Best Riverside Suburbs To Live For 2020

We analyzed over 54 places around Riverside to identify the most in demand places to live.

Editor’s Note: Data has been updated for 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the best Riverside 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 Riverside are created equally, which is precisely why we set out to find the best ones. So without further ado...

What's the best suburb of Riverside? Yorba Linda ranks as the best suburb of Riverside for 2020 based on the most recent Census and FBI data. If you happen to be a resident of Yorba Linda, you're probably not too surprised to find it on the top our list.

We'll tell you what makes each of these 10 Riverside 'burbs better than the rest--but first, a bit about our methodology.

Note: This result may differ from our state wide data as we did not include commute times and crime for this analysis to allow for a larger selection of suburbs.
Or feel free to check out some more reading about California:

The 10 Best Riverside Suburbs To Live For 2020

Yorba Linda, CA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 67,815
Rank Last Year: 2 (Up 1)
Median Income: $129,391
Unemployment Rate: 4.3%
Poverty Rate: 4.2%
More on Yorba Linda: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Yorba Linda is always mentioned as one of the best suburbs in the Riverside area. We'll tell you the good about "Awesome Yorba Linda."

Everyone here is rich; families average $129,391 a year, which is the 2nd highest in the Riverside region. And only 4.27% are out of work. Homes average more than $829,700 each.

Mission Viejo, CA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 96,124
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 1)
Median Income: $114,688
Unemployment Rate: 4.8%
Poverty Rate: 5.0%
More on Mission Viejo: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Mission Viejo is the second best 'burb we looked at near Riverside for 2020.

It ranks 4th for incomes in the area and only 4.72% of residents lack insurance, good for 12th best.

Rancho Santa Margarita, CA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 48,792
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Median Income: $115,073
Unemployment Rate: 3.0%
Poverty Rate: 4.2%
More on Rancho Santa Margarita: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Here in Rancho Santa Margarita, it's really safe, and residents are just about as rich as you'll see in the Riverside 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 Rancho Santa Margarita.

Villa Park, CA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 5,912
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Median Income: $145,250
Unemployment Rate: 5.5%
Poverty Rate: 6.4%
More on Villa Park: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Villa Park ranks as the 4th best suburb of Riverside for 2020.

You won't find many better places to raise your kids in the region than in Villa Park and the schools are some of the best around.

El Cerrito, CA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 25,203
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Median Income: $100,422
Unemployment Rate: 5.3%
Poverty Rate: 8.2%
More on El Cerrito: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Coming in as the fifth best is El Cerrito.

El Cerrito gets kudos for having the 4th most expensive homes in the Riverside area, where houses sell for an average of $744,600. However, the cost of living here is among the highest in the area.

Walnut, CA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 30,008
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 2)
Median Income: $104,096
Unemployment Rate: 4.4%
Poverty Rate: 7.1%
More on Walnut: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Walnut 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 4.4% which is 6th best in the area.

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

Irvine, CA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 265,502
Rank Last Year: 7 (No Change)
Median Income: $100,969
Unemployment Rate: 4.9%
Poverty Rate: 13.3%
More on Irvine: Real Estate | Data | Photos

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

Irvine 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 28.1 miles to downtown, which is a good thing.

Review Of Irvine by HomeSnacks User

Irvine is an extremely safe city with regular, active, and diligent police patrols on all major roads. It has a reputation for being one of, if not the safest city in America, and is also a beautiful city due to the planned nature of its housing communities and nature. While this does make Irvine feel like a bubble, it also ensures that it is a safe and secure environment for those living in it and especially for children, as they are guaranteed an education that is held to a higher standard than other cities. Schools are consistently excellent, and there are very few schools that are riddled with disciplinary or financial problems due to Irvine Company's excellent management of the city's allocated funding.

Irvine's food is mostly chains, and there are few private businesses due to the high cost of retail spaces. As a result, your experiences in Irvine when it comes to food and shopping will always be consistently safe, but also expensive and somewhat vanilla in terms of variety. The city also begins to feel quite sterile after living there for a few years because of how safe and well-maintained it is. Transportation without a vehicle can also be difficult due to the long intervals between buses, as well as the distance from houses to retail plazas.

