Moving to Oakland, California

Moving to Oakland, California

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    You may be moving to Oakland, California, for work or immigration. If so, you’re probably already starting to plan your move. This blog post will give you all the information about Oakland, from the best neighborhoods to the cost of living. Stay tuned!

    Founded By the Spanish settlers in 1772 for settling down, Oakland got its name from the large oak forest that once stood on the land. 

    Oakland, usually called “the bright side of the Bay,” is the third largest city in the Bay area, After San Francisco and San Jose. The Cultural Centre of the Bay is known for its proximity to the Pacific Ocean, rich and complicated history, culture, culinary scenes, Chinatown, major corporations, bay views, and parklands. 

    Let’s dive into the topic to understand if moving to Oakland, CA, is better for you, and decide wisely without giving too much away!

    Quick facts regarding moving to Oakland, CA

    Where is Oakland, CA, located?

    Situated in the eastern part of the San Francisco Bay, Oakland, California, is the county seat of Alameda County and is positioned across the Bay from San Francisco. Encompassing an area of 78.0 square miles, it stands as the largest city in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area.

    Population of Oakland, CA

    Home to about 430,553 residents, the population of Oakland, CA, comprises of:

    • Oakland, CA’s population density is 7,787 people per square mile, 78 square miles.
    • The median age in Oakland, CA, is 36.6 years.
    • The population of Oakland, California, has been declining by 1.3% since the 2020 census. 
    • The poverty rate in Oakland, CA, is 13.51.
    • The most spoken languages in Oakland, CA, are English and Spanish.

    Diversity of Oakland, CA

    With a diversity score of 99 out of 100, the population of Oakland is incredibly diverse, divided into the following ethnic groups.

    • White (Non-Hispanic): 28.6%
    • Black or African American (Non-Hispanic): 21.6%
    • Other (Hispanic): 17.3%
    • Asian (Non-Hispanic): 15.6%
    • Two+ (Non-Hispanic): 5.66%

    Is Oakland, CA safe?

    Before moving to Oakland, California, with your family, you must learn that the city experiences high crime rates, with a citywide crime rate of 70 per 1000 residents, ranking it among the highest in the country for communities of all sizes.

    • The likelihood of being a victim of violent and property crime in Oakland is 1 in 80 and 1 in 17, respectively, resulting in an overall chance of 1 in 14 for either type of crime.
    • The common crimes in Oakland encompass violent offenses such as rape, murder, armed robbery, and aggravated assault, including incidents involving deadly weapons.
    • Oakland witnessed a notable increase in violent crime rates, with total homicides surging by 23% compared to the previous year, rising from 109 in 2020 to 134 in 2021.
    • Property crimes, particularly those related to cars, experienced a significant upswing, with car break-ins rising by over 40% and vehicle thefts more than doubling.
    Crime typeOaklandCaliforniaUS
    Violent crime75.525.222.7
    Property crime81.237.134

    Oakland has some of the safest cities in California, which is mentioned below:

    • Upper Rockridge
    • Trestle Glen
    • Montclair
    • Bushrod
    • Cleveland Heights
    • Grand Lake
    • Redwood Heights
    • Temescal
    • Forestland
    • Panoramic Hill

    Cost of Living in Oakland, CA

    Oakland’s cost of Living index is 195.5, signifying that the total living expenses are about 95.5% higher than the U.S. average.

    The Key information regarding the cost of living in Oakland, CA, includes the following:

    • The cost of living in Oakland is 46% higher than the national average, and housing expenses are 99% higher than the national average.
    • The median home price in Oakland is $899,121, and the median rent is $2,734 monthly.
    • For comfortable living in the San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley area, you need a minimum annual income of $156,960 for a family and $72,800 for a single person.
    • KTLA reports that an after-tax salary of $84,026 is needed to live comfortably in the San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley area.

    Here is a table summarizing the cost of living in Oakland, CA:

    Cost of Living Index195.5
    Median Home Price$899,121
    Median Rent$2,734/month
    Average Energy Bill$230.22/month
    Average Phone Bill$247.67/month
    Average Gas Price$4.56/gallon
    Average Grocery PricesLoaf of Bread: $5.05, Gallon of Milk: $3.16, Carton of Eggs: $2.93, Bunch of Bananas: $4.37, Hamburger: $6.68
    Average Healthcare CostsDoctor’s Visit: $159.88, Dentist Visit: $137.95, Optometrist Visit: $150.60, Rx Drug: $589.09, Veterinary Visit: $70.86
    Median Household Income$94,389
    Average Annual Household Income$124,815
    Recommended Minimum Annual Income$156,960 for a family, $72,800 for a single person

    Job Market in Oakland, CA

    Oakland has a comprehensive job market that varies based on a specific job and industry. The city offers equal opportunity employer regulation focusing on workforce diversity, equity, and involvement.

