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 87.83% 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 office and administrative support (11.43%), teaching (11.20%), and management occupations (11.06%).

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.

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.

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.

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. Quite often, nautical areas such as these attract visitors and locals who come to enjoy the scenery and various 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.

The citizens of Santa Cruz are among the most well-educated in the nation: 49.40% of adults in Santa Cruz have a bachelor's degree or even advanced degree, whereas the average US city has 21.84% holding at least a bachelor's degree.

The per capita income in Santa Cruz in 2010 was $29,177, which is middle income relative to California, and upper middle income relative to the rest of the US. This equates to an annual income of $116,708 for a family of four. However, Santa Cruz contains both very wealthy and poor people as well.

Santa Cruz is a very 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 20.93% 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.