Berkeley ranks 3rd in ‘best U.S. cities to live in’ list


Berkeley: third best city to live in in the United States, according to new ranking. Photo: Daniel Parks

Berkeley has placed third in a ranking published by of the best places to live in the U.S. Sadly, our city by the bay was beaten to the top slot by Palo Alto. Boulder, Colorado came in second.

Livability describes Berkeley as “a thriving small city” and “a mecca for fine arts, culture, food and science.” “Residents appreciate a strong local school system, a commitment to environmental interests, including urban farming, bike trails, public transportation and abundant public green space, like the enormous public Berkeley Rose Garden,” the write-up goes.

Berkeley scores 643 points in a measurement that takes in economics, healthcare, housing, social and civic capital, education, amenities, demographics and infrastructure. The survey puts the average household income in Berkeley at $59,581, the average work commute at 22.38 minutes and the median home price at $549,500.

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  • Guest

    Yes we did, and we love the schools (so far Rosa Parks and King). And we have perspective, which seems a bit lacking in your remarks.

  • Guest

    Have you ever been to Bellevue? As a former Berkeley resident and current Bellevue resident, your comment doesn’t make much sense to me. Easy commute to Seattle, next to Lake Washington, a thriving downtown full of tech companies and places you want to shop, top ranked schools, low crime, etc. Sure I miss the social and economic diversity of Berkeley, but I’d hardly call Bellevue an armpit or “bottom”.

  • relocator

    Would someone be so kind as to explain how it’s possible to have an average household income in Berkeley of ONLY $59,581 and the median home price at $549,500?? Technically, wouldn’t the house payment be more than the income each month? I realize this is an avg, but do most people that live in Berkeley work in San Francisco instead of Berkeley? Do most people that work in Berkeley live in Oakland or Richmond? Please enlighten me.

  • Charles_Siegel

    I think that is the average household income of people who live in Berkeley – regardless of where they work.

    I suppose it is possible because:
    — many people live in rentals.

    — many people who own homes bought them a long time ago, when prices were lower.

  • relocator

    Thank you :) I guess there would have to be A LOT of renters in Berkeley probably under 40. I wonder what the average age of a homeowner is there? Do people in their 30s even have a chance at owning a nice home in a safe area around the bay area?

  • Guest

    Yes I have, because I lived in Seattle (Queen Anne). I bought a couch in Bellevue once; I can’t think of another reason to go there.

  • kimbriel


  • Lexus Nexus

    I really don’t see what’s so special about Palo Alto. It’s full of white snobs, who have a discriminatory, ignorant attitude towards Blacks and Latinos. They are joined by Asians, who are impersonal and practice separatist behavior. The high school (Gunn) might as well be called ‘Suicide High”. The place is super expensive, which gives its residents a false sense of superiority. Some of the most uninteresting and boring people I know live there. It certainly is a nice setting, but the attitudes and racial exclusion that defines Palo Alto, the South Bay, and the Peninsula, should knock this city way down on the list.

  • Liz

    Husband’s looking at a job at Berkeley. From what I can see he is going to be a homeless PHD. The house prices, unbelievable and the taxes even more unbelievable. The offer better be unbelievable. Interested in knowing great areas vs crime areas.

  • Liz

    Also what is median price of home as post about income vs home prices two yrs. old.

  • emraguso

    Congrats to your husband, Liz! You can check out our weekly crime blotter to see what’s going on, as well as links to local resources about crime: — Also if you end up planning to move here, make sure you sign up for our daily email and follow us on Twitter — you’ll definitely get the flavor of the city that way! We’re on Facebook, too, of course. Crossing fingers for your family! -Emilie, Berkeleyside senior reporter

  • rube510

    Bellvue sucks compared to berkeley