The 10 Best Irvine Suburbs To Live In For 2022

We analyzed over 73 places around Irvine to identify the most in demand places to live.

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Editor’s Note: Data has been updated for 2022. This is our ninth time ranking the best Irvine suburbs.

Big city living isn't for everyone--but at the same time, urban areas certainly have their perks.

There's the culture, the food, the arts, the food, the energy, and you know, the food. But there are drawbacks. There's traffic, expensive parking, expensive housing--pretty much, expensive everything, depending on which big city you're looking at.

But that's where the suburbs come in--they have all of the benefits of being near big cities, without actually having to be big cities.

Of course, not all suburbs of Irvine are created equally, which is precisely why we set out to find the best ones. So without further ado...

What's the best suburb of Irvine? Yorba Linda ranks as the best suburb of Irvine for 2022 based on the most recent Census and FBI data. If you happen to be a resident of Yorba Linda, you're probably not too surprised to find it on the top our list.

We'll tell you what makes each of these 10 Irvine 'burbs better than the rest--but first, a bit about our methodology.

Note: This result may differ from our state wide data as we did not include commute times and crime for this analysis to allow for a larger selection of suburbs.

Feel free to check out some more reading about California:

The 10 Best Irvine Suburbs To Live For 2022

Yorba Linda is always mentioned as one of the best suburbs in the Irvine area. We'll tell you the good about "Awesome Yorba Linda."

Everyone here is rich; families average $133,088 a year, which is the 4th highest in the Irvine region. And only 3.85% are out of work. Homes average more than $862,900 each.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 68,103
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Income: $133,088
Unemployment Rate: 3.8%
Poverty Rate: 4.6%
More on Yorba Linda: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Yorba Linda, CA

Newport Beach is the second best 'burb we looked at near Irvine for 2022.

It ranks 3rd for incomes in the area and only 2.39% of residents lack insurance, good for 4th best.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 86,694
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Income: $133,849
Unemployment Rate: 2.9%
Poverty Rate: 6.9%
More on Newport Beach: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Newport Beach, CA

Here in La Palma, it's really safe, and residents are just about as rich as you'll see in the Irvine metro area.

The bad side? Schools are more crowded, and the cost of living puts a large part of the city out of reach for most families.

But price is based on demand and a lot of people want to live in La Palma.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 15,657
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 2)
Median Income: $108,363
Unemployment Rate: 2.8%
Poverty Rate: 6.3%
More on La Palma: Real Estate | Data | Photos

La Palma, CA

Mission Viejo ranks as the 4th best suburb of Irvine for 2022.

You won't find many better places to raise your kids in the region than in Mission Viejo and the schools are some of the best around.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 95,638
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 3)
Median Income: $121,299
Unemployment Rate: 4.2%
Poverty Rate: 4.8%
More on Mission Viejo: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Mission Viejo, CA

Source: Public domain

Coming in as the fifth best is Villa Park.

Villa Park gets kudos for having the 3rd most expensive homes in the Irvine area, where houses sell for an average of $1,238,800. However, the cost of living here is among the highest in the area.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 5,883
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 1)
Median Income: $164,476
Unemployment Rate: 2.2%
Poverty Rate: 7.5%
More on Villa Park: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Villa Park, CA

Aliso Viejo is proud of its 6th place finish on this list. And here's why.

Most residents have great jobs and the unemployment rate sits at 3.5% which is 9th best in the area.

According to online reports, Aliso Viejo is quickly becoming one of the more affluent suburbs in the Irvine area, meaning you need to get in soon.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 50,385
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 3)
Median Income: $118,540
Unemployment Rate: 3.5%
Poverty Rate: 5.2%
More on Aliso Viejo: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Aliso Viejo, CA

The 7th best suburb on our list goes to Rancho Santa Margarita.

Rancho Santa Margarita schools are some of the best in the region, and crime is really low. The cost of living makes it a lot more desirable for many families, especially first-time home buyers.

And, it's only 10.4 miles to downtown, which is a good thing.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 48,280
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 3)
Median Income: $125,329
Unemployment Rate: 3.2%
Poverty Rate: 5.0%
More on Rancho Santa Margarita: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Rancho Santa Margarita, CA

Dana Point is growing quickly, and for a good reason. Crime is far below average, and most residents are gainfully employed. Even the cost of living is reasonable.

A solid 5.14% of people lack insurance, good for 27th in the area.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 33,782
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 2)
Median Income: $105,250
Unemployment Rate: 4.1%
Poverty Rate: 4.8%
More on Dana Point: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Dana Point, CA

Is 'Everything Better In San Clemente?'


It placed 9th on our list thanks to the fact that it's really expensive to live here, but the schools are great, so you get what you pay for in that regard.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 64,929
Rank Last Year: 8 (Down 1)
Median Income: $108,183
Unemployment Rate: 4.4%
Poverty Rate: 5.2%
More on San Clemente: Real Estate | Data | Photos

San Clemente, CA

And rounding out the top ten for 2022 is La Habra Heights.

