Best Modesto Suburbs To Live For 2020


We analyzed over 17 places around Modesto 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 Modesto 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 Modesto 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 Modesto? Tracy ranks as the best suburb of Modesto for 2020 based on the most recent Census and FBI data. If you happen to be a resident of Tracy, you're probably not too surprised to find it on the top our list.

We'll tell you what makes each of these 10 Modesto '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 Modesto Suburbs To Live For 2020

Tracy, CA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 88,806
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Income: $88,390
Unemployment Rate: 6.0%
Poverty Rate: 8.5%
More on Tracy: Real Estate | Data | Photos

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

Everyone here is rich; families average $88,390 a year, which is the 1st highest in the Modesto region. And only 6.0% are out of work. Homes average more than $422,900 each.

Escalon, CA

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 7,509
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 1)
Median Income: $71,563
Unemployment Rate: 4.7%
Poverty Rate: 6.7%
More on Escalon: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Escalon is the second best 'burb we looked at near Modesto for 2020.

It ranks 5th for incomes in the area and only 4.42% of residents lack insurance, good for 4th best.

Hughson, CA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 7,370
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 6)
Median Income: $74,659
Unemployment Rate: 8.1%
Poverty Rate: 10.5%
More on Hughson: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Here in Hughson, it's really safe, and residents are just about as rich as you'll see in the Modesto 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 Hughson.

Ripon, CA

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 15,367
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 2)
Median Income: $83,489
Unemployment Rate: 5.0%
Poverty Rate: 11.3%
More on Ripon: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Ripon ranks as the 4th best suburb of Modesto for 2020.

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

Manteca, CA

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 77,073
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 1)
Median Income: $69,255
Unemployment Rate: 9.0%
Poverty Rate: 10.9%
More on Manteca: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Coming in as the fifth best is Manteca.

Manteca gets kudos for having the 3rd most expensive homes in the Modesto area, where houses sell for an average of $352,700. However, the cost of living here is among the highest in the area.

Riverbank, CA

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 24,237
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 1)
Median Income: $65,876
Unemployment Rate: 8.4%
Poverty Rate: 10.5%
More on Riverbank: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Riverbank 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 8.43% which is 8th best in the area.

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

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 21,393
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 1)
Median Income: $82,658
Unemployment Rate: 6.4%
Poverty Rate: 10.9%
More on Lathrop: Real Estate | Data

The 7th best suburb on our list goes to Lathrop.

Lathrop 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 20.9 miles to downtown, which is a good thing.

Turlock, CA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 72,335
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 1)
Median Income: $56,639
Unemployment Rate: 8.2%
Poverty Rate: 16.4%
More on Turlock: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Turlock 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 4.77% of people lack insurance, good for 6th in the area.

Oakdale, CA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 22,599
Rank Last Year: 8 (Down 1)
Median Income: $54,443
Unemployment Rate: 12.9%
Poverty Rate: 14.0%
More on Oakdale: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Is 'Everything Better In Oakdale?'

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.

Newman, CA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 11,119
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 3)
Median Income: $60,934
Unemployment Rate: 13.6%
Poverty Rate: 9.2%
More on Newman: Real Estate | Data | Photos

And rounding out the top ten for 2020 is Newman.

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 Modesto for 2020

Figuring out the best suburbs around Modesto 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 Modesto.

Additionally, we limited the analysis to places that have over 5,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 17 suburbs to evaluate around Modesto.

We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 17 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 Modesto." We're lookin' at you, Tracy. 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 Modesto '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 Modesto, 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 Modesto Suburbs

Rank City Population Median Income
1 Tracy, CA 88,806 $88,390
2 Escalon, CA 7,509 $71,563
3 Hughson, CA 7,370 $74,659
4 Ripon, CA 15,367 $83,489
5 Manteca, CA 77,073 $69,255
6 Riverbank, CA 24,237 $65,876
7 Lathrop, CA 21,393 $82,658
8 Turlock, CA 72,335 $56,639
9 Oakdale, CA 22,599 $54,443
10 Newman, CA 11,119 $60,934
11 Patterson, CA 21,783 $65,345
12 Ceres, CA 47,975 $54,109
13 Stockton, CA 306,283 $51,318
14 Atwater, CA 29,197 $52,542
15 Livingston, CA 13,997 $50,819
16 Waterford, CA 8,823 $54,886
17 Gustine, CA 5,774 $50,671

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.

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