These Are The 10 Best Neighborhoods In San Diego For 2018


We used science and data to determine which neighborhoods in San Diego are the best of the best.

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This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out.

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Do you like your neighborhood? Is it friendly, and where everyone knows their neighbors? No matter if you live in the sticks or in an apartment building in downtown San Diego, you have a little pocket that you can call home. And each neighborhood is different.

Smaller neighborhoods usually have obvious benefits — less crime, a slower pace of life, and a lower cost of living. But not all San Diego neighborhoods are created equal. Some are better than others. But which ones?

Instead of relying on public opinion and speculation, we wanted to get the facts straight and find out which neighborhoods in San Diego are the best. If you’re in one of the places we’re about to highlight, odds are you know you’ve got it made.

Here are the best neighborhoods in San Diego for 2018:

  1. Pacific Beach
  2. Carmel Mountain
  3. Old Town
  4. Sabre Springs
  5. Loma Portal
  6. Sorrento Valley
  7. Ocean Beach
  8. Kensington
  9. Scripps Ranch
  10. Little Italy

Read on to see how we determined the places around San Diego that deserve a little bragging rights.

Or, if you’re thinking of moving to elsewhere in California check out the best places in California overall or the worst neighborhoods in San Diego.

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How do you determine the best neighborhoods in San Diego for 2018?

In order to rank the best neighborhoods in San Diego, we had to determine what criteria defines a ‘best’.

Using crime, census, and extrapolated BLS data, we arrived at the following set of criteria:

  • High incomes
  • Low unemployment rates
  • Low crime
  • High home prices
  • High population densities (A proxy for things to do)

We limited the analysis to neighborhoods with over 1,000 people.

We then ranked each neighborhood with scores from 1 to 85 in each category, where 1 was the best.

Next, we averaged the rankings for each neighborhood to create a best neighborhood index.

And finally, we crowned the neighborhood with the lowest best neighborhood index the ‘Best City Neighborhood In San Diego.’ We’re lookin’ at you, Pacific Beach.

Read on below to learn more about what it’s like to live in the best places San Diego has to offer. Or skip to the end to see the list of all the neighborhoods in the city from best to worst.

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1. Pacific Beach

Population: 28,891
Median Income: $77,693
Median Home Value: $568,121

2. Carmel Mountain

Population: 9,210
Median Income: $104,236
Median Home Value: $516,660

3. Old Town

Population: 11,102
Median Income: $76,511
Median Home Value: $534,482

4. Sabre Springs

Population: 14,605
Median Income: $114,320
Median Home Value: $517,100

5. Loma Portal

Population: 23,060
Median Income: $72,406
Median Home Value: $537,371

6. Sorrento Valley

Population: 9,186
Median Income: $93,176
Median Home Value: $509,688

7. Ocean Beach

Population: 10,144
Median Income: $78,213
Median Home Value: $609,880

8. Kensington

Population: 5,804
Median Income: $82,378
Median Home Value: $533,543

9. Scripps Ranch

Population: 35,713
Median Income: $117,010
Median Home Value: $648,226

10. Little Italy

Population: 2,878
Median Income: $58,514
Median Home Value: $361,150

Putting A Bow On Our Analysis Of San Diego

If you’re measuring the neighborhoods in San Diego where crime is low and everyone wants to live, this is an accurate list.

If you’re curious, here are the worst places in San Diego:

  1. Southcrest
  2. City Heights East
  3. Nestor

For more reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Neighborhoods In San Diego

