Key findings

  • Fresno has a Livability Score of 58/100, which is considered below average
  • Fresno crime rates are 41% higher than the California average
  • Cost of living in Fresno is 28% lower than the California average
  • Fresno real estate prices are 54% lower than the California average
  • Rental prices in Fresno are 31% lower than the California average

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      Fresno, CA

      Fresno is one of the main cities of central California, the fifth largest city in California overall and has experienced a population boom in the past few years. This has occurred mostly because of the movement of people out of Los Angeles and other larger cities on the West Coast. Fresno is unique from many other large communities in California because it is inland rather than on the coast.

      Fresno’s economy has benefited greatly from the population growth in the San Joaquin Valley and it has cemented its status as the center of economic activity in Fresno County. Some of the biggest employers include local medical centers, universities, and other service providers.

      For those relocating a family or wishing to start one, Fresno has an excellent public education system, like much of California. There are also many higher education institutions in California, including many in Fresno itself. The many parks and cultural centers, such as the Forestiere Underground Gardens and Yosemite National Park also make Fresno a great place to live and raise children. These sites are very popular tourist destinations and when you live here you get constant access to some of the most beautiful locations in the United States. If shopping is more of your interest, you can find anything you'd ever need at The River Park Shopping Center and Riverview Shopping Center.

      Public transportation is available in Fresno in the form of buses. It is very efficient for a city of Fresno's size but many residents opt for a car (considering Fresno has much less traffic than other cities in California). Biking is also an option for those who are environmentally friendly or want to enjoy the sunny weather. As for taking vacations, the Fresno Yosemite International Airport connects Fresno with the rest of the world at relatively low rates for an airport of its size.

      The cost of living in Fresno is very cheap compared to other cities in California, with the average rent being only around $1,000 per month. Groceries and other necessities are fairly cheap because of local supermarkets, but gas is more expensive than other parts of the United States, along with the rest of the West Coast. The minimum wage here is about average for a city of its size and that helps with the costs. Most people have no trouble living comfortably here.

      Fresno is a beautiful, growing city with plenty of opportunity for work and education. Families and individuals alike will find a good way to live here amongst the diverse population of the area. If you decide to move to Fresno, you will be greeted by friendly locals and feel at home in no time at all.

      Top Rated Schools in Fresno

      Name Grades Students Proficiency
      Manchester Gate2 - 674992%
      University High9 - 1248684%
      Edison Computech7 - 881783%
      James S. Fugman ElementaryKG - 683476%
      Riverview ElementaryKG - 676275%
      Morris E. Dailey Charter ElementaryKG - 537672%
      Granite Ridge Intermediate7 - 81,28969%
      Fort Washington ElementaryKG - 661367%
      See all Fresno schools

      Fresno Reviews

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      Fresno is a big "no" for me (part 2).

      May I add that the air quality is not the best. My mom has a hard time breathing in this Fresno air and every time we visit another city (also any other reason why I would go out of the house & why I'm grateful we live so close to other cities), she feels so much better. I also don't think there's many good job options as a lot of unique workplaces don't stay here for long and there aren't a lot of good jobs or good positions that are open, at least to me.
      • 1 0
      Fresno is a big "no" for me.

      If you love Fresno, great, I respect other people's opinions, but in my opinion, I'm not exactly fond of Fresno. I believe it's just as good as a gas stop or a place to stay for "now". Some may even say it's a good starting point, but a lot of the times I feel like there are places who offer better. Maybe if you're looking to settle down, have a family, or even retire, Fresno is the place for that. Although it gets pretty bad in Fresno, crime-wise. I read the news & there's a shooting almost every other day, so whether you decide to live here is up to you, just keep you and your family or friends safe in this city! There's really nothing that remotely exciting or actually piques my interest in Fresno. I only ever go out to shop or eat, but there's rarely any stores that have what I'm looking for and as far as food goes every other corner I turn there's a fast food chain, lacking any real diversity in food choices. There's really nothing to do here as I feel like I can't go out because of the amount of crime that has happened. Anyways, the attractions here, you can find anywhere else and it can be better than Fresno's. The schools I've attended are okay, but I wouldn't wish to attend another school here as I don't plan on staying in Fresno for very long. Cost of living is pretty good, so I'll give it that, just wish the apartment management where I live would improve and the apartment a bigger space, but I'm proud to have a bed to sleep in and a roof over my head. I feel finding an actual good job is rare. I have no real opinion of the community, but it's hard to find people who want to get together and get along. The people here are either kind or rude, like any people anywhere of the world, but I've dealt with plenty of bullies or heard of plenty crazy people here out in this city. The nightlife is completely dead; nothing exactly goes on at night in this quiet city of nothings to do. Commuting from one place to another has never been a problem as there is little traffic. In my overall experience so far, I just don't feel like Fresno is the place for me & when I move, really hoping to, I'd come back only to see my family and friends. Sorry Fresno & all people who genuinely enjoy Fresno. This is my harsh truth. =(
      • 3 0
      Best value for big city in CA

