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.

One interesting thing about the economy is that relatively large numbers of people worked from their home: 7.51% 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.

One thing noticeable about Santa Barbara, although not a huge city, is that it has a large population of people who are young, single, educated, and upwardly-mobile career starters. That’s because Santa Barbara 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 Santa Barbara a pretty good place for young, educated career starters looking to find many people like themselves, with good opportunities for friendships, socializing, romance, and fun.

One of the nice things about Santa Barbara 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.

Compared to the rest of the country, citizens of Santa Barbara spend much less time in their cars: on average, their commute to work is only 17.95 minutes. This also means that noise and pollution levels in the city are less than they would otherwise be.

For the size of the city, public transportation in Santa Barbara is quite heavily used. Mostly, people who use it for their daily commute are taking the bus. For Santa Barbara, the benefits are reduced air pollution and congestion on the highways.

The education level of Santa Barbara ranks among the highest in the nation. Of the 25-and-older adult population in Santa Barbara, 49.23% 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 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.

Santa Barbara also has a high percentage of its population that was born in another country: 22.24%.

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