    So, before moving to Oakland, CA, check out the key starts regarding the jobs and salary market, which are as follows: 

    • Over the past year, the job market in Oakland has experienced a 1.4% increase.
    • The future job growth in Oakland, CA, for the next decade, is predicted to be 35.3%, surpassing the US average of 33.5%. 
    • The average income for an Oakland resident is $32,566 annually, which exceeds the US average of $28,555.
    • The median household income for an Oakland resident is $85,628 per year, surpassing the US average of $69,021.
    • As of 2023, the unemployment rate in Oakland stands at 4.4%, which is lower than the US average of 6.0%.
    • The average annual salary for male models in Oakland is $73,771, and the average salary for female engineers in Oakland is $74,106.

    The top employers in Oakland, CA, are

    • Kaiser Permanente
    • The Clorox Company
    • Blue Shield of California
    • The Permanente Medical Group
    • Alameda County
    • Port of Oakland
    • Oakland Unified School District
    • Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART)
    • UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital
    • Pandora

    The most common job titles in Oakland, CA, are:

    • Maintenance Technician
    • Assistant Property Manager
    • Housekeeper
    • Administrative Assistant
    • Customer Service Representative
    • Program Manager
    • Registered Nurse
    • Sales Associate
    • Project Manager
    • Executive Assistant

    The highest-paying job profiles in Oakland, CA, are as follows:

    Job position Salary range
    Owner Operator Truck Driver$146,600 – $411,000 per year
    Psychologist$114,300 – $170,600 per year
    Electronic Test Technician$85,000 – $143,000 per year
    Enrollment Coordinator$58,455

    Tax rates in Oakland, CA

    Before relocating to Oakland, CA, be aware of the types of taxes you must pay to the city.

    • Sales Tax: Oakland’s combined sales tax rate is 10.25% (including state, county, and city rates).
    • Property Tax: The property tax rate in Oakland is approximately 1.3741%. The average effective property tax rate in Alameda County is 0.88%.
    • Income Tax: California’s progressive income tax system has nine brackets, ranging from 1% to 12.3%—an additional 1% tax on personal income over $1 million.

    Housing market in Oakland, CA

    As of 2023, the housing market in Oakland, CA, is highly competitive, marked by homes receiving multiple offers and selling in approximately 20 days on average.

    • The average cost of buying a home in Oakland is $802,361.
    • The median home value in Oakland is $790,956.
    • The homeownership rate in Oakland is 41.3%.
    • The median list price per square foot in Oakland is $594.
    • The average home rental price in Oakland is $2,790.
    • Given the homeownership rate, the percentage of the population that rents in Oakland is approximately 58.7%.
    Housing costsOaklandUS
    Median home cost$802,361.$338,100
    Rental cost of a studio$1700$1080
    Rental cost of 1 bedroom$2100$1180
    Rental cost of 2 bedroom$2690$1430
    Rental cost of 3 bedroom$3549$1860

    Top neighborhoods in Oakland, CA

    The best places to live in Oakland, CA, are as follows:

    • Rockridge
    • Claremont Hills
    • Adam’s Point
    • Lakeshore
    • Piedmont Avenue
    • Downtown Oakland
    • Castlemont
    • Jingletown
    • Montclair
    • Temescal

    How is the Education system in Oakland, CA?

    There are 350 schools in Oakland, encompassing preschools, middle schools, high schools, and private schools. For the 2023-24 school year, 158 public schools serve 64,749 students in Oakland.

    • Oakland schools have an average ranking of 7/10, placing them in the top 50% of California public schools.
    • Average math proficiency is 39%, and reading proficiency is 53%, exceeding California averages.
    • The average private school tuition in Oakland, California, is $16,718 annually. Example: St. Paul’s Episcopal School in Oakland has tuition ranging from $33,960 to $38,700 for grades K-8.

