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 122,324 people and 35 constituent neighborhoods, Berkeley is the 52nd largest community in California. Berkeley has an unusually large stock of pre-World War II architecture, making it one of the older and more historic cities.

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 94.04% 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 (14.48%), management occupations (12.67%), and office and administrative support (9.13%).

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.

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.

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.

One interesting thing about the economy is that relatively large numbers of people worked from their home: 10.53% of the workforce. While this number may seem small overall, as a fraction of the total workforce this is high compared to the rest of the county. 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, shaping the character of the city into a place that is geared toward, and considered attractive to, many single, educated people. Many singles consider Berkeley a good place to live without being in a really big city, with opportunities for friendships and fun with others like themselves.

Berkeley is also nautical, which means that parts of it are somewhat historic and touch the ocean or tidal bodies of water, such as inlets and bays. Quite often, nautical areas such as these attract visitors and locals who come to enjoy the scenery and various waterfront activities.

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 have a 4-year college degree or graduate degree? If so, you may feel right at home in Berkeley. 72.27% of adults here have a 4-year degree or graduate degree, whereas the national average for all cities and towns is just 21.84%.

The per capita income in Berkeley in 2010 was $45,738, which is wealthy relative to California and the nation. This equates to an annual income of $182,952 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 10.97% 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 20.22% of the city’s population.

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