2 South California Cities Ranked as the Best Places to Live in the U.S. by Money

It can be hard to find the right place to settle down that meets all of your needs. Most people who rent or own homes want to live in a place that has low crime rates, great schools, a strong local economy, easy access to good healthcare, and other things.

Researchers from Money looked all over the country to find the 50 Best Places to Live in the U.S. in 2023. Irvine (#13) and San Diego (#22) are both in Southern California and made the list. Researchers looked at many things, such as the city’s future, the number of job opportunities, the quality of life, and its overall diversity.

Irvine, California

Irvine is a busy city in the middle of Orange County that has a lot to offer in terms of jobs, schools, neighborhood activities, and fun things to do. Nearby malls like the Irvine Spectrum, South Coast Plaza, and Fashion Island offer residents a wide range of world-class eating and shopping options.

There are over 60 public parks and 400 miles of bike trails for people who love being outside. Beaches are only a 20-minute drive away, and more than a third of the city has been set aside as parks, trails, and natural wildlands.

City officials say that for almost 20 years, Irvine has had the lowest rate of serious crime per person of any city its size. People who live in the area can easily spend their free time in nearby Los Angeles or in Big Bear, a mountain resort.

According to Money, Irvine’s schools are some of the best in California, and the city’s universities are also very good. For example, UC Irvine was named 5th on Money’s list of the best colleges in California and 9th overall on the list of the 25 best colleges in America.

Over 19,000 businesses call Irvine home, so there are lots of economic and business possibilities there. A report from Money says that the University of California, Blizzard Entertainment, and Edwards LifeSciences LLC. are some of the biggest companies.

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Quick Facts:

Median household income: $115,606
Median home price: $1,300,651
Average rent for a two-bedroom apartment: $4,345
Population – 268,777
Unemployment rate: 2.8%

San Diego, California

As “America’s Finest City,” San Diego has world-class beaches, a busy center, mild weather all year, and a laid-back way of life. A 1,000-acre area called Balboa Park is fun for locals to visit. It has the San Diego Zoo, 15 museums, a horticultural center, the Olde Globe Theater, and more.

There are 340 parks and 40,000 acres of open space in the city for people who like being outside. Every day, people who live there can go swimming, fishing, surfing, watching whales, and more. People who live in downtown San Diego can enjoy great restaurants, shows, coffee shops, and more. In the city, there are five restaurants with Michelin stars. You can also visit one of the more than 120 breweries, brew pubs, or tasting shops.

Both the city’s schools and the University of California, San Diego, are very good. In fact, Money named the university the 7th-best college in California and the 12th-best college in the United States. A lot of IT communications companies, like Qualcomm and Nokia, as well as more and more healthcare and biotech businesses, help the economy grow and create jobs.

Money says, “The housing market in California is generally more expensive than the rest of the country. However, home prices in San Diego are more affordable than in other big cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco.”

Quick Facts:

Median household income: $96,246
Median home price: $963,261
Average rent for a two-bedroom apartment: $3,113
Population – 1,381,275
Unemployment rate: 3.1%

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