San Luis Obispo, CA
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Living in San Luis Obispo


San Luis Obispo is a medium-sized coastal city (i.e. on the ocean, a bay, or inlet) located in the state of California. With a population of 47,339 people and 14 constituent neighborhoods, San Luis Obispo is the 188th largest community in California.

Housing costs in San Luis Obispo 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.

San Luis Obispo is a decidedly white-collar city, with fully 89.38% of the workforce employed in white-collar jobs, well above the national average. Overall, San Luis Obispo is a city of professionals, sales and office workers, and service providers. There are especially a lot of people living in San Luis Obispo who work in office and administrative support (13.04%), sales jobs (11.32%), and food service (10.32%).

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

Because San Luis Obispo has a very large number of students who are 18 years or older and in college, it is thought of as a college town. This has a major influence on local San Luis Obispo lifestyle, entertainment, and culture in general. Life in San Luis Obispo is very much tied to the academic calendar: when students return from the summer break in the fall, one will notice them out and about, buying groceries, out with friends, and generally getting re-acquainted with each other. In San Luis Obispo people study hard and play hard, and there is ample opportunity to do both.

San Luis Obispo 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.

Residents of the city have the good fortune of having one of the shortest daily commutes compared to the rest of the country. On average, they spend only 16.36 minutes getting to work every day.

Do you like to read, write and learn? If you move to San Luis Obispo, you'll likely find that many of your neighbors like to as well. San Luis Obispo is one of the more educated communities in America, with a full 50.98% of its adults having a college degree or even advanced degree, compared to a national average across all communities of 21.84%.

The per capita income in San Luis Obispo in 2010 was $27,416, which is middle income relative to California, and upper middle income relative to the rest of the US. This equates to an annual income of $109,664 for a family of four. However, San Luis Obispo contains both very wealthy and poor people as well. San Luis Obispo also has one of the higher rates of people living in poverty in the nation, with 33.38% of its population below the federal poverty line.

San Luis Obispo is a very ethnically-diverse city. The people who call San Luis Obispo home describe themselves as belonging to a variety of racial and ethnic groups. The greatest number of San Luis Obispo residents report their race to be White, followed by Asian. San Luis Obispo also has a sizeable Hispanic population (people of Hispanic origin can be of any race). People of Hispanic or Latino origin account for 16.36% of the city’s residents. Important ancestries of people in San Luis Obispo include Irish, English, Italian, and French .

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