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 64,465 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 89.61% 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 (12.32%), teaching (11.71%), and office and administrative support (11.10%).

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.

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.

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 have a 4-year college degree or graduate degree? If so, you may feel right at home in Santa Cruz. 51.11% 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 2010 was $31,639, which is upper middle income relative to California and the nation. This equates to an annual income of $126,556 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 20.41% 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.