These Are The 10 Richest Cities In California For 2018


We analyzed over 641 places in California to determine where the 1% live.

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Los Altos, Mill Valley, Los Altos Hills: These cities aren’t just some of the best places to live in California. They are also home to some of the richest people in the Golden State.

Los Altos in particular houses the richest residents in the state thanks, in part, to a median household income of $187,656 and a ridiculously low poverty rate of 3.3%.

If you’re thinking of moving to one of these towns, you’ll probably need to start saving. The richest places in California share common characteristics such as having a genius level populous, sky high home prices, and a Pleasantville level of married couples.

How did we come up with these mega wealthy cities? We analyzed Census data from the 2012-2016 American Community Survey for the 427 places in California with more than 5,000 people.

At the end of the day, here’s the set of the 10 richest places in California for 2018:

  1. Los Altos (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  2. Mill Valley (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  3. Los Altos Hills (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  4. Tiburon (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  5. Woodside (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  6. Orinda (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  7. San Ramon (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  8. Piedmont (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  9. Palos Verdes Estates (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  10. Dublin (Photos | Homes For Sale)

For more on how we calculated the top ten, read on or skip to the end for the full list of the richest cities in California.

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

How We Determined The Richest Places In California For 2018

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 2012-2016 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, Los Altos, crowned the “Richest Place In California For 2018”.

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

Los Altos, CA

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 30,238.0
Median Income: $187,656.0
Unemployment Rate: 3.2%
Poverty Rate: 3.3%
More on Los Altos: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Los Altos /ls æltos/ ( listen) 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.

Mill Valley, CA

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 14,318.0
Median Income: $149,336.0
Unemployment Rate: 2.6%
Poverty Rate: 3.5%
More on Mill Valley: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Mill Valley is a city in Marin County, California, United States, located about 14 miles (23 km) north of San Francisco via the Golden Gate Bridge. The population was 13,903 at the 2010 census.

Los Altos Hills, CA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 8,376.0
Median Income: $243,701.0
Unemployment Rate: 3.5%
Poverty Rate: 4.2%
More on Los Altos Hills: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Tiburon, CA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 9,170.0
Median Income: $149,510.0
Unemployment Rate: 3.9%
Poverty Rate: 3.6%
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 (formerly a separate island) 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.

Woodside, CA

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 5,496.0
Median Income: $223,934.0
Unemployment Rate: 3.4%
Poverty Rate: 4.6%
More on Woodside: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Orinda, CA

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 18,936.0
Median Income: $178,704.0
Unemployment Rate: 4.6%
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
Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 74,366.0
Median Income: $134,188.0
Unemployment Rate: 3.9%
Poverty Rate: 3.9%
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.

Piedmont, CA

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 11,201.0
Median Income: $202,083.0
Unemployment Rate: 3.7%
Poverty Rate: 5.0%
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 (PUSD) includes three elementary schools, one middle school, and two high schools.

Palos Verdes Estates, CA

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 13,582.0
Median Income: $200,766.0
Unemployment Rate: 2.0%
Poverty Rate: 5.5%
More on Palos Verdes Estates: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Palos Verdes Estates is a city in Los Angeles County, California, United States, situated on the Palos Verdes Peninsula. The city was master-planned by the noted American landscape architect and planner Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. The city is located along the Southern California coastline of the Pacific Ocean.

Dublin, CA

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 54,523.0
Median Income: $128,403.0
Unemployment Rate: 4.0%
Poverty Rate: 4.3%
More on Dublin: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Dublin (formerly, Amador and Dougherty’s Station) is a suburban city of the East (San Francisco) Bay and Tri-Valley regions of Alameda County, California, United States. Located along the north side of Interstate 580 at the intersection with Interstate 680, roughly 35 miles (56 km) east of downtown San Francisco, 23 miles (37 km) east of downtown Oakland, and 31 miles (50 km) north of downtown San Jose, it was named after the city of Dublin in Ireland.[citation needed] Dublin is the second fastest-growing city in the state of California, behind only Santa Clarita. The population was 46,063 (2010 census), and the 2013 estimate at 49,890. Dublin is home to the headquarters of Sybase, Inc (now part of SAP SE), CallidusCloud, Ross Stores, Tria Beauty, Medley Health, Challenge Dairy and Arlen Ness.

