1,000-year-old Viking Boat Burial Discovered Under Market Square in Norway

1,000-year-old Viking Boat Burial Discovered Under Market Square in Norway

A millennium-old Viking boat grave with bones and sheet bronze still inside has been discovered under a market square in Norway. The grave was found during one of the final days of excavations by the Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research (NIKU) in the Norwegian city of Trondheim.

Viking Ship Grave Found in Norway

A team of archaeologists excavating in Norway, have unearthed a 1,000-year-old Viking boat burial measuring more than 4 meters (13 feet). The tomb was found during excavations beneath the market square of the Norwegian city of Trondheim as Live Science reported . While none of the vessel's wood remains, preserved lumps of rust and nails indicate a boat was buried at the site between the 7 th and 10 th centuries AD. “Careful excavation works revealed that no wood remained intact, but lumps of rust and some poorly-preserved nails indicated that it was a boat that was buried here,” archaeologist Ian Reed told NIKU .

The Viking boat is in a poor state of preservation. Credit: Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research (NIKU)

The Importance of Ships in Viking Society

Many historians suggest that the Viking ship was one of the greatest technical and artistic achievements of the European dark ages. These fast ships had the strength to survive ocean crossings while having a draft of as little as 50cm (20 inches), allowing navigation in very shallow water. Ships were an important part of Viking society , not only as a means of transportation, but also for the prestige that it conferred on her owner and skipper. That’s why if a high-born clansman did not die at sea he would be buried in a ship on land, often with weapons and pottery.

Additionally, ships motivated the Vikings to embark on their voyages of trading, of raiding, and of exploration. Viking ships were quite varied, depending on what the ship was intended for, but they were generally characterized as being slender and flexible boats, with symmetrical ends with true keel. They were clinker built, which is the overlapping of planks riveted together. Some might have had a dragon's head or other circular object protruding from the bow and stern, for design, although this is only inferred from historical sources. Viking ships were not just used for their military prowess but for long-distance trade, exploration and colonization.

Viking ships were used for trade, raids and colonization.

The Tradition of Viking Boat Burials

Burial of ships is an ancient tradition in Scandinavia, stretching back to at least the Nordic Iron Age, as evidenced by the Hjortspring boat (400-300 BC) or the Nydam boats (200-450 AD), for example. Ships and bodies of water have held a major spiritual importance in the Norse cultures since at least the Nordic Bronze Age. The newly uncovered grave, which pointed north to south, was found with two long bones inside. Like the boat, these bones were oriented north to south, and experts will now perform DNA analysis to confirm that they are human.

Inner view of oak made Nydam-boat. ( CC by SA 3.0 )

Findings Include Sheet Bronze and a Piece of a Spoon

Other finds included a small piece of sheet bronze propped against one of the bones, as well as what appear to be personal items from the grave. Interestingly, in a pothole dug through the middle of the boat, the team found a piece of a spoon. “We also found a key to a small box in the grave,” team member Julian Cadamarteri told Norwegian daily Adresseavisen. And added, “If it originates from the grave, it [the site] is likely to date from anywhere between the 600s and the 900s.”

Could it be an Åfjord boat?

Åfjord, a municipality in Sør-Trøndelag County in Norway, is mainly known for its distinctive wooden boats that were dragged over this thin peninsula in order to shorten the journey and to avoid risking them in bad weather. Archaeologists speculate that the newly discovered boat could be an Åfjord boat, which has historically been a common sight along the Trøndelag coast as Knut Paasche, a specialist in early boats, suggests. “It is likely a boat that has been dug down into the ground and been used as a coffin for the dead. There has also probably been a burial mound over the boat and grave,” he tells NIKU . And continues, “This is another discovery by NIKU that refers to a Trondheim older than the medieval city. Other Viking settlements such as Birka, Gokstad or Kaupang, all have graves in close proximity to the trading centre,” pointing out that this is the first time a ship burial from the Iron Age and into the Viking Period been discovered in Trondheim city center.

The archaeological investigations are financed by the municipality of Trondheim and the Norwegian Directorate for Cultural Heritage.

Battle-Scarred Viking Shield-Maiden

Huge Hoard of Viking Sword Parts Found in Estonia

Huge Hoard of Viking Sword Parts Found in Estonia

Some of the hilts bear Viking era designs. ( Estonia Dept for the Protection of Antiquities / ERR)
Archaeologists have uncovered the fragments of about a hundred swords that once belonged to Viking warriors . They were unearthed in the Baltic country of Estonia. The experts believe that the fragments were once part of weapons used as grave markers or funerary monuments for warriors.

The fragments were uncovered in two separate although neighboring locations, near the coast in Northern Estonia. ERR reports that Mauri Kiudsoo, an archaeologist and archivist from Tallinn University, stated that the “two sites were located just 80 meters apart”. “The fragments were found in the territory of the ancient Estonian county of Ravala, late last autumn” according to ERR. This is not far from the capital of Tallinn.
Viking-era burial monument

In the two finds were found several dozen fragments from swords and also a collection of spearheads. Researchers have established that the artifacts were of a type used by the Vikings. Archaeology.org reports that they have been dated to “the middle of the tenth century AD”. Some sword hilts were recovered, and they have Viking era design motifs.

Solleveld boat grave

As said, in 2004 an excavation took place at the early-medieval grave field of Solleveld. A grave field known sinds the mid-’50s. Solleveld is part of a dune landscape close to the seashore, around 700 meters away from it. These are so-called old dunes, which were formed about 5,000 years ago. Then, due to a stabilizing sea level, the seashore expanded in western direction, at first. During the Roman Period, the western coastline of the Netherlands still lay several kilometers more to the west. Around 3,000 years ago, the sea got more grip on the sandy coast, and moved east. It coincided with strong dune formation, the so-called young dunes that covered most of the old dunes. These are much higher than the old dunes. This process came to a halt around 1600. The landscape of Solleveld is special, because it is one of the few remaining areas of the North Sea where the lime-low, old dunes are still visible and preserved. More to the north, most old dunes have been dug up to support the growing city of Amsterdam. Everything to make Amsterdam great, of course.

In the proximity of the grave field of Solleveld, more or less continuous habitation has been the case since the Late Iron Age. During the Roman Period, between 150-180, even a small fortress existed with a cavalry unit deployed, locally known as fort Ockenburg. From the end of the Roman Period, population along the coast of the Netherlands dropped, only to recover from mid-fifth century. Over the years, in total 46 graves have been identified at Solleveld. The grave field has been in use between appr. 550 and 650. Of these, 42 were cremations, of which 32 deposited in an urn, and 10 cremation deposits without an urn or jar. Besides cremations, 4 inhumations have been found, of which the boat grave is one. The grave field is within the Frisian cultural tradition, and in line with the excavation at Frankenslag in the city of The Hague (Magendans, 1989). Finds of particular interest are an inhumation of a man with weapons, and, of course, the boat grave. We shall discuss them in a bit more detail. For the full monty, check the research report itself (Waasdorp & Eimermann, 2008).

The inhumation of the man is very rich with weaponry. The grave turned out to be destroyed partially, due to earlier digging activities. The fact only the lower half of the grave and cadaver were missing, was kind of a make up, since most deposits are normally placed on the upper half of the deceased. Orientation of the body was north-south. First of all the grave contained a sword of the so-called spatha type. These are long swords with a double-edged blade. Furthermore, a seax was found, which is a large, single-edged knife. Besides the spatha and seax, another smaller knife, a spear and a shield were placed in the grave too. Interestingly, the shield probably was placed over the head of the cadaver. Lastly, a tinderbox was found, consisting of two flints and a piece of iron. The cadaver was buried in a wooden coffin. The grave is dated sixth century.

Then, finally, the boat grave. The grave is dated first half of the seventh century. Although all the wood had vanished, the rivets were still visible. Most rivets were too weak to be preserved. The patron of the rivets gave away wood of clinker-built ships was being used. Almost 90 rivets have been identified. The clinker-built technique is a Nordic tradition. It is an technique whereby hull planks overlap each other, and are fixated with iron rivets. This in contrast with the carvel tradition, whereby hull planks are placed next to each other. The carvel-built tradition is a southern tradition. In the river Rhine area, i.e. Frisia, the clinker and carvel traditions met, and (probably) both were being practiced in the Early Middle Ages. Read also our post It all began with piracy on the different ship types of Late Antiquity and Early Middle Ages in this region.

The grave had the shape of a boat, and was about 5 meters long. Only the sides of the grave were lined with boat planks. The floor was not. Presumably the grave was not very deep, and a burial chamber was created with tilted planks covering the boat. Similar as the two boat graves found at Fallward, north of Bremerhaven in Germany. The boat chamber was probably covered with earth, creating a small burial mound. The skeleton was not preserved, only a silhouette in the soil remained. Some of the clothing attributes have been preserved. These are a bronze fibula, a bronze belt fitting, and five beads. The belt fitting is of the so-called Rheinland type, and can therefore be dated third quarter of the seventh century. Lastly, an awl and two little knifes have been found in the boat grave too.


Bermuda is named after the Spanish sailor Juan de Bermúdez, who discovered the islands in 1505. [1]

An early appearance of the name in English literature is in Shakespeare's The Tempest, a play inspired by the wreck of the Sea Venture, though not set on the islands:

Thou call'dst me up at midnight to fetch dew
From the still-vex'd Bermoothes [10]

John Donne's poem The Storm uses the same idea:

Compar'd to these stormes, death is but a qualme,
Hell somewhat lightsome, and the’Bermuda calme.

Discovery Edit

Bermuda was discovered in the early 1500s by Spanish explorer Juan de Bermúdez. [12] [13] Bermuda had no indigenous population when it was discovered, nor during initial British settlement a century later. [14] It was mentioned in Legatio Babylonica, published in 1511 by historian Pedro Mártir de Anglería, and was included on Spanish charts of that year. [15] Both Spanish and Portuguese ships used the islands as a replenishment spot to take on fresh meat and water. Shipwrecked Portuguese mariners are now thought to have been responsible for the 1543 inscription on Portuguese Rock, previously called Spanish Rock. [16] Legends arose of spirits and devils, now thought to have stemmed from the calls of raucous birds (most likely the Bermuda petrel, or cahow) [17] and loud nocturnal noises from wild hogs. [18] With its frequent storm-wracked conditions and dangerous reefs, the archipelago became known as the 'Isle of Devils'. [19] Neither Spain nor Portugal attempted to settle it.

Settlement by the English Edit

For the next century, the island was frequently visited but not settled. The English began to focus on the New World, initially settling in Virginia, starting the Thirteen Colonies. After the failure of its first two colonies there, a more determined effort was initiated by King James I of England, who let the Virginia Company establish a colony at Jamestown, Virginia in 1607. Two years later, a flotilla of seven ships left England with several hundred settlers, food, and supplies to relieve the colony of Jamestown. [20] However the flotilla was broken up by a storm. One ship landed on Bermuda's reef and reached the shores safely, with all 151 of its passengers surviving. [12] (William Shakespeare's play The Tempest is thought to have been inspired by William Strachey's account of this shipwreck.) [12] [21] [22] While there, they started a new settlement and built two small ships, Deliverance and Patience, to sail on to Jamestown. Bermuda was now claimed for the English Crown.

On 10 May 1610, the remaining survivors of Sea Venture sailed on to Jamestown. The Virginia Company's admiral, George Somers returned to Bermuda with the Patience to obtain food for the starving Jamestown settlers but died in Bermuda the Patience instead sailed for England. In 1612, the English began settlement of the archipelago, officially named Virgineola, [23] with arrival of the ship the Plough. New London (renamed St. George's Town) was settled that year and designated as the colony's first capital. [24] [15] It is the oldest continually inhabited English town in the New World. [5]

In 1615, the colony, which had been renamed the Somers Isles in commemoration of Sir George Somers, was passed on to a new company, the Somers Isles Company. [25] [26] As Bermudians settled the Carolina Colony and contributed to establishing other English colonies in the Americas, several other locations were named after the archipelago. During this period the first enslaved people were held and trafficked to the islands. These were a mixture of enslaved native Africans who were trafficked to the Americas via the African slave trade and Native Americans who were enslaved from the Thirteen Colonies. [12]

The archipelago's limited land area and resources led to the creation of what may be the earliest conservation laws of the New World. In 1616 and 1620 acts were passed banning the hunting of certain birds and young tortoises. [27]

Civil War Edit

In 1649, the English Civil War was taking place and King Charles I was beheaded in Whitehall, London. The conflict spilled over into Bermuda, where most of the colonists developed a strong sense of devotion to the Crown. The royalists ousted the Somers Isles Company's Governor, and elected John Trimingham as their leader. Bermuda's civil war was ended by militias, and dissenters were pushed to settle The Bahamas under William Sayle. [28]

The rebellious royalist colonies of Bermuda, Virginia, Barbados and Antigua, were the subjects of an Act of the Rump Parliament of England that was essentially a declaration of war:

[W]hereas divers acts of Rebellion have been committed by many persons inhabiting in Barbada's, Antego, Bermuda's and Virginia, whereby they have most Trayterously, by Force and Subtilty, usurped a Power of Government, and seized the Estates of many well-affected persons into their hands, and banished others, and have set up themselves in opposition to, and distinct from this State and Commonwealth, . . . the Parliament of England taking the premises into consideration, and finding themselves obliged to use all speedy, lawful and just means for the Suppression of the said Rebellion in the said Plantations, and reducing the same to fidelity and due obedience, so as all peaceable and well-affected people, who have been Robbed, Spoiled, Imprisoned or Banished through the said Treasonable practices, may be restored to the freedom of their persons, and possession of their own Lands and Goods, and due punishment inflicted upon the said Delinquents, do Declare all and every the said persons in Barbada's, Antego, Bermuda's and Virginia, that have contrived, abetted, aided or assisted those horrid Rebellions, or have since willingly joyned with them, to be notorious Robbers and Traitors, and such as by the Law of Nations are not to be permitted any maner of Commerce or Traffique with any people whatsoever and do forbid to all maner of persons, Foreiners, and others, all maner of Commerce, Traffique and Correspondency whatsoever, to be used or held with the said Rebels in the Barbada's, Bermuda's, Virginia and Antego, or either of them. [29]

The royalist colonies were also threatened with invasion. The Government of Bermuda eventually reached an agreement with the Parliament of England which left the status quo in Bermuda.

Later 17th century Edit

In the 17th century, the Somers Isles Company suppressed shipbuilding, as it needed Bermudians to farm in order to generate income from the land. The Virginia colony, however, far surpassed Bermuda in both quality and quantity of tobacco produced. Bermudians began to turn to maritime trades relatively early in the 17th century, but the Somers Isles Company used all its authority to suppress turning away from agriculture. This interference led to islanders demanding, and receiving, revocation of the company's charter in 1684, and the company was dissolved. [12]

Bermudians rapidly abandoned agriculture for shipbuilding, replanting farmland with the native juniper (Juniperus bermudiana, called Bermuda cedar) trees that grew thickly over the entire island. Establishing effective control over the Turks Islands, Bermudians deforested their landscape to begin the salt trade. It became the world's largest and remained the cornerstone of Bermuda's economy for the next century. Bermudians also vigorously pursued whaling, privateering, and the merchant trade.

Bermuda and the American War of Independence Edit

Bermuda's ambivalence towards the American rebellion changed in September 1774, when the Continental Congress resolved to ban trade with Great Britain, Ireland, and the West Indies after 10 September 1775. Such an embargo would mean the collapse of their intercolonial commerce, famine and civil unrest. Lacking political channels with Great Britain, the Tucker Family met in May 1775 with eight other parishioners, and resolved to send delegates to the Continental Congress in July, aiming for an exemption from the ban. Henry Tucker noted a clause in the ban which allowed the exchange of American goods for military supplies. The clause was confirmed by Benjamin Franklin when Tucker met with the Pennsylvania Committee of Safety. Independently, others confirmed this business arrangement with Peyton Randolph the Charlestown Committee of Safety, and George Washington. [30]

Three American boats, operating from Charlestown, Philadelphia and Newport, sailed to Bermuda, and on 14 August 1775, 100 barrels of gunpowder were taken from the Bermudian magazine while Governor George James Bruere slept, and loaded onto these boats. As a consequence, on 2 October the Continental Congress exempted Bermuda from their trade ban, and Bermuda acquired a reputation for disloyalty. Later that year, the British Parliament passed the Prohibitory Act to prohibit trade with the American rebelling colonies, and sent HMS Scorpion to keep watch over the island. The island's forts were stripped of cannons. Yet, wartime trade of contraband continued along well-established family connections. With 120 boats by 1775, Bermuda continued to trade with St. Eustatius until 1781, and provided salt to North American ports. [30] : 389–415

In June 1776, HMS Nautilus secured the island, followed by HMS Galatea in September. Yet, the two British captains seemed more intent on capturing prize money, causing a severe food shortage on the island until the departure of Nautilus in October. After France's entry into the war in 1778, Henry Clinton refortified the island under the command of Major William Sutherland. As a result, 91 French and American ships were captured in the winter of 1778–1779, bringing the population once again to the brink of starvation. Bermudian trade was severely hampered by the combined efforts of the Royal Navy, the British garrison and loyalist privateers, such that famine struck the island in 1779. [30] : 416–427

The death of George Bruere in 1780 turned the governorship over to his son, George Jr., an active loyalist. Under his leadership, smuggling was stopped, and the Bermudian colonial government was populated with like-minded loyalists. Even Henry Tucker abandoned trading with the United States, because of the presence of many privateers. [30] : 428–433

The Bermuda Gazette, Bermuda's first newspaper, began publishing in 1784. [31] [32] [33]

19th century Edit

After the American Revolution, the Royal Navy began improving the harbours on the Bermudas. In 1811, work began on the large Royal Naval Dockyard on Ireland Island, which was to serve as the islands' principal naval base guarding the western Atlantic Ocean shipping lanes. To guard the dockyard, the British Army built a large Bermuda Garrison, and heavily fortified the archipelago.

