These Are The 10 Best Neighborhoods In San Diego


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:

  1. Marina
  2. Del Mar Heights
  3. La Jolla
  4. Columbia
  5. North City
  6. Carmel Valley
  7. Wooded Area
  8. Roseville
  9. Pacific Beach
  10. Scripps Ranch

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

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How do you determine the best neighborhoods in San Diego?

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, Marina.

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. Marina

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 5,301
Median Home Price: $688,420
Crimes Per 100K People: 936
Unemployment Rate: 2.5%

2. Del Mar Heights

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 6,792
Median Home Price: $926,981
Crimes Per 100K People: 936
Unemployment Rate: 2.8%

3. La Jolla

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 27,993
Median Home Price: $927,251
Crimes Per 100K People: 936
Unemployment Rate: 3.4%

4. Columbia

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 1,782
Median Home Price: $616,950
Crimes Per 100K People: 936
Unemployment Rate: 1.6%

5. North City

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 11,386
Median Home Price: $923,886
Crimes Per 100K People: 936
Unemployment Rate: 3.2%

6. Carmel Valley

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 36,556
Median Home Price: $734,700
Crimes Per 100K People: 936
Unemployment Rate: 4.2%

7. Wooded Area

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 7,533
Median Home Price: $845,100
Crimes Per 100K People: 936
Unemployment Rate: 3.8%

8. Roseville

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 6,732
Median Home Price: $727,870
Crimes Per 100K People: 936
Unemployment Rate: 4.0%

9. Pacific Beach

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 28,080
Median Home Price: $659,330
Crimes Per 100K People: 1,076
Unemployment Rate: 5.6%

10. Scripps Ranch

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 35,338
Median Home Price: $637,505
Crimes Per 100K People: 956
Unemployment Rate: 3.2%

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. San Ysidro
  2. Tijuana River Valley
  3. Palm City

For more reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Neighborhoods In San Diego

Neighborhood Rank Population Home Prices Crimes Per 100k Unemployment Rate
Marina 1 5,301 $688,420 936 2.5%
Del Mar Heights 2 6,792 $926,981 936 2.8%
La Jolla 3 27,993 $927,251 936 3.4%
Columbia 4 1,782 $616,950 936 1.6%
North City 5 11,386 $923,886 936 3.2%
Carmel Valley 6 36,556 $734,700 936 4.2%
Wooded Area 7 7,533 $845,100 936 3.8%
Roseville 8 6,732 $727,870 936 4.0%
Pacific Beach 9 28,080 $659,330 1,076 5.6%
Scripps Ranch 10 35,338 $637,505 956 3.2%
Carmel Mountain 11 9,024 $529,240 1,384 5.5%
Little Italy 12 2,610 $389,750 1,530 1.7%
Old Town 13 10,631 $572,940 1,234 3.3%
San Carlos 14 14,165 $503,183 1,460 4.1%
University City 15 48,653 $511,036 1,727 3.6%
Kensington 16 5,445 $541,200 1,474 4.8%
Loma Portal 17 22,231 $530,210 1,712 5.2%
Midtown 18 17,860 $542,263 1,293 4.1%
Sabre Springs 19 14,805 $509,571 1,625 4.4%
Ocean Beach 20 10,368 $684,893 1,200 6.1%
Rancho Penasquitos 21 60,417 $565,284 1,521 4.6%
Rancho Bernadino 22 44,063 $511,552 1,549 4.0%
Miramar 23 2,207 $1,000,001 936 1.0%
Sorrento Valley 24 9,497 $509,775 1,942 3.0%
Bay Park 25 15,878 $523,621 1,743 6.3%
Bay Ho 26 12,491 $488,720 1,921 4.6%
Talmadge 27 9,014 $405,786 2,246 4.8%
Del Cerro 28 5,603 $494,957 1,649 4.5%
Torrey Pines 29 6,081 $641,640 936 7.3%
West University Heights 30 9,114 $491,080 1,759 5.6%
Lake Murray 31 20,057 $414,478 2,210 4.5%
Tierrasanta 32 20,686 $493,492 1,790 4.8%
Clairemont Mesa 33 36,840 $410,340 2,352 5.4%
South Park 34 4,527 $476,771 2,097 4.7%
Allied Gardens 35 8,629 $418,475 2,119 4.2%
Balboa Park 36 11,799 $496,127 1,901 4.6%
Midtown District 37 11,115 $558,929 2,039 3.4%
Serra Mesa 38 26,519 $364,363 2,353 5.7%
La Jolla Village 39 6,541 $391,829 2,236 6.0%
Park West 40 4,736 $398,500 2,171 6.8%
North Hills 41 41,048 $403,060 2,202 6.8%
Core 42 3,337 $286,033 2,596 1.6%
Gaslamp Quarter 43 1,080 $433,200 1,850 3.4%
North Clairemont 44 13,799 $426,914 2,339 6.1%
Alta Vista 45 8,963 $318,529 2,927 6.4%
Cortez Hill 46 2,146 $308,567 2,409 0.7%
El Cerritos 47 5,006 $324,400 2,746 5.8%
Mira Mesa 48 66,923 $385,658 2,450 5.5%
Gateway 49 2,595 $321,400 2,725 8.1%
Bay Terrace 50 22,095 $277,173 3,069 7.2%
Paradise Hills 51 23,478 $291,754 3,053 7.4%
College Area 52 20,288 $389,181 2,590 6.5%
Normal Heights 53 15,914 $337,467 2,605 6.8%
Bird Land 54 4,755 $328,160 2,705 6.3%
Mission Valley 55 6,394 $274,640 2,372 4.2%
Darnall 56 9,103 $293,733 2,943 9.1%
Linda Vista 57 23,257 $350,833 2,760 8.3%
Mission Bay 58 57,654 $427,030 2,373 6.6%
Grantville 59 13,112 $318,918 2,636 6.4%
Grant Hill 60 11,250 $293,858 3,175 5.9%
Moreno Mission 61 8,610 $349,640 2,342 7.2%
East Village 62 11,956 $388,811 1,774 8.3%
Encanto 63 15,021 $283,830 3,137 6.8%
Sky Line 64 11,233 $265,929 3,226 8.4%
Bario Logan 65 10,315 $248,667 3,322 4.2%
Kearny Mesa 66 2,898 $197,700 2,846 5.2%
City Heights West 67 30,117 $275,065 3,276 7.5%
Jomacha-Lomita 68 8,078 $260,540 3,231 8.0%
Rolando 69 7,026 $335,483 2,891 11.2%
Valencia Park 70 6,632 $243,133 3,319 6.2%
Webster 71 9,145 $277,043 3,189 7.6%
Oak Park 72 10,046 $256,462 3,198 7.2%
Chollas View 73 7,869 $213,180 3,515 7.5%
Southcrest 74 9,399 $298,683 3,379 8.4%
Lincoln Park 75 5,396 $307,100 3,252 11.7%
City Heights East 76 36,872 $255,383 3,460 8.0%
Memorial 77 14,740 $272,443 3,418 11.7%
Emerald Hills 78 7,212 $255,180 3,371 8.2%
Egger Highlands 79 9,636 $237,960 3,327 7.9%
Mountain View 80 11,791 $253,900 3,544 10.8%
Mount Hope 81 8,703 $243,080 3,528 6.8%
Nestor 82 14,523 $211,962 3,436 7.2%
Palm City 83 6,273 $168,420 3,489 9.4%
Tijuana River Valley 84 2,847 $181,000 3,643 5.3%
San Ysidro 85 25,907 $241,293 3,452 8.5%

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