Lake Forest, CA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 82,911
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 3)
Median Income: $104,449
Unemployment Rate: 4.8%
Poverty Rate: 7.1%
More on Lake Forest: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Lake Forest 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 7.04% of people lack insurance, good for 29th in the area.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 11,106
Rank Last Year: 18 (Up 9)
Median Income: $97,237
Unemployment Rate: 4.4%
Poverty Rate: 5.0%
More on Canyon Lake: Real Estate | Data

Is 'Everything Better In Canyon Lake?'


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.

Brea, CA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 42,330
Rank Last Year: 9 (Down 1)
Median Income: $93,703
Unemployment Rate: 5.5%
Poverty Rate: 6.5%
More on Brea: Real Estate | Data | Photos

And rounding out the top ten for 2020 is Brea.

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.

How We Determined The Best Suburbs Around Riverside for 2020

Figuring out the best suburbs around Riverside 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 for 2014-2018 to research each suburb.

FYI: We defined a suburb as being within 30 miles of Riverside.

Additionally, we limited the analysis to places that have over 5,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 54 suburbs to evaluate around Riverside.

We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 54 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 Riverside." We're lookin' at you, Yorba Linda. You can download the data here.

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.

Welcome to the Best Riverside 'Burbs of 2020

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 Riverside, 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 Riverside Suburbs

Rank City Population Median Income
1 Yorba Linda, CA 67,815 $129,391
2 Mission Viejo, CA 96,124 $114,688
3 Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 48,792 $115,073
4 Villa Park, CA 5,912 $145,250
5 El Cerrito, CA 25,203 $100,422
6 Walnut, CA 30,008 $104,096
7 Irvine, CA 265,502 $100,969
8 Lake Forest, CA 82,911 $104,449
9 Canyon Lake, CA 11,106 $97,237
10 Brea, CA 42,330 $93,703
11 Laguna Hills, CA 31,185 $98,168
12 Claremont, CA 36,025 $97,363
13 Diamond Bar, CA 56,434 $96,628
14 Chino Hills, CA 79,298 $104,590
15 San Dimas, CA 34,239 $84,749
16 Eastvale, CA 61,337 $114,230
17 Placentia, CA 52,049 $89,690
18 La Verne, CA 32,358 $85,769
19 Rancho Cucamonga, CA 175,679 $86,355
20 Laguna Woods, CA 16,228 $41,928
21 Orange, CA 139,873 $86,027
22 Tustin, CA 80,140 $79,339
23 Glendora, CA 51,773 $92,674
24 Norco, CA 26,569 $95,441
25 Covina, CA 48,403 $69,449
26 Upland, CA 76,382 $68,551
27 Corona, CA 165,355 $79,081
28 Murrieta, CA 111,427 $84,817
29 Grand Terrace, CA 12,482 $66,912
30 Yucaipa, CA 53,264 $63,657
31 Redlands, CA 71,012 $72,523
32 Anaheim, CA 349,668 $69,443
33 Beaumont, CA 45,403 $78,111
34 Chino, CA 87,735 $79,477
35 Loma Linda, CA 24,078 $53,371
36 Fontana, CA 208,943 $70,789
37 Menifee, CA 88,515 $65,757
38 Calimesa, CA 8,651 $53,366
39 Wildomar, CA 36,162 $73,282
40 Ontario, CA 173,580 $61,602
41 Montclair, CA 38,865 $58,012
42 Pomona, CA 152,494 $55,115
43 Moreno Valley, CA 205,034 $63,572
44 Lake Elsinore, CA 64,037 $67,668
45 Colton, CA 54,415 $50,063
46 Lakeland, CA 105,958 $44,313
47 Highland, CA 54,859 $59,395
48 Rialto, CA 102,873 $58,061
49 Jurupa Valley, CA 103,784 $67,002
50 Hemet, CA 84,069 $39,179
51 Banning, CA 30,942 $41,038
52 San Bernardino, CA 215,182 $43,136
53 San Jacinto, CA 47,474 $50,483
54 Perris, CA 76,276 $59,141

How Is Your Town In ?

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.