Moving to California A Complete Relocation Guide 2021

This is a complete guide for Moving to California.
Get all the information you need to know about moving to California

Are you planning to move to California?

California is the most populous state in the U.S. and one of the best places to live on earth. The state is home to Hollywood, Silicon Valley, giant redwoods, stunning beaches, Disneyland, and several other world-famous places.

According to the World Economic Forum, if California were a country, it would be the sixth-largest economy in the world. The state is home to thousands of startups making it one of the most favorite spots for entrepreneurs and job hunters.

California’s booming tech and entertainment industries, and cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland, San Diego, and San Jose, etc. make it one of the most coveted places for millennials and many families.

If all of that sounds like what you’d like to be a part of, moving to California is perfect for you. But if you’re yet to make a decision, we have all the information you need about the golden state to help you decide if moving to California is right for you!

Quick facts to know before moving to California

  • California is home to 53 Fortune 500 companies in 2020
  • The average annual pay for the average job in California is $62,356 a year
  • If Silicon Valley CA were a country, it would be among the richest on earth
  • Around 59% of Californians are homeowners
  • The cost of living in California is higher than the national average
  • Property tax in California is 0.73% average effective rate

What’s the population of California?

California is home to 39.9 million people and one out of every eight United States residents live in the state. California’s median age is 36 years and around 50.3% of the state population are female, while 49.6% are male.

  • California is officially the most populous state in the U.S
  • California’s population density is 253.64 people per square mile
  • California is the 11th most densely populated state in the U.S
  • California’s population is expected to hit 45 million people by 2050
  • San Francisco Bay Area and the Greater Los Angeles Area are two of the U.S. most populated urban areas
  • Los Angeles County is the largest in the United States

How is the weather like in California?

If the weather is one of the key metrics you’ll like to consider before moving to California, the state weather, the state has warm dry summers and mild wet winters. Here’s a breakdown of the state’s weather since you’re considering moving to California:

  • Summer High in July in California is around 87 degrees
  • Winter Low in January in California is 39 degrees
  • California averages 22 inches of rain a year
  • California averages 7 inches of snow a year

How fast can you commute in California?

California’s average one-way commute time is 28.8 minutes. The U.S. average is 26.4 minutes. That means the average commuting time in California is longer than the U.S. average. Commuting time is key since you’re considering moving to California.

Here’s how people in the state commute to work regularly:

  • About 73.6% of Californians drive their own car alone
  • Up to 10.4% of Californians carpool with others
  • Around 5.6% of Californians work from home
  • Approximately 5.2% of Californians take mass transit
moving to california

Top 10 Reasons to move to California

California is one of the best places to live in the United States. Every year, thousands of people move in and out of California for several reasons.

Since you’re considering moving to California, here are the top ten reasons why people are moving to the Garden State:

  • Remarkable weather

    California experiences a Mediterranean-like climate with warm, dry summers and mild, wet winters. The daytime temperature hovers around 70℉ and up, but can occasionally spike to 80℉ or more on hottest summer days. The freezing temperatures are rare in California with the daily average in winter going between 4℉ and 23 ℉.

  • Hollywood

    Hollywood is a synonym for the US movie industry, which is the largest in the world. Many of the largest movie studios, such as Paramount, Disney, Warner Bros, and Universal Pictures were found in this neighborhood of Los Angeles and most of the American movies are produced at studios here.

  • Silicon Valley

    The global center for high technology and innovation, Silicon Valley is a region in the southern part of the San Francisco Bay Area. A major financial hub of the country, Silicon Valley provides 225,300 high-tech jobs and some of the tech giants headquartered in Silicon Valley include Adobe Inc, Cisco Systems, Facebook, Intel, Tesla Inc, Synopsys, and Western Digital.

  • Top-quality education

    California ranks high in quality education and the state records one of the top annual enrolments in school. California boasts of some of the county’s top-notch colleges and schools.

