Most Diverse Cities In California For 2020


We used data and science to determine the most diverse cities in California.

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the most diverse places in California.


Most Diverse Cities In California

Article continues below.

Race relations in America seem to be hitting a tipping point.

While we still haven't dealt with racism as a society, the election of Donald Trump to the presidency has only flamed the tensions that have been mounting for years.

Part of the reason for that tension? The country as a whole continues to self segregate across race, income, and party lines. But it's not all bad on the race relations front.

There are parts of California where there's a high level of diversity -- where people of all walks of life come together. We decided to shine a light on those places today.

Using a standard measure of diversity, we ranked all 427 cities in California from most to least diverse.

Here are the 10 most diverse places in California for 2020:

  1. Vallejo (Photos)
  2. Suisun City (Photos)
  3. Oakland (Photos)
  4. Fairfield (Photos)
  5. Sacramento (Photos)
  6. Pinole (Photos)
  7. Elk Grove (Photos)
  8. Marina (Photos)
  9. Antioch (Photos)
  10. Loma Linda (Photos)

So what city is the most diverse in California? According to the most Census data, Vallejo took the number one over all spot for diversity in California.

Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers and how your town ranked. To see where California ranked as a state, we have a ranking of the most diverse states in Ameria.

And if you already knew these places were diverse, check out:

The 10 Most Diverse Places In California For 2020

Vallejo, CA

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 120,977

HHI: 2,218
% White: 24.2%
% African American: 20.4%
% Asian: 23.2%
More on Vallejo: PhotosData

Vallejo oh; Spanish: ) is a waterfront city in Solano County, California, located in the North Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area. Vallejo is geographically the closest North Bay city to the inner East Bay, so it is sometimes mistakenly associated with that region. The population was 115,942 at the 2010 census. It is the tenth most populous city in the San Francisco Bay Area, and the largest in Solano County. Vallejo sits on the northeastern shore of San Pablo Bay, 30 miles north of San Francisco, the northwestern shore of the Carquinez Strait and the southern end of the Napa River, 15 miles south of Napa. The city is named after General Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo, a native Californio, leading proponent of California's statehood, and one of the first members of the California State Senate; the neighboring city of Benicia is named for his wife, Francisca Benicia Carrillo de Vallejo.

Suisun City, CA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 29,379

HHI: 2,262
% White: 28.6%
% African American: 20.3%
% Asian: 19.9%
More on Suisun City: PhotosData

Suisun City is a city in Solano County, California, United States. The population was 28,111 at the 2010 census. The city takes its name from the adjacent Suisun Bay, which in turn is named for the Suisunes, an indigenous tribe of the area.

Oakland, CA

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 421,042

HHI: 2,315
% White: 28.2%
% African American: 23.1%
% Asian: 15.6%
More on Oakland: PhotosData

Oakland is the largest city and the county seat of Alameda County, California, United States. A major West Coast port city, Oakland is the largest city in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area, the third largest city overall in the San Francisco Bay Area, the eighth most populated city in California, and the 45th largest city in the United States. With a population of 419,267 as of 2015, it serves as a trade center for the San Francisco Bay Area; its Port of Oakland is the busiest port in the San Francisco Bay, the entirety of Northern California, and the fifth busiest in the United States of America. The city was incorporated in 1852.

Fairfield, CA

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 114,101

HHI: 2,396
% White: 31.3%
% African American: 14.1%
% Asian: 17.1%
More on Fairfield: PhotosData

Fairfield is a city in, and the county seat of, Solano County, California, in the North Bay sub-region of the San Francisco Bay Area. It is generally considered the midpoint between the cities of San Francisco and Sacramento, approximately 40 miles from the city center of both cities, approximately 40 miles from the city center of Oakland, less than 19 miles from Napa Valley, 16 miles from the Carquinez Bridge, and 14 miles from the Benicia Bridge. Fairfield was founded in 1856 by clippership captain Robert H. Waterman, and named after his former hometown of Fairfield, Connecticut.

Sacramento, CA

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 495,011

HHI: 2,416
% White: 32.5%
% African American: 13.0%
% Asian: 18.6%
More on Sacramento: PhotosData

Sacramento is the capital city of the U.S. state of California and the seat of Sacramento County. It is at the confluence of the Sacramento River and the American River in the northern portion of California's expansive Central Valley, known as the Sacramento Valley. Its estimated 2016 population of 493,025 makes it the sixth-largest city in California, the fastest-growing big city in the state, and the 35th largest city in the United States. Sacramento is the cultural and economic core of the Sacramento metropolitan area, which includes seven counties with a 2010 population of 2,414,783. Its metropolitan area is the fourth largest in California after the Greater Los Angeles area, the San Francisco Bay Area, and the San Diego metropolitan area, and is the 27th largest in the United States. In 2002, the Civil Rights Project at Harvard University conducted for Time magazine named Sacramento "America's Most Diverse City".

