These Are The 10 Best Oakland Suburbs For 2018


We analyzed over 67 places around Oakland to identify the most in demand places 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 Oakland 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 Oakland for 2018:

  1. Los Altos (Photos | Homes)
  2. Piedmont (Photos | Homes)
  3. Belvedere (Photos | Homes)
  4. Mill Valley (Photos | Homes)
  5. Los Altos Hills (Photos | Homes)
  6. Tiburon (Photos | Homes)
  7. Hillsborough (Photos | Homes)
  8. Orinda (Photos | Homes)
  9. San Ramon (Photos | Homes)
  10. Woodside (Photos | Homes)

If you happen to be a resident of Los Altos, you’re probably not too surprised to find it on the top our list.

We’ll tell you what makes each of these 10 Oakland ‘burbs better than the rest–but first, a bit about our methodology.

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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 Oakland for 2018

Figuring out the best ‘burbs around Oakland 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 Oakland.

Additionally, we limited the analysis to places that have over 2,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 67 suburbs to evaluate around Oakland.

We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 67 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 Oakland.” We’re lookin’ at you, Los Altos.

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. Los Altos

Los Altos, California

Population: 30,238
Unemployment Rate: 3.2%
Median Home Price: $2,000,000
Median Income: $187,656
More on Los Altos: Real Estate | Data

Los Altos is always mentioned as one of the best suburbs in the Oakland area. We’ll tell you the good about “Awesome Los Altos.”

Everyone here is rich; families average $187,656 a year, which is the 8th highest in the Oakland region. And only 3.2% are out of work. Homes average more than $2,000,000 each.

2. Piedmont

Piedmont, California

Population: 11,201
Unemployment Rate: 3.7%
Median Home Price: $1,572,700
Median Income: $202,083
More on Piedmont: Real Estate | Data

Piedmont is the second best ‘burb we looked at near Oakland for 2018.

It ranks 6th for incomes in the area and only 1.6% of residents lack insurance, good for 5th best.

3. Belvedere

Belvedere, California

Population: 2,017
Unemployment Rate: 4.9%
Median Home Price: $2,000,000
Median Income: $178,750
More on Belvedere: Real Estate | Data

Here in Belvedere, it’s really safe, and residents are just about as rich as you’ll see in the Oakland 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 Belvedere.

4. Mill Valley

Mill Valley, California

Population: 14,318
Unemployment Rate: 2.6%
Median Home Price: $1,201,600
Median Income: $149,336
More on Mill Valley: Real Estate | Data

Mill Valley ranks as the 4th best suburb of Oakland for 2018.

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

5. Los Altos Hills

Los Altos Hills, California

Source: Public domain

Population: 8,376
Unemployment Rate: 3.5%
Median Home Price: $2,000,000
Median Income: $243,701
More on Los Altos Hills: Real Estate | Data

Coming in as the fifth best is Los Altos Hills.

Los Altos Hills gets kudos for having the 4th most expensive homes in the Oakland area, where houses sell for an average of $2,000,000. However, the cost of living here is among the highest in the area.

6. Tiburon

Tiburon, California

Source: Public domain

Population: 9,170
Unemployment Rate: 3.9%
Median Home Price: $1,847,800
Median Income: $149,510
More on Tiburon: Real Estate | Data

Tiburon 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 3.9% which is 8th best in the area.

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

7. Hillsborough

Hillsborough, California

Population: 11,312
Unemployment Rate: 5.4%
Median Home Price: $2,000,000
Median Income: $216,292
More on Hillsborough: Real Estate | Data

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

Hillsborough 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 16.4 miles to downtown, which is a good thing.

8. Orinda

Orinda, California

Population: 18,936
Unemployment Rate: 4.6%
Median Home Price: $1,125,000
Median Income: $178,704
More on Orinda: Real Estate | Data

Orinda 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 2.4% of people lack insurance, good for 13th in the area.

9. San Ramon

San Ramon, California

Source: Public domain

Population: 74,366
Unemployment Rate: 3.9%
Median Home Price: $810,700
Median Income: $134,188
More on San Ramon: Real Estate | Data

Is ‘Everything Better In San Ramon?’

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. Woodside

Woodside, California

Population: 5,496
Unemployment Rate: 3.4%
Median Home Price: $2,000,000
Median Income: $223,934
More on Woodside: Real Estate | Data

And rounding out the top ten for 2018 is Woodside.

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 Oakland ‘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 Oakland, but don’t want to deal with the drawbacks, one of these suburbs might just be for you.

