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  1. Public Schools
    A
  2. Housing
    D-
  3. Nightlife
    A
  4. Good for Families
    A-
  5. Diversity
    A
  6. Jobs
    C+
  7. Weather
    A+
  8. Cost of Living
    D-
  9. Health & Fitness
    A+
  10. Outdoor Activities
    A+
  11. Commute
    A-
Santa Cruz County is located in California with a population of 273,765. Santa Cruz County is one of the best places to live in California. In Santa Cruz County, most residents own their homes. In Santa Cruz County there are a lot of bars, restaurants, coffee shops, and parks. Many young professionals live in Santa Cruz County and residents tend to be liberal. The public schools in Santa Cruz County are highly rated.

Real Estate

Median Home Value
$711,000
National
$184,700
Median Rent
$1,647
National
$949
Rent vs. Own
  • Rent
    41%
  • Own
    59%
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Santa Cruz County Rankings

Niche ranks thousands of places to live based on key statistics from the U.S. Census and and expert insights.

Crime & Safety

Violent Crimes
  • Calculated annually per 100,000 residents
National
  • Assault
    320
    282.7
  • Murder
    2.1
    6.1
  • Rape
    77
    40.7
  • Robbery
    134.2
    135.5
Property Crimes
  • Calculated annually per 100,000 residents
National
  • Burglary
    531.9
    500.1
  • Theft
    3,258.6
    2,042.8
  • Motor Vehicle Theft
    620.2
    284

Residents

Diversity
A
Based on ethnic and economic diversity.
Age
  • <10 years
    11%
  • 10-17 years
    9%
  • 18-24 years
    15%
  • 25-34 years
    12%
  • 35-44 years
    12%
  • 45-54 years
    13%
  • 55-64 years
    14%
  • 65+ years
    15%
Education Levels
National
  • Master's degree or higher
    16%
    12%
  • Bachelor's degree
    24%
    19%
  • Some college or associate's degree
    31%
    29%
  • High school diploma or equivalent
    16%
    28%
  • Less than high school diploma
    14%
    13%

Working in Santa Cruz County

Jobs
C+
Based on employment rates, job and business growth, and cost of living.
Median Household Income
$78,041
National
$55,322

Santa Cruz County Reviews

99 reviews
All Categories
I love Santa Cruz! I grew up here and got to experience what growing up in a beach town feels like. Santa Cruz has amazing beaches, restaurants, and overall good vibes. Of course, with any town there are some downfalls to living in Santa Cruz. We have a huge homeless population that have nowhere to go and pollute our city. A contribution to this homeless problem is the prices of our homes and rent. The prices on our houses are ridiculous, with places selling from one million to three million, no wonder we have a homeless problem. Other then our devastating homeless problem Santa Cruz is a safe, healthy, and beautiful place to live and to visit. The views are spectacular; for example, looking over the dark blue ocean while standing on west cliff as the sun is setting over the water leaving a glowing, orange-pink sky could be one of the most jaw-dropping moments of your time in California.
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As a college student in Santa Cruz from Southern California, it took a little bit to adjust to the lifestyle and cultural differences that contrast with my hometown. But after a small breaking in period, I've been in love ever since. The people, nature, views, and commute, for instance, are just some of the highlights that make this place so wonderful and unique. The city has a beachy culture and a slower/ laidback lifestyle or vibe and if you go 10 minutes inland you're immediately thrown into the forest, which to me is a very cool considering not many places have the beach and the forest in one setting. Next, the people here have also made my experience wonderful. Compared to Southern California (where I was born and raised), everyone here is so down to earth, friendly, and willing to have a nice conversation. Looking at this place it just makes sense why everyone is always in such a good mood. There's so much to see and do during the day, especially if you're into the outdoors.
Everyone in Santa Cruz is extremely friendly, and the academic availability here is very good! The high schools are very competitive, and the universities are top-notch.