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  1. Public Schools
    A-
  2. Crime & Safety
    C
  3. Housing
    D+
  4. Nightlife
    A+
  5. Good for Families
    B+
  6. Diversity
    A
  7. Jobs
    C+
  8. Weather
    A+
  9. Cost of Living
    D
  10. Health & Fitness
    A+
  11. Outdoor Activities
    A
  12. Commute
    A+
Santa Cruz is a town in California with a population of 64,273. Santa Cruz is in Santa Cruz County and is one of the best places to live in California. Living in Santa Cruz offers residents an urban suburban mix feel and most residents rent their homes. In Santa Cruz there are a lot of bars, restaurants, coffee shops, and parks. Many young professionals live in Santa Cruz and residents tend to lean liberal. The public schools in Santa Cruz are highly rated.

Real Estate

Median Home Value
$803,800
National
$184,700
Median Rent
$1,797
National
$949
Area Feel
Urban Suburban Mix
Rent vs. Own
  • Rent
    53%
  • Own
    47%
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Santa Cruz Rankings

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

Crime & Safety

Crime & Safety
C
Based on violent and property crime rates.
Violent Crimes
  • Calculated annually per 100,000 residents
National
  • Assault
    440
    282.7
  • Murder
    1.5
    6.1
  • Rape
    51.8
    40.7
  • Robbery
    100.5
    135.5
Property Crimes
  • Calculated annually per 100,000 residents
National
  • Burglary
    511.6
    500.1
  • Theft
    3,514
    2,042.8
  • Motor Vehicle Theft
    397.4
    284

Residents

Diversity
A
Based on ethnic and economic diversity.
Age
  • <10 years
    6%
  • 10-17 years
    7%
  • 18-24 years
    32%
  • 25-34 years
    13%
  • 35-44 years
    10%
  • 45-54 years
    11%
  • 55-64 years
    11%
  • 65+ years
    12%
Education Levels
National
  • Master's degree or higher
    24%
    12%
  • Bachelor's degree
    28%
    19%
  • Some college or associate's degree
    28%
    29%
  • High school diploma or equivalent
    13%
    28%
  • Less than high school diploma
    6%
    13%

Working in Santa Cruz

Jobs
C+
Based on employment rates, job and business growth, and cost of living.
Median Household Income
$70,102
National
$55,322
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Santa Cruz Reviews

140 reviews
All Categories
I currently live in Santa Cruz as I attend the UC Santa Cruz. The town is a small yet lively college town that has plenty of activities to attract students, locals, and visitors to the area. The town has implemented a reliable and safe public transportation system to help students and the local community navigate the area. The downtown scene always has upbeat live music, plenty of inclusive restaurants, and one-of-a-kind stores to shop in while you explore the beauty of the area. The city also has several local museums that promote the rich history of the city and offer internship opportunities to students in the area. There is an issue with the housing market, as the prices for rentals and homes are at a record high, but with all other aspects of the city factored in, it is worth it. The city is a vibrant area that promotes inclusivity of all races, genders, sexualities, and walks of life, which creates a tight-knit community of leaders and innovators. I am proud to live here!
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I love Santa Cruz! Between the ocean, the forest, and other beautiful natural features, the town seems to be a community focused epicenter. Artists and musicians are drawn towards this area, and the community is rich with forms of expression and wackyness. The University of California Santa Cruz brings an educated group of people to the town.
Growing up in Santa Cruz was a unique and down to earth experience. I participated in sports programs my whole life and supplemented these experiences with outdoors activities such as going to the beach, surfing, hiking in the redwoods, walking trails, and catching sunsets along Santa Cruz and Davenport bluffs. I left Santa Cruz with a deep appreciation for the city and longing to return home. It's a beautiful area, full of great energy, farmer's markets, bleeding liberals, a d multi-generation families. If you can get past the large numbers of homeless and stoners you will enjoy living here!