The 10 Best San Jose Suburbs To Live In For 2024

The best San Jose suburbs are Los Altos Hills and Los Altos for 2024 based on Saturday Night Science.

If you’re thinking of moving to a San Jose suburb, then you’re in the right place, because this is HomeSnacks tenth time ranking the best suburbs that California’s third-biggest city has to offer.

There are a lot of reasons to love San Jose. It’s known as the Capital of Silicon Valley, so you know anyone working in the tech industry would be delighted to live in the center of the action. And there’s nowhere better for an outsider to learn about the region’s relationship with tech than The Tech Interactive. For those who find more pleasure in shopping than coding, Santana Row, with its countless stores, restaurants, bars, and music venues, all along palm and oak-lined pedestrian-friendly streets, is sure to be a selling point. Not to mention San Jose’s small but lively downtown, which offers a dizzying array of attractions. Not least of which is the annual Jazz Summer Fest that goes down at Plaza de Cesar Chavez each August.

No doubt about it, San Jose is awesome. But if you’d just like to have access to the best of San Jose without settling down there, you might be keener on living in one of its best suburbs. What do we mean by best? Well, we looked at data from the FBI and Census to rank each of San Jose’s 30 suburbs based on factors such as crime, median household income, low rates of unemployment and poverty, and the availability of excellent amenities. We also used our own SnackAbility scale to figure out how each suburb stacked up in terms of education, affordability, and even commute times. The results were not disappointing, with more than half our list’s suburbs scoring a perfect 10/10 overall SnackAbility score.

Just where are these phenomenal suburbs? By and large, to the northwest of San Jose, in the direction of San Francisco. That’s not to say that there aren’t great suburbs in other areas — to the city’s south you’ll find the small city of Monte Sereno, where the streets are super safe and poverty rates hover around a measly 1%. Do note that these suburbs cannot be described as cheap; the only place in the top ten with homes typically selling for under $1,000,000 is Pleasanton, and the cost of livingthere is still twice as high as the national average. On the other end of the spectrum, you have the $2,000,000+ homes of Atherton, with a cost of living that outstrips the national average by 350%.

So get cracking on your piggy banks, sign up for a technology 101 class, and get ready to enjoy a perfect Mediterranean climate, because we’re paying a visit to San Jose’s best suburbs to live in 2024.

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

That wraps our tour of San Jose’s best suburbs. If you’re weighing the choice between moving into or around San Jose, then be sure to also consult our list of the city’s best neighborhoods.

Any of the suburbs listed above would make a great home if you have the capital to experience them fully. But which San Jose suburb stands out as the absolute best? According to the data, Los Altos Hills is the best suburb for 2024.

Shocked to see that your favorite San Jose suburb didn’t make our top ten? Fear not, there’s a complete list of all of San Jose’s 30 suburbs down below. Pro tip: the worst ones are at the bottom.

Feel free to check out some more reading about California:

The 10 Best San Jose Suburbs To Live For 2024

Los Altos Hills, CA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 8,441
Median Income: $250,001
Unemployment Rate: 2.8%
Poverty Rate: 2.0%
More on Los Altos Hills: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Los Altos Hills is always mentioned as one of the best suburbs in the San Jose area. We’ll tell you the good about “Awesome Los Altos Hills.”

Everyone here is rich; families average $250,001 a year, which is the 3rd highest in the San Jose region. And only 2.78% are out of work. Homes average more than $5,525,121 each.

Los Altos, CA

Source: Wikipedia User User:Kelly | GFDL
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 31,133
Median Income: $250,001
Unemployment Rate: 3.9%
Poverty Rate: 3.1%
More on Los Altos: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Los Altos is the second best ‘burb we looked at near San Jose for 2024.

It ranks 3rd for incomes in the area and only 1.33% of residents lack insurance, good for 6th 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 Jose 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.

Monte Sereno, CA

Source: Wikipedia User Jack_Tramiel.jpg: Alex Handy from Oakland, Nmibia Cropped and brightened by Ubcule | CC BY-SA 2.0
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 3,444
Median Income: $250,001
Unemployment Rate: 0.9%
Poverty Rate: 0.6%
More on Monte Sereno: Data | Crime | Real Estate

Monte Sereno ranks as the 4th best suburb of San Jose for 2024.

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

Cupertino, CA

Source: Wikipedia User Coolcaesar at en.wikipedia | GFDL
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 59,763
Median Income: $223,667
Unemployment Rate: 3.0%
Poverty Rate: 5.3%
More on Cupertino: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Coming in as the fifth best is Cupertino.

