Home to the LA elite and Silicon Valley techies, California is a state full of opulence. But which California areas enjoy the most wealth?
- The Wealth of California as a Whole
- The Richest Cities in California
- Los Altos Hills
- Palos Verdes Estates
- La Habra Heights
- Santa Cruz
- Beverly Hills
- Hermosa Beach
- Hidden Hills
- Does Opulence Inspire You?
- Final Thoughts
Or, in other words, what are the richest cities in California?
Here’s the skinny on all the cities in California that will make you, and your wallet, green with envy.
The Wealth of California as a Whole
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States, known for its diverse geography, vibrant culture, and rich history.
The state has played an important role in American history, from the gold rush of 1849 to the rise of Hollywood in the early 1900s. California is also home to many famous landmarks and attractions, such as the Golden Gate Bridge, Disneyland, and Hollywood Boulevard.
But it’s not all roses and unicorns to some…
Despite its many achievements, the state is often subject to stereotypes such as being full of surfers and hippies or being overrun with traffic and pollution. However, it remains a popular destination for tourists and locals alike who are drawn to its natural beauty, warm weather, and unique way of life.
Ok, on to…
The Richest Cities in California
Los Altos Hills
It’s the place to be and has been since 2019!
Located in Silicon Valley, Los Altos Hills is home to 8,000 of the richest Californians. With a median income of $251,000, this town has officially overtaken Woodside and Hillsborough due to its affluent residents. If you’ve got money – and we mean serious money – it may be your ticket. The minimum lot size for a residential home there is a quarter of an acre. And the median home price is a steep $4 million!
But let’s face it…
If you’re splurging with that kind of cash, you’re gonna want that sunny, scenic backdrop with rolling hills. Let’s just say we know what you’d pick with that kind of money to spend.
Woodside is one of the richest cities in the state and a paradise for tech moguls and millionaires. With a median income of $250,200, it’s no surprise that this prosperous place is geared toward those with deep pockets.
Property prices here can exceed $5 million!
Not to mention, who could forget that Steve Jobs and Nick Woodman have both called this thriving city home? Whether it’s enjoying lavish restaurants and exclusive services or indulging in equestrian activities and exploring beautiful parks, the ultra-rich residents of Woodside do not lack anything when it comes to privilege!
Atop the list of California’s wealthiest cities, Hillsborough reigns with the supreme with its median income of an outrageous $250,001. It has continuously been heralded for its amazing public school system and safe neighborhoods. You better believe this tight-knit community isn’t cheap!
And the wealth goes a long way back…
17 miles south of SF, Hillsborough has called itself the perfumed city since way back in the 18th century. Originally resting on a piece of land owned by shipping magnate William Davis Merry Howard and his family, it once served as a residency exclusively meant for wealthy white people.
Fortunately, nowadays, it’s diversified and consists of 11,608 hardworking citizens. So you, too, can call it home if you don’t mind shelling out a couple of (million) bucks.
Located in the East Bay Area of northern California, the city of Orinda is rich in culture, natural beauty, and luxury living. With a population of 19,461 and a median income of $231,230, this affluent town provides its inhabitants with plenty of activities to partake in.
So what do the rich and famous do here?
With gentle hills brimming with outdoor activities and hiking trails, as well as glamorous golf courses for the avid players and a lively town center boasting trendsetting boutiques and high-end restaurants, Orinda has it all.
This magical place is also perfect for families with children, thanks to its excellent public schools and suburban neighborhood vibes. Considered one of America’s 50 best cities to live in, Orinda promises luxury living like no other.
Palos Verdes Estates
With breathtaking vistas, immaculate beaches, and a plethora of facilities, it is no surprise that Palos Verdes Estates is among the richest cities in the state. The population is just shy of 13,500 citizens, and the median income is an impressive $197,826. So Palos Verdes Estates offers its affluent residents a safe haven from the hustle and bustle of modern life.
From enjoying relaxing days by the shore to hiking trails and upmarket dining experiences, this city also has it all! Palos Verdes Estates is the true definition of living lavishly.
