The 10 Best Riverside Suburbs To Live For 2021


We analyzed over 54 places around Riverside to identify the most in demand places to live.

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Editor’s Note: Data has been updated for 2021. This is our seventh time ranking the best Riverside 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 Riverside 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 Riverside? Yorba Linda ranks as the best suburb of Riverside for 2021 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 Riverside '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 Riverside Suburbs To Live For 2021

Yorba Linda, CA

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 67,725
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Income: $129,995
Unemployment Rate: 3.6%
Poverty Rate: 4.5%
More on Yorba Linda: Real Estate | Data | Photos

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

Everyone here is rich; families average $129,995 a year, which is the 2nd highest in the Riverside region. And only 3.58% are out of work. Homes average more than $858,300 each.

Rancho Santa Margarita, CA

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 48,503
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 1)
Median Income: $121,017
Unemployment Rate: 3.1%
Poverty Rate: 3.6%
More on Rancho Santa Margarita: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Rancho Santa Margarita is the second best 'burb we looked at near Riverside for 2021.

It ranks 3rd for incomes in the area and only 3.67% of residents lack insurance, good for 5th best.

Mission Viejo, CA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 95,516
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 1)
Median Income: $118,477
Unemployment Rate: 4.1%
Poverty Rate: 5.3%
More on Mission Viejo: Real Estate | Data | Photos

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

Villa Park, CA

Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 5,861
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Median Income: $165,000
Unemployment Rate: 2.5%
Poverty Rate: 6.5%
More on Villa Park: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Villa Park ranks as the 4th best suburb of Riverside for 2021.

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

El Cerrito, CA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 25,398
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Median Income: $108,298
Unemployment Rate: 4.4%
Poverty Rate: 8.5%
More on El Cerrito: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Coming in as the fifth best is El Cerrito.

El Cerrito gets kudos for having the 4th most expensive homes in the Riverside area, where houses sell for an average of $804,700. However, the cost of living here is among the highest in the area.

Eastvale, CA

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 62,046
Rank Last Year: 16 (Up 10)
Median Income: $119,213
Unemployment Rate: 4.8%
Poverty Rate: 5.9%
More on Eastvale: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Eastvale 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 4.75% which is 18th best in the area.

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

Walnut, CA

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 29,903
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 1)
Median Income: $108,669
Unemployment Rate: 4.4%
Poverty Rate: 6.6%
More on Walnut: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The 7th best suburb on our list goes to Walnut.

Walnut 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 27.3 miles to downtown, which is a good thing.

Lake Forest, CA

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 83,974
Rank Last Year: 8 (No Change)
Median Income: $109,492
Unemployment Rate: 4.2%
Poverty Rate: 6.9%
More on Lake Forest: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Lake Forest 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 5.96% of people lack insurance, good for 29th in the area.

Laguna Hills, CA

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 31,617
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 2)
Median Income: $100,985
Unemployment Rate: 4.2%
Poverty Rate: 8.3%
More on Laguna Hills: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Is 'Everything Better In Laguna Hills?'

Almost.

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

6
/10

Population: 11,170
Rank Last Year: 9 (Down 1)
Median Income: $100,682
Unemployment Rate: 3.4%
Poverty Rate: 7.0%
More on Canyon Lake: Real Estate | Data

And rounding out the top ten for 2021 is Canyon Lake.

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.

How We Determined The Best Suburbs Around Riverside for 2021

Figuring out the best suburbs around Riverside 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 2015-2019 to research each suburb.

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

Additionally, we limited the analysis to places that have over 5,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 54 suburbs to evaluate around Riverside.

We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 54 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 Riverside." 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.

Welcome to the Best Riverside 'Burbs of 2021

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 Riverside, 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 Riverside Suburbs

Rank City Population Median Income
1 Yorba Linda, CA 67,725 $129,995
2 Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 48,503 $121,017
3 Mission Viejo, CA 95,516 $118,477
4 Villa Park, CA 5,861 $165,000
5 El Cerrito, CA 25,398 $108,298
6 Eastvale, CA 62,046 $119,213
7 Walnut, CA 29,903 $108,669
8 Lake Forest, CA 83,974 $109,492
9 Laguna Hills, CA 31,617 $100,985
10 Canyon Lake, CA 11,170 $100,682
11 Diamond Bar, CA 56,211 $99,083
12 Claremont, CA 36,090 $101,420
13 Irvine, CA 273,157 $105,126
14 Chino Hills, CA 80,701 $106,347
15 Brea, CA 42,678 $94,492
16 Placentia, CA 51,818 $95,757
17 San Dimas, CA 34,048 $86,410
18 Rancho Cucamonga, CA 176,379 $90,953
19 Tustin, CA 79,863 $84,697
20 La Verne, CA 32,211 $88,131
21 Laguna Woods, CA 16,053 $44,020
22 Norco, CA 26,670 $102,817
23 Orange, CA 139,887 $91,793
24 Glendora, CA 51,801 $96,132
25 Upland, CA 76,596 $72,782
26 Covina, CA 48,095 $70,780
27 Grand Terrace, CA 12,510 $71,788
28 Murrieta, CA 112,941 $90,535
29 Corona, CA 166,972 $83,752
30 Redlands, CA 71,198 $74,839
31 Yucaipa, CA 53,416 $69,104
32 Anaheim, CA 349,964 $71,763
33 Chino, CA 89,631 $81,711
34 Loma Linda, CA 24,184 $55,607
35 Beaumont, CA 47,144 $84,105
36 Fontana, CA 210,759 $72,918
37 Menifee, CA 90,349 $70,224
38 Calimesa, CA 8,814 $56,903
39 Ontario, CA 176,760 $65,046
40 Montclair, CA 39,155 $62,024
41 Wildomar, CA 36,445 $74,991
42 Pomona, CA 152,209 $60,598
43 Colton, CA 54,580 $53,838
44 Lake Elsinore, CA 65,817 $71,476
45 Moreno Valley, CA 207,289 $66,134
46 Highland, CA 55,049 $64,868
47 Lakeland, CA 107,922 $47,511
48 Rialto, CA 103,045 $61,518
49 Jurupa Valley, CA 105,653 $70,642
50 Perris, CA 77,290 $63,829
51 Hemet, CA 84,542 $39,726
52 San Bernardino, CA 216,089 $45,834
53 Banning, CA 31,072 $42,274
54 San Jacinto, CA 47,989 $52,009

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.