residents: 30,368
– Percent of foreign born residents: 2.1%

National
– Number of residents: 1,044,634
– Percent of foreign born residents: 2.4%
– #9 most common country of origin

#8. Guatemala

San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA Metro Area
– Number of residents: 33,589
– Percent of foreign born residents: 2.3%

National
– Number of residents: 979,098
– Percent of foreign born residents: 2.2%
– #10 most common country of origin

#7. Hong Kong

San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA Metro Area
– Number of residents: 45,149
– Percent of foreign born residents: 3.1%

National
– Number of residents: 231,275
– Percent of foreign born residents: 0.5%
– #36 most common country of origin

#6. El Salvador

San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA Metro Area
– Number of residents: 56,375
– Percent of foreign born residents: 3.9%

National
– Number of residents: 1,381,008
– Percent of foreign born residents: 3.1%
– #5 most common country of origin

#5. Vietnam

San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA Metro Area
– Number of residents: 60,583
– Percent of foreign born residents: 4.2%

National
– Number of residents: 1,336,988
– Percent of foreign born residents: 3.0%
– #6 most common country of origin

#4. India

San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA Metro Area
– Number of residents: 135,591
– Percent of foreign born residents: 9.4%

National
– Number of residents: 2,561,906
– Percent of foreign born residents: 5.8%
– #2 most common country of origin

#3. Philippines

San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA Metro Area
– Number of residents: 160,908
– Percent of foreign born residents: 11.1%

National
– Number of residents: 1,983,939
– Percent of foreign born residents: 4.5%
– #4 most common country of origin

#2. China

San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA Metro Area
– Number of residents: 224,854
– Percent of foreign born residents: 15.6%

National
– Number of residents: 2,162,395
– Percent of foreign born residents: 4.9%
– #3 most common country of origin

#1. Mexico

San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA Metro Area
– Number of residents: 230,302
– Percent of foreign born residents: 16.0%

National
– Number of residents: 11,250,541
– Percent of foreign born residents: 25.6%
– #1 most common country of origin

This article originally appeared on Stacker. It has been re-published pursuant to a CC BY-NC 4.0 License.

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2 Comments

  1. Sam
    May 9, 2022 at 7:08 am — Reply

    I don’t remember being asked what country I was from in census

  2. Cadence
    May 12, 2022 at 7:13 pm — Reply

    SF is like a mini united nations

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