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A-
Overall Niche Grade
How are grades calculated?
  1. Public Schools
    B+
  2. Crime & Safety
    C
  3. Housing
    C-
  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 63,993. 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 above average.

Real Estate

Median Home Value
$750,600
National
$184,700
Median Rent
$1,634
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
    380.8
    282.7
  • Murder
    1.5
    6.1
  • Rape
    87.5
    40.7
  • Robbery
    158.1
    135.5
Property Crimes
  • Calculated annually per 100,000 residents
National
  • Burglary
    632.6
    500.1
  • Theft
    4,469.4
    2,042.8
  • Motor Vehicle Theft
    554.3
    284

Residents

Diversity
A
Based on ethnic and economic diversity.
Age
  • <10 years
    7%
  • 10-17 years
    6%
  • 18-24 years
    30%
  • 25-34 years
    13%
  • 35-44 years
    10%
  • 45-54 years
    11%
  • 55-64 years
    11%
  • 65+ years
    11%
Education Levels
National
  • Master's degree or higher
    24%
    12%
  • Bachelor's degree
    29%
    19%
  • Some college or associate's degree
    28%
    29%
  • High school diploma or equivalent
    14%
    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
$65,421
National
$55,322
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Santa Cruz Reviews

122 reviews
All Categories
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!
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We left Palo Alto after ten years of rampant materialism and egos the size of Gibraltar. While we are surrounded by high networth families here, the attitude is wholesome and non competitive. We have a lovely bookstore that is the epicenter of downtown, and great coffeehouses that are always full of people conversing or studying. Also, beaches, redwoods, and Big Sur around the corner. Gorgeous life!
Besides the gorgeous views, the beach is literally 10 minutes away from where I live. It also has so many places to hike and everywhere you go is breath-taking! The downside of Santa Cruz is that there are some sketchy places at night, which is to be expected in all cities. If you have dietary needs, there are restaurants that will cater to them (i.e. vegan, pescetarian, etc). There are bars to go to if you’re into that scene; I haven’t explored the bars yet but will be soon. Last but not least, we have a boardwalk. It’s cute and has vintage vibes, but don’t expect Disney-land, which I honestly don’t mind.