Best Irvine Suburbs To Live For 2020


We analyzed over 73 places around Irvine to identify the most in demand places to live.

Editor’s Note: Data has been updated for 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the best Irvine suburbs.

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Big city living isn't for everyone--but at the same time, urban areas certainly have their perks.

There's the culture, the food, the arts, the food, the energy, and you know, the food. But there are drawbacks. There's traffic, expensive parking, expensive housing--pretty much, expensive everything, depending on which big city you're looking at.

But that's where the suburbs come in--they have all of the benefits of being near big cities, without actually having to be big cities.

Of course, not all suburbs of Irvine are created equally, which is precisely why we set out to find the best ones. So without further ado...

What's the best suburb of Irvine? Newport Beach ranks as the best suburb of Irvine for 2020 based on the most recent Census and FBI data. If you happen to be a resident of Newport Beach, you're probably not too surprised to find it on the top our list.

We'll tell you what makes each of these 10 Irvine 'burbs better than the rest--but first, a bit about our methodology.

Note: This result may differ from our state wide data as we did not include commute times and crime for this analysis to allow for a larger selection of suburbs.
Or feel free to check out some more reading about California:

The 10 Best Irvine Suburbs To Live For 2020

Newport Beach, CA

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 86,280
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Income: $122,709
Unemployment Rate: 3.4%
Poverty Rate: 6.6%
More on Newport Beach: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Newport Beach is always mentioned as one of the best suburbs in the Irvine area. We'll tell you the good about "Awesome Newport Beach."

Everyone here is rich; families average $122,709 a year, which is the 3rd highest in the Irvine region. And only 3.36% are out of work. Homes average more than $1,787,300 each.

Yorba Linda, CA

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 67,815
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 1)
Median Income: $129,391
Unemployment Rate: 4.3%
Poverty Rate: 4.2%
More on Yorba Linda: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Yorba Linda is the second best 'burb we looked at near Irvine for 2020.

It ranks 2nd for incomes in the area and only 3.08% of residents lack insurance, good for 4th best.

Aliso Viejo, CA

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 50,925
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 1)
Median Income: $108,558
Unemployment Rate: 4.4%
Poverty Rate: 4.2%
More on Aliso Viejo: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Here in Aliso Viejo, it's really safe, and residents are just about as rich as you'll see in the Irvine metro area.

The bad side? Schools are more crowded, and the cost of living puts a large part of the city out of reach for most families.

But price is based on demand and a lot of people want to live in Aliso Viejo.

Rancho Santa Margarita, CA

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 48,792
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Median Income: $115,073
Unemployment Rate: 3.0%
Poverty Rate: 4.2%
More on Rancho Santa Margarita: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Rancho Santa Margarita ranks as the 4th best suburb of Irvine for 2020.

You won't find many better places to raise your kids in the region than in Rancho Santa Margarita and the schools are some of the best around.

Mission Viejo, CA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 96,124
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Median Income: $114,688
Unemployment Rate: 4.8%
Poverty Rate: 5.0%
More on Mission Viejo: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Coming in as the fifth best is Mission Viejo.

Mission Viejo gets kudos for having the 17th most expensive homes in the Irvine area, where houses sell for an average of $668,800. However, the cost of living here is among the highest in the area.

Laguna Niguel, CA

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 65,652
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 1)
Median Income: $103,910
Unemployment Rate: 4.5%
Poverty Rate: 8.1%
More on Laguna Niguel: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Laguna Niguel is proud of its 6th place finish on this list. And here's why.

Most residents have great jobs and the unemployment rate sits at 4.46% which is 14th best in the area.

According to online reports, Laguna Niguel is quickly becoming one of the more affluent suburbs in the Irvine area, meaning you need to get in soon.

Villa Park, CA

Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 5,912
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 4)
Median Income: $145,250
Unemployment Rate: 5.5%
Poverty Rate: 6.4%
More on Villa Park: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The 7th best suburb on our list goes to Villa Park.

Villa Park schools are some of the best in the region, and crime is really low. The cost of living makes it a lot more desirable for many families, especially first-time home buyers.

And, it's only 9.9 miles to downtown, which is a good thing.

San Clemente, CA

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 65,045
Rank Last Year: 8 (No Change)
Median Income: $105,812
Unemployment Rate: 4.7%
Poverty Rate: 5.5%
More on San Clemente: Real Estate | Data | Photos

San Clemente is growing quickly, and for a good reason. Crime is far below average, and most residents are gainfully employed. Even the cost of living is reasonable.

A solid 5.27% of people lack insurance, good for 19th in the area.

Cypress, CA

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 48,955
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 3)
Median Income: $92,098
Unemployment Rate: 4.2%
Poverty Rate: 5.8%
More on Cypress: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Is 'Everything Better In Cypress?'

Almost.

It placed 9th on our list thanks to the fact that it's really expensive to live here, but the schools are great, so you get what you pay for in that regard.

La Palma, CA

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 15,733
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 2)
Median Income: $98,788
Unemployment Rate: 5.0%
Poverty Rate: 4.9%
More on La Palma: Real Estate | Data | Photos

And rounding out the top ten for 2020 is La Palma.

