Oakland, CA
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Oakland profile


Living in Oakland


Oakland is a large coastal city (i.e. on the ocean, a bay, or inlet) located in the state of California. With a population of 433,031 people and 113 constituent neighborhoods, Oakland is the eighth largest community in California. Oakland has an unusually large stock of pre-World War II architecture, making it one of the older and more historic cities.

Housing costs in Oakland are among some of the highest in the nation, although real estate prices here don't compare to real estate prices in the most expensive communities in California.

Unlike some cities where white-collar or blue-collar occupations dominate the local economy, Oakland is neither predominantly one nor the other. Instead, it has a mixed workforce of both white- and blue-collar jobs. Overall, Oakland is a city of professionals, managers, and service providers. There are especially a lot of people living in Oakland who work in management occupations (11.77%), office and administrative support (9.29%), and sales jobs (7.81%).

Of important note, Oakland is also a city of artists. Oakland has more artists, designers and people working in media than 90% of the communities in America. This concentration of artists helps shape Oakland’s character.

Also of interest is that Oakland has more people living here who work in computers and math than 95% of the places in the US.

One thing noticeable about Oakland, is that it has a large population of people who are young, single, educated, and upwardly-mobile career starters. That’s because Oakland 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 Oakland a great place for young, educated career starters looking to find many people like themselves, with good opportunities for friendships, socializing, romance, and fun. In fact, Oakland is one of the top larger cities in America for educated single professionals to flock.

Oakland 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.

One downside of living in Oakland, however, is that residents on average have to contend with a long commute, spending on average 33.51 minutes every day commuting to work. It is, however, a pedestrian-friendly city. Many of its neighborhoods are dense enough and have amenities close enough together that people find it feasible to get around on foot. In addition, local public transit is widely used. For those who would prefer to avoid driving entirely and leave their car at home, it may be an option to use the transit instead.

Oakland is a big city, and with that comes lots of benefits. One benefit is that most big cities have public transit, but Oakland really shines when it comes to the extensiveness and use of its public transit system. More than most large American cities, Oakland citizens use public transit daily to get to and from work. And while there are transportation options, most people in Oakland ride the subway. Whereas in some cities one is destined to sit in traffic every morning to get to work and every evening to get home, in Oakland a lot leave their cars at home (if they even choose to own one), and hop a ride on the subway.

Oakland is one of the most well-educated cities in the nation. 44.04% of adults in Oakland have at least a bachelor's degree. Compare that to the average community in America, which has just 21.84% with a bachelor's degree or higher.

The per capita income in Oakland in 2018 was $43,191, which is upper middle income relative to California, and wealthy relative to the rest of the US. This equates to an annual income of $172,764 for a family of four. However, Oakland contains both very wealthy and poor people as well.

Oakland is an extremely ethnically-diverse city. The people who call Oakland home describe themselves as belonging to a variety of racial and ethnic groups. The greatest number of Oakland residents report their race to be White, followed by Black or African-American. Oakland also has a sizeable Hispanic population (people of Hispanic origin can be of any race). People of Hispanic or Latino origin account for 27.04% of the city’s residents. Important ancestries of people in Oakland include German, Irish, English, Italian, and European.

Foreign born people are also an important part of Oakland's cultural character, accounting for 26.80% of the city’s population.

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