  • Entertainment

    Hollywood, the world’s entertainment capital, is in California. In addition, there are vibrant cities, beaches, amusement parks, and natural wonders spread all across the state. Some of the top-ranking entertainment options in California include:

    • Disneyland
    • Death Valley National park
    • Universal Studios
    • Santa Catalina Island
    • The Getty Center
    • Griffith Park and Griffith Observatory
    • Hollywood
    • Santa Monica
    • Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
    • Battleship Iowa Museum

  • Booming job market

    Silicon Valley, Hollywood, unlimited tourism options – California’s job market is robust and ever-growing. About 53 of Fortune 500 companies call California their home and the unemployment rate in the state is very low in comparison to many other states.

  • Better pay

    With a booming job market, the chances of better pay are high in California. The average annual pay for the average job in California is $62,356 a year. The hourly pay for an average job is 29.98 per hour, which is much higher than the national average.

  • Stunning beaches

    There is an incredible array and variety of beaches in California. Blessed with stunning scenery along the rugged Pacific coastline, there are hundreds of beaches in the state to pick from.

    We have filtered out 10 beaches to spend your quality time on, sea kayaking, scuba diving, snorkeling, wakeboarding, surfing, and bodyboarding.

    • Zuma Beach, Malibu
    • Pacific Beach, San Diego
    • East Beach, Santa Barbara
    • Main Beach, Santa Cruz
    • La Jolla Shores, La Jolla
    • Stinson Beach, Marin County
    • Carmel Beach, Carmel by-the-Sea
    • Butterfly Beach, Montecito
    • Capitola Beach, Capitola
    • Coronado Central Beach, San Diego

  • California is a land of opportunities

    Home to Silicon Valley and Hollywood, there is no dearth of opportunities in California. About 50 Fortune 500 companies have headquarters in California and the state is also one of the most visited tourist destinations. All these factors contribute to the unlimited opportunities for everyone in the state.

  • Exciting outdoor activities

    From plenty of spectacular scenery from the wild waves of the Pacific to soaring mountain peaks, roaring rivers, and glistening lakes, California has a lot to offer outdoors.

    Here are some of the adventures to try in Californian outdoors.

    • Marvel at Burney Falls
    • Hike to Hollywood Sign
    • Drive the Big Sur Coastline
    • Get Your Feet Wet at Fern Canyon
    • Kayak to Fannette Island in Emerald Bay State Park
    • See the Rocks Move at the Death Valley Racetrack
    • Watch the Sunset over the Golden Gate Bridge
    • Walk up Salvation Mountain
    • Climb to the Highest Point in the Contiguous USA, Mt Whitney
    • Wine Taste at the Oldest Winery in the State
    • Take a Boat to the Channel Islands
    • Watch the Sunset over the Sunset Cliffs
    • Walk the Cypress Tree Tunnel in Point Reyes
    • Try climbing in Joshua Tree National Park, Mohave Desert
    • Hiking or Backpacking the Lost Coast Trail
    • Whale Watching at Dana Point

california pros and cons

Pros & Cons of Living in California

Unlimited economic opportunities, better package structure, pleasant weather, and never-ending entertainment outdoor environment – you have got reasons to move to California.

However, there are also some downsides to residing in this seemingly perfect state. What you really want to know is: Is California a good state to live in?

To help you, we’ve compiled some of the positives and negatives of the ‘Golden State’.

Before you make the final call, take a look at the top pros and cons of living in California.

Pros of living in California Cons of living in California
California is naturally beautifulTraffic is terrible in California
The weather in California is awesomeCalifornia is susceptible to natural disaster
California is a melting pot of various cultureCalifornia has a high cost of living
People in California are happierCalifornia has a high crime rate
California has a booming entertainment industryLower healthcare quality
Average salaries are higher in CaliforniaHigher taxes
There are tons of exciting things to do in CaliforniaHigh property prices
California is home to several beautiful beachesPollution
Outdoor recreation options are endless in CaliforniaOverpopulation
You’ll enjoy a better quality of life in CaliforniaEducation is expensive in California
California has strict environmental regulationsWeather is unpredictable
Below average transportation
You’ll have to put up with too many laws
place in california

Where Are The Best Places To Live In California?

