San Luis Obispo, CA Profile: Facts, Map & Data


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San Luis Obispo, California - Basic Facts

The City of San Luis Obispo had a population of 48,476 as of July 1, 2018. San Luis Obispo ranks in the upper quartile for Population Density when compared to the other cities, towns and Census Designated Places (CDPs) in California. See peer rankings below.

The primary coordinate point for San Luis Obispo is located at latitude 35.2639 and longitude -120.6636 in San Luis Obispo County. The formal boundaries for the City of San Luis Obispo (see map below) encompass a land area of 13.13 sq. miles and a water area of 0.15 sq. miles. San Luis Obispo County is in the Pacific time zone (GMT -8). The elevation is 233 feet.

The City of San Luis Obispo (GNIS ID: 2411796) has a C1 Census Class Code which indicates an active incorporated place that does not serve as a county subdivision equivalent. It also has a Functional Status Code of "A" which identifies an active government providing primary general-purpose functions.

California is one of 20 states where Census County Divisions (CCDs) are used for statistical tracking of subdivisions within each county. The City of San Luis Obispo is located within San Luis Obispo CCD of San Luis Obispo County.

Beneath the boundary map are tables with San Luis Obispo population, income and housing data, five-year growth projections and peer comparisons for key demographic data. The estimates are for July 1, 2018.

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City of San Luis Obispo, CA Boundary Map

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San Luis Obispo, CA Data & Demographics (As of July 1, 2018)


Total Population 48,476
Population in Households 46,302
Population in Familes 23,476
Population in Group Qrtrs 2,174
Population Density2 3,692
Diversity Index3 51


Median Household Income $47,175
Average Household Income $73,628
Per Capita Income $31,510


Total Housing Units 21,908 (100%)
Owner Occupied HU 8,770 (40.0%)
Renter Occupied HU 11,672 (53.3%)
Vacant Housing Units 1,466 ( 6.7%)
Median Home Value $663,262
Average Home Value $721,310


Total Households 20,442
Average Household Size 2.27
Family Households 8,137
Average Family Size 3
  1. If the ratio of the TDP to Total Population is greater than 1, the location gains population during the day when commuting workers are present. If the ratio is less than 1, the location is more of a bedroom community where people commute to another place for work.
  2. Population Density = Total Population per square mile.
  3. The Diversity Index is a scale of 0 to 100 that represents the likelihood that two persons, chosen at random from the same area, belong to different race or ethnic groups. If an area's entire population belongs to one race AND one ethnic group, then the area has zero diversity. An area's diversity index increases to 100 when the population is evenly divided into two or more race/ethnic groups.


2010-2017 2017-2022
Population 0.86% 0.83%
Households 0.75% 0.81%
Families 0.79% 0.79%
Median Household Income   2.96%
Per Capita Income   3.15%

San Luis Obispo, CA - Peer Comparisons by Rank and Percentile

The table below compares San Luis Obispo to the other 1,516 incorporated cities, towns and CDPs in California by rank and percentile using July 1, 2018 data. The location Ranked # 1 has the highest value. A location that ranks higher than 75% of its peers would be in the 75th percentile of the peer group.

Variable Description Rank Percentile
Total Population # 195 87th
Population Density # 358 76th
Diversity Index # 978 36th
Median Household Income # 1071 29th
Per Capita Income # 717 53rd

Additional comparisons and rankings can be made with a VERY EASY TO USE California Census Data Comparison Tool.

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