The 10 Richest Cities In California For 2021


We analyzed 427 places in California to determine where the 1% live.

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You have to be either a trust fund baby, married to a Kardashian, super good at a sport, or a popular movie producer to live in our top ten richest cities in California for 2021.

If you’re looking for safe cities and neighborhoods, amazing schools, large green spaces, grand swimming pools, good food, and high-end shopping with paycheck to match, you can stop your search. There are cities in the Sunshine State that have all of these 5-star amenities, and more, because they cater to the California ‘one percenters’. Is it like lifestyles of the rich and famous in California’s richest cities? Probably. And if you move to cities on our list like, Orinda, you might find yourself living next to notables like Matt Cain or Ken Dorsey.

How does one get their hand on one of these super wealthy cities? Well, a couple of things have to fall in place for you. First off, you need to find a job that pays close to $200,000/year. Might we suggest a job as a contractor in or a tech entrepreneur in our number one richest city, Los Altos Hills? Whether it’s building $4.5 millions dollar homes or creating the next robot, we’re sure you’ll stay busy and wealthy. Secondly, you have to be a hard worker to live in one of our top ten richest cities. Unemployment rates and poverty rates in these California cities, barely reach 4%.

Monetary wealth does make a city rich, but there are cities on our list that are both rich in the dollar as well as rich in amenities. Cities like Palos Verdes Estates and Pleasanton grace the Pacific Coast. And cities like San Ramon and MIll Valley are the playground to San Francisco. These cities have staycation written all over them. This means that you can keep money in your wallet so that you can afford to live in the fancy cities.

To take a closer look at the wealthiest cities in California for 2021, warm up your yacht, head to the sunny side of Half Moon Beach, and read on.

To narrow down the richest cities in California, we looked at several factors: poverty rate, median household income, unemployment rate; and obviously, where the richest of the rich live. The cities also had to have a population of at least 5,000.

This left us with 427 cities in the largest state, most populous state, in the country.

What is the richest city in California? Drum roll — the wealthiest city in California for 2021 is Hillsborough.

So, if you care about living where there are great jobs and wealthy people, take a look the list below. The Golden State is calling.

Rich people not your cup of tea? Feel free to check out some more reading about California:

The 10 Richest Cities In California For 2021

1. Hillsborough

Hillsborough, CA

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 11,447
Rank Last Year: 17 (Up 16)
Median Income: $250,001
Unemployment Rate: 3.0%
Poverty Rate: 2.4%
More on Hillsborough: Real Estate | Photos

2. Tiburon

Tiburon, CA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 9,144
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 1)
Median Income: $154,915
Unemployment Rate: 2.7%
Poverty Rate: 2.6%
More on Tiburon: Real Estate | Photos

3. Westlake Village

Westlake Village, CA

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 8,358
Rank Last Year: 24 (Up 21)
Median Income: $140,850
Unemployment Rate: 2.5%
Poverty Rate: 3.3%
More on Westlake Village: Real Estate | Photos

4. Los Altos Hills

Los Altos Hills, CA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 8,505
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Median Income: $250,001
Unemployment Rate: 3.2%
Poverty Rate: 3.6%
More on Los Altos Hills: Real Estate | Photos

5. Clayton

Clayton, CA

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 12,083
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 2)
Median Income: $157,768
Unemployment Rate: 3.1%
Poverty Rate: 1.4%
More on Clayton: Real Estate | Photos

6. Los Altos

Los Altos, CA

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 30,504
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 4)
Median Income: $235,278
Unemployment Rate: 3.3%
Poverty Rate: 2.8%
More on Los Altos: Real Estate | Photos

7. San Carlos

San Carlos, CA

Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 30,154
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 5)
Median Income: $182,083
Unemployment Rate: 3.4%
Poverty Rate: 3.0%
More on San Carlos: Real Estate | Photos

8. Pleasanton

Pleasanton, CA

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 81,717
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 1)
Median Income: $156,400
Unemployment Rate: 3.1%
Poverty Rate: 4.3%
More on Pleasanton: Real Estate | Photos

9. San Ramon

San Ramon, CA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 75,648
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 3)
Median Income: $160,783
Unemployment Rate: 3.2%
Poverty Rate: 3.7%
More on San Ramon: Real Estate | Photos

10. Danville

Danville, CA

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 44,605
Rank Last Year: 8 (Down 2)
Median Income: $160,808
Unemployment Rate: 3.4%
Poverty Rate: 3.4%
More on Danville: Real Estate | Photos

How We Determined The Richest Places In California For 2021

Map Of The Richest Places To Live In California
The first thing that comes to most people’s minds when they think about determining the richest places is to simply identify personal incomes. After all, rich people have really high salaries.

However, we don’t believe that one statistic wholly encompasses what it means to be one of the “richest places”. So we looked at this set of criteria from the newly released 2015-2019 American Community Survey:

  • Poverty Level
  • Median Household Income
  • Unemployment Rate

Median household income is the most digestible way to understand how rich a place really is. The unemployment rate tries to capture the prospects for more people to become rich. If more people are employed, the richer the future looks.

After we collected the data for all 427 places with more than 5,000 people in California, we ranked each place from 1 to 427 for each of the criteria, with 1 being the richest.