Moving to California means you can get the chance to live in some of the best places in the entire United States. Since you’re considering moving to California, here’s a list of the ten best places to live in California:

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1Los Altos30,5043.3%$2,000,001
2Aliso Viejo50,6633.7%$632,900
3Los Altos Hills8,5053.2%$2,000,001
4Pacific Grove15,5223.9%$857,900
5Piedmont11,3173.9%$2,000,001
6Tiburon9,1442.7%$2,000,001
7Saratoga30,6973.7%$2,000,001
8Belmont27,0973.2%$1,527,500
9Cupertino60,2573.6%$1,711,300
10Palos Verdes Estates13,4342.3%$2,000,000
cost of living in california

Cost of Living in California

California’s cost of living is rated 149.9. The national average is 100. That means the average cost of living in California is higher than the national average.

The cost of living is one of the key things to look at if you’re moving to California:

Cost of living California United States
Overall149.9100
Grocery105.1100
Health92.4100
Housing239.1100
Median Home Cost$552,800$231,200
Utilities102.4100
Transportation133.1100
Miscellaneous103.7100

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Housing market in California

Median home value in California

California’s median home cost is $552,800. Over the last ten years, home appreciation in California has increased by 51.65. Currently, home values in the Golden state have risen by 5.2%.

Median home rental costs in California

If you’re considering renting a home after moving to California, renting a home can be a good housing option. Renters make up 41.4% of the state’s population. Here’s a breakdown of the average cost of renting a home in the Golden State:

  • The average cost of a studio apartment in CA is $1,156
  • The average cost of a 1-bedroom home/apartment in CA is $1,358
  • The average cost of a 2-bedroom home/apartment in CA is $1,723
  • The average cost of a 3-bedroom home/apartment in CA is $2,375
  • The average cost of a 4-bedroom home/apartment in CA is $2,75

How Does California Rent Compare To The Rest Of The Country?

If renting a home is a part of your housing option if you’re moving to California, here’s how the state’s rent compare to other states in the country:

Statistic California USA % Difference
Average Rent$2,800$1,65069.7%
Average $/sqft$2.015$1.13577.5%
M-o-M Change$0$0nan%
Y-o-Y Change$50$5900.0%
M-o-M % Change0.0%0.0%--
Y-o-Y % Change1.8%0.3%--
jobs in california

Job market in California?

California is home to 53 Fortune 500 companies and the state’s economy is rated as one of the largest in the world.

Home to the Silicon Valley, thousands of startups, and tech companies, California’s job market is always booming.

California median salary and income

Moving to California can give you a better chance to earn higher pay. California is one of the states known for higher average pay across the board. Since you’re considering moving to California, here’s a breakdown of the average pay in the state:

  • The average annual pay for the average job in California is $62,356 a year
  • The average weekly pay for average jobs in California is $1,199 per week
  • The average monthly pay for average jobs in California is $5,196 a month
  • The average hourly pay for the average job in California is $29.98 per hour
  • 90th percentile in California earn $88,479 on average annually

Biggest companies in California

Moving to California could mean working for some of the biggest companies in the world. Since you’re considering moving to California, here’s a list of the top ten largest companies in the state:

Rank Company City Employees
1ConcentrixFremont225,000
2The Walt Disney CompanyBurbank201,000
3Taco BellIrvine175,000
4SafewayPleasanton137,000
5GapSan Francisco135,000
6AppleCupertino132,000
7Kaiser PermanenteOakland128,270
8SYNNEXFremont108,000
9PORACSacramento107,653
10IntelSanta Clara107,100

