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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.
At the end of the day, here's the set of the 10 richest places in California for 2020:
- Tiburon (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Piedmont (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Clayton (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Los Altos Hills (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Orinda (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- San Ramon (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Mill Valley (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Danville (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Pleasanton (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Los Altos (Photos | Homes For Sale)
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 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 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 is a city in Contra Costa County, California, United States. The population was 10,897 as of the 2010 census.
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 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 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 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.
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 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 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
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:
2nd Poorest: Orange Cove
3rd Poorest: Huron
For more California reading, check out:
- Best Places To Retire In California
- Best Places To Raise A Family In California
- Safest Places In California