Best places to raise a family in California

Written by:
April 20, 2021
realtor.com

Best places to raise a family in California

Choosing a place to raise children can be a daunting task for any family. If it takes a village to raise a child, that may just extend all the way to your next-door neighbor, fifth-grade teacher, or volunteer soccer coach. While all parents are looking for a great place to raise their kids, oftentimes this decision means balancing—and prioritizing—certain community resources and costs.

Stacker compiled a list of the best places to raise a family in California using data from Niche. Niche ranks places to live based on a variety of factors including cost of living, schools, health care, recreation, and weather. Keep reading to see if where you grew up or currently live made the list.

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Best places to raise a family in California

Choosing a place to raise children can be a daunting task for any family. If it takes a village to raise a child, that may just extend all the way to your next-door neighbor, fifth-grade teacher, or volunteer soccer coach. While all parents are looking for a great place to raise their kids, oftentimes this decision means balancing—and prioritizing—certain community resources and costs.

Stacker compiled a list of the best places to raise a family in California using data from Niche. Niche ranks places to live based on a variety of factors including cost of living, schools, health care, recreation, and weather. Keep reading to see if where you grew up or currently live made the list.

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#25. Foster City

- Population: 33,997
- Median home value: $1,245,800 (57% own)
- Median rent: $3,209 (43% rent)
- Median household income: $158,529
- Top public schools: Carlmont High School (A+), San Mateo High School (A+), Hillsdale High School (A+)
- Top private schools: Kids Connection Elementary School (unavailable), Ronald C. Wornick Jewish Day School (unavailable), Bright Horizon Chinese School (unavailable)

- Pictured: 106 Goldhunter Ct, Foster City ($2.5 million, 4 bedrooms)

#24. Moraga

- Population: 17,539
- Median home value: $1,140,700 (82% own)
- Median rent: $2,128 (18% rent)
- Median household income: $140,378
- Top public schools: Campolindo High School (A+), Miramonte High School (A+), Acalanes High School (A+)
- Top private schools: The Saklan School (A+)

- Pictured: 30 Quail Xing, Moraga ($2.5 million, 1 bedrooms)

#23. San Carlos

- Population: 30,154
- Median home value: $1,625,700 (72% own)
- Median rent: $2,321 (28% rent)
- Median household income: $182,083
- Top public schools: Carlmont High School (A+), San Carlos Charter Learning Center (A), Tierra Linda Middle School (A)
- Top private schools: St. Charles School (unavailable)

- Pictured: 147 Oakley Ave, San Carlos ($4.0 million, 5 bedrooms)

#22. Corte Madera

- Population: 9,838
- Median home value: $1,200,300 (66% own)
- Median rent: $2,642 (34% rent)
- Median household income: $149,439
- Top public schools: Redwood High School (A+), Tamalpais High School (A+), Sir Francis Drake High School (A+)
- Top private schools: Marin Country Day School (A), Marin Montessori School (unavailable), Corte Madera Montessori (unavailable)

- Pictured: 39 Edison Ave, Corte Madera ($2.0 million, 3 bedrooms)

#21. San Marino

- Population: 13,194
- Median home value: $2,000,001 (86% own)
- Median rent: $3,293 (14% rent)
- Median household income: $166,607
- Top public schools: San Marino High School (A+), K.L. Carver Elementary (A+), Valentine Elementary School (A+)
- Top private schools: Southwestern Academy (A+)

- Pictured: 999 Rosalind Rd, San Marino ($19.8 million, 6 bedrooms)

#20. Ladera Ranch

- Population: 27,277
- Median home value: $820,100 (72% own)
- Median rent: $2,341 (28% rent)
- Median household income: $161,348
- Top public schools: San Juan Hills High School (A+), Tesoro High School (A+), Capistrano Valley High School (A+)
- Top private schools: Montessori of Ladera Ranch (unavailable), Ladera Ranch KinderCare (unavailable), The Goddard School - Ladera Ranch (unavailable)

- Pictured: 26 Catalina Vista Rd, Ladera Ranch ($3.5 million, 4 bedrooms)

#19. Palo Alto

- Population: 66,573
- Median home value: $2,000,001 (55% own)
- Median rent: $2,569 (45% rent)
- Median household income: $158,271
- Top public schools: Henry M. Gunn High School (A+), Palo Alto High School (A+), Los Altos High School (A+)
- Top private schools: Castilleja School (A+), Kehillah Jewish High School (A+), The Girls' Middle School (A+)

