Santa Cruz, CA
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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 64,608 people and 18 constituent neighborhoods, Santa Cruz is the 141st largest community in California.

Housing costs in Santa Cruz 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.

Santa Cruz is a decidedly white-collar city, with fully 88.61% of the workforce employed in white-collar jobs, well above the national average. Overall, Santa Cruz is a city of professionals, service providers, and sales and office workers. There are especially a lot of people living in Santa Cruz who work in teaching (11.10%), management occupations (10.11%), and sales jobs (10.06%).

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.

Santa Cruz is also a major college town with a large number of people who are 18 years or older and attending college. As is often the case in college towns, the many students that live in Santa Cruz have a strong influence on the local culture and entertainment scene, which may seem dormant by comparison in the summer months when much of the student population is away. In the fall, the return of students has a reinvigorating effect on the community. Because colleges are lasting institutions, they have a stabilizing effect on the economy by providing direct local benefits such as jobs for faculty and staff and spending by students. Santa Cruz’s economy is one such example of 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 decent-sized population of people who are young, single, educated, and upwardly-mobile. This makes it a good choice for other relocating single professionals. Here, these young singles will find many others like themselves, with opportunities for friendships, socializing, romance, and fun.

One of the nice things about Santa Cruz 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.

Like elsewhere in America, most people in Santa Cruz use a private automobile to get to work. But notably, a substantial number of Santa Cruz‘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.

Do you have a 4-year college degree or graduate degree? If so, you may feel right at home in Santa Cruz. 53.80% of adults here have a 4-year degree or graduate degree, whereas the national average for all cities and towns is just 21.84%.

The per capita income in Santa Cruz in 2018 was $39,653, which is upper middle income relative to California, and wealthy relative to the rest of the US. This equates to an annual income of $158,612 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 20.99% of the city’s residents. Important ancestries of people in Santa Cruz include Irish, German, English, Italian, and European.

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