Santa Cruz, CA
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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 64,220 people and 18 constituent neighborhoods, Santa Cruz is the 141st 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.

Santa Cruz is a decidedly white-collar city, with fully 89.09% of the workforce employed in white-collar jobs, well above the national average. Overall, Santa Cruz is a city of professionals, sales and office workers, and service providers. There are especially a lot of people living in Santa Cruz who work in sales jobs (11.74%), teaching (11.38%), and management occupations (11.06%).

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.

Because Santa Cruz 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 Santa Cruz lifestyle, entertainment, and culture in general. Life in Santa Cruz 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 Santa Cruz people study hard and play hard, and there is ample opportunity to do both.

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 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 51.46% 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 2010 was $30,391, which is upper middle income relative to California and the nation. This equates to an annual income of $121,564 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 20.60% of the city’s residents. Important ancestries of people in Santa Cruz include Irish, English, Italian, and European.

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