Sacramento, CA

Population: 484,530

Key findings

  • Sacramento has a Livability Score of 59/100, which is considered below average
  • Sacramento crime rates are 37% higher than the California average
  • Cost of living in Sacramento is 15% lower than the California average
  • Sacramento real estate prices are 37% lower than the California average
  • Rental prices in Sacramento are 19% lower than the California average

Best Places to Live in and Around Sacramento

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Compare Sacramento, CA Livability

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      Sacramento Real estate & Rental prices

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      Sacramento, CA

      Although many people have dreams of making it in Hollywood or landing a job in Silicon Valley, Sacramento is one of the best places to live in California. Sacramento, the capital city of California, could easily be overlooked compared to some of the larger cities and attractions in the state, but don't let that deter you.

      Sacramento is a large city with a metropolitan area population that exceeds 2 million. It is the fifth largest city in the state. Despite its size, Sacramento is known for having a lush tree-filled environment along the streets. Consequently, it has been nicknamed the "City of Trees."

      The tranquil green atmosphere provides a low-stress lifestyle, and the weather is not as hot here as it is in other large cities in California. This is partially due to the pleasant summer breezes that blow in from the delta. If you enjoy some occasional snow, there are mountain areas within a short drive to satisfy your joy of snow-related activities.

      Outdoor activities are plentiful for people who enjoy water sports and other pastimes. The plentiful array of rivers in the region offer a wide variety of aquatic activities, including rafting, kayaking and boating. The mild warm weather that persists throughout the year makes Sacramento an ideal place for outdoor sports such as hiking, biking and running events.

      There is a large farm community surrounding the city, so a rich tradition of farm-to-table cuisine makes Sacramento a great place for restaurant fans. People who enjoy fresh produce can visit dozens of farmers' markets in the region, one of which is the largest in the state.

      Compared to other prominent cities in California, Sacramento is relatively affordable. The real estate prices are well below the average for the state but still much higher than the national average. The costs for living expenses, such as groceries and utilities, are on par with what you would pay in other parts of the country. If you want to make use of public transportation in Sacramento, there are a variety of options that include buses, light rail and a dial-a-ride service for the disabled.

      There are plenty of things to see and do in Sacramento. Some of the most noteworthy attractions include the Crocker Art Museum, the California State Railroad Museum and the Sacramento Zoo. The city also has an NBA team, the Sacramento Kings, and people who enjoy the fine arts can visit the B Street Theater for a dose of culture. For some family fun, you can go to Raging Waters to enjoy wild activities at a large water park.

      In Sacramento, you can find a variety of high-quality dining options that are not priced as high as exclusive restaurants in Los Angeles or San Francisco. The city is home to a fine Italian restaurant launched by the world-famous chef Biba Caggiano. This and many other local restaurants make Sacramento a town that should satisfy most people's cravings for good food in a farm-to-table tradition.

      Top Rated Schools in Sacramento

      Name Grades Students Proficiency
      West Campus9 - 1285085%
      Phoebe A. Hearst ElementaryKG - 664977%
      Crocker/riverside ElementaryKG - 665167%
      Natomas CharterKG - 121,57463%
      Natomas Pacific Pathways Prep Middle School6 - 851562%
      Genevieve DidionKG - 863959%
      Westlake CharterKG - 566359%
      Caleb Greenwood ElementaryKG - 644555%
      See all Sacramento schools

      Sacramento Reviews

      Write a review about Sacramento Tell people what you like or don't like about Sacramento…
      Review Sacramento
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      Attractions0/10
      Community0/10
      Nightlife0/10
      Dining0/10
      Shopping0/10
      If you like rap, you'll like Sacramento

      Attractions2/10
      Community4/10
      Nightlife2/10
      Dining2/10
      Shopping2/10
      I've lived here for 9 months. Overall Sacramento is about the same as a lot of other cities. It's nondescript in many ways. Natomas, the section I'm in, is fairly safe at night and I do go out for walks after dark. It seems that no matter where I go in this city, the only music I hear blasting out of car windows and homes is rap. Very little country and the rock is mainly heavy metal. Most of the ethnic restaurants I've gotten food from around here are mediocre at best. If I were to decide to stay in the Sacramento area, it would probably be in Roseville or some other community. Sacramento isn't bad but it isn't good either.
      • 0 0
      Enough with all the racial BS

      Attractions9/10
      Community6/10
      Nightlife9/10
      Dining9/10
      Shopping9/10
      The comments about racial bias are really not appropriate. I even wonder if these people live in the area. One of the best things about Sacramento is it racial diversity, makes everything beautiful!
      • 2 -1
      Sacramento is just fine!

