These Are The 10 Best San Jose Suburbs For 2018

We analyzed over 30 places around San Jose 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 San Jose 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 San Jose for 2018:

  1. Los Altos (Photos | Homes)
  2. Los Altos Hills (Photos | Homes)
  3. Monte Sereno (Photos | Homes)
  4. Woodside (Photos | Homes)
  5. Atherton (Photos | Homes)
  6. Saratoga (Photos | Homes)
  7. San Carlos (Photos | Homes)
  8. Portola Valley (Photos | Homes)
  9. Cupertino (Photos | Homes)
  10. Pleasanton (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 San Jose ‘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 San Jose for 2018

Figuring out the best ‘burbs around San Jose 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 San Jose.

Additionally, we limited the analysis to places that have over 3,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 30 suburbs to evaluate around San Jose.

We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 30 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 San Jose.” 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 San Jose area. We’ll tell you the good about “Awesome Los Altos.”

Everyone here is rich; families average $187,656 a year, which is the 6th highest in the San Jose region. And only 3.2% are out of work. Homes average more than $2,000,000 each.

2. 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

Los Altos Hills is the second best ‘burb we looked at near San Jose for 2018.

It ranks 2nd for incomes in the area and only 1.0% of residents lack insurance, good for 1st best.

3. Monte Sereno

Monte Sereno, California

Population: 3,514
Unemployment Rate: 4.6%
Median Home Price: $2,000,000
Median Income: $202,321
More on Monte Sereno: Real Estate | Data

Here in Monte Sereno, it’s really safe, and residents are just about as rich as you’ll see in the San Jose 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 Monte Sereno.

4. 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

Woodside ranks as the 4th best suburb of San Jose for 2018.

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

5. Atherton

Atherton, California

Source: Public domain

Population: 7,127
Unemployment Rate: 6.1%
Median Home Price: $2,000,000
Median Income: $250,000
More on Atherton: Real Estate | Data

Coming in as the fifth best is Atherton.

Atherton gets kudos for having the 3rd most expensive homes in the San Jose 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. Saratoga

Saratoga, California

Source: Public domain

Population: 30,830
Unemployment Rate: 5.5%
Median Home Price: $1,742,900
Median Income: $169,579
More on Saratoga: Real Estate | Data

Saratoga 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 5.5% which is 16th best in the area.

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

7. San Carlos

San Carlos, California

Population: 29,596
Unemployment Rate: 5.8%
Median Home Price: $1,107,600
Median Income: $135,220
More on San Carlos: Real Estate | Data

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 28.1 miles to downtown, which is a good thing.

8. Portola Valley

Portola Valley, California

Population: 4,550
Unemployment Rate: 6.8%
Median Home Price: $2,000,000
Median Income: $232,981
More on Portola Valley: Real Estate | Data

Portola Valley 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 1.8% of people lack insurance, good for 4th in the area.

9. Cupertino

Cupertino, California

Population: 60,297
Unemployment Rate: 6.8%
Median Home Price: $1,214,300
Median Income: $147,929
More on Cupertino: Real Estate | Data

Is ‘Everything Better In Cupertino?’


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. Pleasanton

Pleasanton, California

Population: 77,046
Unemployment Rate: 4.3%
Median Home Price: $828,900
Median Income: $130,170
More on Pleasanton: Real Estate | Data

And rounding out the top ten for 2018 is Pleasanton.

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 San Jose ‘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 San Jose, 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 San Jose Suburbs

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Median Home Price Median Income
1 Los Altos 30,238 3.2% $2,000,000 $187,656
2 Los Altos Hills 8,376 3.5% $2,000,000 $243,701
3 Monte Sereno 3,514 4.6% $2,000,000 $202,321
4 Woodside 5,496 3.4% $2,000,000 $223,934
5 Atherton 7,127 6.1% $2,000,000 $250,000
6 Saratoga 30,830 5.5% $1,742,900 $169,579
7 San Carlos 29,596 5.8% $1,107,600 $135,220
8 Portola Valley 4,550 6.8% $2,000,000 $232,981
9 Cupertino 60,297 6.8% $1,214,300 $147,929
10 Pleasanton 77,046 4.3% $828,900 $130,170
11 Palo Alto 66,649 4.8% $1,702,100 $137,043
12 Dublin 54,523 4.0% $693,900 $128,403
13 Menlo Park 33,319 3.6% $1,581,700 $126,045
14 Campbell 40,788 3.9% $804,500 $103,704
15 Los Gatos 30,491 5.0% $1,338,400 $127,278
16 Sunnyvale 149,596 6.0% $859,100 $109,799
17 Mountain View 78,827 4.7% $973,000 $109,249
18 Scotts Valley 11,824 5.9% $654,600 $104,150
19 Fremont 227,934 5.3% $702,800 $111,613
20 Santa Clara 122,725 5.2% $734,500 $102,533
21 Livermore 86,493 4.6% $595,500 $104,223
22 Capitola 10,109 4.3% $560,500 $73,935
23 Milpitas 73,447 7.3% $635,300 $103,623
24 Newark 44,677 5.7% $547,800 $91,965
25 Morgan Hill 41,839 6.4% $678,900 $100,900
26 Santa Cruz 63,310 8.5% $707,600 $62,471
27 East Palo Alto 29,353 8.1% $515,900 $55,170
28 Gilroy 52,576 7.5% $528,700 $84,351
29 Hayward 154,507 8.0% $404,500 $68,138
30 Watsonville 52,915 8.7% $361,000 $49,487

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