These Are The 10 Best Oakland Suburbs For 2019

We analyzed over 67 places around Oakland to identify the most in demand places to live.

Editor’s Note: Data has been updated for 2019. This is our fourth time ranking the best Oakland 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 Oakland are created equally, which is precisely why we set out to find the best ones. So without further ado…

If you happen to be a resident of Belvedere, 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.

Or feel free to check out some more reading about California:

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 2019

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 (2013-2017) 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 70 suburbs to evaluate around Oakland.

We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 70 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, Belvedere.

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.

Belvedere, CA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 2,156
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 2)
Median Income: $213,500
Unemployment Rate: 2.5%
Poverty Rate: 2.2%
More on Belvedere: Real Estate | Data | Photos

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

Everyone here is rich; families average $213,500 a year, which is the 6th highest in the Oakland region. And only 2.5% are out of work. Homes average more than $2,000,000 each.

Los Altos, CA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 30,527
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 1)
Median Income: $208,309
Unemployment Rate: 3.8%
Poverty Rate: 3.2%
More on Los Altos: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Los Altos is the second best ‘burb we looked at near Oakland for 2019.

It ranks 7th for incomes in the area and only 1.3% of residents lack insurance, good for 6th best.

Piedmont, CA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 11,296
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 1)
Median Income: $202,631
Unemployment Rate: 3.9%
Poverty Rate: 4.9%
More on Piedmont: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Here in Piedmont, 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 Piedmont.

Los Altos Hills, CA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 8,490
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 1)
Median Income: $248,218
Unemployment Rate: 3.3%
Poverty Rate: 4.2%
More on Los Altos Hills: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Los Altos Hills ranks as the 4th best suburb of Oakland for 2019.

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

Mill Valley, CA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 14,392
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 1)
Median Income: $141,698
Unemployment Rate: 2.3%
Poverty Rate: 4.7%
More on Mill Valley: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Coming in as the fifth best is Mill Valley.

Mill Valley gets kudos for having the 14th most expensive homes in the Oakland area, where houses sell for an average of $1,242,100. However, the cost of living here is among the highest in the area.

Review Of Mill Valley by Jade

OMG I live in MILL VALLEY!!!! Lol. We are pretty s****y, but if you’re s****y, you must have a reason why. It’s so pretty here! And most people are really nice too.

Tiburon, CA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 9,205
Rank Last Year: 6 (No Change)
Median Income: $151,429
Unemployment Rate: 4.3%
Poverty Rate: 2.5%
More on Tiburon: Real Estate | Data | Photos

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 4.3% which is 24th 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.

San Carlos, CA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 29,954
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 5)
Median Income: $152,521
Unemployment Rate: 4.9%
Poverty Rate: 2.8%
More on San Carlos: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The 7th best suburb on our list goes to San Carlos.

San Carlos 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 19.1 miles to downtown, which is a good thing.

Danville, CA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 44,205
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 3)
Median Income: $152,798
Unemployment Rate: 3.7%
Poverty Rate: 3.3%
More on Danville: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Danville 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 2.0% of people lack insurance, good for 12th in the area.

Orinda, CA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 19,248
Rank Last Year: 8 (Down 1)
Median Income: $186,075
Unemployment Rate: 4.2%
Poverty Rate: 2.6%
More on Orinda: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Is ‘Everything Better In Orinda?’


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.

Woodside, CA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 5,550
Rank Last Year: 10 (No Change)
Median Income: $250,000
Unemployment Rate: 3.8%
Poverty Rate: 4.3%
More on Woodside: Real Estate | Data | Photos

And rounding out the top ten for 2019 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 2019

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.

For more California reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Oakland Suburbs

Rank City Population Median Income
1 Belvedere 2,156 $213,500
2 Los Altos 30,527 $208,309
3 Piedmont 11,296 $202,631
4 Los Altos Hills 8,490 $248,218
5 Mill Valley 14,392 $141,698
6 Tiburon 9,205 $151,429
7 San Carlos 29,954 $152,521
8 Danville 44,205 $152,798
9 Orinda 19,248 $186,075
10 Woodside 5,550 $250,000
11 Hillsborough 11,436 $238,750
12 San Ramon 75,048 $142,718
13 Portola Valley 4,589 $244,539
14 Clayton 11,838 $146,225
15 Atherton 7,182 $250,000
16 Belmont 27,110 $125,958
17 Corte Madera 9,811 $134,902
18 Pleasanton 79,341 $138,269
19 Sausalito 7,147 $110,385
20 San Anselmo 12,619 $116,867
21 Lafayette 25,792 $152,609
22 Palo Alto 67,082 $147,537
23 Dublin 57,022 $138,007
24 Moraga 17,231 $139,018
25 Burlingame 30,401 $118,410
26 Menlo Park 33,661 $132,928
27 Larkspur 12,367 $95,592
28 Millbrae 22,738 $109,984
29 Ross 2,311 $199,531
30 Fairfax 7,616 $98,092
31 Mountain View 80,076 $120,351
32 Mountain View 80,076 $120,351
33 Mountain View 80,076 $120,351
34 Mountain View 80,076 $120,351
35 Pacifica 39,141 $106,959
36 Fremont 230,964 $122,191
37 Sunnyvale 151,565 $118,314
38 Albany 19,682 $87,694
39 San Mateo 103,500 $103,399
40 Livermore 88,232 $109,084
41 Brisbane 4,642 $109,632
42 Half Moon Bay 12,565 $110,900
43 Pleasant Hill 34,662 $101,530
44 Hercules 25,260 $107,221
45 San Bruno 43,105 $94,705
46 Walnut Creek 68,516 $86,845
47 South San Francisco 67,120 $92,074
48 Milpitas 75,498 $110,752
49 Benicia 28,011 $95,225
50 Martinez 37,902 $98,102
51 Berkeley 120,179 $75,709
52 Alameda 78,246 $89,045
53 El Cerrito 24,982 $96,914
54 Emeryville 11,524 $88,661
55 Brentwood 58,828 $96,945
56 Novato 55,378 $89,812
57 Newark 45,554 $96,817
58 Pinole 19,191 $84,255
59 Daly City 106,480 $86,342
60 American Canyon 20,341 $91,705
61 San Rafael 59,180 $85,931
62 San Leandro 89,910 $66,178
63 East Palo Alto 29,646 $58,783
64 Concord 128,160 $76,500
65 Hayward 156,917 $74,927
66 San Pablo 30,720 $47,459
67 Antioch 110,026 $69,925
68 Vallejo 120,599 $62,272
69 Pittsburg 69,449 $66,739
70 Richmond 108,853 $61,045

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.