Top 10 Best Cities for Young Families in Southern California
February 25, 2015
When someone mentions Southern California, Los Angeles and Hollywood usually come to mind. From the weather, the beautiful beach and pier in Santa Monica to the Los Angeles Lakers basketball team, Universal Studios and Hollywood Walk of Fame, it would be easier to list what Los Angeles does not offer rather than what it does. But Southern California is more than just Los Angeles. It encompasses the coastal regions of Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo, east to the desert areas of Temecula and Riverside, down to the southern U.S. borders of San Diego and everything in between, including our famed Orange County. With so many activities, opportunities and vibrant life flowing in and throughout Southern California, it is easy to see the attraction.
While Los Angeles may be the most famous, its southern neighbor Orange County appears to be the most family friendly to live in. A current ranking of the Best Cities in Southern California for Young Families boasted four Orange County cities – Irvine, Rancho Santa Margarita, Seal Beach and Cypress – among the top five cities on their list. Orange County is well-known for family fun with attractions such as the famous Disneyland Resort and California Adventure, Angels baseball, water parks, museums, swimming, paddle-boarding, surfing and other beach activities.
To determine what cities are desirable for young families, three factors were used to create a score program that ranked 186 places in Southern California. Each place had to have over 15,000 residents in order to be considered.
- PUBLIC SCHOOLS. The excellence of their public schools was the first criterion. Data gathered from GreatSchools compared student’s test scores and statewide data and ranked them on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest rating.
- HOME AFFORDABILITY. As could be expected, cities with more affordable homes received higher scores. NerdWallet used U.S. Census Bureau data to weigh the medium home values with monthly homeownership costs such as mortgage payments, real estate taxes, insurance costs, utilities and other bills.
- GROWTH AND PROSPERITY. The health and vitality of a place’s economy was assessed using census figures from 2012 regarding median household incomes and long-term growth from figures since 1999.
So how did the list turn out? The top ten best cities for young families in Southern California are:
- Rancho Santa Margarita
- Seal Beach
- Agoura Hills
- Loma Linda
- Yorba Linda
There were additional findings that indicated certain trends:
- Smaller is better. Six of the top 10 cities take up less than 15 square miles of land. Although small in size, their schools, affordability and economy landed them on the list.
- While Orange County dominates the top five list, don’t rule out Los Angeles just yet. They had six cities in the top 20.
- Southern California is famed for its beaches, surfing and laid-back beach attitude and lifestyle, but only one of the top 10 cities on the list was actually a beach community. The list is predominately inland but only a short drive from the coast.
Whether you come for a day or a lifetime, Southern California has something for everyone. We hope you come visit us soon and let us show you why this is a great place to live! Our Los Angeles office is in the beautiful coastal community of Huntington Beach. When you’re ready to move, just give us a call or get a free moving quote. We’re ready to help!