      Attractions9/10
      Community6/10
      Nightlife9/10
      Dining9/10
      Shopping9/10
      It's not the big metro area like San Francisco to the south, but it holds it's own. The one thing that brings it down is all the politicians. It has great restaurants and bars. The downtown area has been greatly updated with a lot of new place to eat, to visit and live. The Crocker Art Museum is excellent as well as all the other lesser known museums, The Railroad Museum is a must see. The State Capitol is beautiful, aside from the politicians, The capitol grounds (also a state park) is beautiful. Yes. Sacramento has it's issues but it deserves a higher rating than shown on this site.
      • 2 -1
      The "capitol" of the failed sate of CA.

      Attractions1/10
      Community1/10
      Nightlife1/10
      Dining1/10
      Shopping1/10
      Now rated "5th most polluted city in the USA," the crime is awful. The city has a horrible smell that's something close to urine on a burning garbage pile.
      Traffic is HORRIBLE, and I suggest you carry concealed when driving on the highways in & around Sac.
      The gangs and criminals there are out of control, drug use is everywhere, illegal aliens from every country on Earth are in the THOUSANDS- living off of Welfare and govt. assistance, and illegals now have DRIVERS LICENSES, so they can VOTE!
      Gavin Newsom is the Socialist, anti-2nd Amendment, slumlord "Governor," and he's well-known for his alcoholism and drug use, and ESPECIALLY for cheating on his wife with his "BEST FRIEND'S" WIFE!
      So much for the "Man Code!"

      The Sac River is FILTHY, and the fish in it are also full of filth, and INEDIBLE.
      Litter in the streets and along the highways is overwhelming, and the gang graffiti and violence is beyond intolerable.

      In short, Sacramento is the Capital City of the worst state in the USA, and has rightly earned it's horrible reputation.
      • 7 -29
      Would not recommend

      Attractions3/10
      Community1/10
      Nightlife3/10
      Dining6/10
      Shopping8/10
      Lived in sac for a while in a few different areas. I've lived in a lot of places and its hard to find anything nice to say about Sacramento. Theres a lot of good shopping thats the only thing i miss. Malls have designer stores and things like that. But of course anything you buy will immediately be stolen out of your car or house. We had our garage broken into, on another occasion my car got stolen. Sidewalks littered with needles and kids selling drugs. Rents expensive like nine hundred bucks for a crappy apartment. It's not too hard to find a job i guess. There's some stuff to do theres some bars and clubs and parks for kids. Folsom is nice it's a bit out there not so much to do, Roseville seems like a nice town. I moved around a bit in the north highlands- Carmichael- Arden Arcade area. If you have to move to Sacramento just install some security cameras and keep your car locked at all times.
      • 7 -3
      To Be Completely Honest

      Attractions8/10
      Community2/10
      Nightlife1/10
      Dining8/10
      Shopping4/10
      I've lived in Sacramento my entire life and a lot of people will say it looks nice or there is no crime, and to that I just have to laugh. There is crime everywhere and the schools here are filled with gang affiliated teens. Its very stupid to walk around at night unless you know where you are, and what goes on around you, or else you'll pay with either getting harassed robbed, jumped, or even killed. On a more positive not the food is good :)
      • 11 -2
      Gentrified, Over-Priced, and Not Even Worth It for a SacTown Native

