Moving to Riverside, California 

Moving to Riverside, California 

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    As the fourth largest county in California, Moving to Riverside, CA, can be intimidating since it has Three universally recognized universities, unique historical sites, affordable cost of living and housing, and a higher household income.

    Incorporated in 1883, The inland Empire of California, Riverside, exhibits a flavourful history through its registered historic landmarks, the birthplace of citrus contributing to California agricultural growth, access to outdoor adventures, and various performances and live events. 

    To make your transition stressful, we have compiled a list of things you should know before moving to Riverside, California. After all, it’s not just about Hollywood, parks, and entertainment.

    Quick Facts Before Moving To Riverside, California

    Where Is Riverside, CA LoCAted?

    Riverside, California, is in Southern California, around 50 to 80 miles east of Los Angeles and Orange County.

    It’s the largest city in Riverside County and part of the Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario metropolitan area.

    Population In Riverside, CA

    The population of Riverside, California, is estimated to be 322,538 residents in 2023, growing at a rate of 0.83% annually.

    Diversity In Riverside, CA

    Widely famous for its diverse population, Riverside, CA’s largest ethnic groups are divided into the following groups.

    • White (Non-Hispanic)-27.6%
    • Other (Hispanic)- 25.7%
    • White (Hispanic)- 20.7%
    • Asian (Non-Hispanic)- 8.49% 

    Cost Of Living In Riverside, CA

    Riverside, CA, has a Cost of Living Index that is 31.2% higher than the U.S. average and 12.5% higher than the California average.

    The average income in Riverside is reported to be $49,000, or an hourly rate of $23.56.

    To live comfortably in Riverside, a family should aim for a minimum annual income of $102,600; a single person must make more than $67,060.

    The average cost of living in Riverside, California, is $2590 per month, making it the top 5% of the costliest cities in the world.

    Here is a table summarizing the Cost of Living Index for Riverside, CA:

    Cost of Living CategoriesRiverside, CA
    Overall Cost of Living Index131.2
    Housing6.6% higher than the national average
    Food3.3% higher than the national average
    Transportation2.5% higher than the national average
    Healthcare0.6% higher than the national average
    Energy28.4% higher than the national average

    Housing Market In Riverside, CA

    Riverside’s housing market is highly competitive, with homes selling quickly and receiving multiple offers. Riverside is a seller’s market, with more buyers than available homes. This means you must move to Riverside, CA, fast because competition is fierce and prices are high. So make sure you book a place to live before moving.

    • The number of homes for sale in Riverside decreased by 5.0% from October to November 2023. 
    • Houses in Riverside typically sell within approximately 32 days.
    • The average house price in Riverside reached $641K in November 2023, marking a 9.8% increase from the previous year.
    • The median sale price of a house in Riverside is $621K.
    • The median sale price per square foot in Riverside is $391.
    • Riverside County’s homeownership rate is 68.5%, and it is estimated that around 31.5% of the population rents their homes.
    • The average monthly home rental price in Riverside is around $2,162, varying based on location, size, and quality.

    The rental prices of different sizes of homes in Riverside, CA, are as follows:

    • The average rent in Riverside is about $2,162 per month.
    • The average rental price in Riverside for a studio apartment is $1,771.
    • A 1-bedroom apartment in Riverside has an average rental price of around $1,750.
    • The average rental price for a 2-bedroom apartment in Riverside is about $2,100.
    • On average, renting a 3-bedroom home in Riverside costs approximately $2,800 monthly.
    • The average rental price for a 4-bedroom home in Riverside is around $3,300 per month. 

    Job Market In Riverside, CA

    Riverside, CA, anticipates higher job market growth, especially in construction, manufacturing, transportation, healthcare, education, leisure, and hospitality.

    • The average annual salary in Riverside is approximately $54,778.
    • The average household income in Riverside, CA, is roughly $103,513.
    • The median household income in Riverside is reported to be $76,755.
    • Riverside County’s unemployment rate in December 2023 was 5.20%, lower than the long-term average of 7.87%.

    Top Employers In Riverside, CA

    • Kaiser Permanente: Healthcare.
    • Riverside Community Hospital.
    • Cal Baptist University: Education.
    • Collins Aerospace Systems: Aircraft Components Manufacturing.
    • Riverside Medical Clinic: Healthcare.
    • Stater Bros: Grocery Stores.
    • Doctor’s Hospital of Riverside: Healthcare.
    • J Ginger Masonry: Masonry Contractors.
    • Target: Department Stores.
    • Mission Inn Hotel and Spa: Hotels & Motels.

    Most Common Job Titles In Riverside, CA

    • Registered Nurse
    • Sales Associate
    • Customer Service Representative
    • General Manager
    • Store Assistant
    • Housekeeper
    • Prep Cook
    • Retail Clerk
    • Analyst
    • Operations Manager

    Highest Paying Jobs In Riverside, CA

    Job positionsAverage annual salary
    Clinical Sciences Professor$233,642
    Family Practice Physician$200,869

    Is It Safe To Live In Riverside, CA?

    Riverside, CA, had a crime rate of 296 in 2020, comparable to the U.S. average, with a violent crime rate of 254.7, higher than the national average.

    In Riverside, the chance of being a victim of violent crime is 1 in 210, and for property crime, it’s 1 in 28.

    Aggravated assaults are the most common violent crimes in Riverside, CA, followed by robberies, rapes, and murders.

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

    • Orangecrest
    • Alessandro Heights
    • Victoria
    • Lake Hills / El Sobrante
    • Canyon Ridge / Mockingbird Canyon Estates
    • Harvest / Stone Harbour
    • Canyon Crest

    How Fast Can You Commute In Riverside, CA?

