California is known for its beautiful beaches, stunning mountains, and diverse cultures. But it’s also known for its high cost of living, with some of its cities ranking among the richest in the United States. Here are the 11 richest places in California in 2023, based on median household income:
Median Household Income: $539,944
Atherton is the richest town in California and is renowned for its wealthy residents and opulent residential neighborhoods. These exclusive areas boast extravagant estates owned by affluent individuals, including many from the tech industry.
Notably, Atherton has the highest per capita income among U.S. towns, with populations ranging between 2,500 and 9,999 during both 1990 and 2019. Moreover, the area covered by its zip code consistently ranks as having the highest cost of living in the United States.
Median Household Income: $510,494
With a population of 11,016, Hillsborough is another richest town in California. In 2019, Hillsborough was ranked as the fifth wealthiest town in the United States, according to an analysis conducted by Bloomberg.
The city of Hillsborough is also home to a myriad of captivating attractions, with its historic mansions standing out as the epitome of its rich history.
Median Household Income: $438,434
Located on the Palos Verdes Peninsula, Rolling Hills is the third richest city in California. The neighborhood holds the distinction of having the third-highest median house value in the United States. In fact, according to the 2000 census, Rolling Hills ranked as the 21st wealthiest place in the country based on per capita income. It is also ranked 4th among places with a population of at least 1,000 in terms of wealth.
Median Household Income: $435,371
Portola Valley is a small and wealthy town with a population of 4,289. Its affluent residents are well educated, with 80% of residents graduating with a bachelor’s degree or higher. Home values in Portola Valley are high, with a median sale price of $3,766,194.
Median Household Income: $427,750
Coming at number 5 on our list of richest places in California is Los Altos Hills. The town is primarily known for its affluence and expensive residential real estate. The Los Altos Hills ZIP code 94022 appeared on the 2017 Forbes list of America’s most expensive ZIP codes.
Los Altos Hills is highly regarded as an exceptional place to reside. Its distinctive rural ambiance, spacious custom-designed residences, and breathtaking vistas of the San Francisco Bay contribute to its allure.
Moreover, a noteworthy aspect is that the majority of children in Los Altos Hills attend schools within the esteemed Palo Alto School District.
Median Household Income: $426,500
Saratoga is one of the richest towns in California. The neighborhood is a prosperous residential community and is renowned for its exquisite wineries, delightful restaurants, and captivating attractions such as Villa Montalvo, Mountain Winery, and Hakone Gardens. In the year 2009, Forbes recognized Saratoga as one of America’s top 20 most-educated small towns.
Median Household Income: $425,000
With a population of 32,475, Menlo Park is another of the richest places to live in California. The city is renowned as the corporate headquarters of Meta. This city also holds significant historical value as it marks the birthplace of influential companies like Google, Roblox Corporation, and Round Table Pizza.
Moreover, Menlo Park stands out for its exceptional educational standards. Approximately 70% of its residents over the age of 25 have accomplished a bachelor’s degree or higher.
Median Household Income: $417,500
Ladera Ranch, located in south Orange County, California, is a picturesque master-planned community and census-designated place. Its foundation in 1999 was driven by a singular ideal – to create an inclusive community that provides both roots and wings for its residents’ families and children.
Present-day Ladera Ranch offers plenty of amenities like pet-friendly parks, close-knit clubs, and a serene environment to raise a family.
Median Household Income: $412,500
Cupertino, located in Santa Clara County, is renowned for being the hometown of Apple Inc., which has its headquarters at Apple Park. In the dynamic region of San Francisco Bay Area, Cupertino holds a prestigious status as one of the founding cities of Silicon Valley and boasts exceptional public schools.
With its exemplary educational institutions and proximity to technology-centric job opportunities, Cupertino attracts an educated and culturally diverse population.
More than 60 percent of residents aged 25 or older possess a bachelor’s degree or higher, while over 40 percent were born outside the United States.
Median Household Income: $409,500
With a population of 43,582, the town of Danville claims its position as California’s 10th wealthiest location. For an impressive five consecutive years since 2018, Danville has earned the prestigious distinction of being named “the safest town in California.”
On top of that, it proudly ranks as the second highest-income place in the United States among areas with at least 40,000 residents.
Not only does Danville boast some of the most opulent real estate in both the San Francisco Bay Area and the entire nation, but it is also home to affluent inhabitants seeking luxurious living experiences.
Median Household Income: $407,500
Los Gatos rounds up our list of the richest towns in California. The neighborhood is located in Silicon Valley and boasts a significant presence of high technology companies. Notably, Los Gatos serves as the headquarters and thriving hub for Netflix, a renowned streaming service and content creator. Additionally, the area is known for its astonishing median home price of $2,450,828.
These cities are all located in the San Francisco Bay Area, the Los Angeles metro area, or the San Diego metro area. They are home to a high concentration of high-paying jobs in the technology, finance, and healthcare industries. They also have some of the country’s best schools, attracting families with children.