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Top Career Option in California

If you’re considering a career change after moving to California, we’ve made a list of the top career options in the state. Whether you’re considering investing or getting a new job, the list below is worth taking a look at since you’re considering moving to California:

Rank Job Title AVERAGE SALARY ENTRY LEVEL SALARY # OF PEOPLE
1Surgeons, Except Ophthalmologists$248,100$115,9003,650
2Psychiatrists$236,930$122,5703,560
3Obstetricians And Gynecologists$236,730$114,3201,540
4Nurse Anesthetists$227,290$127,7001,270
5Oral And Maxillofacial Surgeons$222,180$68,470690
6Orthodontists$220,410$57,970420
7Chief Executives$216,520$88,35031,730
8General Internal Medicine Physicians$212,510$114,1403,410
9Physicians, All Other; And Ophthalmologists, Except Pediatric$210,140$80,01032,070
10Airline Pilots, Copilots, And Flight Engineers$208,070$90,76010,340

Unemployment Rate

California’s unemployment rate is 4.40%. The national average is 3.70%. Here’s a breakdown of the state’s job market since you’re considering moving to California:

Employment Information California United States
The income per Cap$33,128$31,177
Household Income$67,169$57,652
Unemployment Rate4.40%3.70%
Recent Job Growth1.31%1.59%
Future Job Growth33.96%33.51%

Top Industries in California

California’s massive and thriving economy is powered by several key industries. The Garden state is a powerhouse of several economic activities.

  • Government
  • Healthcare and Social Assistance
  • International trade and tourism
  • Agriculture
  • Energy
  • Real estate
  • Technology
  • Education
  • Forestry
  • Construction
  • Hospitality
taxes in california

California Taxes

Taxes in California are rated among the highest in the United States.

Depending on where you’re moving from, moving to California will most likely mean paying a certain amount in taxes. Here’s a breakdown of taxes in California:

  • California’s income tax is 1% - 13.3%
  • Sales tax in California is 7.25% -10.50%
  • Property tax in California is 0.73% average effective rate
  • California gas tax is 50.50 cents per gallon of regular gasoline
  • Gas tax per gallon of regular diesel is 38.50 cents
things to know about california

What is California most known for?

California is one of the most famous places on earth and the city is known for so many things. Since you’re considering moving to California, we’ve made a list of the key things the Golden State is known for. Check them out:

  • Hollywood

    Once a neighborhood in Los Angeles, Hollywood is now the world capital of cinema and home to some of the largest movie studios, including Universal, Paramount, Warner Bros, and Disney. Some of the big landmarks of cinema fall into the list of most visited places in the country. Apart from providing unlimited jobs to locals, Hollywood also brings big revenues to the national coffers.

  • Breathtaking Beaches

    No state in the US captures the essence of a carefree, sun-kissed lifestyle like California and the 800-mile coastline plays a major role in that. With about 100 beaches and more, it is almost possible to pick the best beach to surf, dive, swim, or soak in the sun.

  • National Parks

    California has 9 national parks, the most by any state. And each one with its unique appeal waits to embrace visitors year around. Here’s the list of national parks in California.

    • Yosemite National Park
    • Joshua Tree National Park
    • Death Valley National Park
    • Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park
    • Pinnacles National Park
    • Lassen Volcanic National Park
    • Channel Islands National Park
    • Redwood National Park
    • Point Reyes National Seashore

  • Alcatraz

    Situated 1.25 miles offshore from San Francisco, Alcatraz Island has an abandoned federal prison, the oldest operating lighthouse on the West Coast of the United States, early military fortifications, and natural features such as rock pools and a seabird colony. Now abandoned, Alcatraz Jail was infamous for its notorious inmates, including Al “Scarface” Capone and the “Birdman” Robert Stroud.