    Riverside, CA, has an average one-way commute time of approximately 30.4 minutes, longer than the national average of 26.4 minutes.

    The primary mode of commuting in Riverside is driving alone, with 89.6% of workers in Riverside County using this method, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

    Carpooling is also a common practice, with 11.7% of workers in Riverside County choosing this mode.

    Available public transportation in Riverside, CA

    • Riverside, CA, has public transportation options, including the Riverside Transit Agency (RTA) with 36 fixed routes, eight CommuterLink routes, and a microtransit service called GoMicro in the Hemet-San Jacinto area.
    • The Riverside County Transportation Commission (RCTC) supports bus operators in Riverside County, offering alternatives like local fixed routes, express routes, community circulators, microtransit, travel training, and paratransit services.
    • The University of California, Riverside (UCR) Transit Services partners with RTA, providing free public transportation access to students, faculty, and staff. Various RTA routes serve the UCR community and neighboring areas.

    How Is The Weather In Riverside, CA?

    Riverside, CA, has a semi-arid climate and four seasons, featuring hot, dry summers and cool, partly cloudy winters.

    • The hot season lasts about 3.0 months, from June 24 to September 23, and August, the hottest month, has an average high of 94°F.
    • The cold season spans about 3.8 months, from November 23 to March 17, with December as the cruelest month, having an average low of 44°F and a high of 68°F.
    • Riverside receives an average annual rainfall of about 11 inches, with February being the wettest month.
    • Snowfall is rare in the city, with an average of 0 inches annually.
    • Riverside enjoys abundant sunshine, with the most apparent period starting around April 25 and lasting for 6.3 months.
    • On average, Riverside experiences 277 sunny days yearly.
    • The best times to visit California and Riverside are March, May, and September.

    How Much Are The Taxes In Riverside, CA?

    Before moving to Riverside, CA, learn about the taxes you must pay.

    • Sales tax: 7.75% (Combination of the California State tax of 6.25%, Riverside County sales tax of 1%, and special tax of 1.50%)
    • Property tax: 1.04 % of assessed value.
    • Income tax: 1% to 12.3%.

    Education System In Riverside, CA

    Education in Riverside, CA, is offered by various institutions, including public and private schools. 

    • The Riverside Unified School District (RUSD) is the 16th largest in California, educating nearly 42,000 students across 50+ schools.
    • The student-teacher ratio in the RUSD is 24:1, which exceeds the state average of 22:1.
    • Riverside features schools with diverse rankings; for instance, Riverside STEM Academy is ranked 10th in California.
    • However, schools in Riverside County, on average, rank 3/10, placing them in the bottom 50% of California public schools.
    • The cost of education in Riverside varies by level and type of institution. For California residents at Riverside City College, tuition for 30 units is $1,380.
    • Public schools in the Riverside Unified School District spend an average of $13,107 per student yearly.

    Best Middle Schools In Riverside, CA

    • Riverside Stem Academy
    • Frank Augustus Miller Middle School
    • Amelia Earhart Middle School
    • Matthew Gage Middle School
    • Mira Loma Middle School

    Best Elementary Schools In Riverside, CA

    • Tomas Rivera Elementary
    • Benjamin Franklin Elementary
    • Lake Mathews Elementary
    • Lake Hills Elementary
    • REACH Leadership STEAM Academy

    Best High Schools In Riverside, CA

    • Riverside Stem Academy
    • Western Center Academy
    • University Preparatory

    Best Universities And Colleges In Riverside, CA

    What Are The Best Things To Do In Riverside, CA?

    The famous attractions to visit and things to see in Riverside, CA, are:

    • Check out the Mission Inn Museum for a historical look into Riverside’s past.
    • Hike the trails at Mount Rubidoux Park for panoramic city views.
    • Experience the California Citrus State Historic Park, showcasing the cultural impact of the citrus industry in California’s history.
    • Relax in the UC Riverside Botanic Gardens, home to over 3,500 plant species.
    • Enjoy a nostalgic movie night at the Van Buren Drive-In Theater.
    • Explore the history of military aviation at the March Field Air Museum.
    • Discover Riverside’s cultural heritage at the Riverside Art Museum.
    • Hit hiking and mountain biking trails at Sycamore Canyon Wilderness Park.
    • Catch a live performance at the Fox Performing Arts Center, hosting Broadway shows, concerts, and more.
    • Learn about natural history and anthropology at the Riverside Metropolitan Museum.
    • Stroll through Downtown Riverside Statues Cultural Heritage, featuring statues of leaders like Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi.
    • Witness the magic of the Riverside Festival of Lights, held annually in late November, with millions of lights and a spectacular fireworks display.

    Best Neighborhoods In Riverside, CA

    The best places to live in Riverside, CA, are:

    • Downtown Riverside
    • Canyon Crest
    • La Sierra
    • Victoria
    • Arlington Heights
    • Eastside
    • La Sierra Hills
    • University.

    Pros And Cons Of Living In Riverside, CA

    Here is a table summarizing the pros and cons of living in Riverside, CA:

    Pros of Living in RiversideCons of Living in Riverside
    Affordable cost of living, including housing and restaurantsHigh unemployment rate
    More affordable than other California citiesPoor air quality
    Wide open spaces and farmlandIncreased housing demand and property prices
    Consistent warm weather and sunshineAbove-average crime rates
    Relatively high income compared to the national averageLimited public transportation options
    Growing population and cultural diversityLimited job opportunities in specific industries

    Final Verdict

    Go ahead and have a great living in Riverside if you are about to move to California. While the city may be famous for its rich agricultural scene and several historic landmarks, the truth is that anyone can find a place in Riverside to call home. 

    Photo Credit: Ken Lund