These Are The 10 Best San Jose Suburbs For 2019

We analyzed over 30 places around San Jose to identify the most in demand places to live.

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Editor’s Note: Data has been updated for 2019. This is our fourth time ranking the best San Jose 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 San Jose 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 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.

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 San Jose for 2019

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 (2013-2017) 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.

Los Altos, CA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 30,527
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Income: $208,309
Unemployment Rate: 3.8%
Poverty Rate: 3.2%
More on Los Altos: Real Estate | Data | Photos

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 $208,309 a year, which is the 6th highest in the San Jose region. And only 3.8% are out of work. Homes average more than $2,000,000 each.

Monte Sereno, CA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 3,551
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 1)
Median Income: $250,000
Unemployment Rate: 4.6%
Poverty Rate: 2.3%
More on Monte Sereno: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Monte Sereno is the second best ‘burb we looked at near San Jose for 2019.

It ranks 2nd for incomes in the area and only 2.6% of residents lack insurance, good for 8th best.

Los Altos Hills, CA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 8,490
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 1)
Median Income: $248,218
Unemployment Rate: 3.3%
Poverty Rate: 4.2%
More on Los Altos Hills: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Here in Los Altos Hills, 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 Los Altos Hills.

San Carlos, CA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 29,954
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 3)
Median Income: $152,521
Unemployment Rate: 4.9%
Poverty Rate: 2.8%
More on San Carlos: Real Estate | Data | Photos

San Carlos ranks as the 4th best suburb of San Jose for 2019.

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

Woodside, CA

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Population: 5,550
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 1)
Median Income: $250,000
Unemployment Rate: 3.8%
Poverty Rate: 4.3%
More on Woodside: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Coming in as the fifth best is Woodside.

Woodside 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.

Portola Valley, CA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 4,589
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 1)
Median Income: $244,539
Unemployment Rate: 5.7%
Poverty Rate: 2.7%
More on Portola Valley: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Portola Valley 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 5.7% which is 23rd best in the area.

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

Atherton, CA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 7,182
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 2)
Median Income: $250,000
Unemployment Rate: 5.1%
Poverty Rate: 3.5%
More on Atherton: Real Estate | Data | Photos

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

Atherton 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 23.7 miles to downtown, which is a good thing.

Saratoga, CA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 31,013
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 2)
Median Income: $173,136
Unemployment Rate: 4.9%
Poverty Rate: 4.8%
More on Saratoga: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Saratoga 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 5th in the area.

Cupertino, CA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 60,687
Rank Last Year: 9 (No Change)
Median Income: $153,449
Unemployment Rate: 6.2%
Poverty Rate: 4.7%
More on Cupertino: Real Estate | Data | Photos

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.

Pleasanton, CA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 79,341
Rank Last Year: 10 (No Change)
Median Income: $138,269
Unemployment Rate: 3.5%
Poverty Rate: 4.3%
More on Pleasanton: Real Estate | Data | Photos

And rounding out the top ten for 2019 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 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 San Jose, 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 San Jose Suburbs

Rank City Population Median Income
1 Los Altos 30,527 $208,309
2 Monte Sereno 3,551 $250,000
3 Los Altos Hills 8,490 $248,218
4 San Carlos 29,954 $152,521
5 Woodside 5,550 $250,000
6 Portola Valley 4,589 $244,539
7 Atherton 7,182 $250,000
8 Saratoga 31,013 $173,136
9 Cupertino 60,687 $153,449
10 Pleasanton 79,341 $138,269
11 Palo Alto 67,082 $147,537
12 Dublin 57,022 $138,007
13 Menlo Park 33,661 $132,928
14 Los Gatos 30,709 $132,671
15 Campbell 41,164 $108,498
16 Mountain View 80,076 $120,351
17 Sunnyvale 151,565 $118,314
18 Fremont 230,964 $122,191
19 Santa Clara 124,635 $108,609
20 Livermore 88,232 $109,084
21 Scotts Valley 11,892 $101,404
22 Capitola 10,158 $69,016
23 Milpitas 75,498 $110,752
24 Morgan Hill 43,136 $107,161
25 Newark 45,554 $96,817
26 Santa Cruz 63,993 $65,421
27 East Palo Alto 29,646 $58,783
28 Gilroy 54,159 $86,742
29 Hayward 156,917 $74,927
30 Watsonville 53,452 $51,548

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