  • San Francisco

    The fourth-largest city in California is the cultural, financial, and commercial center in northern California. Silicon Valley is in San Francisco that is home to some of the largest technology companies, including Adobe Inc, Jupiter Networks, Netflix, Nvidia, and PayPal.

  • Wine

    Almost 90% of the wine in the US is produced in California, which is 30% more than the wine produced in Australia. The climate, ranging from abundant sunshine to cool coastal air, plus a variety of soils and terrain gives a personal touch to every wine produced in different parts of California. The different red wines from the state include outstanding ones like Pinot Noir and Zinfandel and even lesser-known varieties like Valdiguié.

  • Theme Parks/Disneyland

    From the wild water thrills of Splash Mountain in Disneyland to nostalgic big dippers and the Halloween-themed Knott’s Scary Farm, there’s never a dull moment at the finest theme parks in California.

    Here’s a list of top-rated theme parks in California

    • Disneyland
    • Universal Studios Hollywood
    • Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
    • Legoland California Theme Park
    • Knott’s Berry Farm
    • Six Flags Magic Fountain
    • Pacific park
    • Belmont Park

  • Surfing

    Surfing is big in California. It is so big that for many, surfing is a way of life while for many, it is a spectator sport. Some of the best surfing beaches in California are:

    • Windansea Beach, San Diego County
    • Oceanside, San Diego County
    • San Onofre State Beach, San Diego County
    • Palos Verdes' The Cove, Los Angeles County
    • Redondo Breakwater, Los Angeles County
    • Malibu, Los Angeles County
    • Steamer Lane, Santa Cruz County

  • Giant Redwood Trees

    Standing up to 378-feet tall, Redwood trees are the tallest, the biggest, and the oldest trees in the world and California is the only place where you can see them. They define the landscapes with mesmerizing heights and give a distinctive appearance.

  • Death Valley

    A desert valley in Eastern California is one of the hottest places on the earth. It is notoriously hot in summer and got its name for its extreme climate that makes it difficult for normal living creatures to survive.

  • Fort Bragg

    Fort Bragg is a picaresque city along the Pacific Coast and was once an exclusive army base but now turned into a tourist destination with many outdoor activities.

  • Craft Beer

    Californians are crazy about craft beer and the state has 968 craft beer breweries, the maximum in any US state. Some of the top craft beer brands in California to relish are:

    • Anchor Liberty Ale
    • Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
    • Lagunitas IPA
    • Deschutes Black Butte Porter
    • Bear Republic Racer 5

  • Mammoth Lakes Hot Springs

    Mammoth Lakes in Mono County has an amazing range of hot springs, all tucked inside serene surroundings. Naturally protected, these springs are hot destinations for those who aspire for solitude in the company of wilderness.

    Some of the best hot springs to explore is:

    • Rock Tub hot spring
    • Crab Cooker hot spring
    • Shepherd hot spring
    • Wild Willy’s hot springs
    • Hilltop hot spring

  • California Cool Decor

    California Casual or California Cool or just California Style is a decorating style that majors on neutral, soft colors on furniture and walls, furnishings that are inviting and comfortable, a relaxed boho feel enhanced by natural materials and fabrics, such as leather, wood, wool, cotton, and stone.

  • Music Festivals

    Hollywood, theme parks, sunshine, artisanal toasts – the specialties of California do not end here. Music festivals are another rage in California which hosts never-ending music nights year around.

    Some of the best music fests to attend in California include:

    • Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival
    • Stagecoach
    • Lightning in a Bottle
    • BottleRock Napa Valley
    • HARD Summer Music Festival
    • Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival
    • CRSSD Festival
    • Rolling Loud California
    • Desert Daze

  • Mouthwatering Cuisine

    Just as the state, the cuisine in California is also diverse. It’s a mix of fresh ingredients, vegetables, fresh cheeses, grilled meat, fish and seafood, nuts, an assortment of cross-cultural dishes influenced by other international cuisines: Mexican, Chinese & European.

