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 very large population of people who are young, single, educated, and upwardly-mobile. That’s because Berkeley is full of single people in their 20s and 30s and who have undergraduate or graduate degrees and are starting careers in professional occupations. This makes Berkeley a pretty good place for young, educated career starters looking to find many people like themselves, with good 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.
Like elsewhere in America, most people in Berkeley use a private automobile to get to work. But notably, a substantial number of Berkeley‘s citizens do make use of public transit in their daily commute, primarily riding the subway. This helps more people get to work with less air pollution, and require fewer highways to get them there.
If knowledge is power, Berkeley is a pretty powerful place. 73.83% 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 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.
Berkeley also has a high percentage of its population that was born in another country: 21.08%.
The most common language spoken in Berkeley is English. Other important languages spoken here include Spanish and Chinese.