4 California Cities Ranked Top Places to Live in U.S.

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4 California Cities Ranked Top Places to Live in U.S.

Beachgoers are seen along the shore in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego on July 4, 2020. (Sandy Huffaker/AFP via Getty Images)

Rudy Blalock

Rudy Blalock

12/11/2023

Updated: 12/30/2023

A new nationwide analysis placed four California cities among the top places to live overall in the U.S., and two ranked in the top 10 for larger cities.
Researchers from the website Money—which provides tips on various financial topics such as credit, insurance, real estate, and investing—ranked Irvine as the 13th best city to live in the nation, Fremont as the 18th, San Diego as the 22nd, and San Jose, 25th.
According to city officials, Irvine is more than just a desirable place to live, it’s also the safest, with FBI data from last year placing the Orange County city first among cities for having the lowest per capita violent crime for cities over 250,000 residents. It’s the 18th consecutive year Irvine has received that distinction.
Irvine Mayor Farrah Khan applauded the city’s police department for its help in positioning “Irvine as a premier destination,” with “unmatched security,” she said in a press release earlier this year.
On the same FBI list, Chula Vista was the 15th safest city and San Diego the 20th, with around 420 violent crimes per 100,000 people versus Irvine which only had 85.
In the Money analysis, researchers noted many amenities Irvine offers as reasons it’s one of the top places to live, such as the city’s over 60 community and neighborhood parks, 400 miles worth of bike trails, and close access to coastal cities.
Other attractions mentioned include the yearly Irvine Global Village Festival, which brings visitors from around the world to showcase food, art exhibits, and musical performances that highlight worldwide cultures.
Children interact with animals at the petting zoo at the 22nd annual Irvine Global Village Festival in Irvine, Calif., on Oct. 14, 2023. (Sophie Li/The Epoch Times)

Children interact with animals at the petting zoo at the 22nd annual Irvine Global Village Festival in Irvine, Calif., on Oct. 14, 2023. (Sophie Li/The Epoch Times)

For education, the University of California–Irvine ranked 9th on Money’s best colleges in the U.S. list, which factors in the cost of schooling versus an average graduate’s earnings, to determine which schools offer the best value.
Both Fremont and San Jose boast high median income households of $143,417 and $125,765 respectively, thanks to a large demand of technology-based careers offered in the two cities, which both have unemployment rates below 3 percent.
For the best big cities in the nation with at least 600,000 residents, San Diego and San Jose were in the top 5 rankings by Money, with San Diego 3rd and San Jose, 4th.
With a median household income of $96,000 for its nearly 1.4 million residents, San Diego was highlighted for its “world class beaches” and sunny warm weather. Other attributes include a growing demand for healthcare and biotechnical jobs, as well as ample military opportunities with the coastal city home to the Pacific Fleet of the U.S. Navy.
San Diego also has 40,000 acres of wide-open space and some 340 parks, according to Money, with many other attractions including the 1,000-acre Balboa Park—home to the San Diego Zoo—and 15 museums.
People use Great Park of Orange County athletic areas for sports in Irvine, Calif., on May 7, 2021. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

People use Great Park of Orange County athletic areas for sports in Irvine, Calif., on May 7, 2021. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

Rudy Blalock

Rudy Blalock

Author

Rudy Blalock is a Southern California-based daily news reporter for The Epoch Times. Originally from Michigan, he moved to California in 2017, and the sunshine and ocean have kept him here since. In his free time, he may be found underwater scuba diving, on top of a mountain hiking or snowboarding—or at home meditating, which helps fuel his active lifestyle.

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