Palo Alto, CA
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Living in Palo Alto


Palo Alto is a larger medium-sized city located in the state of California. With a population of 66,853 people and 15 constituent neighborhoods, Palo Alto is the 126th largest community in California.

Palo Alto home prices are not only among the most expensive in California, but Palo Alto real estate also consistently ranks among the most expensive in America.

Palo Alto is a decidedly white-collar city, with fully 96.30% of the workforce employed in white-collar jobs, well above the national average. Overall, Palo Alto is a city of professionals, managers, and sales and office workers. There are especially a lot of people living in Palo Alto who work in management occupations (20.22%), computer science and math (11.62%), and teaching (9.99%).

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

And if you like science, one thing you'll find is that Palo Alto has lots of scientists living in town - whether they be life scientists, physical scientists (like astronomers), or social scientists (like geographers!). So, if you're scientific-minded, you might like it here too.

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

One interesting thing about the economy is that relatively large numbers of people worked from their home: 7.79% of the workforce. While this number may seem small overall, as a fraction of the total workforce this is high compared to the rest of the county. These workers are often telecommuters who work in knowledge-based, white-collar professions. For example, Silicon Valley has large numbers of people who telecommute. Other at-home workers may be self-employed people who operate small businesses out of their homes.

Although the majority of commuting trips in the city are by private automobile, Palo Alto is somewhat unusual for a city of its size for having a substantial number of people who use public transportation. For a lot of people, the train helps to get to and from their jobs every morning, which benefits everyone in the Palo Alto area by reducing both traffic and air pollution.

If knowledge is power, Palo Alto is a pretty powerful place. 79.89% of the adults in Palo Alto have earned a 4-year college degree, masters degree, MD, law degree, or even PhD. Compare that to the national average of 21.84% for all cities and towns.

The per capita income in Palo Alto in 2010 was $77,419, which is wealthy relative to California and the nation. This equates to an annual income of $309,676 for a family of four.

Palo Alto is an extremely ethnically-diverse city. The people who call Palo Alto home describe themselves as belonging to a variety of racial and ethnic groups. The greatest number of Palo Alto residents report their race to be White, followed by Asian. Important ancestries of people in Palo Alto include German, Irish, Russian, and Italian.

Foreign born people are also an important part of Palo Alto's cultural character, accounting for 32.83% of the city’s population.

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