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. 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, 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 one of the most attractive larger cities for people who are young, single, educated, and upwardly-mobile career starters. This makes it a good place to live for young singles in their 20s and 30s and who have undergraduate or graduate degrees and are starting their professional careers. Although Oakland is a large city, this demographic is significant enough that young professionals will find many others like themselves here, with really good opportunities for friendships, recreation, romance, and more.
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 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.
The education level of Oakland ranks among the highest in the nation. Of the 25-and-older adult population in Oakland, 40.61% have at least a bachelor's degree. The typical US community has just 21.84% of its adults holding a bachelor's degree or graduate degree.
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.