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. 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 94.04% 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.

Berkeley is a nice balance between life in a moderately big city and the interesting diversions and culture that come from having a big college student population. The thousands of students who arrive on campus every fall will find that Berkeley has plenty of amenities and opportunities for them, while residents of Berkeley enjoy the lectures, music, art, and economic trickle-down that colleges typically provide. "Town and Gown" complement each other in Berkeley.

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. Such areas are often places that visitors and locals go for waterfront activities or taking in the scenery.

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.

If knowledge is power, Berkeley is a pretty powerful place. 72.27% of the adults in Berkeley have earned a 4-year college degree, masters degree, MD, law degree, or even PhD. Compare that to the national average of 21.84% for all cities and towns.

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.

Berkeley also has a high percentage of its population that was born in another country: 20.22%.

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