We then averaged all the rankings for a place into a “Rich Score” with the place having the lowest overall Rich Score, Hillsborough, crowned the “Richest City In California For 2021”. You can download the data here.

You can learn more about the top ten below or skip to the end to see the rankings for all 427 places.

There You Have It – The Wealthiest Places In California For 2021

Like we said earlier, when we set out to identify the richest places in California, we weren’t sure what we’d encounter, but it ended up being some of the best places to live in California.

When you look at the data, the cities and places mentioned above meet the criteria for being at the very top of the income ladder for everyone that lives there.

If you’re curious enough, here are the poorest cities in California, according to data:

Poorest: Mendota
2nd Poorest: Orange Cove
3rd Poorest: Huron

For more California reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Richest Cities In California

Rank City RichScore Median Income
1 Hillsborough 11.83 $250,001
2 Tiburon 16.0 $154,915
3 Westlake Village 19.67 $140,850
4 Los Altos Hills 21.17 $250,001
5 Clayton 21.33 $157,768
6 Los Altos 21.67 $235,278
7 San Carlos 25.33 $182,083
8 Pleasanton 28.33 $156,400
9 San Ramon 28.33 $160,783
10 Danville 28.67 $160,808
11 Mill Valley 29.33 $163,614
12 Foster City 29.33 $158,529
13 Belmont 30.67 $156,052
14 Palos Verdes Estates 31.0 $194,543
15 Orinda 34.33 $223,217
16 Piedmont 35.67 $224,659
17 Rancho Santa Margarita 37.0 $121,017
18 Dublin 37.0 $150,299
19 San Marino 38.33 $166,607
20 Livermore 39.67 $127,452
21 Villa Park 40.0 $165,000
22 Half Moon Bay 42.33 $134,177
23 Woodside 43.17 $250,001
24 Saratoga 44.67 $191,677
25 Sausalito 45.0 $111,906
26 Pacifica 45.67 $125,500
27 Fremont 46.0 $133,354
28 Campbell 47.67 $124,525
29 Buellton 48.67 $93,099
30 Palo Alto 48.67 $158,271
31 Yorba Linda 49.0 $129,995
32 Cupertino 52.0 $171,917
33 Rancho Palos Verdes 55.33 $138,557
34 Moraga 55.33 $140,378
35 Folsom 56.0 $114,405
36 Millbrae 56.67 $128,494
37 Redondo Beach 57.0 $113,499
38 Union City 57.33 $114,681
39 Lafayette 58.67 $178,889
40 Hermosa Beach 60.0 $136,702
41 Aliso Viejo 62.67 $112,689
42 Mountain View 63.0 $139,720
43 Scotts Valley 63.0 $108,289
44 Hercules 63.33 $117,018
45 Solana Beach 63.33 $108,118
46 Atherton 63.5 $250,001
47 Los Gatos 64.0 $155,863
48 Fairfax 64.0 $104,122
49 Newport Beach 64.67 $127,223
50 Sunnyvale 65.0 $140,631
51 Morgan Hill 65.67 $124,419
52 Malibu 66.33 $150,747
53 San Anselmo 68.0 $128,212
54 Larkspur 70.0 $109,426
55 Healdsburg 71.67 $96,016
56 Menlo Park 71.67 $160,784
57 San Bruno 72.67 $109,387
58 Milpitas 73.67 $132,320
59 Rolling Hills Estates 74.0 $150,135
60 Manhattan Beach 74.67 $153,023
61 Newark 74.67 $116,856
62 Walnut Creek 75.0 $105,948
63 South San Francisco 75.33 $105,459
64 Santa Clara 75.67 $126,006
65 Benicia 76.0 $103,413
66 Mission Viejo 77.0 $118,477
67 Windsor 77.33 $106,899
68 Encinitas 78.33 $116,022
69 Martinez 78.33 $107,328
70 La Palma 80.0 $107,724
71 Burlingame 80.33 $128,447
72 Calabasas 83.0 $125,814
73 Moorpark 83.0 $107,820
74 Redwood City 84.0 $117,123
75 Agoura Hills 85.33 $122,998
76 Dana Point 85.33 $99,409
77 San Mateo 85.67 $124,842
78 Corte Madera 88.0 $149,439
79 San Clemente 88.33 $110,434
80 Arroyo Grande 89.67 $80,833
81 Canyon Lake 92.0 $100,682
82 Coronado 92.33 $108,967
83 Thousand Oaks 92.67 $109,378
84 Novato 94.0 $101,342
85 Loomis 94.33 $83,162
86 Alameda 95.0 $104,756
87 Pleasant Hill 95.33 $118,947
88 Truckee 98.0 $97,092
89 Eastvale 99.0 $119,213
90 Laguna Niguel 100.67 $108,537
91 Lake Forest 101.67 $109,492
92 La Habra Heights 101.67 $115,762
93 Norco 101.67 $102,817
94 Walnut 103.0 $108,669
95 Carlsbad 104.33 $110,478
96 Oakley 104.67 $104,893
97 Rocklin 107.67 $98,566
98 San Juan Capistrano 108.0 $91,600
99 South Pasadena 108.67 $104,308
100 Pacific Grove 109.33 $88,250

How Is The Area In ?

Editor’s Note: Data has been updated for 2021. This is our seventh time ranking the richest cities in California.

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.