Pinole, CA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 19,264

HHI: 2,446
% White: 33.3%
% African American: 9.8%
% Asian: 26.7%
More on Pinole: PhotosData

Pinole is a city in Contra Costa County, California, United States. The population was 18,390 at the 2010 census.

Elk Grove, CA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 168,503

HHI: 2,480
% White: 34.8%
% African American: 10.9%
% Asian: 28.0%
More on Elk Grove: PhotosData

Elk Grove is a city in Sacramento County, California, located just south of the state capital of Sacramento. It is part of the Sacramento-Arden-Arcade-Roseville Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of 2015, the population of the city was estimated at 167,965. The second-largest city in Sacramento County, Elk Grove was the fastest growing city in the U.S. between July 1, 2004, and July 1, 2005.

Marina, CA

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 21,608

HHI: 2,501
% White: 34.1%
% African American: 7.5%
% Asian: 18.5%
More on Marina: PhotosData

Marina is a city in Monterey County, California, United States. The United States Census Bureau estimated its 2013 population at 20,370. Marina is located along the central coast of California, 8 miles west of Salinas, and 8 miles north of Monterey. Marina is also connected to Monterey, California by California State Route 1, which also connects it with Santa Cruz, California, after driving for about 35 miles. Marina is at an elevation of 43 feet. Marina was incorporated in 1975 and is the newest city on the Monterey Peninsula. The city includes part of the California State University, Monterey Bay campus, the UCMBEST branch research center of UC Santa Cruz, and the Veterans Transition Center. In 2012, Marina was named one of the 100 Best Community for Young People by America's Promise Alliance. The Fort Ord Station Veterinary Hospital, built in 1941 to provide healthcare for U.S. Army horses and mules, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2014. This is the first such official recognition on old Fort Ord.

Antioch, CA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 110,730

HHI: 2,505
% White: 29.0%
% African American: 19.8%
% Asian: 10.6%
More on Antioch: PhotosData

Antioch is a city in Contra Costa County, California, United States. Located in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area along the San Joaquin-Sacramento River Delta, it is a suburb of San Francisco and Oakland. The city's population was 102,372 at the 2010 census and estimated to be 110,542 in 2015.

Loma Linda, CA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 24,078

HHI: 2,536
% White: 33.5%
% African American: 11.4%
% Asian: 25.7%
More on Loma Linda: PhotosData

Loma Linda is a city in San Bernardino County, California, United States, that was incorporated in 1970. The population was 23,261 at the 2010 census, up from 18,681 at the 2000 census. The central area of the city was originally known as Mound City; its eastern half was originally the unincorporated community of Bryn Mawr.

How we determined the most diverse cities in California for 2020

We still believe in the accuracy of data -- especially from the census. So that's where we went to get the breakdown of race across California.

That lead us to the Census's most recently available data, the 2014-2018 American Community Survey data from the US Census.

Specifically, we looked at table B03002: HISPANIC OR LATINO ORIGIN BY RACE. Here are the category names as defined by the Census:

  • White alone*
  • Black or African American alone*
  • American Indian and Alaska Native alone*
  • Asian alone*
  • Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone*
  • Some other race alone*
  • Two or more races*
  • Hispanic or Latino
* Not hispanic or latino

We limited our analysis to non-CDPs with a population greater than 5,000 people. That left us with 427 cities.

We then calculated the HHI for each city by finding the racial breakdown of a city in percent terms, squaring them, and then adding the squares together. This left us with scores ranging from 2,218 (Vallejo) to 9,601 (Maywood).

Finally, we ranked each city based on the HHI with a lower score being more diverse than a high score. Vallejo took the distinction of being the most diverse, while Maywood was the least diverse city. You can download the data here.

Read on for more information on how the cities in California ranked for diversity or, for a more general take on diversity in america, head over to our ranking of the most diverse cities in America.

There You Have It - Diversity Across California

If you're looking for a scientific breakdown of diversity across California, this is an accurate list.