There You Have It – The Wealthiest Places In California For 2018

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: Adelanto
3rd Poorest: Clearlake

For more California reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Richest Cities In California

Rank City RichScore Median Income
1 Los Altos 5.67 $187,656
2 Mill Valley 7.17 $149,336
3 Los Altos Hills 9.83 $243,701
4 Tiburon 11.33 $149,510
5 Woodside 13.33 $223,934
6 Orinda 15.0 $178,704
7 San Ramon 16.67 $134,188
8 Piedmont 19.33 $202,083
9 Palos Verdes Estates 19.83 $200,766
10 Dublin 22.0 $128,403
11 Pleasanton 22.83 $130,170
12 Danville 22.83 $146,603
13 Corte Madera 24.33 $125,915
14 Rancho Palos Verdes 25.0 $120,668
15 Hillsborough 25.17 $216,292
16 Manhattan Beach 25.5 $144,868
17 Rolling Hills Estates 27.17 $129,728
18 Hermosa Beach 27.5 $121,345
19 Rancho Santa Margarita 28.0 $104,556
20 La Habra Heights 30.5 $110,329
21 Foster City 32.5 $129,733
22 Half Moon Bay 34.5 $106,211
23 Saratoga 35.67 $169,579
24 Lafayette 36.33 $142,977
25 San Carlos 37.33 $135,220
26 Belmont 37.83 $120,169
27 Palo Alto 39.17 $137,043
28 Los Gatos 39.83 $127,278
29 Atherton 42.17 $250,000
30 Pacifica 42.83 $103,545
31 Livermore 44.67 $104,223
32 Clayton 45.0 $136,946
33 Moraga 47.33 $136,336
34 Fairfax 47.5 $99,438
35 Solana Beach 47.5 $100,352
36 Campbell 49.0 $103,704
37 Fremont 49.0 $111,613
38 San Marino 49.5 $139,792
39 Menlo Park 52.17 $126,045
40 Hercules 53.5 $103,044
41 Scotts Valley 53.83 $104,150
42 Millbrae 54.33 $98,533
43 Agoura Hills 54.5 $114,313
44 Folsom 55.17 $102,692
45 Westlake Village 55.5 $130,272
46 Redondo Beach 57.67 $103,782
47 Mission Viejo 57.67 $104,886
48 Yorba Linda 58.0 $119,697
49 Aliso Viejo 59.17 $103,261
50 Calabasas 59.33 $111,111
51 Newport Beach 59.5 $115,845
52 Burlingame 60.33 $102,443
53 Cupertino 61.17 $147,929
54 Larkspur 62.33 $91,848
55 Poway 65.33 $98,859
56 Sierra Madre 65.5 $95,256
57 Buellton 70.33 $71,932
58 Mountain View 71.17 $109,249
59 Sunnyvale 73.33 $109,799
60 San Bruno 73.5 $89,000
61 Sausalito 74.67 $116,325
62 San Clemente 77.67 $97,210
63 Santa Clara 78.0 $102,533
64 Camarillo 78.33 $88,125
65 San Anselmo 78.5 $107,818
66 Cypress 78.5 $84,469
67 Pacific Grove 81.0 $81,304
68 Lake Forest 81.33 $92,415
69 Coronado 81.33 $92,413
70 San Mateo 82.17 $95,667
71 Cerritos 82.17 $95,373
72 Newark 82.67 $91,965
73 Novato 83.67 $83,895
74 Encinitas 83.67 $100,698
75 Redwood City 85.5 $90,461
76 Moorpark 86.17 $100,457
77 Simi Valley 87.33 $91,196
78 Laguna Niguel 89.0 $97,894
79 Martinez 90.83 $93,874
80 Pismo Beach 92.17 $75,978
81 Cloverdale 92.83 $64,144
82 Carlsbad 94.33 $97,145
83 Windsor 96.33 $86,192
84 Pleasant Hill 97.67 $93,476
85 Benicia 98.17 $87,011
86 Malibu 99.67 $116,904
87 Laguna Hills 101.5 $92,690
88 Laguna Beach 102.0 $100,506
89 Chino Hills 102.67 $97,222
90 Walnut 103.0 $97,345
91 Morgan Hill 103.17 $100,900
92 Brea 104.0 $85,555
93 Arroyo Grande 104.83 $64,261
94 Villa Park 107.0 $131,386
95 Dana Point 108.33 $83,913
96 Monterey 108.83 $68,511
97 Mammoth Lakes 109.67 $60,899
98 Goleta 110.67 $81,398
99 Walnut Creek 111.0 $82,848
100 La Palma 111.67 $83,760

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