During the War of 1812 between Britain and the United States, the British attacks on Washington, D.C. and the Chesapeake were planned and launched from Bermuda, where the headquarters of the Royal Navy's North American Station had recently been moved from Halifax, Nova Scotia. [ citation needed ]

In 1816, James Arnold, the son of Benedict Arnold, fortified Bermuda's Royal Naval Dockyard against possible US attacks. [34] Today, the National Museum of Bermuda, which incorporates Bermuda's Maritime Museum, occupies the Keep of the Royal Naval Dockyard.

The British abolished the slave trade in 1807, but not the institution itself. [35] As a result of frequent slave rebellions in their other colonies, as well as the efforts of British abolitionists, the British Parliament abolished slavery in 1833. [15] [12]

Due to its proximity to the southeastern US coast, Bermuda was frequently used during the American Civil War as a stopping point base for the Confederate States' blockade runners on their runs to and from the Southern states, and England, to evade Union naval vessels on blockade patrol [15] [12] the blockade runners were then able to transport essential war goods from England and deliver valuable cotton back to England. The old Globe Hotel in St. George's, which was a centre of intrigue for Confederate agents, is preserved as a public museum.

Anglo-Boer War Edit

During the Anglo-Boer War (1899–1902), 5,000 Boer prisoners of war were housed on five islands of Bermuda. They were located according to their views of the war. "Bitterenders" (Afrikaans: Bittereinders), who refused to pledge allegiance to the British Crown, were interned on Darrell's Island and closely guarded. Other islands such as Morgan's Island held 884 men, including 27 officers Tucker's Island held 809 Boer prisoners, Burt's Island 607, and Port's Island held 35. [36]

The New York Times reported an attempted mutiny by Boer prisoners of war en route to Bermuda and that martial law was enacted on Darrell's Island, [37] in addition to the escape of three Boer prisoners to mainland Bermuda, [38] a young Boer soldier stowed away and sailed from Bermuda to New York on the steamship Trinidad. [39]

The most famous escapee was the Boer prisoner of war Captain Fritz Joubert Duquesne, who was serving a life sentence for "conspiracy against the British government and on (the charge of) espionage". [40] On the night of 25 June 1902, Duquesne slipped out of his tent, worked his way over a barbed-wire fence, swam 1.5 miles (2.4 km) past patrol boats and bright spotlights, through storm-wracked waters, using the distant Gibbs Hill Lighthouse for navigation until he arrived ashore on the main island. [41] From there he escaped to the port of St. George's and a week later, he stowed away on a boat heading to Baltimore, Maryland. [42] He settled in the US and later became a spy for Germany in both World Wars. He claimed to be responsible for the 1916 death of Lord Kitchener in the sinking of HMS Hampshire, the head of the British Army who had also commanded British forces in South Africa during the second Boer War, but this had resulted from a mine. In 1942, Col. Duquesne was arrested by the FBI for leading the Duquesne Spy Ring, which to this day remains the largest espionage case in the history of the United States. [43]

Lord Kitchener's brother, Lt. Gen. Sir Walter Kitchener, had been the governor of Bermuda from 1908 until his death in 1912. His son, Major Hal Kitchener, bought Hinson's Island (with his partner, Major Hemming, another First World War aviator). The island had formerly been part of the Boer POW camp, housing teenaged prisoners from 1901 to 1902.

20th and 21st centuries Edit

In the early 20th century, as modern transport and communication systems developed, Bermuda became a popular destination for American, Canadian and British tourists arriving by sea. The US Smoot–Hawley Tariff Act of 1930, which enacted protectionist trade tariffs on goods imported into the US, led to the demise of Bermuda's once-thriving agricultural export trade to America and encouraged development of tourism as an alternative source of income. The island was one of the centres for illegal alcohol smuggling during the era of Prohibition in the United States (1920–1933). [15] [12]

A rail line was constructed in Bermuda in the 1920s, opening in 1931 as the Bermuda Railway. Although popular, its high operating costs and the introduction of automobiles to the islands doomed the line, which was abandoned in 1948. [44] The right of way is now the Bermuda Railway Trail. [45]

In 1930, after several failed attempts, a Stinson Detroiter seaplane flew to Bermuda from New York City, the first aeroplane ever to reach the islands. The flight was not without incident, as the aircraft had to land twice in the ocean, once because of darkness and again when it needed to refuel. Navigation and weather forecasting improved in 1933 when the Royal Air Force (then responsible for providing equipment and personnel for the Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm) established a station at the Royal Naval Dockyard to repair float planes (and supply replacements) for the fleet. In 1936, Luft Hansa began to experiment with seaplane flights from Berlin via the Azores with continuation flights to New York City. [46]

In 1937, Imperial Airways and Pan American Airways began operating scheduled flying boat airline services from New York and Baltimore to Darrell's Island, Bermuda. In World War II the Hamilton Princess Hotel became a censorship centre. All mail, radio and telegraphic traffic bound for Europe, the US and the Far East was intercepted and analysed by 1,200 censors, of British Imperial Censorship, part of British Security Coordination (BSC), before being routed to their destination. [47] [48] With BSC working closely with the FBI, the censors were responsible for the discovery and arrest of a number of Axis spies operating in the US, including the Joe K ring. [49] In 1948, a regularly scheduled commercial airline service began to operate, using land-based aeroplanes landing at Kindley Field (now L.F. Wade International Airport), helping tourism to reach a peak in the 1960s and 1970s. By the end of the 1970s, however, international business had supplanted tourism as the dominant sector of Bermuda's economy.

The Royal Naval Dockyard and its attendant military garrison remained important to Bermuda's economy until the mid-20th century. In addition to considerable building work, the armed forces needed to source food and other materials from local vendors. Beginning in World War II, US military installations were also located in Bermuda, including a naval air station and submarine base along with US Army air, anti-aircraft, and coast artillery forces. The Army forces were under the Bermuda Base Command during the war, with some shifting and renaming of bases between the US Army, Navy, and Air Force after the war. The American military presence lasted until 1995. [50]

Universal adult suffrage and development of a two-party political system took place in the 1960s. [12] Universal suffrage was adopted as part of Bermuda's Constitution in 1967 voting had previously been dependent on a certain level of property ownership.

On 10 March 1973, the governor of Bermuda, Richard Sharples, was assassinated by local Black Power militants during a period of civil unrest. [12] Some moves were made towards possible independence for the islands, however this was decisively rejected in a referendum in 1995. [12]

Bermuda is a group of low-forming volcanoes in the Atlantic Ocean, in the west of the Sargasso Sea, roughly 578 nautical miles (1,070 km 665 mi) east-southeast of Cape Hatteras [51] on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, United States which is the nearest landmass. [1] [52]

Although usually referred to as one island, the territory consists of 181 islands, [53] with a total area of 53.3 square kilometres (20.6 square miles). [53] The largest island is Main Island (also called Bermuda). Eight larger and populated islands are connected by bridges. [53] The territory is largely low-lying, with the tallest peak being Town Hill on Main Island at 79 metres tall (260'). [1] [54] The territory's coastline is 103 km (64 mi). [1]

Bermuda gives its name to the Bermuda Triangle, a region of sea in which, according to legend, a number of aircraft and boats have disappeared under unexplained or mysterious circumstances. [55]

Main sights Edit

Bermuda's pink sand beaches and clear, cerulean blue ocean waters are popular with tourists. [56] Many of Bermuda's hotels are located along the south shore of the island. In addition to its beaches, there are a number of sightseeing attractions. Historic St. George's is a designated World Heritage Site. Scuba divers can explore numerous wrecks and coral reefs in relatively shallow water (typically 30–40 ft or 9–12 m in depth), with virtually unlimited visibility. Many nearby reefs are readily accessible from shore by snorkellers, especially at Church Bay.

Bermuda's most popular visitor attraction is the Royal Naval Dockyard, which includes the National Museum of Bermuda. [57] Other attractions include the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo, [58] Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute, the Botanical Gardens and Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art, lighthouses, and the Crystal Caves with stalactites and underground saltwater pools.

It is impossible to rent a car on the island public transport and taxis are available or visitors can hire scooters for use as private transport. [53]

Geology Edit

Bermuda consists of over 150 limestone islands, but especially five main islands, along the southern margin of the Bermuda Platform, one of three topographic highs found on the Bermuda Pedestal. This Bermuda Pedestal sits atop the Bermuda Rise, a mid-basin swell surrounded by abyssal plains. Initial uplift of this rise occurred in the Middle to Late Eocene and concluded by the Late Oligocene, when it subsided below sea level. The volcanic rocks associated with this rise are tholeiitic lavas and intrusive lamprophyre sheets, which form a volcanic basement, on average, 50 metres (165') below the island carbonate surface. [59]

The limestones of Bermuda consist of biocalcarenites with minor conglomerates. The portion of Bermuda above sea level consists of rocks deposited by aeolian processes. These eolianites are actually the type locality, and formed during interglaciations, and are laced by red paleosols, also referred to as geosols or terra rossas, indicative of Saharan atmospheric dust and forming during glacial stages. The stratigraphic column starts with the Walsingham Formation, overlain by the Castle Harbour Geosol, the Lower and Upper Town Hill Formations separated by the Harbour Road Geosol, the Ord Road Geosol, the Belmont Formation, the Shore Hills Geosol, the Rocky Bay Formation, and the Southampton Formation. [59]

The older eolianite ridges (Older Bermuda) are more rounded and subdued compared to the outer coastline (Younger Bermuda). Thus, post deposition morphology includes chemical erosion, with inshore water bodies demonstrating that much of Bermuda is partially drowned Pleistocene karst. The Walsingham Formation is a clear example, constituting the cave district around Castle Harbour. The Upper Town Hill Formation forms the core of the Main Island, and prominent hills such as Town Hill, Knapton Hill, and St. David's Lighthouse, while the highest hills, Gibbs Hill Lighthouse, are due to the Southampton Formation. [59]

Bermuda has two major aquifers, the Langton Aquifer located within the Southampton, Rocky Bay and Belmont Formations, and the Brighton Aquifer located within the Town Hill Formation. Four freshwater lenses occur in Bermuda, with the Central Lens being the largest on Main Island, containing an area of 7.2 km 2 (1,800 acres) and a thickness greater than 10 metres (30'). [59]

Climate Edit

Bermuda has a tropical rainforest climate (Köppen climate classification: Af), bordering very closely on a humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification: Cfa). Bermuda is warmed by the nearby Gulf Stream, and low latitude. The islands may experience modestly cooler temperatures in January, February, and March [average 17 °C (63 °F)]. [8] There has never been snow, a frost or freeze on record in Bermuda. [60]

Summertime heat index in Bermuda can be high, although mid-August temperatures rarely exceed 30 °C (86 °F). The highest recorded temperature was 34 °C (93 °F) in August 1989. [61] The average annual temperature of the Atlantic Ocean around Bermuda is 22.8 °C (73.0 °F), from 18.6 °C (65.5 °F) in February to 28.2 °C (82.8 °F) in August. [62]

Bermuda is in the hurricane belt. [1] Along the Gulf Stream, it is often directly in the path of hurricanes recurving in the westerlies, although they usually begin to weaken as they approach Bermuda, whose small size means that direct landfalls of hurricanes are rare. The most recent hurricanes to cause significant damage to Bermuda were category 2 Hurricane Gonzalo on 18 October 2014 and category 3 Hurricane Nicole on 14 October 2016, both of which struck the island directly. Hurricane Paulette directly hit the island in 2020. Before that, Hurricane Fabian on 5 September 2003 was the last major hurricane to hit Bermuda directly.

With no rivers or freshwater lakes, the only source of fresh water is rainfall, which is collected on roofs and catchments (or drawn from underground lenses) and stored in tanks. [1] Each dwelling usually has at least one of these tanks forming part of its foundation. The law requires that each household collect rainwater that is piped down from the roof of each house. Average monthly rainfall is highest in October, at over 6 inches (150 mm), and lowest in April and May.

Access to biocapacity in Bermuda is much lower than world average. In 2016, Bermuda had 0.14 global hectares [63] of biocapacity per person within its territory, far lower than the world average of 1.6 global hectares per person. [64] In 2016 Bermuda used 7.5 global hectares of biocapacity per person—their ecological footprint of consumption. This means they use much more biocapacity than Bermuda contains. As a result, Bermuda runs a biocapacity deficit. [63]

Climate data for Hamilton – capital of Bermuda (L.F. Wade International Airport) 1981–2010, extremes 1949–2010
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 25.4
Average high °C (°F) 20.7
Daily mean °C (°F) 18.3
Average low °C (°F) 15.8
Record low °C (°F) 7.2
Average precipitation mm (inches) 139
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 inch) 18 16 16 12 10 11 13 15 14 15 14 15 169
Average relative humidity (%) 73 73 73 74 79 81 80 79 77 74 72 72 76
Mean monthly sunshine hours 142.9 144.5 185.7 228.1 248.1 257.2 281.0 274.1 220.1 197.5 170.3 142.5 2,492
Source: Bermuda Weather Service (sun, 1999–2010) [62] [65]

Flora and fauna Edit

When discovered, Bermuda was uninhabited by humans and mostly dominated by forests of Bermuda cedar, with mangrove marshes along its shores. [66] Only 165 of the island's current 1,000 vascular plant species are considered native fifteen of those, including the eponymous cedar, are endemic. [67] The semi-tropical climate of Bermuda allowed settlers to introduce many species of trees and plants to the island. Today, many types of palm trees, fruit trees, and bananas grow on Bermuda, though the cultivated coconut palms are considered non-native and may be removed. [ clarification needed ] The country contains the Bermuda subtropical conifer forests terrestrial ecoregion. [68]

The only indigenous mammals of Bermuda are five species of bat, all of which are also found in the eastern United States: Lasionycteris noctivagans, Lasiurus borealis, Lasiurus cinereus, Lasiurus seminolus and Perimyotis subflavus. [69] Other commonly known fauna of Bermuda include its national bird, the Bermuda petrel or cahow, which was rediscovered in 1951 after having been thought extinct since the 1620s. [70] The cahow is important as an example of a Lazarus species, hence the government has a programme to protect it, including restoration of its habitat areas.

The Bermuda rock lizard (or Bermuda rock skink) was long thought to have been the only indigenous land vertebrate of Bermuda, discounting the marine turtles that lay their eggs on its beaches. However, scientists have recently discovered through genetic DNA studies that a species of turtle, the diamondback terrapin, previously thought to have been introduced to the archipelago, actually pre-dated the arrival of humans. [71] As this species spends most of its time in brackish ponds, some argue that it should be classified as a land vertebrate to compete with the skink's unique status.

