Sustainability Goals

A community can adapt to changing population dynamics without negatively impacting quality of life or depleting non-renewable natural resources.

Updated March 2017

Total Population 2000-2016

  • In January 2016, the county population increased substantially by 12,918 from 2015, a 10% increase compared to the low of 699,277 in 2005.
  • Separate from data reported above, the Center for Migration Studies  estimates that there were 57,000 undocumented residents in the county in 2014.

The size, age, and composition of the population are important indicators for community planning and economic activity. Shifts in the demographic profile such as increased immigration and movement towards younger or older age groups can bring new demands for public services, impact economic growth, and exert pressure on open space or natural resources.

  • In 2016, natural increase (number of births minus number of deaths) added 4,118 residents to San Mateo County, 10% lower than the year prior.
  • Net migration is a combination of foreign immigration (legal and unauthorized foreign immigration, as well as residents leaving the county to live abroad), and domestic migration (people moving within the United States to and from San Mateo County). In July 2016, the county added 4,866 residents through foreign immigration and lost 5,241 residents to domestic migration.
  • In 2016, the only county in the Bay Area to have a loss in net migration was San Mateo County. For all other counties and the state overall, net foreign immigration balanced the loss in net domestic migration.
  • San Mateo County is projected to add approximately 106,504 residents by 2040, while the Bay Area is projected to grow by over 1 million people.
  • Calculations made by the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) and Plan Bay Area project even higher population growth between now and 2040. According to their forecasts, San Mateo County will add 185,000 residents and the Bay Area will grow by 2 million.
  • Planning now for additional housing and transportation to accommodate the region’s growth is essential.

  • As our population ages, the share of residents 65 and older is projected to nearly double. By 2040, nearly one in four county residents is expected to be 65 and older.

  • The composition of the county by race/ethnicity will also change over the next twenty years, with the most pronounced growth expected in the share of total population that is Hispanic/Latino.

(jump to top of page)


Center for Migration Studies. (2017). San Mateo County (Data Query). Retrieved from

State of California, Department of Finance. (2017). E-1 Report (Data File). Retrieved from

State of California, Department of Finance. (2017). E-6 Report (Data File). Retrieved from

Share Button

From the 2017 Indicators Report

Between 1989 and 2014, low income wages decreased by 7% and high income wages increased by 27% in San Mateo County.

Featured Video

Quotable Quote

‟When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.”—John Muir