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 Safest Places In California
  • 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In California
  • 10 Most Diverse Cities In California
  • Detailed List Of The Richest Cities In California

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

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