Santa Barbara

Population: 90,922Median home value: $888,000 67 Ranks better than 43% of areas
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A+ Santa Barbara Amenities Lots of amenities close to this location
F Santa Barbara Cost of Living Cost of living is 40% higher than California
Santa Barbara
19494% more expensive than the US average
13838% more expensive than the US average
United States
100National cost of living index
Santa Barbara cost of living
D+ Santa Barbara Crime Total crime is 6% higher than California
Total crime
3,10913% higher than the US average
Chance of being a victim
1 in 3313% higher than the US average
Year-over-year crime
-7%Year over year crime is down
Santa Barbara crime
C+ Santa Barbara Employment Household income is 5% higher than California
Median household income
$66,91621% higher than the US average
Income per capita
$38,34529% higher than the US average
Unemployment rate
4%22% lower than the US average
Santa Barbara employment
D+ Santa Barbara Housing Home value is 117% higher than California
Median home value
$888,000381% higher than the US average
Median rent price
$1,57566% higher than the US average
Home ownership
39%38% lower than the US average
Santa Barbara real estate or Santa Barbara rentals
D- Santa Barbara Schools HS graduation rate is 5% higher than California
High school grad. rates
84%1% higher than the US average
School test scores
43%13% lower than the US average
Student teacher ratio
20:122% higher than the US average
Santa Barbara K-12 schools or Santa Barbara colleges

Living in Santa Barbara, CA

Santa Barbara, California is a moderately-sized city with a population of 90,922 people. In Santa Barbara, there are 4,665 people per square mile, which is well above the national population density average. The majority of Santa Barbara residents report their race to be White; this is followed by Asian and Black. Additionally, more than a quarter of the population of Santa Barbara are of Hispanic or Latino origin, and 29% of the population also speak Spanish. Santa Barbara has a high percentage of people who are married with children when compared to the rest of the country. In total, more than 74% of the population is classified as married and 63% have kids.

Whether you’re moving to a new town to be closer to family, friends or for a new job, living in Santa Barbara could be a positive experience compared to other cities in California if you know where to search. The best areas in Santa Barbara and in surrounding cities are easier to find when you are able to make informed decisions. Using data from crime, cost of living, weather, education, housing, you will see a detailed breakdown of the most important information as well as comparisons to the California and national averages.

With a livability score of 66 out of 100, Santa Barbara is ranked #16,694 in the United States and #616 in California. If we dig down a little deeper into each category within the livability score, we see that Santa Barbara has higher than average scores for the following: amenities (A+) and weather (A-). Unfortunately for Santa Barbara, there are some categories for which it does not score well, this includes: crime (D-), cost of living (F) and education (D-).

Based on the proximity of local amenities like grocery stores, restaurants, coffee shops, parks, librairies, etc., Santa Barbara has received a higher than average score for its local amenities. If you’re planning on relocating and making this area your permanent home, it’s nice to know that there is an ample amount of amenities and things to do within walking distance or a short drive. Here are some of the more popular things to do in Santa Barbara: State Street, Santa Barbara County Courthouse, and Santa Barbara Adventure Company.

Assuming that Santa Barbara meets all of your requirements, the next most important item to examine is the affordability of real estate in Santa Barbara. Everything else becomes a lot less important if it turns out that home prices in Santa Barbara are simply unattainable. The median home price for Santa Barbara homes is $888,000, which is 117% higher than the California average. If we take a closer look at the affordability of homes in Santa Barbara, we’ll see that the home price to income ratio is 13.3, which is 107.8% higher than the California average. For most people, purchasing a new home is the biggest investment they will make in their lifetime. Taking a look at overall real estate appreciation rates in Santa Barbara will offer some insight into determining if your home purchase will be a solid investment for years to come. In Santa Barbara, the year-over-year appreciation rates were 10.4%, and the 5 year appreciation rates came in at 7.5%.

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Monthly costs include: fuel, maintenance, tires, insurance, license fees, taxes, depreciation, and financing.
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Compare Santa Barbara, CA Livability To Other Cities

Best Neighborhoods In & Around Santa Barbara, CA

PlaceLivability scoreScoreMilesPopulationPop.
Mesa, Santa Barbara710.610,372
Las Positas, Santa Barbara7125,327
Upper State, Santa Barbara693.414,832
Westside, Santa Barbara651.216,009
PlaceLivability scoreScoreMilesPopulationPop.
Waterfront, Santa Barbara592.12,410
Eastside, Santa Barbara582.710,899
Downtown, Santa Barbara571.819,688
Riviera, Santa Barbara543.47,767

Best Cities Near Santa Barbara, CA

PlaceLivability scoreScoreMilesPopulationPop.
Montecito, CA825.59,193
Mission Canyon, CA813.62,769
Buellton, CA7531.25,021
Summerland, CA757.11,146
PlaceLivability scoreScoreMilesPopulationPop.
Los Olivos, CA7529.3871
Goleta, CA748.630,671
Channel Islands Beach, CA7232.42,954
Toro Canyon, CA728.81,714

How Do You Rate The Livability In Santa Barbara?

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Santa Barbara Reviews

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Santa Barbara, CA In Review

Santa Barbara is a city most well known because it is the home of Shawn Spencer on TV's Psych. However, Santa Barbara is also a lovely beach community that sits in the countryside outside Los Angeles. People like Rob Lowe have lived in Santa Barbara for years because it allows them to live outside the city without being too far away.

Santa Barbara has a number of small attractions that make it a great place for a day trip. I have lived here long enough to know that most of the scenes on Psych are shot in Canada, but the overhead shots show you a pier that you can enjoy all the time. Our Pier is one of the best in the country, and you can sail a boat out into the Pacific at any time. You could sail up the coast to Monterrey, or you can sail down by Los Angeles. You have more freedom in the city than you could imagine.

