Berkeley, CA
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Berkeley profile


Living in Berkeley


Berkeley is a larger medium-sized coastal city (i.e. on the ocean, a bay, or inlet) located in the state of California. With a population of 121,363 people and 35 constituent neighborhoods, Berkeley is the 52nd largest community in California. Much of the housing stock in Berkeley was built prior to World War II, making it one of the older and more historic cities in the country.

Berkeley home prices are not only among the most expensive in California, but Berkeley real estate also consistently ranks among the most expensive in America.

Berkeley is a decidedly white-collar city, with fully 94.01% of the workforce employed in white-collar jobs, well above the national average. Overall, Berkeley is a city of professionals, managers, and sales and office workers. There are especially a lot of people living in Berkeley who work in teaching (14.37%), management occupations (12.01%), and office and administrative support (8.26%).

Also of interest is that Berkeley has more people living here who work in computers and math than 95% of the places in the US.

Of important note, Berkeley is also a city of artists. Berkeley has more artists, designers and people working in media than 90% of the communities in America. This concentration of artists helps shape Berkeley’s character.

And if you like science, one thing you'll find is that Berkeley has lots of scientists living in town - whether they be life scientists, physical scientists (like astronomers), or social scientists (like geographers!). So, if you're scientific-minded, you might like it here too.

Telecommuters are a relatively large percentage of the workforce: 10.71% of people work from home. While this number may seem small overall, as a fraction of the total workforce it is high relative to the nation. These workers are often telecommuters who work in knowledge-based, white-collar professions. For example, Silicon Valley has large numbers of people who telecommute. Other at-home workers may be self-employed people who operate small businesses out of their homes.

Combining city textures and college town sensibilities, Berkeley really has a nice blend of characteristics. While not a huge city, Berkeley is big enough to offer a healthy dose of diversion, opportunity, and amenity to its residents and to the thousands of college students who descend on it every fall. Its size and diversity makes Berkeley more than just a college town, but removing the students from the equation would undeniably change Berkeley’s character and quality of life.

Not only is Berkeley a city with many college students, but it also retains many recent graduates who are looking to start new careers, creating a decent-sized population of people who are young, single, educated, and upwardly-mobile. This makes it a good choice for other relocating single professionals. Here, these young singles will find many others like themselves, with opportunities for friendships, socializing, romance, and fun.

One of the nice things about Berkeley is that it is nautical, which means that parts of it are somewhat historic and touch the ocean or tidal bodies of water, such as inlets and bays. Because of this, visitors and locals will often go to these areas to take in the scenery or to enjoy waterfront activities.

In Berkeley, however, the average commute to work is quite long. On average, people spend 30.97 minutes each day getting to work, which is significantly higher than the national average. One bright side is that local public transit is widely used, so it may be an option to avoid the headache of driving in the heavy traffic by leaving the car at home and taking transit. In addition, the city is also quite pedestrian-friendly, because many neighborhoods are very dense and have amenities close enough together that people find it feasible to get around on foot.

Although the majority of commuting trips in the city are by private automobile, Berkeley is somewhat unusual for a city of its size for having a substantial number of people who use public transportation. For a lot of people, the subway helps to get to and from their jobs every morning, which benefits everyone in the Berkeley area by reducing both traffic and air pollution.

Do you like to read, write and learn? If you move to Berkeley, you'll likely find that many of your neighbors like to as well. Berkeley is one of the more educated communities in America, with a full 73.83% of its adults having a college degree or even advanced degree, compared to a national average across all communities of 21.84%.

The per capita income in Berkeley in 2018 was $50,619, which is wealthy relative to California and the nation. This equates to an annual income of $202,476 for a family of four. However, Berkeley contains both very wealthy and poor people as well.

Berkeley is an extremely ethnically-diverse city. The people who call Berkeley home describe themselves as belonging to a variety of racial and ethnic groups. The greatest number of Berkeley residents report their race to be White, followed by Asian. Berkeley also has a sizeable Hispanic population (people of Hispanic origin can be of any race). People of Hispanic or Latino origin account for 11.40% of the city’s residents. Important ancestries of people in Berkeley include German, English, Irish, Italian, and European.

Foreign born people are also an important part of Berkeley's cultural character, accounting for 21.08% of the city’s population.

The most common language spoken in Berkeley is English. Other important languages spoken here include Spanish and Chinese.