Data Notes



Notes on Race and Ethnicity

Collecting and using data by race and ethnicity is important for monitoring and addressing health inequities and differences. [1] Racial and ethnic data categories are social-political constructs that should not be interpreted as being genetic, biological, or anthropological in nature but which instead serve to identify underlying conditions which produce disparities. [2]
The races/ethnicities represented in this report include those listed in Table 1. Estimates are shown for all race and ethnic groups where data collection methods provide sufficient data

Notes on Sex and Gender

According to the World Health Organization, “sex” refers to the biological and physiological characteristics that define men and women. “Gender” refers to the socially constructed roles, behaviors, activities, and attributes that a given society considers appropriate for men and women. [3] Gender identities include male, female, trans-male, and trans-female. [4]

While biological, social, and personal history aspects of sex and gender identity may matter for understanding health differences, the data sources used in this report typically do not capture gender accurately or do not have sufficient data to produce stable estimates for each of the possible gender identities. Most currently available data sources only produce estimates by male and female. In the future, primary data collection by the San Francisco Department of Public Health will include capture of gender identity more accurately, and, where possible, analyses will utilize and show this data.


Notes on Geographies

​The City and County of San Francisco includes 41 neighborhoods and 26 zip codes. Different data sources vary in terms of geographic level of detail available. Some data sources are available at the census tract level, which can be aggregated up to the neighborhood level, and others only at the zip code level. Neighborhoods may include parts of one or several zip codes and similarly, zip codes may represent parts of one or more neighborhoods. Maps A and B show San Francisco’s neighborhoods and zip codes, respectively. Tables 2 and 3 provide crosswalks between the various neighborhoods and zip codes. Detailed maps showing the overlap of San Francisco geographies are available at


[1] San Francisco Department of Public Health. Principles for collecting, coding, and reporting social identity data – ethnicity guidelines., 2011.
[2] Office of Management and Executive Office of the President Budget. Provisional guidance on the implementation of the 1997 standards of federal data on race and ethnicity., December 2000.
[3] World Health Organization. What do we mean by sex and gender?, 2010.
[4] San Francisco Department of Public Health. Sex and gender guidelines: Principals for collecting, coding, and reporting identity data., 2014.