San Mateo, CA

Population: 102,224 livability score shield

Key findings

  • San Mateo has a Livability Score of 75/100, which is considered excellent
  • San Mateo crime rates are 5% lower than the California average
  • Cost of living in San Mateo is 46% higher than the California average
  • San Mateo real estate prices are 108% higher than the California average
  • Rental prices in San Mateo are 44% higher than the California average

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      San Mateo, CA

      San Mateo provides over $135 million in agricultural output each year, and this city located 20 miles south of San Francisco offers its residents a high quality of life. While this life comes at a steep price due to the high cost of housing in the area, there are many jobs in the tech sector and other high paying fields available that can help offset the sting. With a population of over 100,000, San Mateo has good schools and good public services for those who own or rent a home in the area.

      Getting to San Francisco from San Mateo is not very difficult, but it can take some time due to traffic during the peak hours of the day. Getting around San Mateo proper is relatively straightforward, and the city also offers SamTrans as a public transit option for those who decide that they do not want to own their own car or they want to reduce their carbon footprint by eliminating some of the greenhouse emissions that they produce.

      As mentioned, the area is known for a highly educated workforce who commend high salaries from some cutting edge companies. Genetech and Gilead Science are two of the area's top employers. Each of these companies is pushing the edge in the scientific and nanotech communities. Kaiser Permanente is another large employer that provides health care services to those who live in San Mateo and the surrounding regions.

      Those who are looking to buy or rent a home should start their search in the Baywood - Aragon area. If you do not find a home that meets your needs here, San Mateo Park, Hayward Park, and North Central are all areas of town that have a good selection of housing and some bargains. While the cost of housing is very expensive in this area, some of that can be offset with all of the free outdoor attractions and beauty that the area has to offer.

      Coyote Point Drive will get you right out on the water. It is a popular place for those who are looking to fish, take a walk, or bike along a beautiful coastal path. The area also has a large park that is very popular with children and families. CuriOdyssey is a scientific center that caters its content and exhibits to students. It is fun, interactive, and a great activity for the occasional day in Northern California that is rainy and gray.

      San Mateo has some high end shops and world-class restaurants that you have to try to believe. All Spice, Three Craft Kitchen and Bar, and Sushi Yoshizumi are just a few of the city's top choices for foodies.

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      San Mateo Reviews

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      Expensive & Crowded
      I'm a native of California. I have lived in the southern part of the state and the northern part of the state for most of my life. I have spent the last 29 years in San Mateo. One of the reasons I've stayed so long is that San Mateo and the Bay Area were different from Los Angeles. But, no more. It's congested, jammed freeways, people living on top of people. It has great weather, although the air quality is starting to go down hill. San Mateo and the peninsula is on it's way to becoming part of a single metroplex spanning from San Jose to San Francisco. It's on the peninsula, so the only way to absorb more people is to build up - which is happening at a very fast pace. It's a great place to visit, and a great place to live if you are a young single professional making at least six figures. Lots of things to do if you don't mind traffic and crowds. But, look elsewhere if you are raising a family or retiring.
      2 -1
      There's Something For Everyone in San Mateo California!
      San Mateo is a lovely city on the San Francisco Peninsula and is part of the San Francisco Bay Area. It is a great little city with a small-town feel offering something for all walks of life. It is centrally located, being close to major urban areas, but quiet enough to feel like a retreat. It is a very safe city. I love all the restaurants and cute shops around town. The weather is beautiful here, like in all Bay Area cities and sipping a cup of coffee outside on a weekend morning at one of the many cafes is one of my favorite things.

      San Mateo is on the Bay so there are some stunning views and beautiful sunsets. The school system in San Mateo is fabulous, but housing prices can be very expensive. It is a perfect place to raise a family. Close enough to metropolitan centers that there is lots of culture, but suburban enough that you can find a parking spot.

      The one drawback about San Mateo is that it is not connected to the Bart, or Bay Area Rapid Transit system, our version of the subway. It can be difficult to get in and San Mateo without driving. Overall though, San Mateo is a wonderful city with so much to offer.
      3 -1
      Source: The San Mateo, CA data and statistics displayed above are derived from the 2016 United States Census Bureau American Community Survey (ACS).