The 10 Best San Francisco Suburbs To Live In For 2024

The best San Francisco suburbs are Piedmont and Belvedere for 2024 based on Saturday Night Science.

While big cities like San Francisco offer culture, cuisine, and charisma, they also deliver terrible traffic, towering expenses, and a taxing quality of life.

With that in mind, we wanted to uncover the best suburbs around San Francisco. These burbs have all of the benefits of being near San Francisco without actually having to be in the city.

Of course, not all suburbs of San Francisco are created equally, which is precisely why we set out to find the best ones. Using Saturday Night Science, we delve into the factors that matter most, from commutes and housing costs to community vibes, to help you uncover the perfect suburban spots in the Greater San Francisco area.

Table Of Contents: Top Ten | Methodology | Summary | Table

What’s the best suburb of San Francisco? Piedmont ranks as the best suburb of San Francisco for 2024 based on the most recent Census and FBI data. If you happen to be a resident of Piedmont, you’re probably not too surprised to find it on the top our list.

We’ll tell you what makes each of these 10 San Francisco ‘burbs better than the rest–but first, a bit about our methodology.

Feel free to check out some more reading about California:

The 10 Best San Francisco Suburbs To Live For 2024

Piedmont, CA

Source: Wikipedia User Sam Pullara | CC BY 2.0
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 11,161
Median Income: $250,001
Unemployment Rate: 5.0%
Poverty Rate: 3.5%
More on Piedmont: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Piedmont is always mentioned as one of the best suburbs in the San Francisco area. We’ll tell you the good about “Awesome Piedmont.”

Everyone here is rich; families average $250,001 a year, which is the 4th highest in the San Francisco region. And only 4.96% are out of work. Homes average more than $2,521,288 each.

2. Belvedere, CA

Belvedere, CA

Source: Wikipedia User Brocken Inaglory | CC BY-SA 3.0
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Population: 2,327
Median Income: $250,001
Unemployment Rate: 1.4%
Poverty Rate: 5.9%
More on Belvedere: Crime | Real Estate

Belvedere is the second best ‘burb we looked at near San Francisco for 2024.

It ranks 4th for incomes in the area and only 0.43% of residents lack insurance, good for best.

Atherton, CA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 7,124
Median Income: $250,001
Unemployment Rate: 2.2%
Poverty Rate: 3.9%
More on Atherton: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Here in Atherton, it’s really safe, and residents are just about as rich as you’ll see in the San Francisco 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 Atherton.

4. Ross, CA

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Population: 2,537
Median Income: $250,001
Unemployment Rate: 3.1%
Poverty Rate: 3.9%
More on Ross: Crime | Real Estate

Ross ranks as the 4th best suburb of San Francisco for 2024.

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

San Carlos, CA

Source: Wikipedia User Coolcaesar at English Wikipedia | GFDL
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Population: 30,490
Median Income: $219,413
Unemployment Rate: 4.1%
Poverty Rate: 3.0%
More on San Carlos: Data | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Coming in as the fifth best is San Carlos.

San Carlos gets kudos for having the 10th most expensive homes in the San Francisco area, where houses sell for an average of $2,206,123. However, the cost of living here is among the highest in the area.

Orinda, CA

Source: Wikipedia User Andwhatsnext at English Wikipedia | GFDL
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 19,477
Median Income: $250,001
Unemployment Rate: 3.3%
Poverty Rate: 2.1%
More on Orinda: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

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 3.32%.

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

Danville, CA

Source: Wikipedia User ShakataGaNai; cropped by Beyond My Ken (talk) 05:53, 17 April 2012 (UTC) | CC BY-SA 3.0
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 43,449
Median Income: $209,518
Unemployment Rate: 4.4%
Poverty Rate: 3.7%
More on Danville: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

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

Danville 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 25.3 miles to downtown, which is a good thing.

Hillsborough, CA

Source: Wikipedia User Sanfranman59 | GFDL
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 11,258
Median Income: $250,001
Unemployment Rate: 5.4%
Poverty Rate: 4.0%
More on Hillsborough: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

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 1.22% of people lack insurance, good for 10th in the area.

Corte Madera, CA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 10,155
Median Income: $210,560
Unemployment Rate: 5.2%
Poverty Rate: 3.7%
More on Corte Madera: Data | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Is ‘Everything Better In Corte Madera?’


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.

Woodside, CA

Source: Wikipedia User Users Jawed, Jawed on en.wikipedia | GFDL
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 5,256
Median Income: $250,001
Unemployment Rate: 4.5%
Poverty Rate: 5.5%
More on Woodside: Data | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

And rounding out the top ten for 2024 is Woodside.

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.

Methodology: How We Determined The Best Suburbs Around San Francisco for 2024

Figuring out the best suburbs around San Francisco was simple. We used Saturday Night Science to find things people like about living in the suburbs and then locate the suburbs with those things.