Bermuda's 2016 Census put its population at 63,779 and, with an area of 53.2 km 2 (20.5 sq mi), it has a calculated population density of 1,201/km 2 (3,111/mi 2 ). [2] As of July 2018, the population is estimated to be 71,176. [1]

The racial makeup of Bermuda as recorded by the 2016 census, was 52% Black, 31% White, 9% multiracial, 4% Asian, and 4% other races, these numbers being based on self-identification. The majority of those who answered "Black" may have any mixture of black, white or other ancestry. Native-born Bermudians made up 70% of the population, compared to 30% non-natives. [2]

The island experienced large-scale immigration over the 20th century, especially after World War II. Bermuda has a diverse population including both those with relatively deep roots in Bermuda that extend back for centuries, and newer communities whose ancestry results from recent immigration, especially from Britain, North America, the West Indies, and the Portuguese Atlantic islands (especially the Azores and Madeira), although these groups are steadily merging. About 64% of the population identified themselves with Bermudian ancestry in 2010, which was an increase from the 51% who did so in the 2000 census. Those identifying with British ancestry dropped by 1% to 11% (although those born in Britain remain the largest non-native group at 3,942 persons). The number of people born in Canada declined by 13%. Those who reported West Indian ancestry were 13%. The number of people born in the West Indies actually increased by 538. A significant segment of the population is of Portuguese ancestry (25%), the result of immigration over the past 160 years, [72] of whom 79% have residency status. In June 2018, Premier Edward David Burt announced that 4 November 2019 "will be declared a public holiday to mark the 170th anniversary of the arrival of the first Portuguese immigrants in Bermuda" due to the significant impact that Portuguese immigration has had on the territory. [73] Those first immigrants arrived from Madeira aboard the vessel the Golden Rule on 4 November 1849. [74]

There are also several thousand expatriate workers, principally from Britain, Canada, the West Indies, South Africa and the United States, who reside in Bermuda. They are primarily engaged in specialised professions such as accounting, finance, and insurance. Others are employed in various trades, such as hotels, restaurants, construction, and landscaping services. Of the total workforce of 38,947 persons in 2005, government employment figures stated that 11,223 (29%) were non-Bermudians. [75]

Languages Edit

The predominant language on Bermuda is Bermudian English. [1] It exhibits characteristics of English as spoken on the Atlantic Seaboard of the United States of America (especially in the region around Virginia), in the Canadian Maritimes, southern England, and parts of the British West Indies. There has been noticeable variation in Bermudian English depending on the part of Bermuda and the demographic of the speaker. Much of the population adopted trans-Atlantic English over the latter decades of the twentieth century, while immigration has affected certain areas more than others. Many West Indian workers immigrated to Bermuda in the twentieth century, starting with hundreds of labourers brought in to expand the Royal Naval Dockyard at the West End at the start of the century. Many others immigrated later in the century, settling mostly in Pembroke Parish and western Devonshire Parish, north of the City of Hamilton, and the "back of town" (of Hamilton) dialect and the English spoken by many Blacks at the West End consequently reflects this. The West End also absorbed large numbers of civilian shipwrights and other British workers who were employed at the dockyard until it was reduced to a base in 1951. The central parishes also absorbed considerable numbers of white immigrants from Britain and elsewhere, especially in the years after World War II (when the local government loosened immigration laws to encourage white immigration to counter Black immigration from the West Indies), speaking various varieties of Southern England English, Northern England English, and Scots, et cetera. The central parishes were also where most immigrants from Portuguese territories have settled since the 1840s, and many Bermudians in this area especially speak a Portuguese-influenced Bermudian English as a badge of pride. The East End of Bermuda, which became increasingly cut off from investment and development after the capital moved from St. George's to Hamilton in 1815, has seen the least immigration over the twentieth century, with the least effect how English is spoken there, though the introduction of motor vehicles in 1948 has led to considerable spread of previously more isolated populations throughout Bermuda. The English of the St. David's Islanders, while often derided, is generally perceived as the most authentic form of Bermudian English. [ original research? ]

British English spellings and conventions are used in print media and formal written communications. [76] Portuguese is also spoken by migrants from the Azores and Madeira and their descendants. [1] [77]

Religion Edit

Christianity is the largest religion on Bermuda. [1] Various Protestant denominations are dominant at 46.2% (including Anglican 15.8%, African Methodist Episcopal 8.6%, Seventh-day Adventist 6.7%, Pentecostal 3.5%, Methodist 2.7%, Presbyterian 2.0%, Church of God 1.6%, Baptist 1.2%, Salvation Army 1.1%, Brethren 1.0%, other Protestant 2.0%). [1] Roman Catholics form 14.5%, Jehovah's Witnesses 1.3%, and other Christians 9.1%. [1] The balance of the population are Muslim 1%, other 3.9%, none 17.8%, or unspecified 6.2% (2010 est.). [1]

The Anglican Church of Bermuda, an Anglican Communion diocese separate from the Church of England, operates the oldest non-Catholic parish in the New World, St. Peter's Church. Catholics are served by a single Latin diocese, the Diocese of Hamilton in Bermuda.

Bermuda is an Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom, and the Government of the United Kingdom is the sovereign government. [1] Executive authority in Bermuda is vested in the British monarch (currently Elizabeth II) and is exercised on her behalf by the governor of Bermuda. [1] The governor is appointed by the queen on the advice of the British Government. Since December 2020, the governor is Rena Lalgie she was sworn in on 14 December 2020. [79] There is also a deputy governor (currently Alison Crocket). [79] Defence and foreign affairs are the responsibility of the United Kingdom, which also retains responsibility to ensure good government and must approve any changes to the Constitution of Bermuda. Bermuda is Britain's oldest overseas territory. Although the House of Commons remains the sovereign Parliament, in 1620, a Royal Proclamation granted Bermuda limited self-governance delegating to the House of Assembly of the Parliament of Bermuda the internal legislation of the colony. The Parliament of Bermuda is the fifth oldest legislature in the world, behind the Parliament of England, the Tynwald of the Isle of Man, the Althing of Iceland, and the Sejm of Poland. [80]

The Constitution of Bermuda came into force in 1968 and has been amended several times since then. [1] The head of government is the premier of Bermuda a cabinet is nominated by the premier and appointed officially by the governor. [1] The legislative branch consists of a bicameral parliament modelled on the Westminster system. [1] The Senate is the upper house, consisting of 11 members appointed by the governor on the advice of the premier and the leader of the opposition. The House of Assembly, or lower house, has 36 members, elected by the eligible voting populace in secret ballot to represent geographically defined constituencies. [1]

Although British colonials (today, British Overseas Territories Citizens) always possessed the right to vote or stand for election to the House of Commons, no electoral district has ever been assigned to any colony, and no colony has been represented by a Peer in the House of Lords, effectively disenfranchising any British colonial not resident in the British Isles (representation in the Parliament of Bermuda is not a substitute as it is not the sovereign government, but subsidiary to it).

Elections for the Parliament of Bermuda must be called at no more than five-year intervals. The most recent took place on 18 July 2017. Following this election, the Progressive Labour Party took power, with Edward David Burt succeeding Michael Dunkley, of the One Bermuda Alliance, as Premier. [81] [82] [83]

There are few accredited diplomats in Bermuda. The United States maintains the largest diplomatic mission in Bermuda, comprising both the United States Consulate and the US Customs and Border Protection Services at the L.F. Wade International Airport. [ citation needed ] The United States is Bermuda's largest trading partner (providing over 71% of total imports, 85% of tourist visitors, and an estimated $163 billion of US capital in the Bermuda insurance/re-insurance industry). According to the 2016 Bermuda census 5.6% of Bermuda residents were born in the US, representing over 18% of all foreign-born persons. [84]

Nationality and citizenship Edit

Historically, English (later British) colonials shared the same citizenship (although Magna Carta had effectively created English citizenship [ citation needed ] , citizens were still termed subjects of the King of England or English subjects. With the union of the Kingdoms of England and Scotland, this was replaced with British Subject, which encompassed citizens throughout the sovereign territory of the British Government, including its colonies) as Britons. With no representation at the sovereign or national level of government, British colonials were therefore not consulted, or required to give their consent, to a series of Acts passed by the Parliament of the United Kingdom between 1968 and 1982, which were to limit their rights and ultimately change their citizenship. [ citation needed ]

When several colonies had been elevated before the Second World War to Dominion status, collectively forming the old British Commonwealth (as distinct from the United Kingdom and its dependent colonies), their citizens remained British Subjects, and in theory, any British Subject born anywhere in the World had the same basic right to enter, reside, and work in the United Kingdom as a British Subject born in the United Kingdom whose parents were also both British Subjects born in the United Kingdom (although many governmental policies and practices acted to thwart the free exercise of these right by various groups of colonials, including Greek Cypriots). When the Dominions and an increasing number of colonies began choosing complete independence from the United Kingdom after World War II, the Commonwealth was transformed into a community of independent nations, each recognising the British monarch as their own head of state (creating separate monarchies with the same person occupying all of the separate Thrones the exception being republican India). [ citation needed ]

British Subject was replaced by the British Nationality Act 1948 with Citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies for the residents of the United Kingdom and its colonies, as well as for the Crown Dependencies. However, as it was desired to retain free movement for all Commonwealth Citizens throughout the Commonwealth, British Subject was retained as a blanket nationality shared by Citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonies (the British realm) as well as the citizens of the various other Commonwealth realms. [ citation needed ]

The inflow of people of colour to the United Kingdom in the 1940s and 1950s from both the remaining colonies and newly independent Commonwealth nations was responded to with a backlash that led to the passing of the Commonwealth Immigrants Act 1962, which restricted the rights of Commonwealth nationals to enter, reside and work in the United Kingdom. This Act also allowed certain colonials (primarily ethnic-Indians in African colonies) to retain Citizenship of the United Kingdom and Colonies if their colonies became independent, which was intended as a measure to ensure these persons did not become stateless if they were denied the citizenship of their newly independent nation. [ citation needed ]

Many ethnic-Indians from former African colonies (notably Kenya) subsequently relocated to the United Kingdom, in response to which the Commonwealth Immigrants Act 1968 was rapidly passed, stripping all British Subjects (including Citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonies) who were not born in the United Kingdom, and who did not have a Citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies parent born in the United Kingdom or some other qualification (such as existing residence status), of the rights to freely enter, reside and work in the United Kingdom. This was followed by the Immigration Act 1971, which effectively divided Citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonies into two types, although their citizenship remained the same: Those from the United Kingdom itself, who retained the rights of free entry, abode, and work in the United Kingdom and those born in the colonies (or in foreign countries to British Colonial parents), from whom those rights were denied. [ citation needed ]

The British Nationality Act 1981, which entered into force on 1 January 1983, [85] abolished British Subject status, and stripped colonials of their full British Citizenship of the United Kingdom and Colonies, replacing it with British Dependent Territories Citizenship, which entailed no right of abode or to work anywhere. This left Bermudians and most other erstwhile British colonials as British nationals without the rights of British citizenship. [ citation needed ]

The exceptions were the Gibraltarians (permitted to retain British Citizenship in order to also retain Citizenship of the European Union) and the Falkland Islanders, who were permitted to retain the same new British Citizenship that became the default citizenship for those from the United Kingdom and the Crown dependencies. As the Act was widely understood to have been passed in preparation for the 1997 handover of Hong Kong to the People's Republic of China (in order to prevent ethnic-Chinese British nationals from migrating to the United Kingdom), and given the history of neglect and racism those colonies with sizeable non-European (to use the British Government's parlance) populations had endured from the British Government since the end of Empire, the changing of the default citizenship to British Dependent Territories Citizenship only for the colonies with sizeable non-European populations has been understood by Bermudians as a particularly egregious example of racism. This has been further emphasised by the sizeable percentage of white Bermudians who retained right-of-abode in the United Kingdom while very few black Bermudians did. [ citation needed ]

The stripping of birth rights from Bermudians by the British Government in 1968 and 1971, and the change of their citizenship in 1983, actually violated the rights granted them by Royal Charters at the founding of the colony. Bermuda (fully The Somers Isles or Islands of Bermuda) had been settled by the London Company (which had been in occupation of the archipelago since the 1609 wreck of the Sea Venture) in 1612, when it received its Third Royal Charter from King James I, amending the boundaries of the First Colony of Virginia far enough across the Atlantic to include Bermuda. The citizenship rights guaranteed to settlers by King James I in the original Royal Charter of the 10 April 1606, thereby applied to Bermudians: [ citation needed ]

Alsoe wee doe, for us, our heires and successors, declare by theise presentes that all and everie the parsons being our subjects which shall dwell and inhabit within everie or anie of the saide severall Colonies and plantacions and everie of theire children which shall happen to be borne within the limitts and precincts of the said severall Colonies and plantacions shall have and enjoy all liberties, franchises and immunites within anie of our other dominions to all intents and purposes as if they had been abiding and borne within this our realme of Englande or anie other of our saide dominions.

These rights were confirmed in the Royal Charter granted to the London Company's spin-off, the Company of the City of London for the Plantacion of The Somers Isles, in 1615 on Bermuda being separated from Virginia:

And wee doe for vs our heires and successors declare by these Pnts, that all and euery persons being our subjects which shall goe and inhabite wthin the said Somer Ilandes and every of their children and posterity which shall happen to bee borne within the limits thereof shall haue and enjoy all libertyes franchesies and immunities of free denizens and natural subjectes within any of our dominions to all intents and purposes, as if they had beene abiding and borne wthin this our Kingdome of England or in any other of our Dominions

Bermuda is not the only territory whose citizenship rights were laid down in a Royal Charter. In regards to St. Helena, Lord Beaumont of Whitley in the House of Lords debate on the British Overseas Territories Bill on 10 July 2001, [88] stated:

Citizenship was granted irrevocably by Charles I. It was taken away by Parliament because of growing opposition to immigration at the time.

Some Conservative Party backbenchers stated that it was the unpublished intention of the Conservative British Government to return to a single citizenship for the United Kingdom and all of the remaining territories once Hong Kong had been handed over to China. Whether this was so will never be known as by 1997 the Labour Party was in Government. The Labour Party had declared prior to the election that the colonies had been ill-treated by the British Nationality Act 1981, and it had made a pledge to return to a single citizenship for the United Kingdom and the remaining territories part of its election manifesto. Other matters took precedence, however, and this commitment was not acted upon during Labour's first term in Government. The House of Lords, in which many former colonial Governors sat (including former Governor of Bermuda Lord Waddington), lost patience and tabled and passed its own bill, then handed it down to the House of Commons to confirm in 2001. As a result, the British Dependent Territories were renamed the British Overseas Territories in 2002 (the term dependent territory had caused much ire in the former colonies, especially well-heeled and self-reliant Bermuda, as it implied not only that British Dependent Territories Citizens were other than British, but that their relationship to Britain and to real British people was both inferior and parasitic). [89] [90] [91]

At the same time, although Labour had promised a return to a single citizenship for the United Kingdom, Crown dependencies, and all remaining territories, British Dependent Territories Citizenship, renamed British Overseas Territories Citizenship, remained the default citizenship for the territories, other than the Falkland Islands and Gibraltar (for which British Citizenship is still the default citizenship). The bars to residence and work in the United Kingdom that had been raised against holders of British Dependent Territories Citizenship by The British Nationality Act 1981 were, however, removed, and British Citizenship was made attainable by simply obtaining a second British passport with the citizenship recorded as British Citizen (requiring a change to passport legislation as prior to 2002, it had been illegal to possess two British Passports). [92]

14 Ways To Avoid Paying Capital Gains

The capital gains tax is economically senseless. The tax traps wealth in an investment vehicle requiring special techniques to free the capital without penalty.

Multiple ways are available to avoid the tax, but none are beneficial to the economy. Here are 14 of the loopholes the government's gain tax unintentionally incentivizes.

1. Match losses. Investors can realize losses to offset and cancel their gains for a particular year. Savvy investors harvest capital losses as they occur and then use them on current and future taxes. Up to $3,000 of excess losses not used to cancel gains can offset ordinary income. The remainder of the loss can be stored and carried forward indefinitely.

This encourages investors to sell great investment vehicles during a temporary dip only to buy them back again 30 days later for a new cost basis.

2. Primary residence exclusion. Individuals can exclude up to $250,000 of capital gains from the sale of their primary residence (or $500,000 for a married couple).

Families who stay in the same home for decades suffer a tax that more mobile families avoid.

Smart homeowners who might move or need the capital move more frequently to avoid the tax. Needlessly selling and buying a home is the arduous cost to the economy.

3. Home renovation. Sharp real estate agents and home renovators make their under-market investment purchases their primary residence while they are fixing them up. They then flip the houses, selling for a better sales price but avoiding any tax on their gains via the primary residence exclusion.

This bizarre game of paperwork adds no real value to the economy. However, the flipped houses do add a lot of value to the neighborhood, town and economy. The capital gains tax is wrong to discourage such improvement efforts.

4. 1031 exchange. If you sell rental or investment property, you can avoid capital gains and depreciation recapture taxes by rolling the proceeds of your sale into a similar type of investment within 180 days. This like-kind exchange is called a 1031 exchange after the relevant section of the tax code. Although the rules are so complex that people have jobs that consist of nothing but 1013 exchanges, no one trying to avoid paying this capital gains tax fails. This piece of valueless paperwork does the trick.

5. Stock exchange. Stock investors with highly appreciated securities can also do a like-kind exchange. Certain services offer investors with one highly appreciated security a way to trade it for an equivalently valued but more diversified portfolio. This expensive service can help investors avoid paying even larger capital gains taxes. But it is an entire field invented by government taxation. If the capital gains tax didn't exist, all of those valuable workers and capital could be allocated to more economically beneficial means.

6. Exchange-traded funds. ETFs use stock exchanges to avoid triggering capital gains taxes when stocks move in or out of the index on which the ETF is based. Stocks moving out of the index are exchanged for stocks moving into the index. Investor cost basis transfers to the new securities.

7. Traditional IRA and 401k. If you are in the higher tax brackets during your working career, you can benefit from contributing to a traditional IRA or 401k. This both reduces your income while you are in the higher brackets and eliminates any capital gains as a result of trading in the account. Rebalancing by selling appreciated asset classes in a tax-deferred account avoids the capital gains tax normally associated with such trading. During the gap years, between retirement and age 70, withdrawals from these accounts could be made in the lower tax brackets.