      I've lived here for 10 years and seen it change for the better. 10 years ago it was known for high crime. Now, if you look at the stats, Fresno IS SAFER than Sacramento, SF, LA, Oakland, and other big cities in CA. There is more and sometimes significantly more violent crime and killings going on in those cities now. So whatever the Fresno PD has done in the last 10 years is working. Fresno is still a work in progress but a lot has improved. Fresno is the 5th biggest city in the state of CA. It's bigger than Sacramento when it comes to population. It has great higher education options in Fresno State and Fresno Pacific. It also has UCSF Medical here for those looking to be a doctor. It is the closest major city to Yosemite and other of the beautiful national parks in CA including Sequoia, Kings Canyon, Sierras. It is also about an hour away from a ski resort up in China Peak. Beautiful nature outdoor adventure is Fresno's backyard to the east. The beauty of living here is you can still live comfortably on a middle class income. Homes are still relatively affordable. Sacramento is similar to Fresno but does have few things Fresno does not. But keep in mind the median price of a home in Sacramento is over $100K more. Weather is similar as well. African American population is very small here compared to Sacramento with Sacramento boasting over 10% more Black population, so the diversity in that regards is better in Sacramento. So if a large black/African population is impomrtant to you, then Fresno is not a good choice--go to Sacramento area instead if you want a larger black/african american population. Other than that, the other racial make up is present. As with most of CA there is heavy hispanic population (but which part of CA isnt) followed by white and asians. The problem one may have with Fresno is that it is really the only biggest city in central CA so if what you are looking for isnt here, you are not likely to find it in the neighboring small towns and cities. But because Fresno is the 5th biggest city in CA, there is a good chance it should have a store, service, amenity you are looking for. San Jose is 2 hours away, and you can get to LA in 3 hours. Still short enough for day trips. The people here are very more reserved and less vocal it seems. They only speak out when it comes to negative things but never say anything when things are good. Overall, if you are raising a family and are middle to upper middle class, you will live very comfortably here with most if not all the things you and your family will need as they grow old. But if you are not educated and have no ambition life may be difficult because there may not be as much opportunities.
      • 1 -1
      No privacy or dreams

      This is a place where u go to give ur mind to media. Ur life will no longer belong to u and if u go against fresno beliefs, u shall end up crazy or dead like most who find the truth that lies beneath fresnos system. As a residents, you shall be subjected to choosing the class in which u best fit in. Then u shall be moved and paraded on ur tv with shows that apply to your personal life. Influence the pd calls it but also u will be subjected to being exploited on a daily basis helping the local pd see everything u do while usin g your ideas and thoughts to help kopi profit. A local metasploited community is what it is and this also feeds hollywood with some of the best movies seen today!! Yeah.. and fresno is the heart of it all! And if ur mind cant handle their high frequencies and fiber optic hacks! You shall end by either going crazy and being shot in the streets like the most recent 19 yr old boy by fresno pd. Or u will die with cronic illnesses such as hearing problems, eye problems or a possible cancer! This is true and has been proven... its an old secret of this secret town... thats why nobody hears about it until now!!! So dont move to fresno because there is nothing here but a continuous loop in ur life that will not end until u die here. So beware!!
      • 0 -5
      Fresno sucks!

      Fresno is the worst city I have ever lived in. Fresno is hot in the summertime and the public transportation system sucks. The bus system is slow and many times unreliable and does not get too many stops on time. Not much to do in Fresno. When I lived in Fresno I didn't drive so I had to rely on the public bus. Which sucked. I was only living in Fresno because I was in a program here. The program required me to move here. The only thing I like about Fresno is that it has a lot of chain businesses and restaurants. This city had many chain businesses and restaurants that the city I moved here from did not have. After the program was over I moved back to the city I moved here from. I realized that Fresno was not for me.
      • 0 -2
      dangerous city with no culture

      I've lived here my whole life and can't wait to read. Being the daughter of a police officer in this city, I know how terrible the crime is here. In short, it can be summed up by two things: homeless people and gang members. The homeless people are absolutely everywhere, as we have the highest ratio of homed people to homeless people in the nation. The gangs are so bad that shootings occur incredibly often, as do robberies and petty theft.

