Demographic profile using census data from 2000 to cover the Rockridge/Claremont and Temescal districts of Oakland

Each census district in these neighborhoods had no fewer than (approximately) 2,000 people and no more than 5,000, with the most people in the area bordered by College Avenue to the east, 51st St to the south and the 24 to the west, which is part of the flat section of the Rockridge neighborhood. (At the time there was a total population of 399,484 in the City of Oakland – a census head count).

The population was overwhelmingly white. However, it is interesting to look at how percentages change as the neighborhood flattens out and Telegraph Ave is crossed. For example, in the hilly area above College Ave, out of the 1,910 respondents, 1,581, or 86%, said they were white (one race). To the west of this, and in the flat areas, is a tract that is 72% white. This can be compared with the tract west of that, with Telegraph Ave the border, which is 43% white and 45% black. (These are also looking at respondents who picked “one race,” and the percentages were worked out by me.) At this time Oakland was 35% only black and 31% only white.

In the areas that had the highest “only white” populations, the highest population of non-whites were Asians (again, “only”).

These areas were also older than the City of Oakland results, in a general trend that saw higher white populations coincide with higher median ages for both men and women.


The total population of Oakland is 373,910.

It is 52.5% female and 47.5% male.

The median age is 35.2 years of age.

Over 78% of Oakland residents have earned their high school diploma, and 33.8% of them have gone on to earn a Bachelor’s degree or higher.

More than half (53.8%) of Oakland residents are renters while 46.2% of Oaklanders own their homes. The median home value is estimated at $487,300, nearly three times the national average.

Economic Characteristics:
The per-capita income for Oakland residents is $25,739, and 16.9% of Oakland families live below the poverty level while 18.3% of individuals live below the poverty level.

The 2000 census showed that 36.8% of Oakland residents spoke a language other than English at home. The language other than English most likely to be spoken at home was Spanish, followed by Asian and Pacific languages. Of all Oakland residents aged 5 and older 21.8% reported that they spoke English “less than very well”.

Countries of Origin:
The most popular countries and regions of origin, in order, are: Germany, Ireland, England, and sub-Saharan Africa.

Of 26.6% of Oaklanders who were foreign born, 9.5% were naturalized citizens, and 17.1% were not citizens.

Neighborhood by Ethnicity:
According to 2000 census tract data, Oakland is fairly segregated into ethnic enclaves. Persons who are Hispanic or Latino of any race were spread throughout the city, but densely concentrated in West Oakland, Fruitvale, and East Oakland. White people were densely concentrated in the Oakland Hills and in the Southeastern areas of the city. Black or African American people were concentrated in West Oakland and East Oakland. Asian people were concentrated in the Chinatown and Downtown neighborhoods as well as in the Southeastern areas of the city.

Average Household Size by Neighborhood:
The average overall household size in Oakland is 2.6. In the West Oakland, Fruitvale, and East Oakland neighborhoods, there were an average of 3.39 – 4.12 persons per household.

Voter Registration:
Of the 180,012 registered voters in Oakland, 117,650 are Democratic, 13,129 are Republican,2,573 are American Independent, 5,090 are Green, 668 are Libertarian, 1,276 are Peace and Freedom, 1,745 are Other, and 37,881 Declined to State.

Major demographic changes in the last decade:
According to the 1990 and 2000 censuses, Oakland’s population has increased and become more densely concentrated, with very large shifts in racial demographics. The black population decreased and the white had just a small increase, while the Hispanic and Asian populations had very large increases.

Here are the numbers: Between 1990 and 2000 Oakland’s population increased from 372,242 to 399, 484, a 7.3% increase. White residents increased by about 5,000 people (120, 849 to 125, 013), black residents decreased by almost 20,000 people (163, 335 to 142, 460). Asian numbers jumped from 27,672 to 60,851 and Hispanic went from 51,711 to 87,467.

Square mileage of Oakland
According to the US Census data, Oakland’s land area has remained at 56.1 square miles for over a decade.

The major geographic boundaries include the Bay to the west and the hills to the east. On the bay is, of course, the Port of Oakland. Beyond the hills lies the East Bay Regional Park District. As you can see in the separate post on Rockridge, the hilly section of the City of Oakland shows different demographic characteristics than the flat section, tending towards a higher income level. There is an irregular boundary with the City of Berkeley that crosses both the flatlands and the hills.

Using 2000 Census data, we find that the most common occupation was management, professional, and related occupations, at 40%. After that came sales and office work, at 23%, then service jobs at 17%. 75% of employed were working for the private sector, while 15% worked for federal, state, or local government.

Using 2002 data from the Economic Census, we find that retail was the most common type of business, with 1,086 businesses with 11,255 employees. Of manufacturing employers, the most were apparel plants and food manufacturing (that is, raw materials generally of animal or vegetable origin processed into food products as well as fabricated metal product plants.

City Center: Grand Avenue/Lakeshore area. This area is full of retail stores and restaurants, near downtown’s financial area and Lake Merritt. Stores range from Gap and cell phone stores to boutiques where you can get manicures. The City Center Pedestrian Plaza has outdoor seating, restaurants, shops and cultural events in the summer.


Chinatown: This downtown neighborhood has loads of diverse, pan-Asian stores carrying everything from Chinese healing herbs to fine porcelain. Pacific Renaissance Plaza houses two stories of these eclectic shops. There’s also a small courtyard there where shoppers can take a break and relax.


College Avenue/Rockridge: This area covers about two miles between Oakland and Berkeley. College avenue has a plethora of shops and food spots—gourmet markets, used books, clothing stores. Market Hall, a two-story building with a bakery and plenty of other food options is a popular stop.


Fruitvale: This neighborhood is defined by its largely Hispanic population, whose influence can be seen in the colorful murals that decorate outdoor spaces and festivals on Dia de Los Muertos and Cinco de Mayo. Shoppers can peruse ethnic specialty stores for food, cooking ingredients, and clothing. There are also many ethnic restaurants and taquerias.


Jack London Square: Broadway and Embarcadero. Situated right on the water, this historic area has a wide array of stores, ranging from chain giants like Bed Bath and Beyond to local boutiques. Shoppers can also take a ferry, go to a movie, or get a latte at one of the sidewalk cafes.


Montclair Village: This area is filled with specialty shops, children’s clothing and toy stores, and upscale boutiques. It’s a popular spot for people watching and sipping coffee—there are plenty of benches along main walkway.


Old Oakland Historic District: Between Broadway and Clay. This old Oakland neighborhood has restored Victorian homes, shops, galleries, and Washington Street’s Restaurant Row. It’s also home to the Old Farmer’s Market on Friday mornings.


Piedmont Avenue: This is similar to College Avenue, attracting crowds of shoppers and tourists. Oakland’s famous Fenton’s Creamery is found here, along with vintage and antique stores.


Temescal: This neighborhood has gourmet food shops, delis, chocolate shops, and retail stores. New investment in the neighborhood has attracted increasing numbers of merchants and shoppers in the past few years.