Santa Cruz 74 Excellent
Santa Cruz Livability #137 ranked city in California#4,243 ranked city in the USARanks better than 85% of areas

Pros and Cons of Living in Santa Cruz

  • Amenities

    Conveniently located, the area boasts a variety of amenities, including grocery stores, shopping, coffee shops and entertainment options all within walking distance.

  • Commute

    The high commute score in this area could imply easy access to public transportation, as well as shorter-than-average commute times to your workplace.

  • Employment

    With higher than average median household income, income per capita and lower unemployment rates, this area scores extremely well in the employment category.

  • Health & Safety

    Accessible health facilities like hospitals, doctors offices, clinics and nursing homes as well as good air quality are all factors that have led to a high score in this category.

  • Schools

    The high score in the schools category can be attributed to outstanding test scores, elevated graduation rates and the convenient placement of elementary and high schools in this area.

  • Cost Of Living

    This area is known for its high cost of living, which means you should anticipate higher costs for everyday goods and services, housing, groceries, and health care.

  • Crime

    Reporting high crime rates per 100,000 people, this area may be perceived as an unsafe place to reside. These statistics encompass both violent and property crime rates.

  • Ratings

    Through surveys and polls, AreaVibes obtained feedback from local residents in the area, and the results did not indicate a favorable outlook on factors like local amenities and the safety of the area.

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What's it like Living in Santa Cruz?

Santa Cruz, California is a medium-sized city with a population of 65,011 residents. With a population density of 5,103 people per square mile, Santa Cruz is well above the nation's average density level. At 73%, the majority of the Santa Cruz population is White; this is followed by 10% Asian and 2% Black. Santa Cruz tends to attract a younger crowd, as the median age of 28 is far below the national average. All the single ladies and all the single fellas might want to take notice as only 32% of the Santa Cruz population is married. On a daily basis, the typical American spends approximately 26 minutes on their one-way work commute. Reduced travel times not only contributes to increased overall happiness, but also affords more opportunities to cherish moments with family and friends. If you're living in Santa Cruz, your commute time will align closely with the national average, spanning a one-way duration of approximately 23 minutes.

Are you trying to figure out if living in Santa Cruz is the right fit for your lifestyle? To ensure a fulfilling experience before moving to any new city in California, you will probably want to make sure that you check all of the most important boxes. Several key factors deserve attention. For one, safety is paramount, ensuring that your new area is low in crime is key. Proximity to workplaces or schools minimizes commute times and fosters convenience. Access to essential amenities like parks, grocery stores, food, fitness, shops and healthcare facilities enhances daily life. Efficient public transportation options provide mobility and connectivity. The sense of community creates a welcoming and supportive environment. Lastly, the overall atmosphere, encompassing the vibe, aesthetics, and lifestyle offerings, contributes to a fulfilling living experience. Considering these elements helps identify the ideal neighborhood for your needs and preferences. Finding the best places to live in Santa Cruz and nearby areas is a much easier task when you can rely on information and data from the livability score, which includes amenities, commute, education, housing and other important metrics.

Santa Cruz has a livability score of 77/100 and is ranked #89 in California and #2,203 in the USA. Clearly, Santa Cruz is doing something right, as this score ranks well above the average of most cities. Santa Cruz has also earned the rare honor of ranking in the top 10 percentile among all cities. If we check out each of the categories on their own, we see that Santa Cruz ranks well for employment (A+). The bad news for Santa Cruz, there are some categories for which it does not score well, this includes: crime (F) and cost of living (F).

If you're living in Santa Cruz, you can expect to enjoy a multitude of local amenities, mostly thanks to the strategic placement of essential services such as grocery stores, restaurants, coffee shops, parks and various shops. If you're contemplating a move to this locale with the intent of establishing it as your permanent residence, you'll be pleased to find an extensive array of amenities and recreational opportunities within easy reach, either on foot or via a brief commute. This wealth of accessible amenities not only enhances the livability of the area but also ensures that you can enjoy a rich and fulfilling lifestyle, making Santa Cruz an attractive destination for those seeking a vibrant and well-served community to call home. Some of the interesting things to do and attractions include: Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, Santa Cruz Wharf, and University of California at Santa Cruz.

Certain items on your wish list like shopping, restaurants, nightlife, parks and proximity to public transportation are all important things to look for. Having said that, perhaps the most important metric to consider when contemplating a move to Santa Cruz is real estate affordability. Median real estate prices in Santa Cruz come in at $895,800, which is 118.9% higher than the California average. The home price to income ratio compares the median home prices to the median household income. In Santa Cruz, the home price to income ratio is 10.3, which is 60.9% higher than the California average.

Best Places to Live in and Around Santa Cruz

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      Santa Cruz transportation information

      Statistic Santa Cruz California National
      Average one way commute23min28min26min
      Workers who drive to work58.1%73.5%76.4%
      Workers who carpool6.1%10.6%9.3%
      Workers who take public transit5.4%5.2%5.1%
      Workers who bicycle7.0%1.1%0.6%
      Workers who walk11.8%2.7%2.8%
      Working from home9.9%5.4%4.6%
      Source: The Santa Cruz, CA data and statistics displayed above are derived from the United States Census Bureau American Community Survey (ACS).