Richest Cities In California For 2020

We analyzed 427 places in California to determine where the 1% live.

Editor’s Note: Data has been updated for 2020. This is our fifth time ranking the richest cities in California.

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You have to be either a trust fund baby, married to a Kardashian, super good at a sport, or a popular movie producer to live in our top ten richest cities in California for 2020.

If you're looking for safe cities and neighborhoods, amazing schools, large green spaces, grand swimming pools, good food, and high-end shopping with paycheck to match, you can stop your search. There are cities in the Sunshine State that have all of these 5-star amenities, and more, because they cater to the California 'one percenters'. Is it like lifestyles of the rich and famous in California's richest cities? Probably. And if you move to cities on our list like, Orinda, you might find yourself living next to notables like Matt Cain or Ken Dorsey.

How does one get their hand on one of these super wealthy cities? Well, a couple of things have to fall in place for you. First off, you need to find a job that pays close to $200,000/year. Might we suggest a job as a contractor in or a tech entrepreneur in our number one richest city, Los Altos Hills? Whether it's building $4.5 millions dollar homes or creating the next robot, we're sure you'll stay busy and wealthy. Secondly, you have to be a hard worker to live in one of our top ten richest cities. Unemployment rates and poverty rates in these California cities, barely reach 4%.

Monetary wealth does make a city rich, but there are cities on our list that are both rich in the dollar as well as rich in amenities. Cities like Palos Verdes Estates and Pleasanton grace the Pacific Coast. And cities like San Ramon and MIll Valley are the playground to San Francisco. These cities have staycation written all over them. This means that you can keep money in your wallet so that you can afford to live in the fancy cities.

To take a closer look at the wealthiest cities in California for 2020, warm up your yacht, head to the sunny side of Half Moon Beach, and read on.

To narrow down the richest cities in California, we looked at several factors: poverty rate, median household income, unemployment rate; and obviously, where the richest of the rich live. The cities also had to have a population of at least 5,000.

This left us with 427 cities in the largest state, most populous state, in the country.

What is the richest city in California? Drum roll -- the wealthiest city in California for 2020 is Tiburon.

So, if you care about living where there are great jobs and wealthy people, take a look the list below. The Golden State is calling.

Rich people not your cup of tea? Feel free to check out some more reading about California:

The 10 Richest Cities In California For 2020

Tiburon, CA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 9,151
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 10)
Median Income: $163,865
Unemployment Rate: 2.8%
Poverty Rate: 2.6%
More on Tiburon: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Tiburon is an incorporated town in Marin County, California. It is located on the Tiburon Peninsula, which reaches south into the San Francisco Bay. The smaller city of Belvedere occupies the south-west part of the peninsula and is contiguous with Tiburon. Tiburon is bordered by Corte Madera to the north and Mill Valley to the west, but is otherwise mostly surrounded by the Bay. Besides Belvedere and Tiburon, much of the peninsula is unincorporated, including portions of the north side and the communities of Strawberry and Paradise Cay.

Piedmont, CA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 11,308
Rank Last Year: 14 (Up 12)
Median Income: $210,889
Unemployment Rate: 3.0%
Poverty Rate: 2.7%
More on Piedmont: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Piedmont is a small, mostly-residential, semi-suburban city located in Alameda County, California, United States. Piedmont is completely surrounded by the city of Oakland. Its residential population was 10,667 at the 2010 census. The name comes after the region of Piedmont in Italy, and literally means foothill. Piedmont was incorporated in 1907, and was developed significantly in the 1920s and 1930s. The Piedmont Unified School District includes three elementary schools, one middle school, and two high schools.

Clayton, CA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 11,967
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 4)
Median Income: $152,581
Unemployment Rate: 2.8%
Poverty Rate: 2.3%
More on Clayton: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Clayton is a city in Contra Costa County, California, United States. The population was 10,897 as of the 2010 census.

Los Altos Hills, CA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 8,517
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 3)
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 an incorporated town in Santa Clara County, California, United States.

The Los Altos Hills ZIP code 94022 appeared on the 2017 Forbes list of America's most expensive ZIP codes; 94022 was ranked the 3rd most expensive in the United States, with a median home price of $7,755,000.

Los Altos Hills has a ban on commercial zones, which was upheld by the California Court of Appeal in 1973. The town's two retail commercial operations are the book store on the campus of Foothill College and the gift shop on the grounds of the Immaculate Heart Monastery of the Poor Clare Colettines. The town does not have a post office or library, with mail delivery provided from nearby Los Altos.

