Report: 38.5 Percent of S.F. Adults Need Roommates

A real world analysis of today’s San Francisco shows that nearly 40 percent of us allegedly grown-up adults still cannot afford our own place.

Depressed by the shattered dream that you will never afford to own a home in San Francisco? At least you’re not alone. Online real estate database Zillow just released its annual report on how many American adults have roommates, and, unsurprisingly, almost 40 percent of San Francisco adults can’t make ends meet by themselves and have to live with roommates.

The exact number of San Francisco adults with roommates is 38.5 percent. The only way to find that number is by playing with Zillow’s Share of Doubled-Up Adults interactive graphic and adjusting which cities and years display on your chart. The screenshot for San Francisco 2016 is seen below, with a visible pattern of more San Franciscans needing roommates.

Screenshot: Zillow


 “We define a doubled-up household as one in which at least two working-age, unmarried or un-partnered adults live together,” Zillow’s Lauren Bretz said in the analysis, noting that grow-up kids living with their parents are included in the total. “A doubled-up household contains people who might choose to live apart under different circumstances, financial or otherwise.”

In other words, that 38.5 percent is not just renters. These numbers also include homeowners who rent out a room to help make their mortgage payments.   

The awful irony is that while San Francisco is the third-most roommate-prevalent city in the U.S. (behind Los Angeles and Miami), our economic trends actually stack up pretty well compared to the rest of the country. The percentage of San Franciscans with roommates has only gone up three percent since the 2010 census. Nationally, that number has increased 13 percent over the same period of time.

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