8. Roth IRA and 401k. Traditional accounts can postpone taxes to a more favorable year, but Roth accounts can avoid them altogether. Having paid tax on deposits, a Roth account allows tax-free growth for the remainder of not only your life but also the lifetime of your heirs. Unless you are in the higher tax brackets and approaching the gap years, Roth accounts are usually an excellent tax strategy.

9. Health Savings Accounts. HSAs are one of the few accounts where you can receive a tax deduction for contributing to them, invest them and receive tax free growth and then not pay any taxes as long as you use withdrawals for qualified health expenses. Investing your HSA account to receive tax free growth is another way to avoid paying the capital gains tax.

However, all of the tax-advantaged accounts just described are further paperwork at the end of the day. No real economic value is gained from this complicated shuffle of assets, even though you clearly benefit by retaining more of your assets.

10. Give stocks to family members. If you are facing a high capital gains rate, you can give your highly appreciated securities to family members who are in lower brackets. Those receiving the gift assume your cost basis for computing the gain but use their own tax rate.

11. Move to a lower tax bracket state. State taxes are added on to federal capital gains tax rates and vary depending on your location. California has the highest U.S. capital gains rate and the second highest internationally, with a top rate of 37.1%.

In the United States, seven states add nothing to the federal top rate of 23.8%: Alaska, Florida, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington and Wyoming. No national value is added by moving, although individuals can certainly gain from living in a state that taxes their particular assets favorably.

12. Gift to charity. Instead of giving cash to the charities you support, you can give appreciated stock. You receive the same tax deduction. When the charity sells the stock, it is not subject to any capital gains tax. The cash you would have given is the same amount you would have had for selling the stock and paying no capital gains yourself.

13. Buy and hold. Many investors buy good index funds that never need to be sold. Even if you rebalance regularly, rebalancing can often be accomplished by using the interest and dividends paid to purchase whichever investments need to be bolstered. The downside is that your capital is locked inside the investment vehicles and not free to be used for greater economic gain.

14. Wait until you die. Most people die holding highly appreciated investments. When you die, your heirs get a step up in cost basis and therefore pay no capital gains tax on a lifetime of growth.

Because most savvy individuals can decide the timing and amount of capital gains they choose to realize each year, the capital gains tax is considered very elastic. The amount of capital gains realized depends heavily on the favorability of the capital gains tax rate.

As a result, over half of capital gains are never taxed. They are avoided completely. But the effort of avoiding the tax causes capital to be allocated inefficiently in the meantime.

The tax punishes entrepreneurship. Were the capital gains tax abolished entirely, some of the lost tax would be regained through economic expansion and more efficient and liquid capital markets. Conversely, since capital gains taxes have been raised, the slowing of economic growth could reduce tax revenue by more than the additional tax collected.

The optimum capital gains tax rate is zero. If it was zero for everyone, all these shenanigans to avoid the tax could be ignored.

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15 Famous Vikings Warriors You Need to Know About

  • Probably the most important Viking leader and the most famous Viking warrior, Ragnar Lodbrok led many raids on France and England in the 9 th century
  • The archetype Viking warrior, Ragnar is said to have successfully fought a dragon, and to …

Famous Viking Warriors Famous Vikings

  • Ragnar Lodbrok, one of, if not the most famous Viking warrior
  • Ragnar was a legendary Viking ruler who is the subject of many a story in the old Norse sagas and stories.

12 Famous Viking Warriors You Should Know — VikingStyle

  • Overview of Famous Viking Warriors History remembers the Vikings as fierce warriors and pioneers who lead raids throughout northern Europe in the 9th and 10th Century AD
  • The norsemen respected strength and bravery therefore being a viking leader was no easy task
  • From leading raids on the British Isles and Northern France to sailing into uncharted waters in some of the worlds most …

15 Toughest Viking Warriors of all Times

  • Believed to be the most prominent and well known Viking, Erik the Red, was nothing but a murderer
  • He is the perfect epitome of what a viking must be, bloodthirsty and power loving, as detailed in The Saga of the Greenlanders and Erik the Red’s Saga.

Top 10 Most Famous Vikings – Heart of Vikings

Erik the Red or his real name Erik Thorvaldsson, was a Norse explorer and is remembered as the founder of the first settlement in Greenland. Erik the Red's father was exiled from Norway for manslaughter. Erik the Red was about ten years old and joined his family to settle in Iceland.

6 Viking Leaders You Should Know

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From Erik the Red, who founded Greenland’s first Norse settlement, to Cnut the Great, who ruled a vast empire in northern Europe, find out about six fascinating figures of the Viking Age.

Ten Legendary Female Viking Warriors

  • The most famous type of mortal warrior woman known from the sagas is the shieldmaiden, a woman who took up arms & armor and fought in battle alongside men
  • ShieldMaidens, Valkyries & Heroines

Berserkers and Other Shamanic Warriors

During the Viking Age, these “warrior-shamans” typically fell into two groups: the berserkers (Old Norse berserkir, “bear-shirts”) and úlfheðnar (pronounced “oolv-HETH-nahr” with a hard “th” as in “the” Old Norse for “wolf-hides”).

8 Notorious Vikings Who Left Their Bloody Marks on History

  • Vikings in Ireland: Traces of Warriors Not Just Buried Beneath the Ground, They Are in the DNA 1,000-year-old Viking Boat Burial Discovered Under Market Square in Norway Eric Bloodaxe: Murderous Viking King of Norway and Northumbria
  • Eric Bloodaxe raided around Britain before settling into a kingship there.

The 24 Most Badass Viking Names That Are Hardcore as F*ck

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  • Fans of History's Vikings know there were a ton of badass Viking names like Ragnar Lodbrok and Bjorn Ironside
  • But that's just scratching the surface: there are a lot of hardcore Norse names from history the show hasn't referenced yet, but hopefully some day will, because, well, they're seriously awesome.

Top 10 Toughest Viking Warriors

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  • There’s a good reason the sight of a Viking longship struck fear in the hearts of coastal villagers: the Vikings were bad news for everyone
  • When they weren’t raiding, pillaging, and demanding tribute not to raid and pillage, Vikings even fought with each other
  • There are so many badass Vikings that it’s tough to narrow it down, but these ten who made their peers soil their breeches

10 Best Female Viking warrior in the history

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  • Valkyries, as women-warriors, were an inspiration to every poet of that era
  • They were interesting characters during the Viking age
  • They were also known as shieldmaidens, swan-maidens, wish- maidens, and battle-maidens
  • The most famous Valkyries are Brynhild, Gudrun, and Sigrun.

Legendary Female Viking Warriors

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  • Lagertha Thanks to Saxo Grammaticus’ Gesta Danorum, we know of a legendary female Viking known as either Lagertha or Ladgerda
  • This incredible woman was part of a larger group of female warriors who volunteered to help renowned hero Ragnar Lothbrok avenge his grandfather's death.

9 Most Badass Medieval Warriors OF All Time

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  • I suppose all Vikings were among the most badass medieval warriors
  • In 1066 the Vikings were suddenly ambushed by English forces out for blood
  • The battle went well for the English as the Vikings were taken completely by surprise and didn’t even manage to put their armour.

Viking Warriors The Ancient Viking Warrior

  • The origin of the Viking warriors
  • From the ancient texts written in old Norse we know that the origin of the might Viking warriors hailed from what is know as Scandinavia
  • Comprised of three main countries, Norway, Sweden and Denmark, and in winter the very north of …

Battle-Hardened Face of 1,000-yr-old Viking Warrior Woman

  • The 1,000-yr-old face of a Viking warrior woman has been recreated and it’s stunning
  • When archaeologists and scientists work together to unravel secrets long buried, the results are sometimes startling
  • Such is the case of a Viking female warrior found in Norway, near the town of Solor
  • When first discovered the remains were scant and

Famous Vikings from History: From Ragnar Lodbrok to Saint Olav

  • Ivar the Boneless, a man famous for turning brittle bone disease into a fearsome nickname
  • Bjorn Ironside, a warrior who once tried to become the new Roman Emperor
  • Halfdan Ragnarsson, the first Viking King of Northumberland
  • Sigurd Snake-in-the-eye, a man with a snake in his eye…or at least it looked like it.

Top 200 A-Z Warrior Names From All Over The World

  • Indra: A Vedic deity in Hinduism, a guardian deity in Buddhism.A god of lightning, thunder, storms and else
  • Igor: From the Old Norse Yngvi which is a name of a god and/plus herr which means “army.” Ívar: Icelandic form of the Old Norse Ivarr that means “bow warrior.” Ivor: Swedish and Norwegian form of Ivarr
  • Ingvarr: Variant spelling of the Yngvarr meaning “Ing’s warrior” in

8 Most Bad-ass Weapons in Norse Mythology – AleHorn

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  • Perhaps the most famous Norse mythological weapon, Mjolnir is everywhere right now, thanks to the Thor movies
  • But the hammer is also a widely-recognizable symbol for those who practice the Asatru religion, those who dig metal music, and those who are just straight up fashionable
  • (A replica of the short-handled Mjolnir)

112 Female and Male Viking Names of Warriors and Nordic

  • One of the most popular male Viking names, used by several kings and Nordic warriors, it was also given to the son of the famous Ragnar Lothbrok
  • Compound male Viking name that comes from Berg (protection) and Ljot (light), very used in the main sagas of Nordic warriors.

17 ancient warriors who were certified badasses (17 Photos)

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  • 17 ancient warriors who were certified badasses (17 Photos) by: Ben
  • In: Awesome, History, Shit Happens
  • May 27, 2015 2380 Liked! 88 Disliked 0 1
  • Marcus Cassius Scaeva is probably the toughest Roman ever
  • He was a decorated centurion in Caesar’s army, who in his spare time, put his life at risk training with

Berserkers: Icelandic Viking 'Mad Warriors' In The Army Of

  • Harald Hardrada Was A Famous Viking Warrior And A Berseker
  • Another reputed warrior who was believed to be the berserker, was Harald Hardrada “(hard ruler”) officially Harald III Sigurdsson (1015-1066), one of the most famed Viking leaders, who participated in the Battle of Stiklestad in 1030 AD at the age of 15.

5 fiercest Viking warriors Sky HISTORY TV Channel

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  • Sky HISTORY's Vikings, Season 5B Episode 5
  • Although the Vikings were great traders, settlers and explorers, their most famous reputation seems to be their apparent bloodthirsty and insatiable appetite for war
  • Whilst there is far more to the Vikings than just raiding and pillaging, they did

10 Warriors Who Faced Entire Armies All Alone

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  • According to legend, he stepped out toward the middle of the bridge by his lonesome with his fellow Vikings organizing their famous shield wall defense
  • The Battle of Stamford Bridge was the result of the Norse army pillaging and burning English towns like Scarborough and York.

Famous Viking Women : Best female warrior of all time

  • The famous and brave warrior Sigurd, having killed the dragon Fafnir, passes through the ring of fire and awakened the sleeping Brynhild
  • But Sigurd decides that he still has too much to do and leaves Brynhild with the promise to return
  • She agrees to wait for him, saying that she will only marry the man brave enough to pass through the fire.

Famous Viking Warrior Was a Woman, DNA Reveals

Famous Viking Warrior Was a Woman, DNA Reveals 1 / 8 Concealed in iron helmets, chain mail, and leather cuirasses, Viking reenactors make a …

Ancient Norse Women – Warriors, Housewives, Poets and

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  • When people talk about Norse Mythos, there is much focus on the Warrior Tradition: vikings, battle, Valhalla and so on
  • Yet there is little talk on the Shamanic aspects of Norse life
  • The Seiðr is a type of Norse magic that was most commonly performed by women known as (volver).

DNA Suggests Viking Women Were Powerful Warriors

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Prior to this, the most famous female-centric Viking discovery was the Oseberg ship, one of the most well-preserved and decadent Viking burial …

Viking Symbols and Meanings – Sons of Vikings

  • The most famous type of Viking warriors is the berserker – men who “became the bear” and fought in states of ecstatic fury, empowered by the spirit of Odin
  • There was also a similar type of Viking warrior called an úlfheðnar, which means “wolf hides” (or werewolf)
  • It is not entirely clear whether this was a synonym or a separate

The Langeid Viking Battle Axe and a Warrior Who

  • The Viking warrior was well-equipped and trained to use a variety of weapons, but it was undoubtedly the battle axes that created most “shock and awe” among the enemy
  • Now, the unique weapon found at Langeid in 2011 is recreated, and it confirms that a thousand-year-old rumor is true: Facing a well-trained Norseman with a broad axe was like

The History of Lagertha & Shield Maidens

  • In 2017, the remains of the “Birka Warrior” were reexamined and the suspicions of astute researchers were confirmed through DNA evidence – the remains are of a female
  • 1 This find certainly seems to lend credence to stories the Norse skalds have long told – that it was not only Norse men who could become Viking warriors, but also Norse

Norse Male Names Broethr Wiki Fandom

  • Aevar - (Son of Ketil), Alfarinn, Alfarin, An, Armod, Arni, Asgrim, Askel, Askell, Aslak, Asolf, Asrod, Asvald, Avaldamon, Avang

Assassin's Creed Valhalla: 10 Famous Real Viking Warriors

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Assassin's Creed Valhalla: 10 Famous Real Viking Warriors (Who Aren't In The Game) While the events of Assassin's Creed Valhalla cover a major point in the Viking

270 Viking Warriors ideas in 2021 viking warrior

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  • Apr 28, 2021 - Explore Norseman72's board "Viking Warriors", followed by 351 people on Pinterest
  • See more ideas about viking warrior, vikings, norse.

67 Fierce Viking Boy Names for Your Tiny Fighter LoveToKnow

  • Some of the most famous viking warriors, kings and explorers have names that would be an excellent choice for a young boy
  • Erik (ehr-ick)- A famous explorer known as Erik the Red who founded the first viking settlement in Greenland and was the father of Leif Ericsson.

115 Female Viking Names For Your Baby by Kidadl

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  • Freydis (Scandinavian origin), meaning ‘noblewoman’, this is the name of the most famous female Viking warrior, Freydis Eiríksdóttir
  • Hilde (German origin), meaning ‘battle fortress’
  • Hildi (German origin), meaning ‘ready for war’
  • Hjalmprimul (Old Norse), this Norse inspired name means ‘female warrior

Ivar The Boneless: Famous Viking And Son Of Ragnar Lodbrok

  • Ivar the Boneless took revenge for his father’s death and his cunning warrior abilities and conquests made him one of the most famous Vikings
  • Ivar The Boneless Was A Deadly Killing Machine
  • It is very possible that Ivar the Boneless suffered from a benign hypermobility syndrome which results in the joints being very lose and flexible.