Orinda, CA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 19,431
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Median Income: $210,288
Unemployment Rate: 3.6%
Poverty Rate: 2.6%
More on Orinda: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Orinda is a city in Contra Costa County, California, United States. The population was 17,643 at the 2010 census, and was estimated in 2012 to have increased to 18,342. Orinda was ranked the second most friendly town in America by Forbes. The city is located just east of the city of Berkeley and is home to many affluent suburban professionals who commute to downtown Oakland, San Francisco, and Walnut Creek. Its location provides for a more rustic landscape, and Orinda's many parks and trails make it a destination for many Bay Area hikers and naturalists.

San Ramon, CA

Source: Public domain
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Population: 75,384
Rank Last Year: 6 (No Change)
Median Income: $151,026
Unemployment Rate: 3.2%
Poverty Rate: 3.6%
More on San Ramon: Real Estate | Data | Photos

San Ramon is a city in Contra Costa County, California, United States, located 34 miles east of San Francisco, and within the San Ramon Valley. San Ramon's population was estimated as 76,134 in mid-2015 by the US Census Bureau, making it the 4th largest city in Contra Costa County, behind Richmond, Concord and Antioch.

Mill Valley, CA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 14,343
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 2)
Median Income: $158,839
Unemployment Rate: 2.5%
Poverty Rate: 4.7%
More on Mill Valley: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Mill Valley is a city in Marin County, California, United States, located about 14 miles north of San Francisco via the Golden Gate Bridge. The population was 13,903 at the 2010 census.

Danville, CA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 44,417
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 5)
Median Income: $152,714
Unemployment Rate: 3.6%
Poverty Rate: 3.3%
More on Danville: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The Town of Danville is located in the San Ramon Valley in Contra Costa County, California. It is one of the incorporated municipalities in California that uses "town" in its name instead of "city". The population was 42,039 in 2010.

Pleasanton, CA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 80,847
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 1)
Median Income: $148,852
Unemployment Rate: 3.0%
Poverty Rate: 4.0%
More on Pleasanton: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Pleasanton is a city in Alameda County, California, incorporated in 1894. It is a suburb in the San Francisco Bay Area located about 25 miles east of Oakland, and 6 miles west of Livermore. The population was 70,285 at the 2010 census. In 2005 and 2007, Pleasanton was ranked the wealthiest middle-sized city in the United States by the Census Bureau. Pleasanton is home to the headquarters of Workday, Ellie Mae, Roche Molecular Diagnostics, Blackhawk Network Holdings, and Veeva Systems. Other major employers include Kaiser Permanente, Safeway, Oracle, Nordstrom and Macy's. Although Oakland is the Alameda County seat, a few county offices and a courthouse are located in Pleasanton. The Alameda County Fairgrounds are located in Pleasanton, where the county fair is held during the last week of June and the first week of July. Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park is located on the west side of town.

Los Altos, CA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 30,588
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 8)
Median Income: $215,339
Unemployment Rate: 3.7%
Poverty Rate: 3.4%
More on Los Altos: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Los Altos is a city in Santa Clara County, California, in northern Silicon Valley, in the San Francisco Bay Area. The population was 28,976 according to the 2010 census.

How We Determined The Richest Places In California For 2020

Map Of The Richest Places To Live In California
The first thing that comes to most people's minds when they think about determining the richest places is to simply identify personal incomes. After all, rich people have really high salaries.

However, we don't believe that one statistic wholly encompasses what it means to be one of the "richest places". So we looked at this set of criteria from the newly released 2014-2018 American Community Survey:

  • Poverty Level
  • Median Household Income
  • Unemployment Rate

Median household income is the most digestible way to understand how rich a place really is. The unemployment rate tries to capture the prospects for more people to become rich. If more people are employed, the richer the future looks.

After we collected the data for all 427 places with more than 5,000 people in California, we ranked each place from 1 to 427 for each of the criteria, with 1 being the richest.

We then averaged all the rankings for a place into a "Rich Score" with the place having the lowest overall Rich Score, Tiburon, crowned the "Richest City In California For 2020". You can download the data here.

You can learn more about the top ten below or skip to the end to see the rankings for all 427 places.

There You Have It - The Wealthiest Places In California For 2020

Like we said earlier, when we set out to identify the richest places in California, we weren't sure what we'd encounter, but it ended up being some of the best places to live in California.

When you look at the data, the cities and places mentioned above meet the criteria for being at the very top of the income ladder for everyone that lives there.

