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 429,082 people and 113 constituent neighborhoods, Oakland is the eighth largest community in California. Much of the housing stock in Oakland was built prior to World War II, making it one of the older and more historic cities in the country.
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.
Oakland is neither predominantly blue-collar nor white-collar, instead having a mixed workforce of both blue-collar and white-collar jobs. Overall, Oakland is a city of professionals, service providers, and sales and office workers. There are especially a lot of people living in Oakland who work in management occupations (11.15%), office and administrative support (10.50%), and sales jobs (8.30%).
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.
Oakland is a popular destination for single career-starters. One thing that you will notice when you are out and about town is that there is a large population of people who are young, single, educated, and upwardly-mobile career starters out at restaurants, listening to live music, and enjoying other activities. They are a real visible part of the culture of Oakland. This makes Oakland a good place to live for young professionals. With so many people in this demographic, Oakland presents many opportunities for single professionals to enjoy themselves, socialize, and to create lasting relationships.
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. Quite often, nautical areas such as these attract visitors and locals who come to enjoy the scenery and various waterfront activities.
One downside of living in Oakland, however, is that residents on average have to contend with a long commute, spending on average 32.35 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, like many big cities in America, has a public transportation system, but the citizens of Oakland are lucky because theirs is one of the most extensive and widely used. Many commuters choose to leave their cars at home and instead use the subway to get to and from work. In fact, for some people it is feasible to forgo car ownership entirely, avoiding the cost and headache of driving in heavy traffic. The benefits include reduced air pollution and load on the road network.
Oakland is one of the most well-educated cities in the nation. 40.61% 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 2010 was $37,256, which is upper middle income relative to California, and wealthy relative to the rest of the US. This equates to an annual income of $149,024 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 27.00% 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 27.58% of the city’s population.
The most common language spoken in Oakland is English. Other important languages spoken here include Spanish and Chinese.