These 2 California cities rank among 'Top 50 Best Places to Live' in America: study

Just two Southern California cities recently ranked on a list naming the top places to live in the U.S. - was your city one of them? 

The list put out by online magazine Money named Irvine (#13) and San Diego (#22) as the only cities in the Golden State that offer the best combination of several factors including low crime rates, good school systems, a successful local economy, and access to quality healthcare.

Here's what the study had to say about Irvine and San Diego. 


  • 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%

Irvine boasts 60+ community and neighborhood parks, 400 miles-wroth of bike trails, and access to many of the West Coast's best beaches including Crystal Cove State Park and Newport Beach. The study also listed the city's plethora of family-friendly activities available, like Boomers or Buccaneers Cove, as well as holiday festivities like the Irvine Global Village Festival in October. Irvine's school system was also rated among the best in California, with the city home to several colleges and universities, including Cal State Fullerton, Pepperdine and UC Irvine.

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%

San Diego was described as having "the ideal climate to enjoy the city's miles of world-class beaches, 340 parks, and 40,000 acres of wide open space." Kayaking, paddleboarding, or whale and dolphin watching are just some of the water activities offered. Don't forget Balboa Park, a 1,000-acre complex that houses the San Diego Zoo, 15 museums, a horticultural center and the Olde Globe Theater, among many other attractions. Additionally, San Diego is known for its food and libations, home to over 120 breweries, brew pubs, and tasting stores. The study authors noted while the housing market in California is generally more expensive compared to the rest of the country, home prices in San Diego are more affordable than in other large cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles. 

Nationwide, Atlanta, Georgia ranked first on the list. To see what other cities made the cut, tap or click here.