The city is a place where fine chefs are coming to get out of the hustle and bustle of L.A. Also, the dining in the city allows people to enjoy simple fare that is based on food that was made by Spanish explorers or the native Indians.

Every person that comes to Santa Barbara, California will walk away with a different memory, but the abiding memory is that the city is comfortable. Santa Barbara is a wonderful place to vacation, but it is also a place where you can live if you want to be outside the big city.
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Santa Barbara is not as great of a community as you might dream of

So you visited here for a week and fell in love with it. Or you are searching for a place with warmer weather and Santa Barbara seems great. Well it does have a lot of perks that is for sure. But as a resident I want to share some of the downfalls. You have to be extremely wealthy to live here. Most people pay more than the recommended 30% of your income in rent. We are fine to do that for the great city and weather. But finding a place is difficult. Rental companies and mom and pop landlords want you to make 3 times the rental price NET - so here in SB that is about $6,600 for a 2 bedroom apartment. 2 bedroom apartments average $2,000 - a cute SMALL cottage will be $2,500-$3,200 depending on how much remodeling has been done to the unit. - If you love pets it will be a problem. Rarely is there a place that lets you have pets - and if they do you will pay extra for the privilege. The availability rate is point six.
Some would say it has a great community. I am not so sure. For example UC Santa Barbara the main university accepts more students than there is housing for (university owned or just available.) The housing office on campus has sent out , more than once, please to the faculty and staff to please take in some students - especially the international. They are asking empty nesters especially to help out since they might have an extra room. I work here at UCSB. There are two women who have empty rooms as their kids moved into college. Neither one would take in a student - not even for the short term. - It is just sort of indicative of the self centeredness you find here in SB. SB is sort of a hedonistic town. It is feels good to you then by all means engage in your lifestyle. Your don't need to be bothered with others. - - There are many who feel differently and so there are many organizations to help those in need.
Which leads me to some of a great things about SB. The are many non profits that do super work. If you are hungry or homeless there is help. There is a NP for just about everything. The school lunches are AMAZING. I have kids in elem school. Almost everything is made fresh daily. Even the salsas. The ground beef us organic. Most produce is local and organic. Salad bars are present and the food tastes great.
Most schools are good. We still teach musical instruments and cursive writing. Although the PTA at many schools does pay for the specialist such as art, PE and computers.
Above it listed the population as around 88,000. Just so you know that is a little misleading. The cities of Goleta and Montecito all blend together so the total is closer to 130,000.
Traffic....Ug. Lots of city traffic. SB believes in one way streets and stop lights every block. I have never lived in Goleta and have always loved living walking distance to downtown, but if I stay here I might consider moving out of the Downtown area.
Pluses - Lots of parades! Lots of family events - many are free. Very good for families. The nightlife lacks. I would like a place to see live music - not an $130 tickets...I mean lets get a babysitter and go to a nicer restaurant/ venue to see a band. There is one place downtown that is nice and one other near Goleta that is more country music oriented.

You pick - Few big brand stores. No target, walmat. Some love that, some hate that.

p.s. One previous commenter said they loved it....note they have lived here since 1949 which means they own a house or two and are not poor.

P.S. 2 Do not commute from Ventura...the traffic is insanely bad in the morning. Unless you work non standard hours.
  • 1 0
Beautiful city, and boy will it cost you.

I love living here, but unless I win the lottery, can't live here for much longer. The beach, the weather, stuff to do make it great, but some of the people, and the prices are insane! Nice place to visit, but can't afford to live here. There are great people here for sure, but far too many flaky materialistic rich people that love the smell of their own poo. The city itself is full of great restaurants and bars, stores and cool places to visit, state street is pretty fun on a weekday when there aren't too many tourists. Despite my rating I like living here, I just can't stay here because I could never afford to buy a house here.
  • 0 0
Great Civic Pride, Privacy Attainable,Natural Beautiful,Peacefull.....

I have lived Santa Barbara since 1949. I have not found it's equal.My children,grand children and great grand children were born in SB.
She seems more expensive when compared to other communities,she's worth it.
I do not believe areavibes statistics. We have less crime than most. Our educational system, especially when the many private schools are taken into consideration. Amenities are wonderful but not like thrill rides and amusements. Museums,Ocean and Mountain activities, educational and cultura...
Quality of life is that which my family treasure.
I would like ArteaVibes to contact me and explain the genesis of their posted information.
Thank you
  • 0 0
Santa Barbara, CA - Is it Paradise?

Having lived near Santa Barbara for nearly 9 years, I am still excited when I visit and experience the quaint city nestled between the rolling hills and the sea. When in Santa Barbara it feels as if I'm in Europe with sidewalk cafes stretched the entire length of State Street, and at the end, I find myself on the ocean pier, snapping photos of giant pelicans on the dock or diving into the water to fetch their next meal. With an abundant supply of students from UCSB, there is always something going on here, from music and nightlife to biking, visiting the zoo, exploring nature trails or just lounging by the ocean.

The weather in the city of Santa Barbara is usually pleasant, although it can dip below freezing on occasion deep in the night, and the need for a jacket during the day can be a necessity when so called "winter" arrives. The culinary experience in Santa Barbara is a delight with cafes and restaurants lining State Street and unique offerings at the marina and throughout the city. Don't get me wrong, it is pricey to live in Santa Barbara, even in this economy. But it is a fascinating little city to experience, and it is a beautiful gem by the sea!
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Reason for reporting
Source: The Santa Barbara, CA data and statistics displayed above are derived from the 2016 United States Census Bureau American Community Survey (ACS).
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