San Luis Obispo, CA
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San Luis Obispo profile


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 47,446 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 87.80% 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 sales jobs (11.65%), management occupations (10.88%), and food service (10.61%).

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, while not large, also appears to be attractive to some younger, educated professionals, who help shape the character of the city.

One of the nice things about San Luis Obispo is that it is nautical, which means that parts of it are somewhat historic and touch the ocean or tidal bodies of water, such as inlets and bays. Because of this, visitors and locals will often go to these areas to take in the scenery or to enjoy waterfront activities.

One of the benefits of San Luis Obispo is that there is very little traffic. The average commute to work is 16.99 minutes, which is substantially less than the national average. Not only does this mean that the drive to work is less aggravating, but noise and pollution levels are lower as a result.

The education level of San Luis Obispo ranks among the highest in the nation. Of the 25-and-older adult population in San Luis Obispo, 49.62% 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 San Luis Obispo in 2010 was $31,917, 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 $127,668 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 31.84% 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 18.28% of the city’s residents. Important ancestries of people in San Luis Obispo include German, Irish, English, Italian, and European.

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