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 420,005 people and 113 constituent neighborhoods, Oakland is the eighth largest community in California. Oakland has a large stock of pre-World War II architecture, 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.

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, service providers, and sales and office workers. There are especially a lot of people living in Oakland who work in management occupations (11.20%), office and administrative support (10.85%), and sales jobs (8.54%).

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 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 is that it can take a long time to commute to work. In Oakland, the average commute to work is 31.74 minutes, which is quite a bit higher than the national average. On the other hand, local public transit is widely used in the city, so leaving the car at home and taking transit is often a viable alternative. In addition, it is also a pedestrian-friendly city. Many of Oakland’s neighborhoods are dense enough and have amenities close enough together that people find it feasible to get around on foot.

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.

The population of Oakland is very well educated relative to most cities and towns in the nation, where the average community has 21.84% of its adult population holding a 4-year degree or higher: 39.72% of adults in Oakland have a bachelor's degree or even advanced degree.

The per capita income in Oakland in 2010 was $34,984, which is upper middle income relative to California, and wealthy relative to the rest of the US. This equates to an annual income of $139,936 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 26.68% of the city’s residents. Important ancestries of people in Oakland include Irish, English, Italian, and European.

Foreign born people are also an important part of Oakland's cultural character, accounting for 27.26% of the city’s population.

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