April 18 will mark the 100-year anniversary of “The Great San Francisco Earthquake” and subsequent fires that left between 225,000 – 300,000 people homeless. In commemoration of the anniversary of this disaster, the U.S. Census Bureau has published a special edition of its “Facts for Features,” comparing circa-1900 San Francisco with today’s city.

The report is filled with interesting demographic figures that illustrate the many changes in San Francisco’s population, housing and economy over the past century …

A few examples:

– a population boom, from 342,782 residents in 1900 to 744,230 in 2004;

– a growth in housing units, from 53,323 dwellings in 1900 to 353,930 housing units in 2004; and

– change in ethnic makeup, with 95% of the population classified as “white” in 1900, compared to 58% “white” in 2004.

In the aftermath of the devastating impact of New Orleans by Hurricaine Katrina, a look back at what happened to San Francisco in 1906 inspires an optimistic source of hope for the Crescent City’s potential rebirth.