Berkeley, CA
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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 120,972 people and 35 constituent neighborhoods, Berkeley is the 52nd largest community in California. Berkeley has a large stock of pre-World War II architecture, 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 93.64% 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 (14.21%), management occupations (13.08%), and office and administrative support (9.62%).

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.

Telecommuters are a relatively large percentage of the workforce: 10.38% 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.

Berkeley is made interesting by being both a reasonably big city and having a major college student population: students here will find that the city provides a lot of amenities, culture, and opportunities for them. Berkeley is more than just a college town, however, though the thousands of students certainly are a major part of the character of the city, as well as a contributor to the local economy.

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 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 70.23% 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 2010 was $42,406, which is wealthy relative to California and the nation. This equates to an annual income of $169,624 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 10.86% of the city’s residents. Important ancestries of people in Berkeley include English, Irish, Italian, and European.

Berkeley also has a high percentage of its population that was born in another country: 20.81%.

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