Santa Barbara, CA
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Santa Barbara profile


Living in Santa Barbara


Santa Barbara is a larger medium-sized coastal city (i.e. on the ocean, a bay, or inlet) located in the state of California. With a population of 91,364 people and 27 constituent neighborhoods, Santa Barbara is the 82nd largest community in California.

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

Santa Barbara is a decidedly white-collar city, with fully 87.36% of the workforce employed in white-collar jobs, well above the national average. Overall, Santa Barbara is a city of professionals, service providers, and sales and office workers. There are especially a lot of people living in Santa Barbara who work in management occupations (13.06%), sales jobs (9.85%), and food service (9.18%).

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

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

A relatively large number of people in Santa Barbara telecommute to their jobs. Overall, about 7.51% of the workforce works from home. While this may seem like a small number, as a fraction of the total workforce it ranks among the highest in the country. 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.

One thing that you will notice about Santa Barbara is that there is a good-sized population of people who are young, single, educated, and upwardly-mobile career starters. Many singles consider Santa Barbara a good place to live without being in a really big city, with opportunities for friendships and fun with others like themselves.

Santa Barbara 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.

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 17.95 minutes getting to work every day.

Like elsewhere in America, most people in Santa Barbara use a private automobile to get to work. But notably, a substantial number of Santa Barbara‘s citizens do make use of public transit in their daily commute, primarily riding the bus. This helps more people get to work with less air pollution, and require fewer highways to get them there.

Santa Barbara is one of the most well-educated cities in the nation. 49.23% of adults in Santa Barbara have at least a bachelor's degree. Compare that to the average community in America, which has just 21.84% with a bachelor's degree or higher.

The per capita income in Santa Barbara in 2018 was $46,236, which is upper middle income relative to California, and wealthy relative to the rest of the US. This equates to an annual income of $184,944 for a family of four. However, Santa Barbara contains both very wealthy and poor people as well.

Santa Barbara is an extremely ethnically-diverse city. The people who call Santa Barbara home describe themselves as belonging to a variety of racial and ethnic groups. The greatest number of Santa Barbara residents report their race to be White, followed by Asian. Santa Barbara also has a sizeable Hispanic population (people of Hispanic origin can be of any race). People of Hispanic or Latino origin account for 37.08% of the city’s residents. Important ancestries of people in Santa Barbara include German, Irish, English, Italian, and French.

Foreign born people are also an important part of Santa Barbara's cultural character, accounting for 22.24% of the city’s population.

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