These Are The 10 Best Irvine Suburbs For 2018


We analyzed over 72 places around Irvine to identify the most kickass place to live.

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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…

Here are the 10 best suburbs around Irvine for 2018:

  1. Newport Beach (Photos | Homes)
  2. Aliso Viejo (Photos | Homes)
  3. Yorba Linda (Photos | Homes)
  4. Rancho Santa Margarita (Photos | Homes)
  5. Mission Viejo (Photos | Homes)
  6. Laguna Niguel (Photos | Homes)
  7. La Habra Heights (Homes)
  8. San Clemente (Photos | Homes)
  9. Villa Park (Photos | Homes)
  10. Cerritos (Photos | Homes)

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.

For more California reading, check out:

Editor’s Note: If you see a slight difference between the best in state rankings and this suburb ranking, it’s because of the methodology. We needed a way to include more places, so we eliminated crime and commute times as criteria for this analysis.

How We Determined The Best Suburbs Around Irvine for 2018

Figuring out the best ‘burbs 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 (2012-2016) 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.

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.

1. Newport Beach

Newport Beach, California

Population: 86,813
Unemployment Rate: 5.4%
Median Home Price: $1,584,900
Median Income: $115,845
More on Newport Beach: Real Estate | Data
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 $115,845 a year, which is the 3rd highest in the Irvine region. And only 5.4% are out of work. Homes average more than $1,584,900 each.

2. Aliso Viejo

Aliso Viejo, California

Population: 50,219
Unemployment Rate: 5.9%
Median Home Price: $539,000
Median Income: $103,261
More on Aliso Viejo: Real Estate | Data
Aliso Viejo is the second best ‘burb we looked at near Irvine for 2018.

It ranks 8th for incomes in the area and only 5.7% of residents lack insurance, good for 7th best.

3. Yorba Linda

Yorba Linda, California

Population: 67,362
Unemployment Rate: 6.5%
Median Home Price: $728,300
Median Income: $119,697
More on Yorba Linda: Real Estate | Data
Here in Yorba Linda, 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 Yorba Linda.

4. Rancho Santa Margarita

Rancho Santa Margarita, California

Population: 49,038
Unemployment Rate: 3.6%
Median Home Price: $584,000
Median Income: $104,556
More on Rancho Santa Margarita: Real Estate | Data
Rancho Santa Margarita ranks as the 4th best suburb of Irvine for 2018.

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.

5. Mission Viejo

Mission Viejo, California

Source: Public domain

Population: 96,178
Unemployment Rate: 6.0%
Median Home Price: $608,100
Median Income: $104,886
More on Mission Viejo: Real Estate | Data
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 $608,100. However, the cost of living here is among the highest in the area.

6. Laguna Niguel

Laguna Niguel, California

Population: 64,984
Unemployment Rate: 6.4%
Median Home Price: $712,000
Median Income: $97,894
More on Laguna Niguel: Real Estate | Data
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 6.4% which is 20th 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.

7. La Habra Heights


Population: 5,406
Unemployment Rate: 4.9%
Median Home Price: $893,200
Median Income: $110,329
More on La Habra Heights: Real Estate | Data
The 7th best suburb on our list goes to La Habra Heights.

La Habra Heights 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 21.9 miles to downtown, which is a good thing.

8. San Clemente

San Clemente, California

Population: 65,082
Unemployment Rate: 5.5%
Median Home Price: $801,100
Median Income: $97,210
More on San Clemente: Real Estate | Data
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 8.4% of people lack insurance, good for 18th in the area.

9. Villa Park

Villa Park, California

Population: 5,922
Unemployment Rate: 8.7%
Median Home Price: $1,030,800
Median Income: $131,386
More on Villa Park: Real Estate | Data
Is ‘Everything Better In Villa Park?’

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.

10. Cerritos

Cerritos, California

Population: 49,797
Unemployment Rate: 6.6%
Median Home Price: $620,500
Median Income: $95,373
More on Cerritos: Real Estate | Data
And rounding out the top ten for 2018 is Cerritos.

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.