If you're curious enough, here are the least diverse places in California:

  1. Maywood
  2. Parlier
  3. Coachella

For more California reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Most Diverse Cities In California For 2020

Rank City Population HHI
1 Vallejo, CA 120,977 2,218
2 Suisun City, CA 29,379 2,262
3 Oakland, CA 421,042 2,315
4 Fairfield, CA 114,101 2,396
5 Sacramento, CA 495,011 2,416
6 Pinole, CA 19,264 2,446
7 Elk Grove, CA 168,503 2,480
8 Marina, CA 21,608 2,501
9 Antioch, CA 110,730 2,505
10 Loma Linda, CA 24,078 2,536
11 San Leandro, CA 90,103 2,573
12 Signal Hill, CA 11,538 2,584
13 American Canyon, CA 20,306 2,627
14 Pittsburg, CA 70,492 2,656
15 Richmond, CA 109,340 2,664
16 Gardena, CA 59,924 2,714
17 Hayward, CA 158,241 2,725
18 Carson, CA 92,517 2,740
19 San Bruno, CA 43,114 2,773
20 Stockton, CA 306,283 2,790
21 Eastvale, CA 61,337 2,803
22 Newark, CA 46,276 2,808
23 Lakewood, CA 80,771 2,831
24 California City, CA 13,646 2,834
25 Pasadena, CA 141,246 2,845
26 Emeryville, CA 11,724 2,858
27 Chino Hills, CA 79,298 2,887
28 Hercules, CA 25,343 2,896
29 Long Beach, CA 468,883 2,925
30 San Jose, CA 1,026,658 2,951
31 Lathrop, CA 21,393 2,955
32 Tracy, CA 88,806 2,982
33 Cypress, CA 48,955 3,004
34 Alameda, CA 78,462 3,006
35 Seaside, CA 34,077 3,013
36 San Mateo, CA 104,035 3,022
37 Lancaster, CA 159,662 3,024
38 Rancho Cucamonga, CA 175,679 3,038
39 Fullerton, CA 139,866 3,039
40 Buena Park, CA 82,781 3,040
41 Barstow, CA 23,812 3,061
42 Culver City, CA 39,295 3,063
43 San Diego, CA 1,401,932 3,065
44 San Francisco, CA 870,044 3,076
45 Torrance, CA 146,392 3,093
46 South Pasadena, CA 25,824 3,095
47 South San Francisco, CA 67,294 3,110
48 Lomita, CA 20,628 3,116
49 Yuba City, CA 66,388 3,121
50 Los Alamitos, CA 11,628 3,136
51 Monrovia, CA 37,006 3,136
52 Tustin, CA 80,140 3,157
53 Rancho Cordova, CA 72,056 3,161
54 Santa Clara, CA 126,209 3,166
55 La Palma, CA 15,733 3,170
56 Albany, CA 19,758 3,201
57 Artesia, CA 16,817 3,222
58 La Mirada, CA 48,974 3,253
59 Lemon Grove, CA 26,767 3,256
60 Brea, CA 42,330 3,264
61 El Cerrito, CA 25,203 3,276
62 West Sacramento, CA 52,826 3,281
63 Mountain View, CA 80,993 3,299
64 Oakley, CA 40,669 3,332
65 Sunnyvale, CA 152,323 3,374
66 Los Angeles, CA 3,959,657 3,380
67 Corona, CA 165,355 3,383
68 Placentia, CA 52,049 3,389
69 Redwood City, CA 85,217 3,393
70 Duarte, CA 21,713 3,394
71 Garden Grove, CA 174,010 3,395
72 Dublin, CA 59,172 3,402
73 Fresno, CA 522,277 3,406
74 Claremont, CA 36,025 3,411
75 Susanville, CA 15,216 3,414
76 Vacaville, CA 97,943 3,431
77 San Dimas, CA 34,239 3,440
78 Manteca, CA 77,073 3,450
79 Beaumont, CA 45,403 3,473
80 Murrieta, CA 111,427 3,492
81 Stanton, CA 38,509 3,500
82 Fountain Valley, CA 56,372 3,514
83 Lemoore, CA 25,791 3,516
84 Chino, CA 87,735 3,521
85 Berkeley, CA 120,926 3,523
86 Santa Clarita, CA 209,478 3,523
87 Concord, CA 128,758 3,523
88 Upland, CA 76,382 3,525
89 Brentwood, CA 60,446 3,533
90 Westminster, CA 91,417 3,552
91 Irvine, CA 265,502 3,558
92 Banning, CA 30,942 3,566
93 Campbell, CA 42,470 3,572
94 Pacifica, CA 39,065 3,592
95 San Marcos, CA 94,709 3,592
96 Millbrae, CA 22,703 3,620
97 Hawthorne, CA 87,370 3,626
98 Union City, CA 74,601 3,635
99 Oceanside, CA 175,389 3,642
100 Redlands, CA 71,012 3,652

How Is The Area 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.