- Pictured: 890 Robb Rd, Palo Alto ($19.5 million, 7 bedrooms)

#18. Irvine

- Population: 273,157
- Median home value: $838,000 (47% own)
- Median rent: $2,361 (53% rent)
- Median household income: $105,126
- Top public schools: Orange County School of the Arts (A+), University High School (A+), Northwood High School (A+)
- Top private schools: TVT Community Day School (A+), Pacific Academy (A+), Crean Lutheran High School (A+)

- Pictured: 39 Echo Gln, Irvine ($11.5 million, 6 bedrooms)

#17. Rolling Hills

- Population: 1,513
- Median home value: $2,000,001 (95% own)
- Median rent: $3,501 (5% rent)
- Median household income: $250,001
- Top public schools: Palos Verdes Peninsula High School (A+), Palos Verdes High School (A+), Vista Grande Elementary School (A+)

- Pictured: 1 Pine Tree Ln, Rolling Hills ($16.0 million, 6 bedrooms)

#16. San Ramon

- Population: 75,648
- Median home value: $958,800 (72% own)
- Median rent: $2,391 (28% rent)
- Median household income: $160,783
- Top public schools: Dougherty Valley High School (A+), Monte Vista High School (A+), California High School (A+)
- Top private schools: The Dorris - Eaton School (unavailable), The Child Day School - San Ramon / Hidden Canyon (unavailable), Montessori School of San Ramon (unavailable)

- Pictured: 257 Zinnia Ct, San Ramon ($2.5 million, 4 bedrooms)

#15. Kentfield

- Population: 7,020
- Median home value: $1,997,100 (81% own)
- Median rent: $2,187 (19% rent)
- Median household income: $214,081
- Top public schools: Redwood High School (A+), Tamalpais High School (A+), Sir Francis Drake High School (A+)
- Top private schools: Marin Catholic High School (A+)

- Pictured: 215 Laurel Grove Ave, Kentfield ($5.0 million, 6 bedrooms)

#14. Pleasanton

- Population: 81,717
- Median home value: $986,800 (70% own)
- Median rent: $2,396 (30% rent)
- Median household income: $156,400
- Top public schools: Amador Valley High School (A+), Foothill High School (A+), Dublin High School (A+)
- Top private schools: Stratford School - Pleasanton (unavailable), Hacienda Child Development Center (unavailable), Hacienda School (unavailable)

- Pictured: 1853 Via Di Salerno, Pleasanton ($5.0 million, 6 bedrooms)

#13. San Anselmo

- Population: 12,525
- Median home value: $1,066,800 (68% own)
- Median rent: $1,930 (32% rent)
- Median household income: $128,212
- Top public schools: Redwood High School (A+), Tamalpais High School (A+), Sir Francis Drake High School (A+)
- Top private schools: St. Anselm School (unavailable), San Anselmo Montessori School (unavailable), Irene M. Hunt School of Marin (unavailable)

- Pictured: 29 Timothy Ave, San Anselmo ($2.7 million, 5 bedrooms)

#12. Palos Verdes Estates

- Population: 13,434
- Median home value: $2,000,000 (86% own)
- Median rent: $2,683 (14% rent)
- Median household income: $194,543
- Top public schools: Palos Verdes Peninsula High School (A+), Palos Verdes High School (A+), Point Vicente Elementary School (A+)

- Pictured: 609 Paseo Del Mar, Palos Verdes Estates ($10.5 million, 5 bedrooms)

#11. Albany

- Population: 19,804
- Median home value: $882,500 (47% own)
- Median rent: $1,856 (53% rent)
- Median household income: $95,400
- Top public schools: Albany High School (A+), Marin Elementary School (A), Albany Middle School (A)
- Top private schools: Tilden Preparatory School - Albany (A+)

- Pictured: 1245 Washington Ave, Albany ($1.7 million, 5 bedrooms)

#10. Santa Monica

- Population: 91,577
- Median home value: $1,382,700 (29% own)
- Median rent: $1,802 (71% rent)
- Median household income: $96,570
- Top public schools: Santa Monica High School (A+), Franklin Elementary School (A+), Grant Elementary School (A+)
- Top private schools: Crossroads School for Arts & Sciences (A+), New Roads School (A+), Pacifica Christian High School (A+)

