These Are The 10 Best Neighborhoods In San Diego, CA For 2018


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

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

Read on to see how we determined the places around San Diego that deserve a little bragging rights or maybe you’re interested in the worst neighborhoods in San Diego.

If you’re thinking of moving to elsewhere in California check out:

How do you determine the top 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.

1. Pacific Beach

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

More on Pacific Beach: Real Estate | Data

2. Carmel Mountain

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

More on Carmel Mountain: Real Estate | Data

3. Old Town

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

More on Old Town: Real Estate | Data

4. Sabre Springs

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

More on Sabre Springs: Real Estate | Data

5. Loma Portal

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

More on Loma Portal: Real Estate | Data

6. Sorrento Valley

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

More on Sorrento Valley: Real Estate | Data

7. Ocean Beach

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

More on Ocean Beach: Real Estate | Data

8. Kensington

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

More on Kensington: Real Estate | Data

9. Scripps Ranch

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

More on Scripps Ranch: Real Estate | Data

10. Little Italy

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

More on Little Italy: Real Estate | Data

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

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

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