    Here are 7 dishes to relish in California

    • Uramaki
    • California-style pizza
    • Mission burrito
    • Cobb salad
    • French dip sandwich
    • Fortune cookie
    • Ranch dressing

The crime rate in California

Crime rate is one of the key things to consider if you’re moving to California. Similar to several other large cities in the United States, California has its fair share of crime-related problems. Here are key stats to note since you’re moving to California:

  • The violent crime rate in California is rated 25.2. The U.S. average is 22.7
  • The property crime rate in California is 37.1. The U.S. average is 35.4
  • Both property and violent crime rates in California are higher than the U.S. average

Violent crimes in California

This stat shows the violent crime rate in California:

Cases Murder Rape Robbery Assault
Report Total1,69014,79952,301105,541
Rate per 1,0000.040.371.322.67

Property crimes in California

Here’s a simple stat of California property crime rate:

Cases Burglary Theft Motor Vehicle Theft
Report Total152,555626,802141,757
Rate per 1,0003.8615.863.59
schools in california

Best Schools & Universities in California

Whether you have school-age kids or not, moving to California could mean living in some of the best school districts in the world.

California is home to some of the best schools in the entire world. from elementary, middle, high, colleges, and universities, moving to California mean you’ll have access to some of the best education on earth.

Since you’re considering moving to California, here are the best elementary, middle, and high schools in the state:

Best Elementary Schools in California

  • Valley View Elementary School
    Glendale Unified School District, Public, K-6 | 450 students, Rating: 10/10

  • Hermosa View Elementary School
    Hermosa Beach City Elementary School District, Public, K-3 | 563 students, Rating: 10/10

  • Balboa Gifted/High Ability Magnet Elementary School
    Los Angeles Unified School District, Public, 1-5 | 746 students, Rating: 10/10

  • Grapeland Elementary School
    Etiwanda Elementary School District, Public, K-5 | 586 students, Rating: 10/10

  • La Mariposa School
    Pleasant Valley School District, Public, K-5 | 623 students, Rating: 10/10

Best Middle Schools in California

  • University Preparatory School
    Victor Valley Union High School District, Public, 7-12 | 1086 students, Rating: 10/10

  • Granite Ridge Intermediate School
    Clovis Unified School District, Public, 7-8 | 1284 students, Rating: 10/10

  • Carmel Valley Middle School
    San Dieguito Union High School District, Public, 7-8 | 1135 students, Rating: 10/10

  • Pacific Collegiate Charter School
    Santa Cruz County Office Of Education School District, Charter, 7-12 | 549 students, Rating: 10/10

  • Ocsa
    Santa Ana Unified School District, Charter, 7-12 | 2177 students, Rating: 10/10

Best High Schools in California

  • Great Oak High School
    Temecula Valley Unified School District, Public, 9-12 | 3161 students, Rating: 10/10

  • University Preparatory School
    Victor Valley Union High School District, Public, 7-12 | 1086 students, Rating: 10/10

  • International Polytechnic High School
    Los Angeles County Office Of Education School District, Public, 9-12 | 516 students, Rating: 10/10

  • Natomas Pacific Pathways Prep School
    Natomas Unified School District, Charter, 9-12 | 619 students, Rating: 10/10

  • Soar High (Students on Academic Rise) School
    Antelope Valley Union High School District, Public, 9-12 | 427 students, Rating: 10/10

Universities and colleges in California

  • Stanford University - Stanford, CA

  • Pomona College - Claremont, CA

  • University of California-Los Angeles - Los Angeles, CA

  • Soka University of America - Aliso Viejo, CA

  • University of California-Berkeley - Berkeley, CA

  • California Institute of Technology - Pasadena, CA

  • Claremont McKenna College - Claremont, CA

  • California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo - San Luis Obispo, CA

  • University of Southern California - Los Angeles, CA

  • Pitzer College - Claremont, CA

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