Best Sunnyvale Suburbs To Live For 2020

We analyzed over 43 places around Sunnyvale to identify the most kickass place to live.

Editor’s Note: Data has been updated for 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the best Sunnyvale 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 Sunnyvale 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 Sunnyvale? Los Altos ranks as the best suburb of Sunnyvale for 2020 based on the most recent Census and FBI data. 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 Sunnyvale '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 Sunnyvale Suburbs To Live For 2020

Los Altos, CA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 30,588
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Income: $215,339
Unemployment Rate: 3.7%
Poverty Rate: 3.4%
More on Los Altos: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Los Altos is always mentioned as one of the best suburbs in the Sunnyvale area. We'll tell you the good about "Awesome Los Altos."

Everyone here is rich; families average $215,339 a year, which is the 6th highest in the Sunnyvale region. And only 3.71% are out of work. Homes average more than $2,000,001 each.

Los Altos Hills, CA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 8,517
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Income: $250,001
Unemployment Rate: 2.8%
Poverty Rate: 3.9%
More on Los Altos Hills: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Los Altos Hills is the second best 'burb we looked at near Sunnyvale for 2020.

It ranks 2nd for incomes in the area and only 0.69% of residents lack insurance, good for 1st best.

Monte Sereno, CA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 3,492
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Median Income: $250,001
Unemployment Rate: 3.9%
Poverty Rate: 1.2%
More on Monte Sereno: Real Estate | Data | Photos

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

San Carlos, CA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 30,080
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 1)
Median Income: $169,640
Unemployment Rate: 3.9%
Poverty Rate: 2.9%
More on San Carlos: Real Estate | Data | Photos

San Carlos ranks as the 4th best suburb of Sunnyvale for 2020.

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.

Atherton, CA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 7,185
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 5)
Median Income: $250,001
Unemployment Rate: 4.5%
Poverty Rate: 3.4%
More on Atherton: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Coming in as the fifth best is Atherton.

Atherton gets kudos for having the 5th most expensive homes in the Sunnyvale area, where houses sell for an average of $2,000,001. However, the cost of living here is among the highest in the area.

Danville, CA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 44,417
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 2)
Median Income: $152,714
Unemployment Rate: 3.6%
Poverty Rate: 3.3%
More on Danville: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Danville 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 3.57% which is 9th best in the area.

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

San Ramon, CA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 75,384
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 2)
Median Income: $151,026
Unemployment Rate: 3.2%
Poverty Rate: 3.6%
More on San Ramon: Real Estate | Data | Photos

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

San Ramon 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 26.6 miles to downtown, which is a good thing.

Hillsborough, CA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 11,439
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 1)
Median Income: $250,001
Unemployment Rate: 4.3%
Poverty Rate: 2.7%
More on Hillsborough: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Hillsborough 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 1.99% of people lack insurance, good for 10th in the area.

Portola Valley, CA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 4,594
Rank Last Year: 8 (Down 1)
Median Income: $210,625
Unemployment Rate: 5.2%
Poverty Rate: 2.5%
More on Portola Valley: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Is 'Everything Better In Portola Valley?'


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.

Belmont, CA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 27,110
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 3)
Median Income: $135,342
Unemployment Rate: 4.0%
Poverty Rate: 4.2%
More on Belmont: Real Estate | Data | Photos

And rounding out the top ten for 2020 is Belmont.

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 Sunnyvale for 2020

Figuring out the best suburbs around Sunnyvale 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 Sunnyvale.

Additionally, we limited the analysis to places that have over 3,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 43 suburbs to evaluate around Sunnyvale.

We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 43 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 Sunnyvale." We're lookin' at you, Los Altos. 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 Sunnyvale '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 Sunnyvale, 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 Sunnyvale Suburbs

Rank City Population Median Income
1 Los Altos, CA 30,588 $215,339
2 Los Altos Hills, CA 8,517 $250,001
3 Monte Sereno, CA 3,492 $250,001
4 San Carlos, CA 30,080 $169,640
5 Atherton, CA 7,185 $250,001
6 Danville, CA 44,417 $152,714
7 San Ramon, CA 75,384 $151,026
8 Hillsborough, CA 11,439 $250,001
9 Portola Valley, CA 4,594 $210,625
10 Belmont, CA 27,110 $135,342
11 Palo Alto, CA 67,019 $157,120
12 Saratoga, CA 30,886 $176,641
13 Woodside, CA 5,541 $247,250
14 Pleasanton, CA 80,847 $148,852
15 Cupertino, CA 60,614 $163,954
16 Menlo Park, CA 33,869 $147,824
17 Dublin, CA 59,172 $144,564
18 Millbrae, CA 22,703 $120,565
19 Campbell, CA 42,470 $119,366
20 Scotts Valley, CA 11,900 $106,086
21 Los Gatos, CA 30,922 $140,395
22 Mountain View, CA 80,993 $128,252
23 Burlingame, CA 30,459 $122,999
24 Pacifica, CA 39,065 $115,602
25 San Mateo, CA 104,035 $115,167
26 Santa Clara, CA 126,209 $116,257
27 Fremont, CA 233,083 $127,374
28 Half Moon Bay, CA 12,706 $122,691
29 Livermore, CA 89,027 $116,942
30 South San Francisco, CA 67,294 $96,930
31 San Bruno, CA 43,114 $102,101
32 Milpitas, CA 77,457 $125,161
33 Alameda, CA 78,462 $98,150
34 Newark, CA 46,276 $108,181
35 Morgan Hill, CA 43,876 $119,753
36 Capitola, CA 10,135 $80,090
37 Brisbane, CA 4,692 $110,372
38 Santa Cruz, CA 64,273 $70,102
39 San Jose, CA 1,026,658 $104,234
40 East Palo Alto, CA 29,633 $64,794
41 San Leandro, CA 90,103 $70,723
42 Oakland, CA 421,042 $68,442
43 Hayward, CA 158,241 $80,093

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.

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