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 the best places to live in California or the poorest.

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How We Determined The Richest Places In California For 2018

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.

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1. Los Altos

Los Altos, California

Population: 30,238
Median Income: $187,656
Unemployment Rate: 3.2%
Poverty Rate: 3.3%
More on Los Altos: Homes For Sale | Data
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.

2. Mill Valley

Mill Valley, California

Population: 14,318
Median Income: $149,336
Unemployment Rate: 2.6%
Poverty Rate: 3.5%
More on Mill Valley: Homes For Sale | Data
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.

3. Los Altos Hills

Los Altos Hills, California

Source: Public domain

Population: 8,376
Median Income: $243,701
Unemployment Rate: 3.5%
Poverty Rate: 4.2%
More on Los Altos Hills: Homes For Sale | Data

4. Tiburon

Tiburon, California

Source: Public domain

Population: 9,170
Median Income: $149,510
Unemployment Rate: 3.9%
Poverty Rate: 3.6%
More on Tiburon: Homes For Sale | Data
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.

5. Woodside

Woodside, California

Population: 5,496
Median Income: $223,934
Unemployment Rate: 3.4%
Poverty Rate: 4.6%
More on Woodside: Homes For Sale | Data

6. Orinda

Orinda, California

Population: 18,936
Median Income: $178,704
Unemployment Rate: 4.6%
Poverty Rate: 2.6%
More on Orinda: Homes For Sale | Data
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.

7. San Ramon

San Ramon, California

Source: Public domain

Population: 74,366
Median Income: $134,188
Unemployment Rate: 3.9%
Poverty Rate: 3.9%
More on San Ramon: Homes For Sale | Data
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.

8. Piedmont

Piedmont, California

Population: 11,201
Median Income: $202,083
Unemployment Rate: 3.7%
Poverty Rate: 5.0%
More on Piedmont: Homes For Sale | Data
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.

9. Palos Verdes Estates

Palos Verdes Estates, California

Population: 13,582
Median Income: $200,766
Unemployment Rate: 2.0%
Poverty Rate: 5.5%
More on Palos Verdes Estates: Homes For Sale | Data
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.

10. Dublin

Dublin, California

Population: 54,523
Median Income: $128,403
Unemployment Rate: 4.0%
Poverty Rate: 4.3%
More on Dublin: Homes For Sale | Data
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:

  • 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In California
  • 10 Worst Places To Live In California
  • 10 Cheapest Places To Live In California
  • Detailed List Of The Richest Cities In California

    Rank City Median Income
    1 Los Altos $187,656
    2 Mill Valley $149,336
    3 Los Altos Hills $243,701
    4 Tiburon $149,510
    5 Woodside $223,934
    6 Orinda $178,704
    7 San Ramon $134,188
    8 Piedmont $202,083
    9 Palos Verdes Estates $200,766
    10 Dublin $128,403
    11 Pleasanton $130,170
    12 Danville $146,603
    13 Corte Madera $125,915
    14 Rancho Palos Verdes $120,668
    15 Hillsborough $216,292
    16 Manhattan Beach $144,868
    17 Rolling Hills Estates $129,728
    18 Hermosa Beach $121,345
    19 Rancho Santa Margarita $104,556
    20 La Habra Heights $110,329
    21 Foster City $129,733
    22 Half Moon Bay $106,211
    23 Saratoga $169,579
    24 Lafayette $142,977
    25 San Carlos $135,220
    26 Belmont $120,169
    27 Palo Alto $137,043
    28 Los Gatos $127,278
    29 Atherton $250,000
    30 Pacifica $103,545
    31 Livermore $104,223
    32 Clayton $136,946
    33 Moraga $136,336
    34 Fairfax $99,438
    35 Solana Beach $100,352
    36 Campbell $103,704
    37 Fremont $111,613
    38 San Marino $139,792
    39 Menlo Park $126,045
    40 Hercules $103,044
    41 Scotts Valley $104,150
    42 Millbrae $98,533
    43 Agoura Hills $114,313
    44 Folsom $102,692
    45 Westlake Village $130,272
    46 Redondo Beach $103,782
    47 Mission Viejo $104,886
    48 Yorba Linda $119,697
    49 Aliso Viejo $103,261
    50 Calabasas $111,111
    51 Newport Beach $115,845
    52 Burlingame $102,443
    53 Cupertino $147,929
    54 Larkspur $91,848
    55 Poway $98,859
    56 Sierra Madre $95,256
    57 Buellton $71,932
    58 Mountain View $109,249
    59 Sunnyvale $109,799
    60 San Bruno $89,000
    61 Sausalito $116,325
    62 San Clemente $97,210
    63 Santa Clara $102,533
    64 Camarillo $88,125
    65 San Anselmo $107,818
    66 Cypress $84,469
    67 Pacific Grove $81,304
    68 Lake Forest $92,415
    69 Coronado $92,413
    70 San Mateo $95,667
    71 Cerritos $95,373
    72 Newark $91,965
    73 Novato $83,895
    74 Encinitas $100,698
    75 Redwood City $90,461
    76 Moorpark $100,457
    77 Simi Valley $91,196
    78 Laguna Niguel $97,894
    79 Martinez $93,874
    80 Pismo Beach $75,978
    81 Cloverdale $64,144
    82 Carlsbad $97,145
    83 Windsor $86,192
    84 Pleasant Hill $93,476
    85 Benicia $87,011
    86 Malibu $116,904
    87 Laguna Hills $92,690
    88 Laguna Beach $100,506
    89 Chino Hills $97,222
    90 Walnut $97,345
    91 Morgan Hill $100,900
    92 Brea $85,555
    93 Arroyo Grande $64,261
    94 Villa Park $131,386
    95 Dana Point $83,913
    96 Monterey $68,511
    97 Mammoth Lakes $60,899
    98 Goleta $81,398
    99 Walnut Creek $82,848
    100 La Palma $83,760

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