We analyzed the newest American Community Survey data for 2018-2022 to research each suburb. We decided upon the following criteria:

  • 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

We defined a suburb as being within 30 miles of San Francisco.

Additionally, we limited the analysis to places that have over 2,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 56 suburbs to evaluate around San Francisco.

We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 56 in each category, where 1 was the “best.

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

Finally, we crowned the city with the best quality of life index, the “Best Suburb near San Francisco.” We’re lookin’ at you, Piedmont.

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 more extensive selection of suburbs.

We updated the data for 2024. This report is our tenth time ranking the best San Francisco suburbs. Skip to the end to see the list of all the suburbs ranked from best to worst.

Summary: Welcome to the Best San Francisco ‘Burbs of 2024

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.

The best suburbs of San Francisco are .

So if you’re craving the amenities of a larger city like San Francisco but don’t want to deal with the drawbacks, one of these suburbs might be for you.

For more California reading, check out:

Table: Best San Francisco Suburbs

Rank City Population Median Income Average Home Price
1 Piedmont, CA 11,161 $250,001 $2,521,288
2 Belvedere, CA 2,327 $250,001 $4,544,020
3 Atherton, CA 7,124 $250,001 $7,732,900
4 Ross, CA 2,537 $250,001 $3,838,437
5 San Carlos, CA 30,490 $219,413 $2,206,123
6 Orinda, CA 19,477 $250,001 $2,000,722
7 Danville, CA 43,449 $209,518 $1,861,576
8 Hillsborough, CA 11,258 $250,001 $5,101,758
9 Corte Madera, CA 10,155 $210,560 $1,760,932
10 Woodside, CA 5,256 $250,001 $3,633,237
11 Dublin, CA 71,068 $191,039 $1,293,624
12 Menlo Park, CA 33,324 $198,273 $2,574,718
13 Mountain View, CA 82,132 $174,156 $1,845,861
14 San Anselmo, CA 12,761 $165,366 $1,659,899
15 San Ramon, CA 86,119 $190,829 $1,550,726
16 Burlingame, CA 30,995 $165,940 $2,516,360
17 Tiburon, CA 9,115 $200,886 $2,963,608
18 Mill Valley, CA 14,199 $202,986 $2,043,408
19 Lafayette, CA 25,310 $219,250 $1,924,093
20 Clayton, CA 11,070 $164,899 $1,066,247
21 Moraga, CA 16,859 $193,707 $1,737,291
22 Belmont, CA 27,820 $185,944 $2,118,293
23 Albany, CA 20,027 $124,469 $1,208,704
24 Sausalito, CA 7,233 $163,170 $1,538,563
25 Larkspur, CA 12,969 $147,772 $2,123,779
26 Millbrae, CA 22,825 $146,649 $1,927,421
27 Pacifica, CA 38,048 $151,849 $1,246,502
28 San Mateo, CA 104,165 $149,152 $1,510,087
29 Walnut Creek, CA 69,809 $129,971 $1,086,764
30 South San Francisco, CA 65,596 $127,062 $1,191,225
31 Half Moon Bay, CA 11,633 $148,702 $1,510,034
32 San Bruno, CA 43,218 $131,669 $1,253,713
33 Pleasant Hill, CA 34,504 $137,685 $996,672
34 Newark, CA 47,470 $159,465 $1,189,585
35 Hercules, CA 26,041 $125,880 $800,088
36 Alameda, CA 77,565 $129,917 $1,192,032
37 Benicia, CA 27,040 $124,375 $804,094
38 Martinez, CA 37,093 $124,669 $774,783
39 Berkeley, CA 121,385 $104,716 $1,400,497
40 El Cerrito, CA 25,869 $120,414 $1,162,177
41 Fairfax, CA 7,567 $126,034 $1,234,232
42 Emeryville, CA 12,840 $114,345 $532,929
43 Daly City, CA 103,648 $114,910 $1,122,306
44 Pinole, CA 18,946 $113,630 $742,842
45 Brisbane, CA 4,756 $137,583 $1,134,881
46 San Rafael, CA 60,891 $113,839 $1,346,362
47 American Canyon, CA 21,669 $122,694 $725,689
48 San Leandro, CA 89,723 $97,141 $830,087
49 Concord, CA 125,007 $107,789 $754,708
50 East Palo Alto, CA 29,520 $103,248 $942,015
51 Novato, CA 53,055 $110,948 $1,071,686
52 Oakland, CA 437,825 $94,389 $790,956
53 Hayward, CA 160,602 $105,371 $845,438
54 San Pablo, CA 31,907 $72,552 $586,874
55 Vallejo, CA 125,132 $86,112 $537,019
56 Richmond, CA 115,619 $86,618 $633,759
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.