      The weather is unbearable hot in the summer, and barely cold in the winter. 100+ F every day, all day with our lowest winter being in the 50s.

      Overall, we don't have much culture. We have had many art museums try to open up...and then within a year or two close down because of the lack of income. The tower district is filled with actors and musicians, but that's the only portion of the town with creativity... and it's also filled with homeless people. I was in a childrens play there once about seven years ago, and just rememer always seeing bums sleeping on the lawn around the theater, or it smelling gross because they would pee on the walls.

      The education you can get depends soley on whether or not your in the Clovis Unified School District or not-- which is in Fresno because of a weird territory thing decades ago-- as Fresno Unified is notorious for being horrible.
      • 2 -1
      Fresno Is A Beautiful And Rough Example Of Historic California

      My family relocated to the San Joaquin valley just before I went away to college. We lived in a smaller city called Tulare which is about a half an hour south of Fresno. We are Portuguese and Armenian, so the area had historic ties for us. As a graduating senior, I traveled to Fresno for work, recreation, time with friends, and events. For someone on the edge of independence, Fresno presents some really inviting qualities. It also has its downside. For a city of 120,000 people, I thought Fresno was fun, but best enjoyed in a group.

      My favorite part of the city was the Old Mission District. The focal point of the City of Fresno composes blocks upon blocks of 19th century Mexican Catholic-inspired monolithic buildings. This area is perfect for long, hot hours spent exploring. I do mean hot! This part of the valley, though close to the snow-covered Sierras, hits the 95-100 degree mark and stays there! Fresno is a city that has experienced immense growth in the past few decades, and would appear a little "dirty and dusty" to people from other states. There is however, a certain laid-back charm.

      As far as things to do in Fresno; the shopping is unbeatable. There are LA shopping influences and a large college population that demands malls, theaters, theme parks, social venues, and high-end services. There is vast wealth in Fresno, but also extreme poverty. Fresno has been noted as being the city in the U.S. with the most car thefts per capita many years running. This is why I would suggest always having fun in the city with groups of friends. There is a gang presence, and residents pretty much agree that the municipal government hasn't done an effective job of helping this melting-pot city function ethnically. It's an absolutely beautiful city with a rich history, but common sense caution is needed almost everywhere!
      • 2 0
      There is good and bad; Very diverse

      I was born and raised in the Clovis/Fresno Area. I am 38 and I have lived in this area for probably 90% of my life. First let me say that I have never heard of a KKK cross burning in Clovis during my lifetime. Yes Clovis used to be a racist town however, it hasn't been anything close to what Robinhood was saying in at least the past 30 years. From my experience, I would guess he/she is not having a very good life and is looking for someone to blame for their hardships.

      That being said, I have lived in 7 different states due to being military. I have also lived in 5 different communities in California. Fresno is a big city. Housing is a bit better in the central valley than elsewhere. Wages are pretty much stuck at about a dollar or so above the minimum wage unless you are in the upper regions of education or you work in some capacity for the government. Construction is feast or famine, but I think its worse here because of the low wages and the crazy restrictions from agencies like the EPA. Its also not very friendly because of the high license fees and other regulations. Agriculture is huge here, if you didn't know, and with that comes the influx of illegal migrants. Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of people who have migrated here legally, but there is a huge market for the illegals because they are willing to work in substandard conditions for little pay, which hurts everyone in the area. However, California, along with many other states, are catering to the illegals as well, at least in word. Cheap labor, and regardless what anyone says, cheap votes, and the illegals are conned into thinking the politicians care about them and makes them more apt to stay, even when their employers are inhumane to them.