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Detailed List Of The Best Oakland Suburbs

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Median Home Price Median Income
1 Los Altos 30,238 3.2% $2,000,000 $187,656
2 Piedmont 11,201 3.7% $1,572,700 $202,083
3 Belvedere 2,017 4.9% $2,000,000 $178,750
4 Mill Valley 14,318 2.6% $1,201,600 $149,336
5 Los Altos Hills 8,376 3.5% $2,000,000 $243,701
6 Tiburon 9,170 3.9% $1,847,800 $149,510
7 Hillsborough 11,312 5.4% $2,000,000 $216,292
8 Orinda 18,936 4.6% $1,125,000 $178,704
9 San Ramon 74,366 3.9% $810,700 $134,188
10 Woodside 5,496 3.4% $2,000,000 $223,934
11 Danville 43,758 5.1% $919,500 $146,603
12 San Carlos 29,596 5.8% $1,107,600 $135,220
13 Atherton 7,127 6.1% $2,000,000 $250,000
14 Corte Madera 9,694 4.5% $1,061,700 $125,915
15 Portola Valley 4,550 6.8% $2,000,000 $232,981
16 Lafayette 25,381 5.0% $1,127,400 $142,977
17 Palo Alto 66,649 4.8% $1,702,100 $137,043
18 Belmont 26,918 5.0% $1,074,600 $120,169
19 Pleasanton 77,046 4.3% $828,900 $130,170
20 Clayton 11,655 6.3% $629,200 $136,946
21 Burlingame 30,118 4.5% $1,447,400 $102,443
22 Larkspur 12,268 5.3% $1,117,800 $91,848
23 Dublin 54,523 4.0% $693,900 $128,403
24 Moraga 16,977 6.0% $971,700 $136,336
25 Sausalito 7,115 6.6% $1,163,500 $116,325
26 Menlo Park 33,319 3.6% $1,581,700 $126,045
27 San Anselmo 12,623 7.2% $914,400 $107,818
28 Millbrae 22,522 5.0% $1,037,400 $98,533
29 Fairfax 7,598 3.4% $733,800 $99,438
30 Ross 2,381 9.2% $2,000,000 $199,107
31 Pacifica 38,844 4.1% $680,500 $103,545
32 Mountain View 78,827 4.7% $973,000 $109,249
33 Mountain View 78,827 4.7% $973,000 $109,249
34 Sunnyvale 149,596 6.0% $859,100 $109,799
35 Fremont 227,934 5.3% $702,800 $111,613
36 Albany 19,420 6.1% $697,600 $85,458
37 San Mateo 102,224 5.3% $850,200 $95,667
38 Half Moon Bay 12,281 4.9% $774,000 $106,211
39 Pleasant Hill 34,395 6.0% $584,700 $93,476
40 Livermore 86,493 4.6% $595,500 $104,223
41 San Bruno 42,736 5.4% $668,700 $89,000
42 Hercules 25,011 5.3% $422,200 $103,044
43 Walnut Creek 67,568 6.7% $647,400 $82,848
44 Berkeley 118,585 7.3% $795,200 $70,393
45 Brisbane 4,568 5.4% $699,800 $91,127
46 Martinez 37,544 6.7% $462,300 $93,874
47 El Cerrito 24,646 6.6% $636,600 $92,670
48 Novato 54,790 4.7% $625,900 $83,895
49 Alameda 77,409 6.4% $677,000 $83,048
50 South San Francisco 66,587 6.6% $644,500 $85,076
51 Emeryville 11,111 6.3% $396,900 $74,295
52 Milpitas 73,447 7.3% $635,300 $103,623
53 Benicia 27,780 6.2% $475,500 $87,011
54 Brentwood 56,923 7.4% $428,500 $94,130
55 Newark 44,677 5.7% $547,800 $91,965
56 Pinole 19,040 5.9% $387,500 $74,124
57 San Rafael 58,948 5.9% $758,600 $81,360
58 American Canyon 20,334 8.3% $374,200 $83,673
59 San Leandro 89,039 6.8% $426,900 $64,065
60 Concord 126,938 8.0% $423,100 $71,477
61 East Palo Alto 29,353 8.1% $515,900 $55,170
62 Antioch 108,675 9.7% $291,400 $65,530
63 San Pablo 29,991 10.1% $221,400 $45,503
64 Hayward 154,507 8.0% $404,500 $68,138
65 Vallejo 119,644 13.0% $254,100 $59,600
66 Pittsburg 67,998 11.8% $280,900 $63,950
67 Richmond 108,303 9.3% $330,200 $57,107

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