Neighborhood Rank Population Home Prices Crimes Per 100k Unemployment Rate
Pacific Beach 1 28,891 $568,121 1,254 5.0%
Carmel Mountain 2 9,210 $516,660 1,471 3.4%
Old Town 3 11,102 $534,482 1,251 2.6%
Sabre Springs 4 14,605 $517,100 1,526 3.7%
Loma Portal 5 23,060 $537,371 1,619 6.0%
Sorrento Valley 6 9,186 $509,688 1,842 2.8%
Ocean Beach 7 10,144 $609,880 1,285 6.0%
Kensington 8 5,804 $533,543 1,423 6.2%
Scripps Ranch 9 35,713 $648,226 995 3.2%
Little Italy 10 2,878 $361,150 1,656 3.1%
San Carlos 11 14,101 $503,544 1,406 4.8%
Rancho Penasquitos 12 61,808 $536,858 1,574 4.4%
Del Cerro 13 5,683 $527,186 1,392 4.9%
Rancho Bernadino 14 44,745 $507,963 1,602 3.7%
University City 15 47,710 $428,450 1,990 3.5%
Midtown 16 18,785 $475,689 1,491 4.1%
Miramar 17 2,209 $1,000,001 961 0.9%
Bay Park 18 15,818 $530,207 1,747 5.3%
Marina 19 4,653 $526,667 961 2.1%
Torrey Pines 20 3,273 $528,967 1,534 6.6%
La Jolla 21 28,561 $926,721 961 3.0%
Clairemont Mesa 22 37,903 $412,457 2,323 5.3%
Del Mar Heights 23 6,885 $902,141 961 3.1%
South Park 24 4,566 $471,057 2,016 3.6%
Lake Murray 25 20,485 $411,139 2,282 4.1%
West University Heights 26 9,247 $502,090 1,721 5.3%
Kearny Mesa 27 3,029 $315,600 2,370 4.0%
North Hills 28 41,687 $410,820 2,121 5.5%
Bay Ho 29 12,392 $502,550 1,893 6.2%
Gateway 30 2,994 $297,900 2,939 4.4%
Balboa Park 31 12,292 $432,976 1,995 4.3%
Carmel Valley 32 38,768 $736,158 961 4.1%
Tierrasanta 33 20,048 $399,744 2,073 4.5%
Wooded Area 34 7,752 $724,000 961 3.4%
La Jolla Village 35 6,202 $376,300 2,187 5.9%
Serra Mesa 36 28,167 $356,360 2,472 5.0%
North City 37 12,283 $919,786 961 3.5%
Talmadge 38 9,342 $364,989 2,474 6.4%
Roseville 39 6,451 $724,470 961 4.0%
Columbia 40 1,674 $404,233 961 1.1%
Bay Terrace 41 22,415 $274,647 3,132 5.7%
North Clairemont 42 14,399 $427,507 2,319 6.8%
Mission Bay 43 60,822 $368,211 2,470 6.6%
Mira Mesa 44 68,906 $393,867 2,407 5.7%
Bird Land 45 5,034 $342,240 2,648 5.3%
Linda Vista 46 24,028 $365,835 2,742 6.6%
College Area 47 20,534 $394,253 2,620 5.6%
Alta Vista 48 8,831 $293,186 3,022 8.9%
Allied Gardens 49 8,839 $286,609 2,605 4.2%
Core 50 3,527 $130,600 3,116 2.2%
Moreno Mission 51 9,036 $339,290 2,527 4.4%
Mission Valley 52 6,793 $269,360 2,384 4.8%
Darnall 53 9,119 $281,550 3,044 7.9%
Normal Heights 54 16,097 $328,816 2,646 6.5%
Cortez Hill 55 2,029 $217,475 2,723 1.5%
Midtown District 56 10,734 $314,400 2,763 3.2%
Paradise Hills 57 24,176 $223,127 3,370 7.5%
Park West 58 4,584 $474,733 1,796 5.7%
Rolando 59 7,452 $382,000 2,824 7.8%
El Cerritos 60 5,344 $293,925 2,985 8.6%
Palm City 61 7,257 $183,720 3,546 11.2%
East Village 62 13,144 $327,989 1,808 7.5%
Grantville 63 13,121 $271,077 2,807 5.8%
Webster 64 9,629 $276,543 3,194 6.1%
Sky Line 65 11,585 $264,929 3,285 8.9%
Jomacha-Lomita 66 8,501 $269,440 3,215 9.4%
Grant Hill 67 11,789 $269,200 3,320 7.2%
Gaslamp Quarter 68 1,154 $151,067 2,752 3.2%
Tijuana River Valley 69 2,803 $267,250 3,388 6.8%
Encanto 70 15,197 $287,870 3,159 9.6%
Chollas View 71 8,741 $220,940 3,584 7.5%
Valencia Park 72 6,494 $252,050 3,335 8.6%
Lincoln Park 73 5,673 $293,300 3,422 14.6%
Oak Park 74 10,194 $242,800 3,345 7.4%
Egger Highlands 75 10,099 $230,980 3,422 8.3%
San Ysidro 76 28,224 $199,794 3,685 10.1%
Mountain View 77 12,285 $251,850 3,605 12.2%
Bario Logan 78 10,057 $178,175 3,676 5.4%
Emerald Hills 79 7,038 $219,060 3,515 8.3%
Memorial 80 14,984 $238,364 3,640 11.9%
Mount Hope 81 9,024 $250,880 3,542 8.7%
City Heights West 82 31,511 $275,856 3,395 7.6%
Nestor 83 15,358 $181,867 3,598 9.1%
City Heights East 84 38,231 $204,865 3,683 8.5%
Southcrest 85 9,991 $248,317 3,561 9.9%

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