- Pictured: 121 Esparta Way, Santa Monica ($14.0 million, 6 bedrooms)

#9. Piedmont

- Population: 11,317
- Median home value: $2,000,001 (88% own)
- Median rent: $3,229 (12% rent)
- Median household income: $224,659
- Top public schools: Piedmont High School (A+), Beach Elementary School (A+), Piedmont Middle School (A+)
- Top private schools: Corpus Christi School (unavailable)

- Pictured: 94 King Ave, Piedmont ($4.5 million, 3 bedrooms)

#8. Loyola

- Population: 3,367
- Median home value: $2,000,001 (92% own)
- Median rent: $3,501 (8% rent)
- Median household income: $246,563
- Top public schools: Los Altos High School (A+), Mountain View High School (A+), Monta Vista High School (A+)
- Top private schools: Waldorf School of the Peninsula Los Altos Campus (unavailable)

- Pictured: 796 Terrace Dr, Los Altos ($8.0 million, 5 bedrooms)

#7. Manhattan Beach

- Population: 35,500
- Median home value: $2,000,001 (70% own)
- Median rent: $2,628 (30% rent)
- Median household income: $153,023
- Top public schools: Mira Costa High School (A+), Aurelia Pennekamp Elementary School (A+), Pacific Elementary School (A+)
- Top private schools: American Martyrs Catholic School (unavailable), Manhattan Academy (unavailable), Montessori School of Manhattan Beach (unavailable)

- Pictured: 2316 The Strand, Manhattan Beach ($16.5 million, 6 bedrooms)

#6. Monte Sereno

- Population: 3,479
- Median home value: $2,000,001 (94% own)
- Median rent: $2,722 (6% rent)
- Median household income: $250,001
- Top public schools: Saratoga High School (A+), Los Gatos High School (A+), Saratoga Elementary School (A)

- Pictured: 18216 Daves Ave, Monte Sereno ($7.2 million, 5 bedrooms)

#5. West Menlo Park

- Population: 4,160
- Median home value: $2,000,001 (78% own)
- Median rent: $2,980 (22% rent)
- Median household income: $214,167
- Top public schools: Menlo-Atherton High School (A+), La Entrada Middle School (A), Las Lomitas Elementary School (A)
- Top private schools: University Heights Montessori Children's Center (unavailable)

- Pictured: 2072 Ashton Ave, Menlo Park ($3.7 million, 5 bedrooms)

#4. South Pasadena

- Population: 25,661
- Median home value: $1,071,000 (47% own)
- Median rent: $1,802 (53% rent)
- Median household income: $104,308
- Top public schools: South Pasadena Senior High School (A+), Monterey Hills Elementary School (A+), Arroyo Vista Elementary School (A+)
- Top private schools: Holy Family Catholic School (unavailable)

- Pictured: 1339 Garfield Ave, South Pasadena ($3.6 million, 6 bedrooms)

#3. Los Altos Hills

- Population: 8,505
- Median home value: $2,000,001 (92% own)
- Median rent: $2,674 (8% rent)
- Median household income: $250,001
- Top public schools: Henry M. Gunn High School (A+), Los Altos High School (A+), Mountain View High School (A+)
- Top private schools: Pinewood School - Upper Campus (A+)

- Pictured: 10570 Blandor Way, Los Altos Hills ($21.0 million, 6 bedrooms)

#2. Mountain View

- Population: 81,656
- Median home value: $1,413,500 (42% own)
- Median rent: $2,456 (58% rent)
- Median household income: $139,720
- Top public schools: Los Altos High School (A+), Mountain View High School (A+), Homestead High School (A+)
- Top private schools: St. Francis High School (A+), Waldorf School of the Peninsula - Mountain View Campus (A+), German International School of Silicon Valley - Mountain View Campus (A)

- Pictured: 1142 Fordham Way, Mountain View ($3.6 million, 3 bedrooms)

#1. La Cañada Flintridge

- Population: 20,261
- Median home value: $1,518,000 (91% own)
- Median rent: $2,858 (9% rent)
- Median household income: $175,788
- Top public schools: La Canada High School (A+), Crescenta Valley High School (A+), Palm Crest Elementary School (A+)
- Top private schools: Flintridge Preparatory School (A+), Flintridge Sacred Heart (A+), St. Francis High School (A+)

- Pictured: 1600 Fairmount Ave, La Canada Flintridge ($9.0 million, 5 bedrooms)

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