This city is far above average in every category, and the best part? It's far more affordable than the other cities listed above. So, you get a big bang for your buck here.

How We Determined The Best Suburbs Around Irvine for 2020

Figuring out the best suburbs around Irvine was pretty simple; we just needed to list several things that people like, and then find out which cities have the most of those things.

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible:

  • Low unemployment rate
  • High Median household incomes
  • Population density (lots of things to do)
  • High home values
  • A lot of college educated people
  • Low poverty
  • High rate of insured families

Then we used the newest American Community Survey data for 2014-2018 to research each suburb.

FYI: We defined a suburb as being within 30 miles of Irvine.

Additionally, we limited the analysis to places that have over 3,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 73 suburbs to evaluate around Irvine.

We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 73 in each category, where 1 was the "best.

Next, we averaged the rankings for each place to create a quality of life index.

And finally, we crowned the city with the best quality of life index the "Best Suburb near Irvine." We're lookin' at you, Newport Beach. You can download the data here.

Read on below to learn more about what it's like to live in the best of the best. Or skip to the end to see the list of all the suburbs ranked from best to worst.

Welcome to the Best Irvine 'Burbs of 2020

We said it once and we'll say it again--life in the big city isn't for everyone. At least not all the time.

So if you're hankering for some of the amenities of a larger city like Irvine, but don't want to deal with the drawbacks, one of these suburbs might just be for you.

For more California reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Irvine Suburbs

Rank City Population Median Income
1 Newport Beach, CA 86,280 $122,709
2 Yorba Linda, CA 67,815 $129,391
3 Aliso Viejo, CA 50,925 $108,558
4 Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 48,792 $115,073
5 Mission Viejo, CA 96,124 $114,688
6 Laguna Niguel, CA 65,652 $103,910
7 Villa Park, CA 5,912 $145,250
8 San Clemente, CA 65,045 $105,812
9 Cypress, CA 48,955 $92,098
10 La Palma, CA 15,733 $98,788
11 El Cerrito, CA 25,203 $100,422
12 La Habra Heights, CA 5,383 $111,551
13 Huntington Beach, CA 200,606 $91,318
14 Dana Point, CA 33,913 $97,519
15 Laguna Beach, CA 23,147 $121,474
16 Walnut, CA 30,008 $104,096
17 Cerritos, CA 50,172 $99,528
18 Canyon Lake, CA 11,106 $97,237
19 Fountain Valley, CA 56,372 $85,423
20 Brea, CA 42,330 $93,703
21 San Dimas, CA 34,239 $84,749
22 Laguna Hills, CA 31,185 $98,168
23 Lake Forest, CA 82,911 $104,449
24 Eastvale, CA 61,337 $114,230
25 Lakewood, CA 80,771 $89,469
26 Chino Hills, CA 79,298 $104,590
27 Placentia, CA 52,049 $89,690
28 Diamond Bar, CA 56,434 $96,628
29 Seal Beach, CA 24,364 $67,917
30 Los Alamitos, CA 11,628 $84,068
31 La Mirada, CA 48,974 $87,778
32 San Juan Capistrano, CA 35,952 $87,353
33 Laguna Woods, CA 16,228 $41,928
34 Whittier, CA 86,523 $73,517
35 Orange, CA 139,873 $86,027
36 Tustin, CA 80,140 $79,339
37 Costa Mesa, CA 113,198 $79,207
38 Norco, CA 26,569 $95,441
39 Buena Park, CA 82,781 $72,814
40 Covina, CA 48,403 $69,449
41 West Covina, CA 107,242 $79,140
42 Westminster, CA 91,417 $61,834
43 Fullerton, CA 139,866 $73,360
44 Downey, CA 112,901 $71,948
45 Garden Grove, CA 174,010 $65,591
46 Corona, CA 165,355 $79,081
47 Artesia, CA 16,817 $63,708
48 La Habra, CA 61,910 $76,452
49 Santa Fe Springs, CA 17,791 $65,518
50 Pico Rivera, CA 63,432 $65,666
51 Signal Hill, CA 11,538 $75,684
52 Carson, CA 92,517 $78,580
53 Anaheim, CA 349,668 $69,443
54 Norwalk, CA 105,886 $66,453
55 Long Beach, CA 468,883 $60,551
56 Bellflower, CA 77,529 $55,729
57 Chino, CA 87,735 $79,477
58 Santa Ana, CA 333,499 $61,774
59 Stanton, CA 38,509 $56,506
60 Midway, CA 3,301 $54,526
61 La Puente, CA 40,268 $61,054
62 Wildomar, CA 36,162 $73,282
63 Paramount, CA 54,776 $53,031
64 Riverside, CA 323,935 $65,313
65 Lakeland, CA 105,958 $44,313
66 Hawaiian Gardens, CA 14,411 $44,792
67 Lake Elsinore, CA 64,037 $67,668
68 Lynwood, CA 71,022 $49,684
69 Bell Gardens, CA 42,641 $41,355
70 Montclair, CA 38,865 $58,012
71 Ontario, CA 173,580 $61,602
72 Pomona, CA 152,494 $55,115
73 Jurupa Valley, CA 103,784 $67,002

How Is Your Town In ?

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.