If you're curious enough, here are the poorest cities in California, according to data:

Poorest: Mendota
2nd Poorest: Orange Cove
3rd Poorest: Huron

For more California reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Richest Cities In California

Rank City RichScore Median Income
1 Tiburon 8.67 $163,865
2 Piedmont 9.0 $210,889
3 Clayton 10.33 $152,581
4 Los Altos Hills 11.0 $250,001
5 Orinda 14.67 $210,288
6 San Ramon 20.0 $151,026
7 Mill Valley 20.33 $158,839
8 Danville 21.0 $152,714
9 Pleasanton 21.0 $148,852
10 Los Altos 22.33 $215,339
11 Foster City 23.0 $152,446
12 San Carlos 24.67 $169,640
13 Half Moon Bay 26.67 $122,691
14 Moraga 29.67 $149,781
15 Dublin 30.67 $144,564
16 Palos Verdes Estates 31.0 $175,000
17 Hillsborough 31.67 $250,001
18 Rancho Santa Margarita 32.0 $115,073
19 Rancho Palos Verdes 36.0 $133,286
20 Woodside 37.0 $247,250
21 Hermosa Beach 37.33 $137,188
22 Lafayette 39.67 $157,453
23 Palo Alto 39.67 $157,120
24 Westlake Village 39.67 $141,979
25 Atherton 40.67 $250,001
26 Belmont 43.33 $135,342
27 Campbell 43.67 $119,366
28 Livermore 45.0 $116,942
29 Saratoga 45.33 $176,641
30 Fairfax 45.67 $107,582
31 Pacifica 48.0 $115,602
32 Hercules 49.33 $110,476
33 Agoura Hills 49.67 $121,896
34 Scotts Valley 49.67 $106,086
35 Yorba Linda 50.33 $129,391
36 Fremont 50.67 $127,374
37 Millbrae 51.0 $120,565
38 Newport Beach 51.67 $122,709
39 Solana Beach 52.0 $105,821
40 Folsom 54.33 $109,762
41 Buellton 56.0 $83,023
42 Sausalito 56.0 $112,964
43 Corte Madera 56.67 $147,587
44 Newark 58.33 $108,181
45 Los Gatos 58.67 $140,395
46 Mountain View 60.67 $128,252
47 Aliso Viejo 62.0 $108,558
48 Manhattan Beach 64.0 $150,083
49 Redondo Beach 64.0 $112,271
50 Menlo Park 66.33 $147,824
51 Rolling Hills Estates 66.33 $143,873
52 Cupertino 68.0 $163,954
53 Sunnyvale 69.67 $131,791
54 Pismo Beach 69.67 $88,003
55 Larkspur 70.33 $101,754
56 San Marino 71.0 $159,509
57 Carlsbad 71.67 $107,172
58 San Anselmo 72.0 $125,189
59 Morgan Hill 72.67 $119,753
60 San Mateo 73.0 $115,167
61 Milpitas 75.67 $125,161
62 Mission Viejo 75.67 $114,688
63 Santa Clara 76.33 $116,257
64 Union City 76.67 $105,448
65 Burlingame 76.67 $122,999
66 San Bruno 77.33 $102,101
67 Calabasas 78.33 $119,926
68 South San Francisco 78.67 $96,930
69 Malibu 79.67 $147,934
70 Moorpark 81.0 $104,839
71 Canyon Lake 83.0 $97,237
72 San Clemente 83.33 $105,812
73 La Habra Heights 84.0 $111,551
74 Encinitas 85.33 $113,175
75 Benicia 86.0 $99,018
76 Redwood City 88.33 $107,469
77 Cypress 90.0 $92,098
78 Pleasant Hill 91.67 $110,137
79 St. Helena 92.67 $87,800
80 Healdsburg 92.67 $90,300
81 Walnut 94.0 $104,096
82 La Palma 94.67 $98,788
83 Villa Park 95.67 $145,250
84 Coronado 96.67 $101,520
85 Novato 97.0 $96,743
86 Atascadero 99.0 $79,610
87 Rocklin 99.0 $97,508
88 Dana Point 99.67 $97,519
89 Walnut Creek 101.33 $96,851
90 Arroyo Grande 101.67 $80,615
91 Alameda 101.67 $98,150
92 Windsor 102.67 $99,792
93 Laguna Niguel 103.33 $103,910
94 San Dimas 103.67 $84,749
95 Lake Forest 104.67 $104,449
96 Martinez 105.33 $102,966
97 San Juan Capistrano 105.67 $87,353
98 Camarillo 107.67 $92,913
99 Thousand Oaks 108.0 $105,485
100 Lincoln 109.33 $81,417

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.

One thought on “Richest Cities In California For 2020

  1. i dont understand one thing. Why do so a many people that write articles not know the difference between wealth and income? So many people in California live on trusts and have no real job, but they have 100 milliion dollars or more in their bank account. Why do you all confuse Wealth and Income? One has absolutely nothing to do with the other.

    I am looking for information on “Which counties in CA are the WEALTHIEST. I have not interest whatsoever in the yearly income. If you know where I can find that, I would appreciate your passing it along.

    Thank you!

    Kelly Hill

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