This city is far above average in every category, and the best part? It's far more affordable than the other cities listed above. So, you get a big bang for your buck here.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 5,318
Rank Last Year: 21 (Up 11)
Median Income: $163,750
Unemployment Rate: 2.2%
Poverty Rate: 1.4%
More on La Habra Heights: Real Estate | Data | Photos

La Habra Heights, CA

Methodology: How We Determined The Best Suburbs Around Irvine for 2022

Figuring out the best suburbs around Irvine was pretty simple; we just needed to list several things that people like, and then find out which cities have the most of those things.

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible:

  • Low unemployment rate
  • High Median household incomes
  • Population density (lots of things to do)
  • High home values
  • A lot of college educated people
  • Low poverty
  • High rate of insured families

Then we used the newest American Community Survey data for 2016-2020 to research each suburb.

FYI: We defined a suburb as being within 30 miles of Irvine.

Additionally, we limited the analysis to places that have over 3,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 73 suburbs to evaluate around Irvine.

We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 73 in each category, where 1 was the "best.

Next, we averaged the rankings for each place to create a quality of life index.

And finally, we crowned the city with the best quality of life index the "Best Suburb near Irvine." We're lookin' at you, Yorba Linda. You can download the data here.

Read on below to learn more about what it's like to live in the best of the best. Or skip to the end to see the list of all the suburbs ranked from best to worst.

Summary: Welcome to the Best Irvine 'Burbs of 2022

We said it once and we'll say it again--life in the big city isn't for everyone. At least not all the time.

So if you're hankering for some of the amenities of a larger city like Irvine, but don't want to deal with the drawbacks, one of these suburbs might just be for you.

For more California reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Irvine Suburbs

Rank City Population Median Income
1 Yorba Linda, CA 68,103 $133,088
2 Newport Beach, CA 86,694 $133,849
3 La Palma, CA 15,657 $108,363
4 Mission Viejo, CA 95,638 $121,299
5 Villa Park, CA 5,883 $164,476
6 Aliso Viejo, CA 50,385 $118,540
7 Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 48,280 $125,329
8 Dana Point, CA 33,782 $105,250
9 San Clemente, CA 64,929 $108,183
10 La Habra Heights, CA 5,318 $163,750
11 Cerritos, CA 49,388 $109,229
12 El Cerrito, CA 25,280 $108,294
13 Laguna Beach, CA 22,991 $128,099
14 Laguna Niguel, CA 65,048 $119,608
15 Cypress, CA 49,137 $102,005
16 Eastvale, CA 65,766 $127,881
17 Walnut, CA 29,764 $108,264
18 Diamond Bar, CA 55,870 $100,723
19 Huntington Beach, CA 199,778 $97,469
20 Lake Forest, CA 84,666 $112,988
21 Placentia, CA 52,049 $100,707
22 Laguna Hills, CA 31,613 $102,358
23 Brea, CA 44,182 $100,969
24 Lakewood, CA 79,676 $96,487
25 Canyon Lake, CA 11,237 $107,868
26 La Mirada, CA 48,260 $92,493
27 Fountain Valley, CA 56,118 $89,924
28 Chino Hills, CA 82,800 $104,661
29 San Juan Capistrano, CA 35,976 $103,922
30 Seal Beach, CA 24,268 $72,596
31 San Dimas, CA 33,812 $90,234
32 Tustin, CA 80,815 $88,386
33 Orange, CA 139,322 $96,605
34 Costa Mesa, CA 112,958 $90,370
35 Norco, CA 27,021 $106,370
36 Buena Park, CA 82,228 $84,680
37 West Covina, CA 105,808 $85,626
38 Laguna Woods, CA 16,056 $46,449
39 Signal Hill, CA 11,430 $86,140
40 Whittier, CA 84,821 $76,026
41 Artesia, CA 16,456 $74,375
42 Midway, CA 3,132 $51,005
43 Fullerton, CA 141,061 $85,471
44 Los Alamitos, CA 11,521 $89,323
45 Downey, CA 111,263 $75,974
46 Corona, CA 168,112 $88,434
47 Covina, CA 47,787 $77,913
48 Pico Rivera, CA 62,507 $70,620
49 Garden Grove, CA 172,800 $73,611
50 La Habra, CA 62,787 $83,532
51 Norwalk, CA 104,524 $77,425
52 Carson, CA 91,354 $86,040
53 Santa Fe Springs, CA 17,643 $69,922
54 Westminster, CA 90,857 $67,142
55 Anaheim, CA 353,085 $76,723
56 Chino, CA 89,170 $85,659
57 Long Beach, CA 462,081 $66,410
58 Santa Ana, CA 332,610 $72,406
59 Hawaiian Gardens, CA 14,212 $61,422
60 Bellflower, CA 76,339 $63,848
61 La Puente, CA 39,780 $66,132
62 Stanton, CA 38,317 $66,017
63 Riverside, CA 327,569 $72,738
64 Paramount, CA 53,949 $57,313
65 Wildomar, CA 36,091 $76,791
66 Ontario, CA 178,194 $67,357
67 Pomona, CA 151,124 $62,407
68 Bell Gardens, CA 41,770 $45,289
69 Lake Elsinore, CA 64,201 $74,490
70 Lynwood, CA 69,625 $57,063
71 Lakeland, CA 110,335 $50,136
72 Jurupa Valley, CA 106,646 $77,787
73 Montclair, CA 40,041 $63,245

How Is Your Town In ?

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.