60+ Famous Viking Quotes About Honor, Valhalla and Family

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Contents1 viking quotes2 norse sayings3 viking sayings4 norse proverbs5 viking phrases6 viking proverbs7 havamal quotes8 old norse phrases9 nordic sayings10 nordic quotes11 ancient quotes12 norse quotes13 viking farewell quotes14 valhalla quotes15 viking motto16 viking words and phrases17 vikings slogan18 viking quotes about death19 famous viking sayings20 nordic phrases21 viking


The earliest archaeological evidence of human habitation of the territory of the city of San Francisco dates to 3000 BC. [38] The Yelamu group of the Ohlone people resided in a few small villages when an overland Spanish exploration party, led by Don Gaspar de Portolá, arrived on November 2, 1769, the first documented European visit to San Francisco Bay. [39] The first maritime presence occurred on August 5, 1775, when San Carlos—commanded by Juan Manuel de Ayala—became the first ship to anchor in the bay. [40] The following year, on March 28, 1776, the Spanish established the Presidio of San Francisco, followed by a mission, Mission San Francisco de Asís (Mission Dolores), established by the Spanish explorer Juan Bautista de Anza. [3]

Upon independence from Spain in 1821, the area became part of Mexico. Under Mexican rule, the mission system gradually ended, and its lands became privatized. In 1835, William Richardson, a naturalized Mexican citizen of English birth, erected the first independent homestead, [41] near a boat anchorage around what is today Portsmouth Square. Together with Alcalde Francisco de Haro, he laid out a street plan for the expanded settlement, and the town, named Yerba Buena, began to attract American settlers. Commodore John D. Sloat claimed California for the United States on July 7, 1846, during the Mexican–American War, and Captain John B. Montgomery arrived to claim Yerba Buena two days later. Yerba Buena was renamed San Francisco on January 30 of the next year, and Mexico officially ceded the territory to the United States at the end of the war in 1848. Despite its attractive location as a port and naval base, San Francisco was still a small settlement with inhospitable geography. [42]

The California Gold Rush brought a flood of treasure seekers (known as "forty-niners", as in "1849"). With their sourdough bread in tow, [44] prospectors accumulated in San Francisco over rival Benicia, [45] raising the population from 1,000 in 1848 to 25,000 by December 1849. [46] The promise of great wealth was so strong that crews on arriving vessels deserted and rushed off to the gold fields, leaving behind a forest of masts in San Francisco harbor. [47] Some of these approximately 500 abandoned ships were used at times as storeships, saloons, and hotels many were left to rot and some were sunk to establish title to the underwater lot. By 1851, the harbor was extended out into the bay by wharves while buildings were erected on piles among the ships. By 1870, Yerba Buena Cove had been filled to create new land. Buried ships are occasionally exposed when foundations are dug for new buildings. [48]

California was quickly granted statehood in 1850, and the U.S. military built Fort Point at the Golden Gate and a fort on Alcatraz Island to secure the San Francisco Bay. Silver discoveries, including the Comstock Lode in Nevada in 1859, further drove rapid population growth. [49] With hordes of fortune seekers streaming through the city, lawlessness was common, and the Barbary Coast section of town gained notoriety as a haven for criminals, prostitution, and gambling. [50]

Entrepreneurs sought to capitalize on the wealth generated by the Gold Rush. Early winners were the banking industry, with the founding of Wells Fargo in 1852 and the Bank of California in 1864. Development of the Port of San Francisco and the establishment in 1869 of overland access to the eastern U.S. rail system via the newly completed Pacific Railroad (the construction of which the city only reluctantly helped support [51] ) helped make the Bay Area a center for trade. Catering to the needs and tastes of the growing population, Levi Strauss opened a dry goods business and Domingo Ghirardelli began manufacturing chocolate. Chinese immigrants made the city a polyglot culture, drawn to "Old Gold Mountain", creating the city's Chinatown quarter. In 1870, Asians made up 8% of the population. [52] The first cable cars carried San Franciscans up Clay Street in 1873. The city's sea of Victorian houses began to take shape, and civic leaders campaigned for a spacious public park, resulting in plans for Golden Gate Park. San Franciscans built schools, churches, theaters, and all the hallmarks of civic life. The Presidio developed into the most important American military installation on the Pacific coast. [53] By 1890, San Francisco's population approached 300,000, making it the eighth-largest city in the United States at the time. Around 1901, San Francisco was a major city known for its flamboyant style, stately hotels, ostentatious mansions on Nob Hill, and a thriving arts scene. [54] The first North American plague epidemic was the San Francisco plague of 1900–1904. [55]

At 5:12 am on April 18, 1906, a major earthquake struck San Francisco and northern California. As buildings collapsed from the shaking, ruptured gas lines ignited fires that spread across the city and burned out of control for several days. With water mains out of service, the Presidio Artillery Corps attempted to contain the inferno by dynamiting blocks of buildings to create firebreaks. [56] More than three-quarters of the city lay in ruins, including almost all of the downtown core. [30] Contemporary accounts reported that 498 people lost their lives, though modern estimates put the number in the several thousands. [57] More than half of the city's population of 400,000 was left homeless. [58] Refugees settled temporarily in makeshift tent villages in Golden Gate Park, the Presidio, on the beaches, and elsewhere. Many fled permanently to the East Bay.

Rebuilding was rapid and performed on a grand scale. Rejecting calls to completely remake the street grid, San Franciscans opted for speed. [60] Amadeo Giannini's Bank of Italy, later to become Bank of America, provided loans for many of those whose livelihoods had been devastated. The influential San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association or SPUR was founded in 1910 to address the quality of housing after the earthquake. [61] The earthquake hastened development of western neighborhoods that survived the fire, including Pacific Heights, where many of the city's wealthy rebuilt their homes. [62] In turn, the destroyed mansions of Nob Hill became grand hotels. City Hall rose again in splendid Beaux Arts style, and the city celebrated its rebirth at the Panama–Pacific International Exposition in 1915. [63]

It was during this period San Francisco built some of its most important infrastructure. Civil Engineer Michael O'Shaughnessy was hired by San Francisco Mayor James Rolph as chief engineer for the city in September 1912 to supervise the construction of the Twin Peaks Reservoir, the Stockton Street Tunnel, the Twin Peaks Tunnel, the San Francisco Municipal Railway, the Auxiliary Water Supply System, and new sewers. San Francisco's streetcar system, of which the J, K, L, M, and N lines survive today, was pushed to completion by O'Shaughnessy between 1915 and 1927. It was the O'Shaughnessy Dam, Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, and Hetch Hetchy Aqueduct that would have the largest effect on San Francisco. [64] An abundant water supply enabled San Francisco to develop into the city it has become today.

In ensuing years, the city solidified its standing as a financial capital in the wake of the 1929 stock market crash, not a single San Francisco-based bank failed. [65] Indeed, it was at the height of the Great Depression that San Francisco undertook two great civil engineering projects, simultaneously constructing the San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge and the Golden Gate Bridge, completing them in 1936 and 1937, respectively. It was in this period that the island of Alcatraz, a former military stockade, began its service as a federal maximum security prison, housing notorious inmates such as Al Capone, and Robert Franklin Stroud, the Birdman of Alcatraz. San Francisco later celebrated its regained grandeur with a World's fair, the Golden Gate International Exposition in 1939–40, creating Treasure Island in the middle of the bay to house it. [ citation needed ]

During World War II, the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard became a hub of activity, and Fort Mason became the primary port of embarkation for service members shipping out to the Pacific Theater of Operations. [31] The explosion of jobs drew many people, especially African Americans from the South, to the area. After the end of the war, many military personnel returning from service abroad and civilians who had originally come to work decided to stay. The United Nations Charter creating the United Nations was drafted and signed in San Francisco in 1945 and, in 1951, the Treaty of San Francisco re-established peaceful relations between Japan and the Allied Powers. [66]

Urban planning projects in the 1950s and 1960s involved widespread destruction and redevelopment of west-side neighborhoods and the construction of new freeways, of which only a series of short segments were built before being halted by citizen-led opposition. [67] The onset of containerization made San Francisco's small piers obsolete, and cargo activity moved to the larger Port of Oakland. [68] The city began to lose industrial jobs and turned to tourism as the most important segment of its economy. [69] The suburbs experienced rapid growth, and San Francisco underwent significant demographic change, as large segments of the white population left the city, supplanted by an increasing wave of immigration from Asia and Latin America. [70] [71] From 1950 to 1980, the city lost over 10 percent of its population.

Over this period, San Francisco became a magnet for America's counterculture. Beat Generation writers fueled the San Francisco Renaissance and centered on the North Beach neighborhood in the 1950s. [72] Hippies flocked to Haight-Ashbury in the 1960s, reaching a peak with the 1967 Summer of Love. [73] In 1974, the Zebra murders left at least 16 people dead. [74] In the 1970s, the city became a center of the gay rights movement, with the emergence of The Castro as an urban gay village, the election of Harvey Milk to the Board of Supervisors, and his assassination, along with that of Mayor George Moscone, in 1978. [75]

Bank of America completed 555 California Street in 1969 and the Transamerica Pyramid was completed in 1972, [76] igniting a wave of "Manhattanization" that lasted until the late 1980s, a period of extensive high-rise development downtown. [77] The 1980s also saw a dramatic increase in the number of homeless people in the city, an issue that remains today, despite many attempts to address it. [78] The 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake caused destruction and loss of life throughout the Bay Area. In San Francisco, the quake severely damaged structures in the Marina and South of Market districts and precipitated the demolition of the damaged Embarcadero Freeway and much of the damaged Central Freeway, allowing the city to reclaim The Embarcadero as its historic downtown waterfront and revitalizing the Hayes Valley neighborhood. [ citation needed ]

Two recent decades have seen two booms driven by the internet industry. First was the dot-com boom of the late 1990s, startup companies invigorated the San Francisco economy. Large numbers of entrepreneurs and computer application developers moved into the city, followed by marketing, design, and sales professionals, changing the social landscape as once-poorer neighborhoods became increasingly gentrified. [79] Demand for new housing and office space ignited a second wave of high-rise development, this time in the South of Market district. [80] By 2000, the city's population reached new highs, surpassing the previous record set in 1950. When the bubble burst in 2001, many of these companies folded and their employees were laid off. Yet high technology and entrepreneurship remain mainstays of the San Francisco economy. By the mid-2000s (decade), the social media boom had begun, with San Francisco becoming a popular location for tech offices and a common place to live for people employed in Silicon Valley companies such as Apple and Google. [81]

San Francisco is located on the West Coast of the United States at the north end of the San Francisco Peninsula and includes significant stretches of the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay within its boundaries. Several picturesque islands—Alcatraz, Treasure Island and the adjacent Yerba Buena Island, and small portions of Alameda Island, Red Rock Island, and Angel Island—are part of the city. Also included are the uninhabited Farallon Islands, 27 miles (43 km) offshore in the Pacific Ocean. The mainland within the city limits roughly forms a "seven-by-seven-mile square", a common local colloquialism referring to the city's shape, though its total area, including water, is nearly 232 square miles (600 km 2 ).

There are more than 50 hills within the city limits. [82] Some neighborhoods are named after the hill on which they are situated, including Nob Hill, Potrero Hill, and Russian Hill. Near the geographic center of the city, southwest of the downtown area, are a series of less densely populated hills. Twin Peaks, a pair of hills forming one of the city's highest points, forms an overlook spot. San Francisco's tallest hill, Mount Davidson, is 928 feet (283 m) high and is capped with a 103-foot (31 m) tall cross built in 1934. [83] Dominating this area is Sutro Tower, a large red and white radio and television transmission tower.

The nearby San Andreas and Hayward Faults are responsible for much earthquake activity, although neither physically passes through the city itself. The San Andreas Fault caused the earthquakes in 1906 and 1989. Minor earthquakes occur on a regular basis. The threat of major earthquakes plays a large role in the city's infrastructure development. The city constructed an auxiliary water supply system and has repeatedly upgraded its building codes, requiring retrofits for older buildings and higher engineering standards for new construction. [84] However, there are still thousands of smaller buildings that remain vulnerable to quake damage. [85] USGS has released the California earthquake forecast which models earthquake occurrence in California. [86]

San Francisco's shoreline has grown beyond its natural limits. Entire neighborhoods such as the Marina, Mission Bay, and Hunters Point, as well as large sections of the Embarcadero, sit on areas of landfill. Treasure Island was constructed from material dredged from the bay as well as material resulting from the excavation of the Yerba Buena Tunnel through Yerba Buena Island during the construction of the Bay Bridge. Such land tends to be unstable during earthquakes. The resulting soil liquefaction causes extensive damage to property built upon it, as was evidenced in the Marina district during the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. [87] Most of the city's natural watercourses, such as Islais Creek and Mission Creek, have been culverted and built over, although the Public Utilities Commission is studying proposals to daylight or restore some creeks. [88]

Cityscape Edit

Neighborhoods Edit

The historic center of San Francisco is the northeast quadrant of the city anchored by Market Street and the waterfront. It is here that the Financial District is centered, with Union Square, the principal shopping and hotel district, and the Tenderloin nearby. Cable cars carry riders up steep inclines to the summit of Nob Hill, once the home of the city's business tycoons, and down to the waterfront tourist attractions of Fisherman's Wharf, and Pier 39, where many restaurants feature Dungeness crab from a still-active fishing industry. Also in this quadrant are Russian Hill, a residential neighborhood with the famously crooked Lombard Street North Beach, the city's Little Italy and the former center of the Beat Generation and Telegraph Hill, which features Coit Tower. Abutting Russian Hill and North Beach is San Francisco's Chinatown, the oldest Chinatown in North America. [89] [90] [91] [92] The South of Market, which was once San Francisco's industrial core, has seen significant redevelopment following the construction of Oracle Park and an infusion of startup companies. New skyscrapers, live-work lofts, and condominiums dot the area. Further development is taking place just to the south in Mission Bay area, a former railroad yard, which now has a second campus of the University of California, San Francisco and Chase Center, which opened in 2019 as the new home of the Golden State Warriors. [93]

West of downtown, across Van Ness Avenue, lies the large Western Addition neighborhood, which became established with a large African American population after World War II. The Western Addition is usually divided into smaller neighborhoods including Hayes Valley, the Fillmore, and Japantown, which was once the largest Japantown in North America but suffered when its Japanese American residents were forcibly removed and interned during World War II. The Western Addition survived the 1906 earthquake with its Victorians largely intact, including the famous "Painted Ladies", standing alongside Alamo Square. To the south, near the geographic center of the city is Haight-Ashbury, famously associated with 1960s hippie culture. [ citation needed ] The Haight is now home to some expensive boutiques [94] and a few controversial chain stores, [95] although it still retains some bohemian character.

North of the Western Addition is Pacific Heights, an affluent neighborhood that features the homes built by wealthy San Franciscans in the wake of the 1906 earthquake. Directly north of Pacific Heights facing the waterfront is the Marina, a neighborhood popular with young professionals that was largely built on reclaimed land from the Bay. [96]

In the south-east quadrant of the city is the Mission District—populated in the 19th century by Californios and working-class immigrants from Germany, Ireland, Italy, and Scandinavia. In the 1910s, a wave of Central American immigrants settled in the Mission and, in the 1950s, immigrants from Mexico began to predominate. [97] In recent years, gentrification has changed the demographics of parts of the Mission from Latino, to twenty-something professionals. Noe Valley to the southwest and Bernal Heights to the south are both increasingly popular among young families with children. East of the Mission is the Potrero Hill neighborhood, a mostly residential neighborhood that features sweeping views of downtown San Francisco. West of the Mission, the area historically known as Eureka Valley, now popularly called the Castro, was once a working-class Scandinavian and Irish area. It has become North America's first gay village, and is now the center of gay life in the city. [98] Located near the city's southern border, the Excelsior District is one of the most ethnically diverse neighborhoods in San Francisco. The predominantly African American Bayview-Hunters Point in the far southeast corner of the city is one of the poorest neighborhoods and suffers from a high rate of crime, though the area has been the focus of several revitalizing and controversial urban renewal projects.

The construction of the Twin Peaks Tunnel in 1918 connected southwest neighborhoods to downtown via streetcar, hastening the development of West Portal, and nearby affluent Forest Hill and St. Francis Wood. Further west, stretching all the way to the Pacific Ocean and north to Golden Gate Park lies the vast Sunset District, a large middle-class area with a predominantly Asian population. [99]

The northwestern quadrant of the city contains the Richmond, also a mostly middle-class neighborhood north of Golden Gate Park, home to immigrants from other parts of Asia as well as many Russian and Ukrainian immigrants. Together, these areas are known as The Avenues. These two districts are each sometimes further divided into two regions: the Outer Richmond and Outer Sunset can refer to the more western portions of their respective district and the Inner Richmond and Inner Sunset can refer to the more eastern portions.

Many piers remained derelict for years until the demolition of the Embarcadero Freeway reopened the downtown waterfront, allowing for redevelopment. The centerpiece of the port, the Ferry Building, while still receiving commuter ferry traffic, has been restored and redeveloped as a gourmet marketplace.

Climate Edit

San Francisco has a warm-summer Mediterranean climate (Köppen Csb) characteristic of California's coast, with moist mild winters and dry summers. [100] San Francisco's weather is strongly influenced by the cool currents of the Pacific Ocean on the west side of the city, and the water of San Francisco Bay to the north and east. This moderates temperature swings and produces a remarkably mild year-round climate with little seasonal temperature variation. [ citation needed ]

Among major U.S. cities, San Francisco has the coolest daily mean, maximum, and minimum temperatures for June, July, and August. [101] During the summer, rising hot air in California's interior valleys creates a low pressure area that draws winds from the North Pacific High through the Golden Gate, which creates the city's characteristic cool winds and fog. [102] The fog is less pronounced in eastern neighborhoods and during the late summer and early fall. As a result, the year's warmest month, on average, is September, and on average, October is warmer than July, especially in daytime.

Because of its sharp topography and maritime influences, San Francisco exhibits a multitude of distinct microclimates. The high hills in the geographic center of the city are responsible for a 20% variance in annual rainfall between different parts of the city. They also protect neighborhoods directly to their east from the foggy and sometimes very cold and windy conditions experienced in the Sunset District for those who live on the eastern side of the city, San Francisco is sunnier, with an average of 260 clear days, and only 105 cloudy days per year. [ citation needed ]

Temperatures reach or exceed 80 °F (27 °C) on an average of only 21 and 23 days a year at downtown and San Francisco International Airport (SFO), respectively. [103] The dry period of May to October is mild to warm, with the normal monthly mean temperature peaking in September at 62.7 °F (17.1 °C). [103] The rainy period of November to April is slightly cooler, with the normal monthly mean temperature reaching its lowest in January at 51.3 °F (10.7 °C). [103] On average, there are 73 rainy days a year, and annual precipitation averages 23.65 inches (601 mm). [103] Variation in precipitation from year to year is high. Above average rain years are often associated with warm El Niño conditions in the Pacific while dry years often occur in cold water La Niña periods. In 2013 (a "La Niña" year), a record low 5.59 in (142 mm) of rainfall was recorded at downtown San Francisco, where records have been kept since 1849. [103] Snowfall in the city is very rare, with only 10 measurable accumulations recorded since 1852, most recently in 1976 when up to 5 inches (13 cm) fell on Twin Peaks. [104] [105]

The highest recorded temperature at the official National Weather Service downtown observation station [a] was 106 °F (41 °C) on September 1, 2017. [107] The lowest recorded temperature was 27 °F (−3 °C) on December 11, 1932. [108] The National Weather Service provides a helpful visual aid [109] graphing the information in the table below to display visually by month the annual typical temperatures, the past year's temperatures, and record temperatures.

