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 425,195 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.
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 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.
One of the benefits of being a big city like Oakland is having a public transportation system, but in Oakland the transit system is the mode of choice for lots of people getting to and from work every day. You will find many people using the subway for their daily commute, even though other transportation options exist. If you ask these commuters, many will tell you that not having to drive in the snarl of big city traffic is one of main reasons for leaving the car at home, or even not owning a car at all. With so many people taking the subway Oakland benefits from a reduction in air pollution and traffic.
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.
Oakland also has a high percentage of its population that was born in another country: 27.58%.
The most common language spoken in Oakland is English. Other important languages spoken here include Spanish and Chinese.