    Middle schools in Oakland, CA:

    • Piedmont Middle School
    • American Indian Public Charter II
    • AIMS College Prep Middle School
    • Downtown Charter Academy
    • Edna Brewer Middle
    • Claremont Middle
    • Montera Middle
    • Oakland Unity Middle
    • Roosevelt Middle
    • Westlake Middle

    Elementary schools in Oakland, CA:

    • Hillcrest Elementary
    • Peralta Elementary
    • Chabot Elementary
    • Thornhill Elementary
    • Montclair Elementary

    High schools in Oakland, CA:

    • Piedmont High School
    • Aspire Benjamin Holt College Preparatory Academy
    • Oakland Charter High School
    • Coliseum College Prep Academy
    • Oakland Technical High School

    Colleges and universities in Oakland, CA:

    • Mills College
    • Saybrook University
    • Samuel Merritt University
    • Holy Names University
    • Patten University

    How fast can you commute in Oakland, CA?

    The average one-way commute time in Oakland, California, is about 31.9 minutes, longer than the US average of 26.4 minutes.

    Most people in Oakland drive to work (64.6%), while 16% use public transportation and 11% work from home.

    Public transportation in Oakland is mainly provided by the Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District (AC Transit) and Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART).

    Weather and climate in Oakland, CA

    Oakland, California, has a warm-summer Mediterranean climate featuring warm, dry summers and mild, wet winters.

    • The temperature varies throughout the year, with the warm season lasting 4.4 months (June 8 to October 20),
    • An average daily high temperature above 71°F. The winter season is less distinct, with the coldest nights generally dropping to around freezing.
    • September is the hottest month, with an average high of 74°F, while January is the coldest, with an average low of 42°F and a high of 58°F.
    • Known for its sunny weather, Oakland enjoys an average of 260 sunny days, 22.1 inches of average annual precipitation, and no snowfall yearly.
    • The best time to visit California, Oakland, is March to Early May.

    Things to Do in Oakland, CA

    Check out the list of things to do and places to see in Oakland, CA:

    • Explore the Oakland Museum of California for unique exhibits on the state’s art, history, and natural science.
    • Take a peaceful stroll at Lake Merritt, the oldest designated wildlife refuge in the US, surrounded by garden areas.
    • Shop and explore creative stores in Temescal Alley, known for its hip atmosphere.
    • Visit the African American Museum and Library in California, which is dedicated to preserving African Americans’ historical and cultural experiences.
    • Experience music and theater with bay views at the Woodminster Amphitheatre in the Oakland Hills.
    • Discover the art of fruit and vegetable carving and cultural dances at the Oakland Asian Cultural Center in Chinatown.
    • Captain a kayak at Oakland Estuary and paddle to Brotzeit Lokal, a local German beer garden.
    • Stroll through the Morcom Garden of Roses in the Grand Lake neighborhood.
    • Enjoy family outings at the Oakland Zoo, home to over 850 native and exotic animals.
    • Engage in outdoor activities like hiking and picnicking amid redwoods at Redwood Regional Park.
    • Explore the Chabot Space and Science Center with planetarium shows and guided tours of observatories.
    • Take a leisurely walk and enjoy beautiful views at the Mountain View Cemetery.
    • Join the lively First Fridays event on the first Friday of each month, celebrating Oakland’s artist community with street vendors and crowds.

    Pros and Cons of Living in Oakland, CA

    Check out the pros and cons of living in Oakland, CA. 

    Pros of Living in OaklandCons of Living in Oakland
    Diverse culture and vibrant art sceneHigh crime rates
    Lower cost of living compared to San FranciscoLimited and unreliable public transportation
    Abundance of natural beauty and outdoor activitiesHigh cost of living and housing
    Proximity to San FranciscoPoor air quality
    Good weather with warm summers and mild wintersRisk of natural disasters (drought, storms, flooding, wildfires)
    Strong job market, especially in the tech and healthcare sectorsHigh taxes
    Good schools and collegesLack of affordable housing
    Diverse food scene with many great restaurants

    Final Verdict

    If moving to California and settling down is the next step in your life, consider living in Oakland. The city might be expensive and have higher crime scenes, but its location at the Bay, proximity to California’s big cities, and its offerings are much above all these drawbacks. By browsing this blog post, firstly, you will get to a safe neighborhood for living, and then you can prepare for your location process. 

    Photo Credit: James BeBop, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons