Key findings

  • Oakland has a Livability Score of 53/100, which is considered poor
  • Oakland crime rates are 150% higher than the California average
  • Cost of living in Oakland is 12% higher than the California average
  • Oakland real estate prices are 22% higher than the California average
  • Rental prices in Oakland are 8% lower than the California average

Best Places to Live in and Around Oakland

See all the best places to live around Oakland

Compare Oakland, CA Livability


      Oakland Real estate & Rental prices

      See Oakland real estate or rentals

      Oakland, CA

      Oakland is one of the most important cities in the San Francisco Bay area, and it has a population of 425,000 plus. Whether you work in Oakland or across the Bay in San Francisco, the city is an interesting place that is home to some of California's most caring people. While the Raiders have left town and left a hole in the heart of many fans, the city is still home to the Oakland A's professional baseball team. It also has an underrated Chinatown area that provides amazing food and interesting shopping.

      Traffic in Oakland can be problematic, but it is not as bad as it is on the other side of the Bay Bridge. San Francisco faces much larger traffic problems than Oakland. AC Transit is a reliable public transit option for those who do not want to deal with the headaches that driving can bring. It has a solid number of routes and options for those who rely on bus for their primary transportation. Cycling is a low-cost and fun alternative to commuting that is relatively easy to do in Oakland thanks to the city's moderate weather.

      The Oakland Zoo is one of the area's top attractions for kids. The zoo has a number of animals that are popular with the little ones from the stories that they have heard since they were young about the animal kingdom. Angel Island offers city residents unobstructed views of the city, especially on a clear and sunny day. Lake Merrit is the place to be on a warm Oakland day as people pack the trails that wrap around the lake. Tilden Regional Park is a quick drive from the city, and it is a beautiful forest where you can get out and catch some fresh air.

      Many of Oakland's top employers are in the healthcare sector, and transportation is another market that plays an important role in the city's economy. Kaiser Permanente and Sutter Health are two large employers. Southwest Airlines also is one of the area's leading places to work.

      West Oakland, Rockridge, Uptown, and Cleveland Heights are some of the areas of the city that are most popular with those who are looking to buy or rent a home. While housing in Oakland is more affordable than it is across the Bay Bridge, it can still be difficult to find affordable housing for some in Oakland. While the city does enjoy a relatively low unemployment rate, there are some residents in the city who have a difficult time making ends meet. Those looking to live in the area should keep the costs of living in mind as they make a determination on where they are going to live.

      Top Rated Schools in Oakland

      Name Grades Students Proficiency
      Bay Area Technology6 - 12322n/a
      Oakland Hebrew Day SchoolKG - 8154n/a
      Community Day High9 - 1222n/a
      Coliseum College Prep Academy6 - 12475n/a
      Howard Elementary SchoolKG - 5214n/a
      Dewey Academy9 - 12240n/a
      Ile OmodePK - 890n/a
      Westlake Middle6 - 8360n/a
      See all Oakland schools

      Oakland Reviews

      Write a review about Oakland Tell people what you like or don't like about Oakland…
      San-Francisco's Warmer, Friendlier, more Diverse Sister City
      Often shunned as a crime-ridden, "gangster" hood, Oakland is probably one of the most underrated cities in the US. Let's start with the weather, there are actual summers unlike San Francisco and winters aren't as cold. The people here come across as rough but are more genuinely friendly than those in SF. The streets are cleaner, I have yet to come across crack-head homeless guys(unlike SF), it's quieter(you'll actually sleep at night) and overall cheaper than SF. Had I known it was this cool, I would have moved here the first time rather than SF
      14 -20
      If you like crime... then this city by the bay is a great choice.
      I wish I could write a nice review. I moved here a few years ago when Silicon Valley got expensive and before tech moved into the east bay. I wish I could say Oakland was the opposite of what people think about it. So far my house has been broken into, my car four times, and I have been verbally assaulted several times with threats of violence that I luckily got away from. I was at a party in a "nice neighborhood" and shots were fired. I wanted to leave but my tire was stolen off of my car. Finally I was held up at gun point at the lake. I will say I do love that lake though. Its cute all lit up at night. But not safe. I was just walking home from the bar. Besides that there is a charm to Oakland and its not bad for foodies either. The bars can be seedy. Best to go out during the day. Crime has increased in the foothills and Tildon Park. Be careful not to go alone. I am moving to Walnut Creek. A bit more slow but safer. Peace out Oaktown
      19 -6
      Oakland, CA: The Often Misunderstood City By The Bay
      I have lived just outside of Oakland, CA for my entire life. Considering my close proximity, and how much this city has to offer, it's only natural that I have traveled to Oakland on numerous occasions for day trips.

      Many Oakland residents pride themselves on being part of a progressive community - full of arts and culture, and a wide population of citizens that care about, and are active in issues that affect their city and their country.

      This multi-cultured, lively city is often perceived as merely a crime-ridden community. However, Oakland has a wealth of things to offer both locals and visitors alike that will deepen their appreciation for a place that is unlike any other. That is not to say that Oakland is without crime - certainly there are seedy parts that are best avoided, but this shouldn't stop anyone from taking advantage of enjoying of the good parts.

      Among the excellent places I recommend visiting are the Chabot Space and Science Center, the Oakland Zoo and Oracle Arena for an A's game during baseball season. Jack London Square is my favorite place to go though. It is so named for the famous author that spent a great deal of his life living in Oakland. At Jack London Square you can see a reconstruction of the cabin he lived, and wrote many books in. Heinold's First and Last Chance Saloon is a charming little bar adjacent to the cabin that London supposedly spent time in, writing and drinking. There are also tons of shops, different kinds of delicious cuisine, and a movie theater at Jack London Square. It is located along the Port of Oakland - which provides remarkable views of the Bay at night.
      6 -15
      Oakland, CA - Overal, not a bad city
      I lived in Oakland, CA for about ten years. If you have money and can afford to live in the Oakland Hills then life is not so bad. Lake Temescal in the hills is a great place to swim and picnic. There are hiking trails that are scattered throughout the hills. I remember my parents taking me for a walk through the woods every weekend for our exercise of the week. BART runs through the city and Oakland does have a decent public transportation system. Downtown Oakland does provide some good eats at various restaurants as well as some interesting attractions like Heinold's First & Last Chance Saloon. The Oakland Coliseum still has some pretty good concerts with plenty of parking. It is also home to the Oakland A's for baseball, Warriors for basketball and of course the Oakland Raiders football team.

      There are definitely some challenging areas in Oakland. I would stay away from East Oakland as the street numbers go up. West Oakland is where all the docks are located but close to Berkeley. Lake Merritt is in the middle of Oakland near downtown--a fun place during the day. It is also place to stay away from after the sun goes down.
      0 0
      Source: The Oakland, CA data and statistics displayed above are derived from the 2016 United States Census Bureau American Community Survey (ACS).