Welcome to the Best Irvine ‘Burbs of 2018

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 Unemployment Rate Median Home Price Median Income
1 Newport Beach 86,813 5.4% $1,584,900 $115,845
2 Aliso Viejo 50,219 5.9% $539,000 $103,261
3 Yorba Linda 67,362 6.5% $728,300 $119,697
4 Rancho Santa Margarita 49,038 3.6% $584,000 $104,556
5 Mission Viejo 96,178 6.0% $608,100 $104,886
6 Laguna Niguel 64,984 6.4% $712,000 $97,894
7 La Habra Heights 5,406 4.9% $893,200 $110,329
8 San Clemente 65,082 5.5% $801,100 $97,210
9 Villa Park 5,922 8.7% $1,030,800 $131,386
10 Cerritos 49,797 6.6% $620,500 $95,373
11 Laguna Beach 23,204 6.8% $1,390,500 $100,506
12 Huntington Beach 198,724 6.0% $659,700 $85,312
13 Cypress 48,978 5.2% $540,900 $84,469
14 El Cerrito 24,646 6.6% $636,600 $92,670
15 Walnut 30,026 6.6% $679,700 $97,345
16 Dana Point 34,009 6.1% $780,300 $83,913
17 Lake Forest 80,658 5.2% $550,600 $92,415
18 Fountain Valley 56,670 6.6% $626,600 $84,763
19 Brea 41,351 6.4% $579,600 $85,555
20 La Palma 15,834 6.4% $602,000 $83,760
21 Laguna Hills 31,127 6.2% $628,800 $92,690
22 Lakewood 81,054 6.3% $445,800 $82,175
23 Diamond Bar 56,456 7.3% $593,100 $89,845
24 Chino Hills 77,266 7.0% $537,800 $97,222
25 La Mirada 49,130 6.9% $448,400 $81,956
26 Canyon Lake 10,985 7.4% $379,400 $84,015
27 Placentia 52,168 6.8% $554,500 $80,668
28 Eastvale 58,217 9.6% $460,100 $104,940
29 San Dimas 34,109 7.0% $481,000 $79,081
30 Los Alamitos 11,661 7.8% $680,100 $80,926
31 Laguna Woods 16,347 5.1% $228,700 $39,201
32 Seal Beach 24,510 6.3% $308,400 $60,222
33 Costa Mesa 112,439 6.5% $637,200 $70,438
34 Tustin 79,396 6.8% $543,200 $70,822
35 Buena Park 82,771 5.7% $448,900 $70,341
36 Whittier 86,630 6.7% $458,500 $67,431
37 Orange 139,919 7.3% $565,800 $79,192
38 Artesia 16,789 5.2% $419,500 $58,651
39 Norco 26,809 8.5% $445,700 $87,067
40 Downey 113,223 6.8% $449,900 $65,332
41 Covina 48,539 9.7% $415,300 $65,451
42 West Covina 107,634 9.9% $430,800 $71,217
43 Fullerton 139,491 8.6% $551,300 $67,110
44 San Juan Capistrano 36,006 7.1% $590,500 $79,393
45 Midway 3,256 4.9% $127,800 $56,367
46 Corona 161,614 7.8% $378,500 $72,309
47 Westminster 91,635 7.4% $499,400 $55,287
48 Santa Fe Springs 17,436 4.9% $371,400 $58,147
49 Signal Hill 11,404 7.0% $446,000 $70,286
50 Garden Grove 174,676 7.6% $445,700 $60,522
51 La Habra 61,660 10.0% $436,200 $65,799
52 Carson 92,780 10.8% $366,700 $73,829
53 Norwalk 106,360 8.0% $350,600 $61,050
54 Anaheim 346,776 8.1% $457,600 $61,826
55 Long Beach 469,793 9.4% $448,800 $55,151
56 Bellflower 77,687 8.3% $367,300 $50,704
57 Chino 83,670 9.0% $365,500 $72,832
58 Pico Rivera 63,724 8.6% $351,300 $57,203
59 Santa Ana 333,605 7.1% $383,900 $54,062
60 La Puente 40,384 8.1% $343,000 $57,174
61 Stanton 38,594 8.0% $322,200 $48,332
62 Wildomar 34,775 12.1% $266,900 $62,976
63 Riverside 318,678 11.0% $286,600 $58,979
64 Montclair 38,294 9.3% $281,100 $50,374
65 Paramount 54,941 9.1% $283,400 $46,364
66 Lakeland 102,714 9.5% $109,300 $40,918
67 Lake Elsinore 60,230 12.8% $259,700 $63,306
68 Lynwood 71,233 10.2% $312,100 $43,848
69 Hawaiian Gardens 14,468 10.5% $288,200 $36,026
70 Bell Gardens 42,805 10.6% $318,700 $37,183
71 Ontario 169,389 9.3% $293,000 $54,896
72 Pomona 151,807 11.0% $310,100 $50,360
73 Jurupa Valley 100,737 12.7% $270,700 $58,849

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