      Gangs are pretty bad here in certain areas. Drugs and theft seem to be pretty high. If you have a truck, make sure you have locks on your tailgates. Law enforcement here is not the most honorable at times, but there are always a few bad apples in every bag. Most of them do the best they can with what they are given and will return the same amount of respect they are given, and do not try and take advantage of the authority they are given. They have a job to do and it is not an easy one. Chief Dyer, who was mentioned in a previous review, is the Police Chief of Fresno PD. I do not know him personally, but I know a few people who do, both LE and civilian. He is not an angel by any means, and nobody is. Early in his career, he made some bad choices, like any young person does with too much authority. But, when he first became the Chief, it all came out in the media and he copped to pun intended. Fresno PD is a big agency and I think he has done a great job. He hasn't done a perfect job, but a great job. Especially for the size and problems Fresno has. And in at least the recent history, I have not known or heard of him truly being racist or discriminatory in any way. There will always be claims because you can't please all the people all the time.

      There are some really good schools here and I think if you stay to the north side of town, or the east side of town, to include Clovis, you will be just as safe as most other places. Sports are pretty big here and a lot of talent has been harvested from the local schools here. Temperatures usually range from the mid 30s in the winter to high 90s in the summer. There are usually about 25 or so days per year that are above 100. There is a very diverse population here and there is quite a bit to do. And there are a few really good sushi places here.

      I have 12 years before I retire from my profession and I can leave California. I do not like living in this state. From where I have lived, San Luis Obispo is the best place to live, but if you cant live there, Fresno/Clovis isn't so bad.
      • 1 0

      When will it end. Bottom line, Fresno is a racist and discriminatory city. Its police chief is racist and its transit system discriminates against the disabled. As long as these attitudes are allowed to exist this country will country will continue to deteriorate like a cancer. If you are not convinced do a search on the current police chief and the many many many complaints regarding this persons character. Look at its city council makeup. Not one woman is on the city council. The city of Clovis still has kkk cross burnings. Their ideology and approach to doing business is still at least 30 years behind the times.
      • 0 0
      Fresno, CA Offers Something for Everyone

      I traveled to Fresno, CA a few years ago. I absolutely fell in love with the feel of the city. It has a great mix of old architecture and modern buildings. I stayed with a friend and found the neighborhoods to be really warm and friendly. There seemed to be a lot of great places to put down roots and to raise a family. I visited many of the main neighborhoods including the Old Fig Garden. It is one of the most historic and prestigious neighborhoods in the city. It would be an absolutely fabulous place to live. Plus, they have an amazing Christmas Tree Lane that is a must see if you are in Fresno during the holidays.

      Another thing that I found interesting about Fresno was the many museums that are in the city. There is something for everyone and are a must see on your vacation. Another attraction that I truly loved was the Forestiere Underground Gardens. They are a spectacular subterranean garden that is lighted with well placed skylights. They are truly an interesting sight and should be added to your to do list. Plus, you definitely have to check out the Fresno Chaffee Zoo. I love zoos so I had to put this on my list and I was not disappointed. It was a fun experience and I would recommend going to see it. The admission was only $7 which I thought was very affordable.

      The nightlife was also quite good. I went to Tokyo Garden Fresno which had a live band and sushi. It was very fun. They also have karaoke which would have been a blast. I wasn't able to go on karaoke night and was very disappointed. Try to go on karaoke night if you are in town. I also went to the Crossroads nightclub while I was in town and they have great live entertainment. They even have comedy acts which I had the pleasure of seeing. It was a great act. Overall, I would recommend visiting Fresno, CA. It has a lot to offer any tourist or someone looking for a place to live.
      • 0 0
      Fresno Offers an Underground Garden and Plenty of Sunshine

      Fresno is a beautiful city that I've had the pleasure of traveling to a few times over the past 10 years. The city itself is very charming, featuring a mix of old and new architecture, and the Fresno weather is perfect. I'm an outdoor enthusiast, and Fresno features some truly unique nature attractions. I visited the Shinzen Japanese Garden, which is one of the most beautiful garden areas I've ever experienced. I also saw the Forestiere Underground Gardens, a unique stop that features caverns and rooms carved from rock by a Sicilian immigrant.

      The Fresno culture is very liberal, as you would expect from California, but the arts and musical offerings are splendid. The Tower District offers a stunning Farmer's Market and plenty of street festivals throughout the year. All the best in Fresno nightlife, restaurants and bars is also located in this area. If you don't own a car or simply want to save gas, the Fresno Public Transportation system works quite well, once you've studied the maps enough to understand the bus routes.
      • 0 0
      Reason for reporting
      Source: The Fresno, CA data and statistics displayed above are derived from the 2016 United States Census Bureau American Community Survey (ACS).