San Francisco falls under the USDA 10b Plant hardiness zone. [110] [111]

Flora and fauna Edit

Historically, tule elk were present in San Francisco County, based on archeological evidence of elk remains in at least five different Native American shellmounds: at Hunter's Point, Fort Mason, Stevenson Street, Market Street, and Yerba Buena. [116] [117] Perhaps the first historical observer record was from the De Anza Expedition on March 23, 1776. Herbert Eugene Bolton wrote about the expedition camp at Mountain Lake, near the southern end of today's Presidio: "Round about were grazing deer, and scattered here and there were the antlers of large elk." [118] Also, when Richard Henry Dana Jr. visited San Francisco Bay in 1835, he wrote about vast elk herds near the Golden Gate: on December 27 ". we came to anchor near the mouth of the bay, under a high and beautifully sloping hill, upon which herds of hundreds and hundreds of red deer [note: "red deer" is the European term for "elk"], and the stag, with his high branching antlers, were bounding about. ", although it is not clear whether this was the Marin side or the San Francisco side. [119]

Historical population
YearPop. ±%
Source: U.S. Decennial Census, [120] [15] [46] [121] [122]

The U.S. Census Bureau estimates San Francisco's population to be 881,549 as of July 1, 2019, with a population density of 18,838/sq mi. [15] With roughly one-quarter the population density of Manhattan, San Francisco is the second-most densely populated large American city, behind only New York City among cities greater than 200,000 population, and the fifth-most densely populated U.S. county, following only four of the five New York City boroughs.

San Francisco forms part of the five-county San Francisco–Oakland–Hayward, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area, a region of 4.7 million people, and has served as its traditional demographic focal point. It is also part of the greater 14-county San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland, CA Combined Statistical Area, whose population is over 9.6 million, making it the fifth-largest in the United States as of 2018. [15]

Race, ethnicity, religion, and languages Edit

San Francisco has a majority minority population, as non-Hispanic whites comprise less than half of the population, 41.9%, down from 92.5% in 1940. [52] As of the 2010 census, the ethnic makeup and population of San Francisco included: 390,387 Whites (48%), 267,915 Asians (33%), 48,870 African Americans (6%), and others. There were 121,744 Hispanics or Latinos of any race (15%).

In 2010, residents of Chinese ethnicity constituted the largest single ethnic minority group in San Francisco at 21% of the population the other Asian groups are Filipinos (5%) and Vietnamese (2%). [123] The population of Chinese ancestry is most heavily concentrated in Chinatown, Sunset District, and Richmond District, whereas Filipinos are most concentrated in the Crocker-Amazon (which is contiguous with the Filipino community of Daly City, which has one of the highest concentrations of Filipinos in North America), as well as in SoMa. [123] [124] The Tenderloin District is home to a large portion of the city's Vietnamese population as well as businesses and restaurants, which is known as the city's Little Saigon. [123]

The principal Hispanic groups in the city were those of Mexican (7%) and Salvadoran (2%) ancestry. The Hispanic population is most heavily concentrated in the Mission District, Tenderloin District, and Excelsior District. [125] The city's percentage of Hispanic residents is less than half of that of the state. The population of African Americans in San Francisco is 6% of the city's population. [52] [126] The percentage of African Americans in San Francisco is similar to that of California. [126] The majority of the city's black population reside within the neighborhoods of Bayview-Hunters Point, Visitacion Valley, and in the Fillmore District. [125]

According to a 2014 study by the Pew Research Center, the largest religious groupings in San Francisco's metropolitan area are Christians (48%), followed by those of no religion (35%), Hindus (5%), Jews (3%), Buddhists (2%), Muslims (1%) and a variety of other religions have smaller followings. According to the same study by the Pew Research Center, about 20% of residents in the area are Protestant, and 25% professing Roman Catholic beliefs. Meanwhile, 10% of the residents in metropolitan San Francisco identify as agnostics, while 5% identify as atheists. [131] [132]

As of 2010 [update] , 55% (411,728) of San Francisco residents spoke only English at home, while 19% (140,302) spoke a variety of Chinese (mostly Taishanese and Cantonese [133] [134] ), 12% (88,147) Spanish, 3% (25,767) Tagalog, and 2% (14,017) Russian. In total, 45% (342,693) of San Francisco's population spoke a language at home other than English. [135]

Ethnic clustering Edit

San Francisco has several prominent Chinese, Mexican, and Filipino ethnic neighborhoods including Chinatown and the Mission District. Research collected on the immigrant clusters in the city show that more than half of the Asian population in San Francisco is either Chinese-born (40.3%) or Philippine-born (13.1%), and of the Mexican population 21% were Mexican-born, meaning these are people who recently immigrated to the United States. [137] Between the years of 1990 and 2000, the number foreign born residents increased from 33% to nearly 40%, [137] During this same time period, the San Francisco Metropolitan area received 850,000 immigrants, ranking third in the United States after Los Angeles and New York. [137]

Education, households, and income Edit

Of all major cities in the United States, San Francisco has the second-highest percentage of residents with a college degree, behind only Seattle. Over 44% of adults have a bachelor's or higher degree. [138] San Francisco had the highest rate at 7,031 per square mile, or over 344,000 total graduates in the city's 46.7 square miles (121 km 2 ). [139]

San Francisco has the highest estimated percentage of gay and lesbian individuals of any of the 50 largest U.S. cities, at 15%. [140] San Francisco also has the highest percentage of same-sex households of any American county, with the Bay Area having a higher concentration than any other metropolitan area. [141]

Income in 2011
Per capita income [142] $46,777
Median household income [143] $72,947
Median family income [144] $87,329

San Francisco ranks third of American cities in median household income [145] with a 2007 value of $65,519. [126] Median family income is $81,136. [126] An emigration of middle-class families has left the city with a lower proportion of children than any other large American city, [146] with the dog population cited as exceeding the child population of 115,000, in 2018. [147] The city's poverty rate is 12%, lower than the national average. [148] Homelessness has been a chronic problem for San Francisco since the early 1970s. [149] The city is believed to have the highest number of homeless inhabitants per capita of any major U.S. city. [150] [151]

There are 345,811 households in the city, out of which: 133,366 households (39%) were individuals, 109,437 (32%) were opposite-sex married couples, 63,577 (18%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 21,677 (6%) were unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 10,384 (3%) were same-sex married couples or partnerships. The average household size was 2.26 the average family size was 3.11. 452,986 people (56%) lived in rental housing units, and 327,985 people (41%) lived in owner-occupied housing units. The median age of the city population is 38 years.

San Francisco "declared itself a sanctuary city in 1989, and city officials strengthened the stance in 2013 with its 'Due Process for All' ordinance. The law declared local authorities could not hold immigrants for immigration officials if they had no violent felonies on their records and did not currently face charges." [152] The city issues a Resident ID Card regardless of the applicant's immigration status. [153]

Homelessness Edit

Homelessness, historically, has been a major problem in the city and remains a growing problem in modern times. [154]

8,035 homeless people were counted in San Francisco's 2019 point-in-time street and shelter count. This was an increase of more than 17% over the 2017 count of 6,858 people. 5,180 of the people were living unsheltered on the streets and in parks. [155] 26% of respondents in the 2019 count identified job loss as the primary cause of their homelessness, 18% cited alcohol or drug use, and 13% cited being evicted from their residence. [155] The city of San Francisco has been dramatically increasing its spending to service the growing population homelessness crisis: spending jumped by $241 million in 2016–17 to total $275 million, compared to a budget of just $34 million the previous year. In 2017–18 the budget for combatting homelessness stood at $305 million. [156] In the 2019–2020 budget year, the city budgeted $368 million for homelessness services. In the propose 2020–2021 budget the city budgeted $850 million for homelessness services. [157]

In January 2018 a United Nations special rapporteur on homelessness, Leilani Farha, stated that she was "completely shocked" by San Francisco's homelessness crisis during a visit to the city. She compared the "deplorable conditions" of the homeless camps she witnessed on San Francisco's streets to those she had seen in Mumbai. [156] In May 2020, San Francisco officially sanctioned homeless encampments. [158]

Crime Edit

In 2011, 50 murders were reported, which is 6.1 per 100,000 people. [159] There were about 134 rapes, 3,142 robberies, and about 2,139 assaults. There were about 4,469 burglaries, 25,100 thefts, and 4,210 motor vehicle thefts. [160] The Tenderloin area has the highest crime rate in San Francisco: 70% of the city's violent crimes, and around one-fourth of the city's murders, occur in this neighborhood. The Tenderloin also sees high rates of drug abuse, gang violence, and prostitution. [161] Another area with high crime rates is the Bayview-Hunters Point area. In the first six months of 2015 there were 25 murders compared to 14 in the first six months of 2014. However, the murder rate is still much lower than in past decades. [162] That rate, though, did rise again by the close of 2016. According to the San Francisco Police Department, there were 59 murders in the city in 2016, an annual total that marked a 13.5% increase in the number of homicides (52) from 2015. [163]

During the first half of 2018, human feces on San Francisco sidewalks were the second-most-frequent complaint of city residents, with about 65 calls per day. The city has formed a "poop patrol" to attempt to combat the problem. [164]

Gangs Edit

Several street gangs have operated in the city over the decades, including MS-13, [165] the Sureños and Norteños in the Mission District. [166] In 2008, a MS-13 member killed three family members as they were arriving home in the city's Excelsior District. His victims had no relationship with him, nor did they have any known gang or street crime involvement.

African-American street gangs familiar in other cities, including the Bloods, Crips and their sets, have struggled to establish footholds in San Francisco, [167] while police and prosecutors have been accused of liberally labeling young African-American males as gang members. [168] However, gangs founded in San Francisco with majority Black memberships have made their presence in the city. The gang Westmob, associated with Oakdale Mob and Sunnydale housing project gangs from the southeast area of the city, was involved in a gang war with Hunters Point-based Big Block from 1999 to the 2000s. Its current status of activity is unknown. [169] They claim territory from West Point to Middle Point in the Hunters Point projects. [170] In 2004, a Westmob member fatally shot a SFPD officer and wounded his partner he was sentenced to life without parole in 2007. [171]

Criminal gangs with shotcallers in China, including Triad groups such as the Wo Hop To, have been reported active in San Francisco. [172] In 1977, an ongoing rivalry between two Chinese gangs led to a shooting attack at the Golden Dragon restaurant in Chinatown, which left 5 people dead and 11 wounded. None of the victims in this attack were gang members. Five members of the Joe Boys gang were arrested and convicted of the crime. [173] In 1990, a gang-related shooting killed one man and wounded six others outside a nightclub near Chinatown. [174] In 1998, six teenagers were shot and wounded at the Chinese Playground a 16-year-old boy was subsequently arrested. [175]

According to academic Rob Wilson, San Francisco is a global city, a status that pre-dated the city's popularity during the California Gold Rush. [176] Such cities are characterized by their ethnic clustering, network of international connectivity, and convergence of technological innovation. [137] Global cities, such as San Francisco, are considered to be complex and require a high level of talent as well as large masses of low wage workers. A divide is created within the city of ethnic, typically lower-class neighborhoods, and expensive ones with newly developed buildings. This in turn creates a population of highly educated, white-collar individuals as well as blue-collar workers, many of whom are immigrants, and who both are drawn to the increasing number of opportunities available. [177] Competition for these opportunities pushes growth and adaptation in world centers. [178]

San Francisco has a diversified service economy, with employment spread across a wide range of professional services, including financial services, tourism, and (increasingly) high technology. [179] In 2016, approximately 27% of workers were employed in professional business services 14% in leisure and hospitality 13% in government services 12% in education and health care 11% in trade, transportation, and utilities and 8% in financial activities. [179] In 2019, GDP in the five-county San Francisco metropolitan area grew 3.8% in real terms to $592 billion. [180] [26] Additionally, in 2019 the 14-county San Jose–San Francisco–Oakland combined statistical area had a GDP of $1.086 trillion, [26] ranking 3rd among CSAs, and ahead of all but 16 countries. As of 2019, San Francisco County was the 7th highest-income county in the United States (among 3,142), with a per capita personal income of $139,405. [24] Marin County, directly to the north over the Golden Gate Bridge, and San Mateo County, directly to the south on the Peninsula, were the 6th and 9th highest-income counties respectively.

The legacy of the California Gold Rush turned San Francisco into the principal banking and finance center of the West Coast in the early twentieth century. [181] Montgomery Street in the Financial District became known as the "Wall Street of the West", home to the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, the Wells Fargo corporate headquarters, and the site of the now-defunct Pacific Coast Stock Exchange. [181] Bank of America, a pioneer in making banking services accessible to the middle class, was founded in San Francisco and in the 1960s, built the landmark modern skyscraper at 555 California Street for its corporate headquarters. Many large financial institutions, multinational banks, and venture capital firms are based in or have regional headquarters in the city. With over 30 international financial institutions, [182] six Fortune 500 companies, [183] and a large support infrastructure of professional services—including law, public relations, architecture and design—San Francisco is designated as an Alpha(-) World City. [184] The 2017 Global Financial Centres Index ranked San Francisco as the sixth-most competitive financial center in the world. [185]

Since the 1990s, San Francisco's economy has diversified away from finance and tourism towards the growing fields of high tech, biotechnology, and medical research. [186] Technology jobs accounted for just 1 percent of San Francisco's economy in 1990, growing to 4 percent in 2010 and an estimated 8 percent by the end of 2013. [187] San Francisco became a center of Internet start-up companies during the dot-com bubble of the 1990s and the subsequent social media boom of the late 2000s (decade). [188] Since 2010, San Francisco proper has attracted an increasing share of venture capital investments as compared to nearby Silicon Valley, attracting 423 financings worth US$4.58 billion in 2013. [189] [190] [191] In 2004, the city approved a payroll tax exemption for biotechnology companies [192] to foster growth in the Mission Bay neighborhood, site of a second campus and hospital of the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Mission Bay hosts the UCSF Medical Center, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences, and Gladstone Institutes, [193] as well as more than 40 private-sector life sciences companies. [194]

The top employer in the city is the city government itself, employing 5.6% (31,000+ people) of the city's workforce, followed by UCSF with over 25,000 employees. [195] The largest private-sector employer is Salesforce, with 8,500 employees, as of 2018. [196] Small businesses with fewer than 10 employees and self-employed firms make up 85% of city establishments, [197] and the number of San Franciscans employed by firms of more than 1,000 employees has fallen by half since 1977. [198] The growth of national big box and formula retail chains into the city has been made intentionally difficult by political and civic consensus. In an effort to buoy small privately owned businesses in San Francisco and preserve the unique retail personality of the city, the Small Business Commission started a publicity campaign in 2004 to keep a larger share of retail dollars in the local economy, [199] and the Board of Supervisors has used the planning code to limit the neighborhoods where formula retail establishments can set up shop, [200] an effort affirmed by San Francisco voters. [201] However, by 2016, San Francisco was rated low by small businesses in a Business Friendliness Survey. [202]

Like many U.S. cities, San Francisco once had a significant manufacturing sector employing nearly 60,000 workers in 1969, but nearly all production left for cheaper locations by the 1980s. [203] As of 2014 [update] , San Francisco has seen a small resurgence in manufacturing, with more than 4,000 manufacturing jobs across 500 companies, doubling since 2011. The city's largest manufacturing employer is Anchor Brewing Company, and the largest by revenue is Timbuk2. [203]

Technology Edit

San Francisco became a hub for technological driven economic growth during the internet boom of the 1990s, and still holds an important position in the world city network today. [137] [178] Intense redevelopment towards the "new economy" makes business more technologically minded. Between the years of 1999 and 2000, the job growth rate was 4.9%, creating over 50,000 jobs in technology firms and internet content production. [137]

In the second technological boom driven by social media in the mid 2000s, San Francisco became a location for companies such as Apple, Google, Facebook and Twitter to base their tech offices and for their employees to live. [204] Since then, tech employment has continued to increase. In 2014, San Francisco's tech employment grew nearly 90% between 2010 and 2014, beating out Silicon Valley's 30% growth rate over the same period. [205]

The tech sector's dominance in the Bay Area is internationally recognized and continues to attract new businesses and young entrepreneurs from all over the globe. [205] San Francisco is now widely considered the most important city in the world for new technology startups. [206] A recent high of 7 billion dollars in venture capital was invested in the region. [205] These startup companies hire well educated individuals looking to work in the tech industry, which helps the city have a well educated citizenry. Over 50% of San Franciscans have a 4-year university degree, thus the city ranks high in terms of its population's educational level. [204]

Tourism and conventions Edit

Tourism is one of the city's largest private-sector industries, accounting for more than one out of seven jobs in the city. [186] [207] The city's frequent portrayal in music, film, and popular culture has made the city and its landmarks recognizable worldwide. In 2016, it attracted the fifth-highest number of foreign tourists of any city in the United States. [208] More than 25 million visitors arrived in San Francisco in 2016, adding US$9.96 billion to the economy. [209] With a large hotel infrastructure and a world-class convention facility in the Moscone Center, San Francisco is a popular destination for annual conventions and conferences. [210]

Some of the most popular tourist attractions in San Francisco noted by the Travel Channel include the Golden Gate Bridge and Alamo Square Park, which is home to the famous "Painted Ladies". Both of these locations were often used as landscape shots for the hit American sitcom Full House. There is also Lombard Street, known for its "crookedness" and extensive views. Tourists also visit Pier 39, which offers dining, shopping, entertainment, and views of the bay, sun-bathing seals, and the famous Alcatraz Island. [211]

San Francisco also offers tourists cultural and unique nightlife in its neighborhoods. [212]

The new Terminal Project at Pier 27 opened September 25, 2014 as a replacement for the old Pier 35. [213] Itineraries from San Francisco usually include round trip cruises to Alaska and Mexico.