Cupertino is the epitome of luxury living with its incredible views of the Santa Cruz Mountains. And its robust median income of $182,857. Being in the hub of Silicon Valley, the city highlights industry brilliance, boasting a large population of tech-minded and wealthy citizens.
The best part?
The investment of many prestigious businesses into Cupertino has not only benefitted the economy but also provided many excellent job opportunities for its inhabitants. Reliably offering safety and a great environment to bring up families, it’s no wonder Cupertino continues to rank as one of California’s richest and most sought-after cities for residence.
La Habra Heights
Fitting in perfectly among the list of the most prosperous Californian cities is La Habra Heights. Enjoying a median income of $163.750, this picturesque enclave located between Los Angeles and Orange counties offers views that are simply divine.
With a temperate Mediterranean climate, as well as an exclusive population count of 5,318. Add to that its lush landscapes and alluring features, La Habra Heights is one of the most desirable places to live.
A vibrant and unique city, Vallejo embodies the spirit of California and is the crowning jewel of San Pablo Bay. Named after Mariano Vallejo, a famous Californio statesman, it first served as the state’s capital before its administration was transferred to honor the founder’s wife, Benicia Carrillo De Vallejo.
And still today, you’re looking at outstanding wealth…
There is a gross metro product of $22.2 billion and a population of 126,090 inhabitants, according to the most recent census. Plus, a still-enviable median household income of $79,927. Consequently, its wealth continues to flourish, making Vallejo one of the most outstanding cities in the North Bay region.
Napa is a rich Californian city renowned for its world-class wine production and exquisite tourism opportunities. Wine connoisseurs flock to its vineyards. While luxury resorts, Michelin-starred restaurants, and boutique eateries draw throngs of tourists with their charming atmosphere.
Highly exclusive, though…
The continued success of these thriving industries, together with the city’s agricultural base and its role as the county seat of Napa County, has contributed significantly to Napa’s economically prosperous status. Average residential property prices stand at a robust $857,447, and the city’s median household income is over $85,000.
Truly reflective of its affluent character. Yet, despite all this wealth, Napa maintains a relatively small population base of only 78,818.
If you’re after the luxurious Central California lifestyle, then look no further than Santa Cruz. This is the largest city in Santa Cruz County, with a population of 62,956 and an impressive median household income of $89,986.
Here you’ll find pleasingly picturesque beach breaks and spectacular redwood cliff-covered mountains. Perfect for explorations into the beauty of nature.
Indeed, there’s something for everyone here…
Surfers will love nothing more than catching waves at iconic global surf spots. While those interested in agriculture and high-tech will effortlessly bask in the thriving economy. Marvelous historic landmarks also await within this affluent locale, making it ideal for those seeking opulence by the seaside.
Next, on my rundown of the Richest Cities in California, Hayward is undeniably a sought-after city, featuring a median household income of $91,490 and 8.3% millionaire residents. Clearly, owning a home in the East Bay area of San Francisco Bay comes with a price tag. The average cost of acquiring one in neighborhoods like Hayward Highland or Glen Eden is approximately $830k!
Where does all the money come from?
Well, its prosperity can be attributed to numerous manufacturing companies ranging from PepsiCo and Pentagon Technologies to Hunt Brothers Cannery. It is truly astounding how what would have otherwise been just one more city on the map has now flourished into such a destination, offering wealthy residing opportunities!
There is something incredibly special about Beverly Hills that makes it one of California’s most prestigious residential cities. Home to some of the world’s greatest stars like Ellen DeGeneres, it is no surprise that this chic community has been featured in countless films, reality shows, and music videos.
Got $5 million to spare?
With a population limited to 31 896, those fortunate enough to live in the area enjoy a median household income of $101,241. Quite a hefty sum for any family. Purchasing property here can be quite the investment, too, with an average of $5.2M exchanged for real estate.
Truly, Beverly Hills is a luxurious locale meant only for the poshest.
For those searching for a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles and San Diego, Carlsbad may be the ideal destination. This charming city, with a population of 115,302 people and a median household income of a whopping $112,933, is renowned for its dreamy beaches and abundance of green golf courses. Most notably, the exquisite 400-acre public golf course known as The Crossings at Carlsbad.