      Attractions4/10
      Community3/10
      Nightlife5/10
      Dining5/10
      Shopping3/10
      The only way you're going to be able to afford and like living in Sacramento is if you have a car, live in the Downtown, Rancho, or Folsom cusp areas. Oh and make sure you're pulling in at least $30 an hour at your job. The only people who feel Sacramento is affordable to live in are those who previously live in metro areas like NYC or LA. SacTown is very boring and God forbid you become homeless after your area is gentrified - you won't be able to find any help whether you are a teen, young adult, or adult (doesn't matter if you have kids or not). The public transit around here is awful and way too expensive for the "services" provided (crappy bus schedules, light rail breaks down every few hours, tickets and passes are expensive for no real reason). The education system here is garbage unless you can get your kid into one of the premiere "public" or charter schools, or you can afford private education and institutions. I recommend this place for families simply because families usually have more than one income entering the households wallet. You're going to need that. All of it!!! Amenities are fun if you know where to look and how to get to them, cost of living is ridiculously high for such a lousy town and valley area, the high- and freeways are constantly prone to traffic jams like it's LA, employment is meh, housing (to rent) is ridiculously high for broken down, roach-infested apartments built in the 70s-90s. You're going to be paying $800-$900 for a studio apt built in the 70s, and even higher for something more recent. Nothing in this city is worth the price. Sacramento needs to focus on fixing the cost of living and homeless population before it builds for idiotic things no one asked for like an arena. Beyonce, U2, and the rest are not going to perform here. If they were they would have done so at the Arco Arena (which the new one is in competition with) YEARS ago!!!
      • 7 0
      My point of view...

      Attractions6/10
      Community8/10
      Nightlife7/10
      Dining7/10
      Shopping6/10
      The city of Sacramento is a diversity of cultures. Not much to say since I can't go out and underage. • Since the economy (in California) is lacking and poor, there's not much job opportunities, or I say, not much salaries to pay the employees. •Education=Improving•Housing Prices=Most of the houses/apartment/etc (like downtown Sacramento) are pretty much higher prices than the houses that hasn't been remodeled...
      • 7 0
      A Review of Sacramento, CA

      Attractions8/10
      Community7/10
      Nightlife7/10
      Dining7/10
      Shopping7/10
      Sacramento, California is the State Capital of California located in Northern California approximately an hour and a half from San Francisco. Sacramento's economy is based upon it being the hub of California's political structure. I have lived in Sacramento for the past six (6) years and like the city. Approximately 750,000 people live within its limits. There are three major freeways, the 99, 50 and the 80 that assist in the movement of traffic albeit we do have traffic jams here just like Los Angeles since more and more people are discovering what a nice place Sacramento is to live in.

      Sacramento has many museums such as the Crocker Art Museum, The California State Rail Road Museum, The California Automobile Museum, The California Museum, The California State Indian Museum and the California State Capital Museum to see.

      Since Sacramento is located on the Sacramento River, there is plenty of water activities to do such as boating and fishing. This city has a university known as Sacramento State plus many junior colleges. McGeorge Law School is situated in Sacramento plus several other California State accredited laws schools.

      For entertainment there are plenty of good restaurants that I have eaten at with varying types of fare such as Chinese, Japanese, East Indian, Mexican and California cuisine. There is also a professional basketball team known as the Sacramento Kings to see.

      This city has many parks and even has its own zoo. The State Fair is held every year at "Cal Expo" during the summer. Housing prices (rentals or those for sale on the market) are reasonable compared to the Bay Area.

      Sacramento has adequate shopping malls and stores but nothing like San Francisco. One detriment is the weather. It can be extremely hot in the summer (over 100 degrees) and during the winter, you get the cold Sierra Nevada winds.
      • 2 -4
      A very nice city if you go to the right part

      Attractions7/10
      Community6/10
      Nightlife8/10
      Dining8/10
      Shopping8/10
      I lived in Sacramento for about two years. For the first year I lived in an apartment that wasn't too great. My brand new car was keyed while parked outside of my apartment. The second year I moved to a better apartment that was gated and I loved it. The shopping was great. We have the American River which is a nice place to bring the family to on the weekends. Also, there is old Sacramento that has some nice shops. They also have a water park that is a nice place to cool off in the summer. Overall my experience in Sacramento was pretty good. I recently had to move back to Stockton to be closer to family and It is so much worse than Sac. As long as you stay out of the bad areas in Sac it is a very nice city.
      • 1 0
      Unsafe City / Not a place to raise your family

      Attractions6/10
      Community3/10
      Nightlife6/10
      Dining6/10
      Shopping5/10
      I've lived here since 2006. The City is so focused on everything, but public safety and the school system. It's no wonder we were rated #5 in worst cities to live in, #3 for worst cities for job seekers, #5 for most miserable cities to live in, #5 for worst smog cities in America, #8 for worst big cities for bridge safety, #29 for America's 50 worst commutes, #4 for crappiest US cities.