A heightened interest in conventioneering in San Francisco, marked by the establishment of convention centers such as Yerba Buena, acted as a feeder into the local tourist economy and resulted in an increase in the hotel industry: "In 1959, the city had fewer than thirty-three hundred first-class hotel rooms by 1970, the number was nine thousand and by 1999, there were more than thirty thousand." [214] The commodification of the Castro District has contributed to San Francisco's tourist economy. [215]

Although the Financial District, Union Square, and Fisherman's Wharf are well known around the world, San Francisco is also characterized by its numerous culturally rich streetscapes featuring mixed-use neighborhoods anchored around central commercial corridors to which residents and visitors alike can walk. Because of these characteristics, San Francisco is ranked the second "most walkable" city in the United States by Walkscore.com. [216] Many neighborhoods feature a mix of businesses, restaurants and venues that cater to both the daily needs of local residents while also serving many visitors and tourists. Some neighborhoods are dotted with boutiques, cafés and nightlife such as Union Street in Cow Hollow, 24th Street in Noe Valley, Valencia Street in the Mission, Grant Avenue in North Beach, and Irving Street in the Inner Sunset. This approach especially has influenced the continuing South of Market neighborhood redevelopment with businesses and neighborhood services rising alongside high-rise residences. [217]

Since the 1990s, the demand for skilled information technology workers from local startups and nearby Silicon Valley has attracted white-collar workers from all over the world and created a high standard of living in San Francisco. [218] Many neighborhoods that were once blue-collar, middle, and lower class have been gentrifying, as many of the city's traditional business and industrial districts have experienced a renaissance driven by the redevelopment of the Embarcadero, including the neighborhoods South Beach and Mission Bay. The city's property values and household income have risen to among the highest in the nation, [219] [220] [221] creating a large and upscale restaurant, retail, and entertainment scene. According to a 2014 quality of life survey of global cities, San Francisco has the highest quality of living of any U.S. city. [222] However, due to the exceptionally high cost of living, many of the city's middle and lower-class families have been leaving the city for the outer suburbs of the Bay Area, or for California's Central Valley. [223] By June 2, 2015, the median rent was reported to be as high as $4,225. [224] The high cost of living is due in part to restrictive planning laws which limit new residential construction. [225]

The international character that San Francisco has enjoyed since its founding is continued today by large numbers of immigrants from Asia and Latin America. With 39% of its residents born overseas, [198] San Francisco has numerous neighborhoods filled with businesses and civic institutions catering to new arrivals. In particular, the arrival of many ethnic Chinese, which began to accelerate in the 1970s, has complemented the long-established community historically based in Chinatown throughout the city and has transformed the annual Chinese New Year Parade into the largest event of its kind in its hemisphere. [226] [227]

With the arrival of the "beat" writers and artists of the 1950s and societal changes culminating in the Summer of Love in the Haight-Ashbury district during the 1960s, San Francisco became a center of liberal activism and of the counterculture that arose at that time. The Democrats and to a lesser extent the Green Party have dominated city politics since the late 1970s, after the last serious Republican challenger for city office lost the 1975 mayoral election by a narrow margin. San Francisco has not voted more than 20% for a Republican presidential or senatorial candidate since 1988. [228] In 2007, the city expanded its Medicaid and other indigent medical programs into the Healthy San Francisco program, [229] which subsidizes certain medical services for eligible residents. [230] [231] [232]

San Francisco also has had a very active environmental community. Starting with the founding of the Sierra Club in 1892 to the establishment of the non-profit Friends of the Urban Forest in 1981, San Francisco has been at the forefront of many global discussions regarding the environment. [233] [234] The 1980 San Francisco Recycling Program was one of the earliest curbside recycling programs. [235] The city's GoSolarSF incentive promotes solar installations and the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission is rolling out the CleanPowerSF program to sell electricity from local renewable sources. [236] [237] SF Greasecycle is a program to recycle used cooking oil for conversion to biodiesel. [238]

The Sunset Reservoir Solar Project, completed in 2010, installed 24,000 solar panels on the roof of the reservoir. The 5-megawatt plant more than tripled the city's 2-megawatt solar generation capacity when it opened in December 2010. [239] [240]


San Francisco has long had an LGBT-friendly history. It was home to the first lesbian-rights organization in the United States, Daughters of Bilitis the first openly gay person to run for public office in the United States, José Sarria the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in California, Harvey Milk the first openly lesbian judge appointed in the U.S., Mary C. Morgan and the first transgender police commissioner, Theresa Sparks. The city's large gay population has created and sustained a politically and culturally active community over many decades, developing a powerful presence in San Francisco's civic life. [ citation needed ] Survey data released in 2015 by Gallup place the proportion of the San Francisco metro area at 6.2%, which is the highest such proportion observed of the 50 most populous metropolitan areas as measured by the polling organization. [241]

One of the most popular destinations for gay tourists internationally, the city hosts San Francisco Pride, one of the largest and oldest pride parades. San Francisco Pride events have been held continuously since 1972. The events are themed and a new theme is created each year. In 2013, over 1.5 million people attended, around 500,000 more than the previous year. [242]

The Folsom Street Fair (FSF) is an annual BDSM and leather subculture street fair that is held in September, capping San Francisco's "Leather Pride Week". [243] It started in 1984 and is California's third-largest single-day, outdoor spectator event and the world's largest leather event and showcase for BDSM products and culture. [244]

Performing arts Edit

San Francisco's War Memorial and Performing Arts Center hosts some of the most enduring performing-arts companies in the country. The War Memorial Opera House houses the San Francisco Opera, the second-largest opera company in North America [245] [ citation needed ] as well as the San Francisco Ballet, while the San Francisco Symphony plays in Davies Symphony Hall. Opened in 2013, the SFJAZZ Center hosts jazz performances year round. [ citation needed ]

The Fillmore is a music venue located in the Western Addition. It is the second incarnation of the historic venue that gained fame in the 1960s, housing the stage where now-famous musicians such as the Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, Led Zeppelin and Jefferson Airplane first performed, fostering the San Francisco Sound. [ citation needed ]

San Francisco has a large number of theaters and live performance venues. Local theater companies have been noted for risk taking and innovation. [246] The Tony Award-winning non-profit American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.) is a member of the national League of Resident Theatres. Other local winners of the Regional Theatre Tony Award include the San Francisco Mime Troupe. [247] San Francisco theaters frequently host pre-Broadway engagements and tryout runs, [248] and some original San Francisco productions have later moved to Broadway. [249]

Museums Edit

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) houses 20th century and contemporary works of art. It moved to its current building in the South of Market neighborhood in 1995 and attracted more than 600,000 visitors annually. [250] SFMOMA closed for renovation and expansion in 2013. The museum reopened on May 14, 2016, with an addition, designed by Snøhetta, that has doubled the museum's size. [251]

The Palace of the Legion of Honor holds primarily European antiquities and works of art at its Lincoln Park building modeled after its Parisian namesake. The de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park features American decorative pieces and anthropological holdings from Africa, Oceania and the Americas, while Asian art is housed in the Asian Art Museum. Opposite the de Young stands the California Academy of Sciences, a natural history museum that also hosts the Morrison Planetarium and Steinhart Aquarium. Located on Pier 15 on the Embarcadero, the Exploratorium is an interactive science museum. The Contemporary Jewish Museum is a non-collecting institution that hosts a broad array of temporary exhibitions. On Nob Hill, the Cable Car Museum is a working museum featuring the cable car power house, which drives the cables. [252]

Major League Baseball's San Francisco Giants have played in San Francisco since moving from New York in 1958. The Giants play at Oracle Park, which opened in 2000. [253] The Giants won World Series titles in 2010, 2012, and in 2014. The Giants have boasted such stars as Willie Mays, Willie McCovey and Barry Bonds. In 2012, San Francisco was ranked No. 1 in a study that examined which U.S. metro areas have produced the most Major Leaguers since 1920. [254]

The San Francisco 49ers of the National Football League (NFL) began play in 1946 as an All-America Football Conference (AAFC) league charter member, moved to the NFL in 1950 and into Candlestick Park in 1971. The team began playing its home games at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara in 2014. [255] [256] The 49ers won five Super Bowl titles between 1982 and 1995.

The San Francisco Warriors played in the NBA from 1962 to 1971, before being renamed the Golden State Warriors prior to the 1971–1972 season in an attempt to present the team as a representation of the whole state of California. [257] The Warriors' arena, Chase Center, is located in San Francisco. [258] They have won six championships, [259] and made five consecutive NBA Finals from 2015 to 2019, winning three of them.

At the collegiate level, the San Francisco Dons compete in NCAA Division I. Bill Russell led the Dons basketball team to NCAA championships in 1955 and 1956. There is also the San Francisco State Gators, who compete in NCAA Division II. [260] Oracle Park hosted the annual Fight Hunger Bowl college football game from 2002 through 2013 before it moved to Santa Clara.

The Bay to Breakers footrace, held annually since 1912, is best known for colorful costumes and a celebratory community spirit. [261] The San Francisco Marathon attracts more than 21,000 participants. [262] The Escape from Alcatraz triathlon has, since 1980, attracted 2,000 top professional and amateur triathletes for its annual race. [263] The Olympic Club, founded in 1860, is the oldest athletic club in the United States. Its private golf course has hosted the U.S. Open on five occasions. San Francisco hosted the 2013 America's Cup yacht racing competition. [264]

With an ideal climate for outdoor activities, San Francisco has ample resources and opportunities for amateur and participatory sports and recreation. There are more than 200 miles (320 km) of bicycle paths, lanes and bike routes in the city. [265] San Francisco residents have often ranked among the fittest in the country. [266] Golden Gate Park has miles of paved and unpaved running trails as well as a golf course and disc golf course. Boating, sailing, windsurfing and kitesurfing are among the popular activities on San Francisco Bay, and the city maintains a yacht harbor in the Marina District.

San Francisco also has had Esports teams, such as the Overwatch League's San Francisco Shock. Established in 2017, [267] they won two back-to-back championship titles in 2019 and 2020. [268] [269]

Several of San Francisco's parks and nearly all of its beaches form part of the regional Golden Gate National Recreation Area, one of the most visited units of the National Park system in the United States with over 13 million visitors a year. Among the GGNRA's attractions within the city are Ocean Beach, which runs along the Pacific Ocean shoreline and is frequented by a vibrant surfing community, and Baker Beach, which is located in a cove west of the Golden Gate and part of the Presidio, a former military base. Also within the Presidio is Crissy Field, a former airfield that was restored to its natural salt marsh ecosystem. The GGNRA also administers Fort Funston, Lands End, Fort Mason, and Alcatraz. The National Park Service separately administers the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park – a fleet of historic ships and waterfront property around Aquatic Park. [ citation needed ]

There are more than 220 parks maintained by the San Francisco Recreation & Parks Department. [270] The largest and best-known city park is Golden Gate Park, [271] which stretches from the center of the city west to the Pacific Ocean. Once covered in native grasses and sand dunes, the park was conceived in the 1860s and was created by the extensive planting of thousands of non-native trees and plants. The large park is rich with cultural and natural attractions such as the Conservatory of Flowers, Japanese Tea Garden and San Francisco Botanical Garden. Lake Merced is a fresh-water lake surrounded by parkland and near the San Francisco Zoo, a city-owned park that houses more than 250 animal species, many of which are endangered. [272] The only park managed by the California State Park system located principally in San Francisco, Candlestick Point was the state's first urban recreation area. [273]

San Francisco is the first city in the U.S. to have a park within a 10-Minute Walk of every resident. [274] [275] It also ranks fifth in the U.S. for park access and quality in the 2018 ParkScore ranking of the top 100 park systems across the United States, according to the nonprofit Trust for Public Land. [276]

San Francisco—officially known as the City and County of San Francisco—is a consolidated city-county, a status it has held since the 1856 secession of what is now San Mateo County. [28] It is the only such consolidation in California. [277] The mayor is also the county executive, and the county Board of Supervisors acts as the city council. The government of San Francisco is a charter city and is constituted of two co-equal branches: the executive branch is headed by the mayor and includes other citywide elected and appointed officials as well as the civil service the 11-member Board of Supervisors, the legislative branch, is headed by a president and is responsible for passing laws and budgets, though San Franciscans also make use of direct ballot initiatives to pass legislation. [278]

The members of the Board of Supervisors are elected as representatives of specific districts within the city. [279] Upon the death or resignation of mayor, the President of the Board of Supervisors becomes acting mayor until the full Board elects an interim replacement for the remainder of the term. In 1978, Dianne Feinstein assumed the office following the assassination of George Moscone and was later selected by the board to finish the term. In 2011, Ed Lee was selected by the board to finish the term of Gavin Newsom, who resigned to take office as Lieutenant Governor of California. [280] Lee (who won 2 elections to remain mayor) was temporarily replaced by San Francisco Board of Supervisors President London Breed after he died on December 12, 2017. Supervisor Mark Farrell was appointed by the Board of Supervisors to finish Lee's term on January 23, 2018.

Because of its unique city-county status, the local government is able to exercise jurisdiction over certain property outside city limits. San Francisco International Airport, though located in San Mateo County, is owned and operated by the City and County of San Francisco. San Francisco's largest jail complex (County Jail No. 5) is located in San Mateo County, in an unincorporated area adjacent to San Bruno. San Francisco was also granted a perpetual leasehold over the Hetch Hetchy Valley and watershed in Yosemite National Park by the Raker Act in 1913. [277]

San Francisco serves as the regional hub for many arms of the federal bureaucracy, including the U.S. Court of Appeals, the Federal Reserve Bank, and the U.S. Mint. Until decommissioning in the early 1990s, the city had major military installations at the Presidio, Treasure Island, and Hunters Point—a legacy still reflected in the annual celebration of Fleet Week. The State of California uses San Francisco as the home of the state supreme court and other state agencies. Foreign governments maintain more than seventy consulates in San Francisco. [281]

The municipal budget for fiscal year 2015–16 was $8.99 billion, [282] and is one of the largest city budgets in the United States. [283] The City of San Francisco spends more per resident than any city other than Washington D.C, over $10,000 in FY 2015–2016. [283] The city employs around 27,000 workers. [284]

In the United States House of Representatives, San Francisco is split between California's 12th and 14th districts.

