The 10 Best Oakland Suburbs To Live In For 2022

We analyzed over 67 places around Oakland 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 Oakland 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 Oakland are created equally, which is precisely why we set out to find the best ones. So without further ado...

Here are the 10 best suburbs to live around Oakland for 2022:

  1. Los Altos
  2. Piedmont
  3. Belvedere
  4. Los Altos Hills
  5. San Carlos
  6. Orinda
  7. Mill Valley
  8. Hillsborough
  9. Woodside
  10. Atherton

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

We'll tell you what makes each of these 10 Oakland '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 Oakland Suburbs To Live For 2022

Los Altos is always mentioned as one of the best suburbs in the Oakland area. We'll tell you the good about "Awesome Los Altos."

Everyone here is rich; families average $240,094 a year, which is the 7th highest in the Oakland region. And only 3.59% are out of work. Homes average more than $2,000,001 each.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 30,878
Rank Last Year: 2 (Up 1)
Median Income: $240,094
Unemployment Rate: 3.6%
Poverty Rate: 2.8%
More on Los Altos: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Los Altos, CA

Piedmont is the second best 'burb we looked at near Oakland for 2022.

It ranks 3rd for incomes in the area and only 1.2% of residents lack insurance, good for 10th best.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 11,454
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 1)
Median Income: $250,001
Unemployment Rate: 4.5%
Poverty Rate: 2.6%
More on Piedmont: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Piedmont, CA

Here in Belvedere, it's really safe, and residents are just about as rich as you'll see in the Oakland 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 Belvedere.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 2,246
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 2)
Median Income: $247,768
Unemployment Rate: 2.2%
Poverty Rate: 5.6%
More on Belvedere: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Belvedere, CA

Los Altos Hills ranks as the 4th best suburb of Oakland for 2022.

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

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 8,496
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 4)
Median Income: $250,001
Unemployment Rate: 2.1%
Poverty Rate: 3.0%
More on Los Altos Hills: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Los Altos Hills, CA

Source: Public domain

Coming in as the fifth best is San Carlos.

San Carlos gets kudos for having the 14th most expensive homes in the Oakland area, where houses sell for an average of $1,756,800. However, the cost of living here is among the highest in the area.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 29,647
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 1)
Median Income: $189,739
Unemployment Rate: 4.0%
Poverty Rate: 3.2%
More on San Carlos: Real Estate | Data | Photos

San Carlos, CA

Orinda 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 3.18% which is 11th best in the area.

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

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 19,461
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 6)
Median Income: $231,230
Unemployment Rate: 3.2%
Poverty Rate: 2.3%
More on Orinda: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Orinda, CA

The 7th best suburb on our list goes to Mill Valley.

Mill Valley 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 19.7 miles to downtown, which is a good thing.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 14,456
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 2)
Median Income: $170,946
Unemployment Rate: 2.2%
Poverty Rate: 5.9%
More on Mill Valley: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Mill Valley, CA

Hillsborough 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 1.97% of people lack insurance, good for 21st in the area.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 11,608
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 1)
Median Income: $250,001
Unemployment Rate: 3.5%
Poverty Rate: 2.9%
More on Hillsborough: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Hillsborough, CA

Is 'Everything Better In Woodside?'


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: 5,593
Rank Last Year: 18 (Up 9)
Median Income: $250,001
Unemployment Rate: 3.1%
Poverty Rate: 4.6%
More on Woodside: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Woodside, CA

And rounding out the top ten for 2022 is Atherton.

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: 7,060
Rank Last Year: 14 (Up 4)
Median Income: $250,001
Unemployment Rate: 4.5%
Poverty Rate: 2.7%
More on Atherton: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Atherton, CA

Source: Public domain

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

Figuring out the best suburbs around Oakland 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 Oakland.

Additionally, we limited the analysis to places that have over 2,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 70 suburbs to evaluate around Oakland.

We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 70 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 Oakland." We're lookin' at you, Los Altos. 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 Oakland '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 Oakland, 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 Oakland Suburbs

Rank City Population Median Income
1 Los Altos, CA 30,878 $240,094
2 Piedmont, CA 11,454 $250,001
3 Belvedere, CA 2,246 $247,768
4 Los Altos Hills, CA 8,496 $250,001
5 San Carlos, CA 29,647 $189,739
6 Orinda, CA 19,461 $231,230
7 Mill Valley, CA 14,456 $170,946
8 Hillsborough, CA 11,608 $250,001
9 Woodside, CA 5,593 $250,001
10 Atherton, CA 7,060 $250,001
11 Tiburon, CA 9,167 $178,125
12 Portola Valley, CA 4,568 $235,469
13 Lafayette, CA 25,949 $188,140
14 Burlingame, CA 30,071 $138,344
15 San Anselmo, CA 12,623 $146,179
16 Palo Alto, CA 67,973 $174,003
17 Ross, CA 2,453 $220,714
18 Danville, CA 44,933 $167,827
19 Menlo Park, CA 35,211 $167,567
20 Corte Madera, CA 9,793 $153,101
21 San Ramon, CA 81,344 $167,345
22 Sunnyvale, CA 152,569 $150,464
23 Belmont, CA 26,963 $160,046
24 Millbrae, CA 22,998 $126,319
25 Clayton, CA 11,585 $153,607
26 Sausalito, CA 7,177 $120,920
27 Dublin, CA 63,856 $152,745
28 Pleasanton, CA 79,975 $160,689
29 Moraga, CA 16,896 $152,788
30 Mountain View, CA 80,104 $144,116
31 Mountain View, CA 80,104 $144,116
32 Mountain View, CA 80,104 $144,116
33 Mountain View, CA 80,104 $144,116
34 Larkspur, CA 12,363 $115,543
35 Livermore, CA 91,763 $131,664
36 Albany, CA 20,145 $103,132
37 Pacifica, CA 38,663 $130,466
38 Fremont, CA 234,829 $142,374
39 Milpitas, CA 75,182 $137,000
40 Emeryville, CA 11,679 $104,063
41 San Bruno, CA 44,663 $113,103
42 Pleasant Hill, CA 34,903 $125,573
43 Newark, CA 48,148 $127,619
44 San Mateo, CA 103,619 $126,102
45 Benicia, CA 28,158 $106,989
46 Walnut Creek, CA 69,836 $108,689
47 South San Francisco, CA 66,878 $106,005
48 Alameda, CA 79,827 $106,737
49 Half Moon Bay, CA 12,583 $131,233
50 Martinez, CA 38,397 $109,994
51 Hercules, CA 26,090 $110,669
52 Berkeley, CA 123,065 $91,259
53 Brentwood, CA 63,013 $113,298
54 El Cerrito, CA 25,280 $108,294
55 Daly City, CA 107,197 $99,910
56 Brisbane, CA 4,645 $114,583
57 Fairfax, CA 7,629 $106,474
58 Novato, CA 53,781 $101,629
59 East Palo Alto, CA 29,448 $83,511
60 Pinole, CA 19,343 $104,904
61 American Canyon, CA 20,256 $108,884
62 San Leandro, CA 90,489 $86,604
63 Concord, CA 129,227 $92,706
64 San Rafael, CA 59,178 $97,009
65 Hayward, CA 158,817 $91,490
66 San Pablo, CA 30,959 $60,819
67 Vallejo, CA 121,275 $73,869
68 Pittsburg, CA 71,723 $83,163
69 Antioch, CA 111,468 $80,234
70 Richmond, CA 110,051 $72,463

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.