Can you smell the money?
With an idyllic Mediterranean climate, friendly residents, breathtaking white sand coastlines, and terrace restaurants looking over the Pacific Ocean, you can understand why Carlsbad is such a sought-after location for living. Whether it’s time off or thrilling activities that you’re after, this little piece of paradise has something to suit all your desires!
Hermosa Beach is truly a gem of Los Angeles. Nestled within the expansive bay of Santa Monica, it offers its visitors and locals alike a wonderful respite from the hustle and bustle of life.
Its crystal clear waters and wide open shores attract countless tourists every year, all eager to enjoy up to 325 days of sunshine each year in search of fun and relaxation.
But there’s more to Hermosa Beach than just beaches…
Luxurious high-rise condos, charming boutiques, places for entertainment, and excellent seafood restaurants line the beachfront promenade. Alongside historical landmarks which offer a glimpse into the city’s past.
And despite its small scale geographical footprint of only 15 blocks across, living in Hermosa Beach comes with a substantial price tag as properties are situated either beachfront or within walking distance from the beach. With real estate well above average market prices, estimated at around $2.2 million per property, the median household income both does and needs to stand at an impressive $142,500.
Malibu truly offers the best of both worlds. Supreme privacy, as well as effortless accessibility.
Surrounded by beaches with incomparable views, this city is a favorite for Hollywood’s elite. Providing an exclusive environment to its A-list residents, such as Leonard DiCaprio, Jennifer Aniston, and Charlize Theron.
Along with reputation comes its inflated cost of living…
The average home value last year was reported at a staggering $4.1 million, and the median annual income to maintain a comfortable lifestyle is quite substantial, at $162,710!
But although it requires somewhat of a fortune to dwell in Malibu, this city can be reached swiftly from any corner of Southern California. This is due to its proximity to Los Angeles and smooth transition to other cities through State Route 1.
Hidden Hills encapsulates sophistication and exclusivity. Located at the foot of Simi Hills Transverse and on the edge of San Fernando Valley, this secluded haven is home to the elite, with a median household income of an impressive $390,000.
With restricted cars and common horseback riding encouraged, what could be posher than a gated community in which residents must set aside land for their equestrian lots?
Of course, these amenities come with a price tag. Hidden Hills’ median listing price for a home sits at an awe-inspiring $7.5 million. Perfect for celebrities such as Kim Kardashian, Travis Scott, and Drake, amongst other notable stars who have found solace in this luxurious location.
Does Opulence Inspire You?
If that’s the case, do check out the Richest Neighborhoods in America.
But what do you need to own a home in California?
To make tons of money, of course! Find out What Percentage of Americans Are Millionaires, and also take a look at Jeff Bezos Companies to give you a better idea of what kind of cash we’re talking about.
Then, if you’re intent on making anywhere near this kind of income yourself, you could start by reading our comprehensive guide to today’s Careers That Make You Rich, as well as the Best 6 Figure Jobs to work in 2023!
No spring chicken anymore? Not a problem! Find out all you’ll need to know about your Midlife Career Change in Your 40s. Or search our site for any money-making query at all.
Alternatively, why not consider moving to one of the Cheapest Places to Live in California? We can even tell you How to Get a Work Permit in California and all about LinkedIn Cold Messages: How to Reach Out About a Job in California.
OK, back to today’s Californian wealth report…
Be it Beverly Hills, Carlsbad, Hermosa Beach, or Malibu – these cities represent the pinnacle of luxury living in Southern California. With spectacular views, exquisite amenities, and an exclusive environment, it’s clear to see why people are so eager to call these cities home.
Although not all of us can afford the prices that come with real estate in these luxurious places, there is no denying that these cities have become iconic symbols of American opulence and success. Indeed, they offer a lifestyle that is meant only for the poshest of the posh.
So, if you ever find yourself in need of a little escape, keep these cities in mind. They’re sure to provide you with the ultimate fantasy getaway!
Happy California hopping!
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