San Francisco boasts world’s highest salaries amid rising homelessness

Stock market gadflies were predicting a wealth boom to strike San Francisco this year, with several big-name tech companies set to enter the public market. But according to Deutsche Bank, the city is already there.

San Francisco beat out all other world cities for having the highest salaries and most disposable income, according to Deutsche Bank’s “Mapping the World’s Prices 2019” survey – and that’s even after taking into account the notoriously high rent.

The city climbed a “stunning” seven places for salary and 21 places for disposable income over the past five years, the report states. Deutsche Bank calculated a typical monthly salary for San Franciscans based on net taxes and found it to be about $6,500 in 2019 – a 31% jump from the $5,000 calculated the year before, and an 88% change over the past five years.

Researchers calculated that an average two-salary household in the city would be left each month with about $4,700 after rent, a 50% jump from the year before, and a 143% jump over the past five years.

“Overall, this shows that the rapid growth of the US tech sector is helping [San Francisco] beat traditional capital cities for incomes,” the report states.

San Francisco knocked Zurich out for the No 1 spot, though Switzerland’s biggest city still leads for quality of life.

Tuesday’s report reflects the area’s rising wealth amid the latest tech boom, but it says little about rising inequality in the area. San Francisco saw a 17% increase in its homeless population since its last count, with numbers rising to levels that have not been recorded in 17 years.

The increase in the homeless population comes as a gross receipts tax designed to create funds for homeless services from companies with revenues over $50m is being contested in court, and as residents in a wealthy waterfront neighborhood raised more than $101,000 in a crowdfunding campaign to pay for an attorney to fight the construction of a nearby homeless shelter.