      My home has been burglarized, almost everyone I know has had their car broken into, car stolen, bike stolen, and the children are bringing guns to school. This place is quickly becoming Oakland.

      The restaurants are pretty decent, but there is absolutely no community here. Most people come to Sacramento for a job. Ask anyone if they would leave, and the answer is "YES!"

      Of course it's California, but Sacramento is in a valley. Yes, it's close to San Fran, Napa, and Lake Tahoe, but that's all Sacramento has to offer. It's close to world class cities, but it will never be one.

      I'm still here, but that's only because it's paying the bills. If you can help it, don't move to Sacramento.

      Crime Rates:

      Property: Sacramento, California has a property crime rate of 4817.1 incidents per 100,000 people. This compares with an average rate of 3010.5 in California and an average rate of 3727 incidents per 100,000 nationally.

      Violent: Sacramento, California has a violent crime rate of 998 incidents per 100,000 people. This compares with a rate of 511 in California and a rate of 676 nationally.
      • 5 0
      Sacramento, CA Review

      Attractions8/10
      Community9/10
      Nightlife7/10
      Dining7/10
      Shopping8/10
      I find it meaningful to reside in one of the Sacramento communities that is in close proximity to everything. The real reason for my move from San Francisco was affordability and thirst for an ideal life. It's very rewarding to have the kind of life I always dreamed of and when I find that I made a successful choice for retirement, it's a great feeling too.

      What is the best community in Sacramento to buy a house? That's a difficult question for anybody to answer, because every area with good schools and great facilities has its own charm. Nowadays, I am sure it would be hard to find any empty space on the Sacramento main street unlike 10 years ago. Personally, I think that's a great improvement. I like the big malls across the Del Paso Country Club and Watt Avenue where I have owned my house since 1995, and I like going to Softball Complex and playing with my kids on sunny days. Not everybody feels that way though. Some people I talked to at my workplace avoid shopping around Sacramento downtown. When you add the commuting time to companies outside the city, old houses surrounding the downtown and lifestyle that is not up to the mark, the number of people who are at least moderately interested in moving away from less desirable areas is growing significantly.

      The city library that I visit every weekend is so full of latest books that the place is crowded all the time. There are many entertainment and leisure places for people of all ages such as river access for fishing, theaters, clubs, community centers, amusement parks, railroad excursions, camping grounds and many more. It may be true that you can't visit a beach, but I have no time to focus on that.
      • 1 -3
      Sacramento, CA - Golden City on the River

      Attractions8/10
      Community9/10
      Nightlife7/10
      Dining7/10
      Shopping8/10
      There are a number of surprises in store for anyone who visits the city of Sacramento. California's capital features some unusual attractions, beginning with "Old Sacramento" on the Sacramento River, running into the American River which wanders through town. Old Sacramento is a restored historical neighorhood with unusual gift shops, ice cream parlors, magic shops, and tasty restaurants. There is even a vinyl record store almost worth the trip by itself!

      Greater Sacramento features lovely parks and quiet neighorhoods, but you are within a reasonable drive of the San Francisco Bay driving West, and Lake Tahoe driving East. There are a number of charming neighborhoods in the city that are virtually suburbs of Sacramento, such as Folsom - sadly only known to most people because there happens to be a prison outside of town - downtown Folsom is another historically restored "Gold Rush" town that is a joy to visit for an entire day.

      Nobody visits Sacramento for any length of time without thinking about rafting down the American River. It's all there - inner-tube and raft rentals, bus services where you get out, and food shops to buy your provisions for your day on the river. Our family plans their Sacramento trip for visits to Old Sacramento, local communities, and the grand prize - a whole day relaxing in the raft as you roll down the gentle, wide American River and chatting with everyone else on the River with you!
      • 1 -4
      Reason for reporting
      Source: The Sacramento, CA data and statistics displayed above are derived from the 2016 United States Census Bureau American Community Survey (ACS).