Southern California Cities Recognized Among Top 50 Best Places to Live in the U.S.

Finding an ideal place to settle down involves juggling various factors, from safety and education to economic opportunities and quality of life. The latest report by Money has identified the 50 Best Places to Live in the U.S. in 2023, highlighting two Southern California cities: Irvine, ranked at #13, and San Diego, ranked at #22.
Irvine, California: Situated in Orange County, Irvine offers a vibrant community with an array of job prospects, educational institutions, and entertainment options. Residents have access to premier shopping and dining experiences at malls like Irvine Spectrum, South Coast Plaza, and Fashion Island.
The city boasts over 60 public parks and 400 miles of bike trails, catering to outdoor enthusiasts. Approximately one-third of Irvine is dedicated to parks, trails, and natural reserves. Notably, Irvine has maintained the lowest per capita violent crime rate for its size for nearly two decades, as highlighted by city officials.
Regarding education, Irvine’s school system ranks among California’s best, with UC Irvine securing the 5th spot on Money’s list of Best Colleges in California and 9th overall for the 25 Best Colleges in America.
With over 19,000 businesses, Irvine provides ample economic opportunities, housing major employers such as the University of California, Blizzard Entertainment, and Edwards LifeSciences LLC.
Quick Facts about Irvine:
Median household income: $115,606
Median home price: $1,300,651
Average rent for a two-bedroom apartment: $4,345
Population: 268,777
Unemployment rate: 2.8%
San Diego, California: Renowned as “America’s Finest City,” San Diego features world-class beaches, favorable year-round weather, and a relaxed lifestyle. The city’s allure extends to Balboa Park, encompassing the San Diego Zoo, museums, theaters, and more across 1,000 acres.
San Diego’s 340 parks and 40,000 acres of open space cater to outdoor enthusiasts, offering activities like kayaking, fishing, surfing, and whale watching. Its vibrant downtown provides an array of dining, entertainment, and cultural experiences, including five Michelin-starred restaurants and numerous breweries.
The city’s educational landscape includes the University of California San Diego, ranked 7th among Money’s 10 Best Colleges in California and 12th for the 25 Best Colleges in America. San Diego’s job economy thrives, especially in IT, healthcare, and biotech sectors, with companies like Qualcomm and Nokia leading the charge.
Quick Facts about San Diego:
Median household income: $96,246
Median home price: $963,261
Average rent for a two-bedroom apartment: $3,113
Population: 1,381,275
Unemployment rate: 3.1%
Money’s comprehensive analysis considered factors such as cost of living, diversity, economic opportunity, education, amenities, healthcare, safety, housing market, and quality of life. The list encompassed various cities, with Irvine and San Diego representing Southern California among the top choices to live in the U.S. in 2023.
For further details on the top cities, Money magazine’s complete report on the best places to live in America can be accessed here.

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