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 121,643 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 93.61% 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 (12.00%), and office and administrative support (8.30%).

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.

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.

One interesting thing about the economy is that relatively large numbers of people worked from their home: 10.07% 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, 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.

For the size of the city, public transportation in Berkeley is quite heavily used. Mostly, people who use it for their daily commute are taking the subway. For Berkeley, the benefits are reduced air pollution and congestion on the highways.

Do you have a 4-year college degree or graduate degree? If so, you may feel right at home in Berkeley. 73.00% 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 $48,229, which is wealthy relative to California and the nation. This equates to an annual income of $192,916 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 11.39% of the city’s residents. Important ancestries of people in Berkeley include German, English, Irish, Italian, and European.

In addition, Berkeley has a lot of people living here who were born outside of the US (20.58%).

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