Colleges and universities Edit

The University of California, San Francisco is the sole campus of the University of California system entirely dedicated to graduate education in health and biomedical sciences. It is ranked among the top five medical schools in the United States [285] and operates the UCSF Medical Center, which ranks as the number one hospital in California and the number 5 in the country. [286] UCSF is a major local employer, second in size only to the city and county government. [287] [288] [289] A 43-acre (17 ha) Mission Bay campus was opened in 2003, complementing its original facility in Parnassus Heights. It contains research space and facilities to foster biotechnology and life sciences entrepreneurship and will double the size of UCSF's research enterprise. [290] All in all, UCSF operates more than 20 facilities across San Francisco. [291] The University of California, Hastings College of the Law, founded in Civic Center in 1878, is the oldest law school in California and claims more judges on the state bench than any other institution. [292] San Francisco's two University of California institutions have recently formed an official affiliation in the UCSF/UC Hastings Consortium on Law, Science & Health Policy. [293]

San Francisco State University is part of the California State University system and is located near Lake Merced. [294] The school has approximately 30,000 students and awards undergraduate, master's and doctoral degrees in more than 100 disciplines. [294] The City College of San Francisco, with its main facility in the Ingleside district, is one of the largest two-year community colleges in the country. It has an enrollment of about 100,000 students and offers an extensive continuing education program. [295]

Founded in 1855, the University of San Francisco, a private Jesuit university located on Lone Mountain, is the oldest institution of higher education in San Francisco and one of the oldest universities established west of the Mississippi River. [296] Golden Gate University is a private, nonsectarian, coeducational university formed in 1901 and located in the Financial District. With an enrollment of 13,000 students, the Academy of Art University is the largest institute of art and design in the nation. [297] Founded in 1871, the San Francisco Art Institute is the oldest art school west of the Mississippi. [298] The California College of the Arts, located north of Potrero Hill, has programs in architecture, fine arts, design, and writing. [299] The San Francisco Conservatory of Music, the only independent music school on the West Coast, grants degrees in orchestral instruments, chamber music, composition, and conducting. The California Culinary Academy, associated with the Le Cordon Bleu program, offers programs in the culinary arts, baking and pastry arts, and hospitality and restaurant management. California Institute of Integral Studies, founded in 1968, offers a variety of graduate programs in its Schools of Professional Psychology & Health, and Consciousness and Transformation.

Primary and secondary schools Edit

Public schools are run by the San Francisco Unified School District as well as the California State Board of Education for some charter schools. Lowell High School, the oldest public high school in the U.S. west of the Mississippi, [300] and the smaller School of the Arts High School are two of San Francisco's magnet schools at the secondary level. Public school students attend schools based on an assignment system rather than neighborhood proximity. [301]

Just under 30% of the city's school-age population attends one of San Francisco's more than 100 private or parochial schools, compared to a 10% rate nationwide. [302] Nearly 40 of those schools are Catholic schools managed by the Archdiocese of San Francisco. [303]

Early education Edit

San Francisco has nearly 300 preschool programs primarily operated by Head Start, San Francisco Unified School District, private for-profit, private non-profit and family child care providers. [304] All 4-year-old children living in San Francisco are offered universal access to preschool through the Preschool for All program. [305]

The major daily newspaper in San Francisco is the San Francisco Chronicle, which is currently Northern California's most widely circulated newspaper. [306] The Chronicle is most famous for a former columnist, the late Herb Caen, whose daily musings attracted critical acclaim and represented the "voice of San Francisco". The San Francisco Examiner, once the cornerstone of William Randolph Hearst's media empire and the home of Ambrose Bierce, declined in circulation over the years and now takes the form of a free daily tabloid, under new ownership. [307] [308] Sing Tao Daily claims to be the largest of several Chinese language dailies that serve the Bay Area. [309] SF Weekly is the city's alternative weekly newspaper. San Francisco and 7x7 are major glossy magazines about San Francisco. The national newsmagazine Mother Jones is also based in San Francisco. San Francisco is home to online-only media publications such as SFist, and AsianWeek, which was the first and the largest English language publication focusing on Asian Americans.

The San Francisco Bay Area is the sixth-largest television market [310] and the fourth-largest radio market [311] in the U.S. The city's oldest radio station, KCBS, began as an experimental station in San Jose in 1909, before the beginning of commercial broadcasting. KALW was the city's first FM radio station when it signed on the air in 1941. The city's first television station was KPIX, which began broadcasting in 1948.

All major U.S. television networks have affiliates serving the region, with most of them based in the city. CNN, MSNBC, BBC, Russia Today, and CCTV America also have regional news bureaus in San Francisco. Bloomberg West was launched in 2011 from a studio on the Embarcadero and CNBC broadcasts from One Market Plaza since 2015. ESPN uses the local ABC studio for their broadcasting. The regional sports network, Comcast SportsNet Bay Area and its sister station Comcast SportsNet California, are both located in San Francisco. The Pac-12 Network is also based in San Francisco.

Public broadcasting outlets include both a television station and a radio station, both broadcasting under the call letters KQED from a facility near the Potrero Hill neighborhood. KQED-FM is the most-listened-to National Public Radio affiliate in the country. [312] Another local broadcaster, KPOO, is an independent, African-American owned and operated noncommercial radio station established in 1971. [313] CNET, founded 1994, and Salon.com, 1995, are based in San Francisco.

San Francisco-based inventors made important contributions to modern media. During the 1870s, Eadweard Muybridge began recording motion photographically and invented a zoopraxiscope with which to view his recordings. These were the first motion pictures. Then in 1927, Philo Farnsworth's image dissector camera tube transmitted its first image. This was the first television.

Transportation Edit

Public transportation Edit

Transit is the most used form of transportation every day in San Francisco. Every weekday, more than 560,000 people travel on Muni's 69 bus routes and more than 140,000 customers ride the Muni Metro light rail system. [314] 32% of San Francisco residents use public transportation for their daily commute to work, ranking it first on the West Coast and third overall in the United States. [315] The San Francisco Municipal Railway, primarily known as Muni, is the primary public transit system of San Francisco. Muni is the seventh-largest transit system in the United States, with 210,848,310 rides in 2006. [316] The system operates a combined light rail and subway system, the Muni Metro, as well as large bus and trolley coach networks. [317] Additionally, it runs a historic streetcar line, which runs on Market Street from Castro Street to Fisherman's Wharf. [317] It also operates the famous cable cars, [317] which have been designated as a National Historic Landmark and are a major tourist attraction. [318]

Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), a regional Rapid Transit system, connects San Francisco with the East Bay and San Jose through the underwater Transbay Tube. The line runs under Market Street to Civic Center where it turns south to the Mission District, the southern part of the city, and through northern San Mateo County, to the San Francisco International Airport, and Millbrae. [317]

Another commuter rail system, Caltrain, runs from San Francisco along the San Francisco Peninsula to San Jose. [317] Historically, trains operated by Southern Pacific Lines ran from San Francisco to Los Angeles, via Palo Alto and San Jose.

Amtrak California Thruway Motorcoach runs a shuttle bus from three locations in San Francisco to its station across the bay in Emeryville. [319] Additionally, BART offers connections to San Francisco from Amtrak's stations in Emeryville, Oakland and Richmond, and Caltrain offers connections in San Jose and Santa Clara. Thruway service also runs south to San Luis Obispo with connection to the Pacific Surfliner.

San Francisco Bay Ferry operates from the Ferry Building and Pier 39 to points in Oakland, Alameda, Bay Farm Island, South San Francisco, and north to Vallejo in Solano County. [320] The Golden Gate Ferry is the other ferry operator with service between San Francisco and Marin County. [321] SolTrans runs supplemental bus service between the Ferry Building and Vallejo.

San Francisco was an early adopter of carsharing in America. The non-profit City CarShare opened in 2001. [322] Zipcar closely followed. [323]

To accommodate the large amount of San Francisco citizens who commute to the Silicon Valley daily, employers like Genentech, Google, and Apple have begun to provide private bus transportation for their employees, from San Francisco locations. These buses have quickly become a heated topic of debate within the city, as protesters claim they block bus lanes and delay public buses. [324]

Freeways and roads Edit

In 2014, only 41.3% of residents commuted by driving alone or carpooling in private vehicles in San Francisco, a decline from 48.6% in 2000. [325] There are 1,088 miles of streets in San Francisco with 946 miles of these streets being surface streets, and 59 miles of freeways. [325] Due to its unique geography, and the freeway revolts of the late 1950s, [326] Interstate 80 begins at the approach to the Bay Bridge and is the only direct automobile link to the East Bay. U.S. Route 101 connects to the western terminus of Interstate 80 and provides access to the south of the city along San Francisco Bay toward Silicon Valley. Northward, the routing for U.S. 101 uses arterial streets to connect to the Golden Gate Bridge, the only direct automobile link to Marin County and the North Bay.

As part of the retrofitting of the Golden Gate Bridge and installation of a suicide barrier, starting in 2019 the railings on the west side of the pedestrian walkway were replaced with thinner, more flexible slats in order to improve the bridge's aerodynamic tolerance of high wind to 100 mph (161 km/h). Starting in June 2020, reports were received of a loud hum produced by the new railing slats, heard across the city when a strong west wind was blowing. [327]

State Route 1 also enters San Francisco from the north via the Golden Gate Bridge and bisects the city as the 19th Avenue arterial thoroughfare, joining with Interstate 280 at the city's southern border. Interstate 280 continues south from San Francisco, and also turns to the east along the southern edge of the city, terminating just south of the Bay Bridge in the South of Market neighborhood. After the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, city leaders demolished the Embarcadero Freeway and a portion of the Central Freeway, converting them into street-level boulevards. [326]

State Route 35 enters the city from the south as Skyline Boulevard and terminates at its intersection with Highway 1. State Route 82 enters San Francisco from the south as Mission Street, and terminates shortly thereafter at its junction with 280. The western terminus of the historic transcontinental Lincoln Highway, the first road across America, is in San Francisco's Lincoln Park.

Vision Zero Edit

In 2014, San Francisco committed to Vision Zero, with the goal of ending all traffic fatalities caused by motor vehicles within the city by 2024. [328] San Francisco's Vision Zero plan calls for investing in engineering, enforcement, and education, and focusing on dangerous intersections. In 2013, 25 people were killed by car and truck drivers while walking and biking in the city and 9 car drivers and passengers were killed in collisions. In 2019, 42 people were killed in traffic collisions in San Francisco. [329]

Airports Edit

Though located 13 miles (21 km) south of downtown in unincorporated San Mateo County, San Francisco International Airport (SFO) is under the jurisdiction of the City and County of San Francisco. SFO is a hub for United Airlines [330] and Alaska Airlines. [331] SFO is a major international gateway to Asia and Europe, with the largest international terminal in North America. [332] In 2011, SFO was the eighth-busiest airport in the U.S. and the 22nd-busiest in the world, handling over 40.9 million passengers. [333]

Located across the bay, Oakland International Airport is a popular, low-cost alternative to SFO. Geographically, Oakland Airport is approximately the same distance from downtown San Francisco as SFO, but due to its location across San Francisco Bay, it is greater driving distance from San Francisco.

Cycling and walking Edit

Cycling is a popular mode of transportation in San Francisco, with 75,000 residents commuting by bicycle each day. [334] In recent years, the city has installed better cycling infrastructure such as protected bike lanes and parking racks. [335] Bay Wheels, previously named Bay Area Bike Share at inception, launched in August 2013 with 700 bikes in downtown San Francisco, selected cities in the East Bay, and San Jose. The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency and Bay Area Air Quality Management District are responsible for the operation with management provided by Motivate. [336] A major expansion started in 2017, along with a rebranding as Ford GoBike the company received its current name in 2019. [337] Pedestrian traffic is also widespread. In 2015, Walk Score ranked San Francisco the second-most walkable city in the United States. [338] [339] [340]

San Francisco has significantly higher rates of pedestrian and bicyclist traffic deaths than the United States on average. In 2013, 21 pedestrians were killed in vehicle collisions, the highest since 2001, [341] which is 2.5 deaths per 100,000 population – 70% higher than the national average of 1.5. [342]

Cycling is becoming increasingly popular in the city. Annual bicycle counts conducted by the Municipal Transportation Agency (MTA) in 2010 showed the number of cyclists at 33 locations had increased 58% from the 2006 baseline counts. [343] In 2008, the MTA estimated that about 128,000 trips were made by bicycle each day in the city, or 6% of total trips. [344] As of 2019, 2.6% of the city's streets have protected bike lanes, with 28 miles of protected bike lanes in the city. [314] Since 2006, San Francisco has received a Bicycle Friendly Community status of "Gold" from the League of American Bicyclists. [345]

Law enforcement Edit

The San Francisco Police Department was founded in 1849. [346] The portions of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area located within the city, including the Presidio and Ocean Beach, are patrolled by the United States Park Police.

The San Francisco Fire Department provides both fire suppression and emergency medical services to the city. [347]

The city operates 22 public "pit stop" toilets. [164]

San Francisco has several nicknames, including "The City by the Bay", "Golden Gate City", [348] "Frisco", "SF", "San Fran", and "Fog City" as well as older ones like "The City that Knows How", "Baghdad by the Bay", "The Paris of the West", or, as locals call it, "The City". [1] "San Fran" and "Frisco" are controversial as nicknames among San Francisco residents. [349] [350] [351]

San Francisco participates in the Sister Cities program. [352] A total of 41 consulates general and 23 honorary consulates have offices in the San Francisco Bay Area. [353]

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The Brigands of the Clams

THE water around the eastern edges of Jamaica Bay looked like black tea early Thursday. Nothing could be seen except the outline of an old whitewall tire. ''Looky there,'' said Carl Kirschner, a trapper and fisherman who lives on the banks near Hook Creek. ''This time of year, you ought to be able to see clear to the bottom, but you can't see nothing. The whole dang thing's poisoned.''

Mr. Kirschner has lived on these waters for 50 years, like his father did for 50 years before him. He and other old-timers who still pull their livings from Jamaica Bay have adapted to the pollution. They have fished curiosities from the city's marshes and swamplands, including some things that just aren't right: eels with no eyes, muskrats with no incisors and a three-legged deer. But there is one native to these waters even they would never touch: clams.

''There's plenty of the suckers in these waters,'' said Joe Criesi, a resident of Warnerville, a small waterlogged section of Rosedale that abuts the eastern end of Kennedy International Airport along Thurston Basin. ''You can't eat them, though.'' The last time he did, Mr. Criesi said, he was sick for two days.

''The only ones taking clams out of here,'' he added, 'ɺre the wise guys.''

But health concerns do not bother the wise guys. The 148 square miles of water surrounding New York City from the Inwood Peninsula to Little Neck Bay are perhaps the most fertile clam beds along the Eastern Seaboard, naturalists, scientists and fishermen say -- and some of the most toxic. Because the waters here are so saturated with heavy metals and pathogens, shellfish have been off limits in New York since 1914. But that has not stopped poachers motivated by the easy pickings of the unharvested beds and high market rates from raking the waters by night and then selling the tainted clams to retailers and wholesalers. Sometimes, the product lands on a $20 plate of an unsuspecting consumer.

Officials at the State Department of Environmental Conservation, which is responsible for patrolling the city waters, cannot accurately estimate how many poachers there are, or how many clams they take -- perhaps into the hundreds of thousands a year. But with only 21 conservation officers and three small boats to keep watch over the city's waters, they acknowledge that it is difficult to snare the perpetrators. Only eight were caught last year, and that was with the assistance of the Coast Guard, the National Park Police Marine Unit, the New York Police Harbor Patrol and the Hempstead Bay Constables, who have jurisdiction over an eastern section of the bay.

In the hours before dawn Friday morning, two conservation patrolmen were forced to monitor to mud flats by car after their boat broke down. ''These guys are organized like drug dealers,'' said Officer Brett Armstrong, one of the conservation patrolmen. ''They know these waters better than anyone and they have high-powered boats and scuba equipment. If they're out there, they're dressed in black and out of sight.''

Clamming in uncertified waters can bring from a maximum fine of $1,000 plus the market value of the catch and 60 days in jail for a first offense, to a fine of $10,000, plus market value, six months in jail and the confiscation of any car, boat or equipment used while poaching after a third conviction.

But perhaps more important to the poachers than any of that equipment is a supply of certification tags. Federal law requires clams to carry tags that track the origin and movement of the shellfish as proof to purchasers that the clams were caught in certified waters. The problem is, the tagging system operates on honor, so a poacher can take from contaminated waters and fill in the blanks on a tag to say the catch came from a legal area.

Restaurateurs say they try to insure against illegal tags by buying from reputable dealers. John C. Oɼonnell, the executive chef at Lundy Brothers Restaurant in Sheepshead Bay, said he bought his clams from an Oyster Bay digger. He typically pays $10 per bushel under market value because he buys directly from the fisherman. ''You've got to have trust with your supplier or you'll be out of business,'' Mr. Oɼonnell said. ''We know ours is scrupulous. We've never had anyone sick here.''

But enforcement officials note that not all restaurants are as discriminating about where they get their mollusks. ''Personally, I don't eat clams,'' said Officer Chris Williams. 'ɻut I'll tell you one thing: poaching these things is a very big business.''

The demand for clams skyrockets at this time of year, during Lent, when many Catholics eschew meat. Demand also picks up around Christmas and New Year's, as well as the muggy summer months. The worst time for clams is after a rain or thaw, when microscopic organisms are swept into the bay, said Gordon Colvin, director of marine resources for the Department of Environmental Conservation.

''The street drain and sewage systems are connected and when it rains, they are overwhelmed,'' Mr. Colvin said. ''Much of the untreated water is diverted into Jamaica Bay, and this poses a serious health risk to anyone eating shellfish from it.''

No one has died from eating clams from the bay in recent memory. But the shellfish can absorb hepatitis, Norwalk virus and in some cases vibrio-cholera.

One fisherman who augments his income with local clams called those warnings hype. ''People around here eat the clams all the time,'' he said, 'ɺnd you haven't heard of no hepatitis epidemic lately, have you?''

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