Cupertino gets kudos for having the 9th most expensive homes in the San Jose area, where houses sell for an average of $2,701,204. However, the cost of living here is among the highest in the area.

Portola Valley, CA

Source: Wikipedia User | GFDL
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 4,397
Median Income: $250,001
Unemployment Rate: 2.7%
Poverty Rate: 4.4%
More on Portola Valley: Data | Real Estate

Portola Valley 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 2.73%.

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

Saratoga, CA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 30,771
Median Income: $237,730
Unemployment Rate: 3.4%
Poverty Rate: 3.1%
More on Saratoga: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

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

Saratoga 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 11.5 miles to downtown, which is a good thing.

San Carlos, CA

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


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

San Carlos 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 1.19% of people lack insurance, good for 5th in the area.

Palo Alto, CA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 67,901
Median Income: $214,118
Unemployment Rate: 3.3%
Poverty Rate: 4.7%
More on Palo Alto: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Is ‘Everything Better In Palo Alto?’


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.

Review Of Palo Alto by HomeSnacks User

I live in Palo Alto, and I never doubted that we ranked high on snobbery. After all, not only do we have a community theater company and a community orchestra, but we have a community opera company as well.||I don’t know where Palo Alto stands with this metric or how much it is weighted, but I take objection to your inclusion of private school density as a criterion.

Firstly, the number of private schools in a city relative to that city’s population is not necessarily the best measure of how many eligible students in a city attend private school, as private schools may vary in size and often do not restrict enrollment to the residents of their host city.

Secondly, while private school enrollment is an understandable measure to be associated with snobbery, given that in most parts of the country elites seek out private schools for the usually superior quality of education they provide, Palo Alto may be an exception that proves the rule.

In Palo Alto, the quality of our public schools rivals that of many nearby private schools. Therefore, many Palo Alto parents proudly send their children to public school, deeming private school unnecessarily expensive for its relative value. Does this fact make us more or less s****y-

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 Jose for 2024

Figuring out the best suburbs around San Jose 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 Jose.

Additionally, we limited the analysis to places that have over 3,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 30 suburbs to evaluate around San Jose.

We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 30 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 Jose.” We’re lookin’ at you, Los Altos Hills.

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 Jose suburbs. Skip to the end to see the list of all the suburbs ranked from best to worst.

Summary: Welcome to the Best San Jose ‘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 Jose are .

So if you’re craving the amenities of a larger city like San Jose 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 Jose Suburbs

Rank City Population Median Income Average Home Price
1 Los Altos Hills, CA 8,441 $250,001 $5,525,121
2 Los Altos, CA 31,133 $250,001 $4,060,663
3 Atherton, CA 7,124 $250,001 $7,732,900
4 Monte Sereno, CA 3,444 $250,001 $3,980,200
5 Cupertino, CA 59,763 $223,667 $2,701,204
6 Portola Valley, CA 4,397 $250,001 $3,841,103
7 Saratoga, CA 30,771 $237,730 $3,602,379
8 San Carlos, CA 30,490 $219,413 $2,206,123
9 Palo Alto, CA 67,901 $214,118 $3,220,174
10 Woodside, CA 5,256 $250,001 $3,633,237
11 Dublin, CA 71,068 $191,039 $1,293,624
12 Los Gatos, CA 33,093 $198,117 $2,554,492
13 Mountain View, CA 82,132 $174,156 $1,845,861
14 Menlo Park, CA 33,324 $198,273 $2,574,718
15 Pleasanton, CA 78,691 $181,639 $1,582,884
16 Sunnyvale, CA 154,573 $174,506 $1,875,596
17 Campbell, CA 43,464 $141,794 $1,652,630
18 Scotts Valley, CA 12,239 $136,867 $1,261,441
19 Livermore, CA 87,154 $152,590 $1,087,248
20 Santa Clara, CA 128,058 $165,352 $1,524,900
21 Fremont, CA 228,795 $169,023 $1,413,076
22 Morgan Hill, CA 45,291 $152,199 $1,310,579
23 Milpitas, CA 79,092 $166,769 $1,346,828
24 Capitola, CA 9,921 $91,850 $1,215,985
25 Newark, CA 47,470 $159,465 $1,189,585
26 Santa Cruz, CA 61,367 $105,491 $1,318,776
27 East Palo Alto, CA 29,520 $103,248 $942,015
28 Gilroy, CA 58,696 $127,391 $1,050,857
29 Hayward, CA 160,602 $105,371 $845,438
30 Watsonville, CA 52,457 $72,295 $824,009
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.