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 65,021 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 89.65% 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 teaching (12.35%), sales jobs (11.67%), and office and administrative support (11.02%).

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.

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, shaping the character of the city into a place that is geared toward, and considered attractive to, many single, educated people. Many singles consider Santa Cruz a good place to live without being in a really big city, with opportunities for friendships and fun with others like themselves.

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.

For the size of the city, public transportation in Santa Cruz is quite heavily used. Mostly, people who use it for their daily commute are taking the bus. For Santa Cruz, the benefits are reduced air pollution and congestion on the highways.

If knowledge is power, Santa Cruz is a pretty powerful place. 52.13% of the adults in Santa Cruz have earned a 4-year college degree, masters degree, MD, law degree, or even PhD. Compare that to the national average of 21.84% for all cities and towns.

The per capita income in Santa Cruz in 2010 was $33,776, which is upper middle income relative to California and the nation. This equates to an annual income of $135,104 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 20.58% 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.