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Data on this report is based on areas within the legal city boundary, outlined in black on the map. Any additional neighborhoods shown on the map are associated with the city by name and are included for reference only.

Santa Cruz, CA
Real Estate & Demographic Data






Santa Cruz profile


Living in Santa Cruz



Santa Cruz 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 61,800 people and 24 constituent neighborhoods, Santa Cruz is the 145th largest community in California.

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

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

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

A relatively large number of people in Santa Cruz telecommute to their jobs. Overall, about 14.32% 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.

In addition, Santa Cruz is a major college town that has a very high percentage of its residents over 18 years old who are college students. Naturally, collegiate life has a major influence on local Santa Cruz culture, lifestyle and entertainment options. Santa Cruz really pulses to the beat of the academic calendar. In Santa Cruz every fall, returning students reinvigorate the community, who you will notice are all over town, buying groceries, out with friends, and getting acquainted or re-acquainted with each other and Santa Cruz. One of the beneficial effects that colleges provide is that they tend to be lasting institutions that deliver direct economic benefits to the local economy in the form of such things as jobs for faculty and staff, and spending by students. Santa Cruz benefits directly from this.

Not only is Santa Cruz a city with many college students, but it also retains many recent graduates who are looking to start new careers, creating a very large population of people who are young, single, educated, and upwardly-mobile. That’s because Santa Cruz 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 Cruz 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.

Santa Cruz 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.

Although the majority of commuting trips in the city are by private automobile, Santa Cruz 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 bus helps to get to and from their jobs every morning, which benefits everyone in the Santa Cruz area by reducing both traffic and air pollution.

Do you like to read, write and learn? If you move to Santa Cruz, you'll likely find that many of your neighbors like to as well. Santa Cruz is one of the more educated communities in America, with a full 56.59% 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 Santa Cruz in 2018 was $46,720, which is upper middle income relative to California, and wealthy relative to the rest of the US. This equates to an annual income of $186,880 for a family of four. However, Santa Cruz contains both very wealthy and poor people as well.

Santa Cruz is an extremely ethnically-diverse city. The people who call Santa Cruz home describe themselves as belonging to a variety of racial and ethnic groups. The greatest number of Santa Cruz residents report their race to be White, followed by Asian. Santa Cruz also has a sizeable Hispanic population (people of Hispanic origin can be of any race). People of Hispanic or Latino origin account for 21.08% of the city’s residents. Important ancestries of people in Santa Cruz include German, Irish, English, Italian, and European.

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