The Bishop Real Estate Group Keller Williams Realty

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Relocating from Southern California?

The Sacramento Valley is a great place to relocate to. Its central location, affordability, fantastic school systems, and recreational opportunities make it a perfect place to escape the congested roadways and large populations of Southern California.

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Affordability

A notable difference between the Sacramento Valley and Southern California is the contrast between affordability and cost of living. In Sacramento County, 45% of people can afford the median priced home versus Los Angeles County (30%) which is just below California as a whole (31%). Some of the other counties in Southern California see an affordability index even below Los Angeles, like Orange at 22% and Ventura (29%) while Sacramento's neighbor, Placer, enjoys a 46% affordability rate.

See the full graph below as presented by C.A.R.

pages-from-09-29-2016_expo_forecast_affordability
Housing Affordability Index
SOURCE: CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®

A Less Crowded Option

One of the advantages that the Sacramento Area has over Southern California is the population differences. Los Angeles County alone has nearly 675% the population of Sacramento County and the population density is almost 70% more than the latter. Furthermore, Orange County is comparable in size to Sacramento County and has twice the population of Sacramento County. While its population may not seem as large as one would expect, San Francisco is both a city and county, (the entire county is just the city of SF) so its population of 800,000+ is all located within 47 square miles making it by far the most densely populated county.

Of the major cities in California, Sacramento (490,712) is the 6th largest by population. Los Angeles (3,971883) sits at the top of the list with San Diego (1,394,948), San Jose (1,026,908), San Francisco (864,816) and coming in just above Fresno (520,052) rounds out the top 5.

The list below shows the top 30 counties by population. The top 5 counties are all in Southern California, followed by 2 counties from the Bay Area, and finally Sacramento County. Placer County is #22 and El Dorado is #29.

County

Population

Square Miles

Population Density
(people per square mile)

1
Los Angeles County
10,170,292
4,060 Sq. Miles
2,505.0
2
San Diego County
3,299,521
4,204 Sq. Miles
784.9
3
Orange County
3,169,776
790 Sq. Miles
4,012.4
4
Riverside County
2,31,026
7,208 Sq. Miles
327.6
5
San Bernardino County
2,183,133
20,062 Sq. Miles
106.1
6
Santa Clara County
1,918,044
1,291 Sq. Miles
1,485.7
7
Alameda County
1,638,215
738 Sq. Miles
2,219.8
8
Sacramento County
1,501,5335
966 Sq. Miles
1,554.2
9
Contra Costa County
1,126,745
720 Sq. Miles
1,54.9
10
Fresno County
974,861
5,963 Sq. Miles
163.5
11
Kern County
882,176
8,142 Sq. Miles
108.3
12
San Francisco City/County
864,116
47 Sq. Miles
18,400.3
13
Ventura County
850,536
1,846 Sq. Miles
460.7
14
San Mateo County
765,135
449 Sq. Miles
1,704.1
15
San Joaquin County
726,106
1,399 Sq. Miles
519.0
16
Stanislaus County
538,388
1,495 Sq. Miles
360.1
17
Sonoma County
502,146
1,576 Sq. Miles
318.6
18
Tulare County
459,863
4,824 Sq. Miles
95.3
19
Santa Barbara County
444,769
2,738 Sq. Miles
162.4
20
Solano County
436,092
828 Sq. Miles
526.7
21
Monterey County
433,898
3,322 Sq. Miles
130.6
22
Placer County
375,391
1,503 Sq. Miles
249.8
23
San Luis Obispo County
281,401
3,304 Sq. Miles
85.2
24
Santa Cruz County
274,146
446 Sq. Miles
614.7
25
Merced County
268,455
1,929 Sq. Miles
139.7
26
Marin County
261,221
520 Sq. Miles
502.3
27
Butte County
225,411
1,640 Sq. Miles
137.4
28
Yolo County
213,016
1.012 Sq. Miles
210.5
29
El Dorado County
184,452
1,712 Sq. Miles
107.7
30
Imperial County
180,191
4,175 Sq. Miles
43.2

TL;DR

To make a long story short, the Sacramento Area is a great place to get the big city feel but without the big city populations.

Traffic Jams

Traffic is the price residents pay for living in big cities. A quick Google search of worst cities for traffic will heed dozens of list all with Los Angeles in the top 3. Business Insider published their list in March 2016 of the 5 cities that have the worst traffic in America.  Number 1 on the list is Los Angeles, estimating that commuters need to allow 43 extra minutes for traffic and waste an average of 6.8 days per year due to congested roadways! The article is based off TomTom Traffic Index which tracks and ranks world traffic in 174 major cities. It lists Los Angeles as the 10th worst traffic city in the world. Now Sacramento is not without its fair share of traffic and since it has seen a lot of growth in the last decade or so, Sacramento's traffic has increased substantially. However, it is only 25th on the list of worth US cities for traffic and 121st on the world list. So while Sacramento doesn't have barren roads, it is still less congested than both Los Angeles and the Bay Area.

25 US Cities with the Worst Traffic

  1. Los Angeles, CA
  2. San Francisco, CA
  3. New York, NY
  4. Seattle, WA
  5. San Jose, CA
  6. Honolulu, HI
  7. Miami, FL
  8. Washington D.C.
  9. Portland, OR
  10. Chicago, IL
  11. Houston, TX
  12. Boston, MA
  13. Atlanta, GA
  14. San Diego, CA
  15. Tampa, FL
  16. Orlando, FL
  17. Philadelphia, PA
  18. Baton Rouge, LA
  19. Nashville, TN
  20. New Orleans, LA
  21. Austin, TX
  22. Las Vegas, NV
  23. Denver, CO
  24. Riverside, CA
  25. Sacramento, CA
(According to TomTom Traffic Index)

25 World Cities with the Worst Traffic

  1. Mexico City, Mexico
  2. Bangkok, Thailand
  3. Istanbul, Turkey
  4. Rio de Janiero, Brazil
  5. Moscow, Russia
  6. Bucharest, Romania
  7. Salvador, Brazil
  8. Recife, Brazil
  9. Chengdu, China
  10. Los Angeles, United States
  11. Saint Petersburg, Russia
  12. Tianjin, China
  13. Warsaw, Poland
  14. Beijing, China
  15. Rome, Italy
  16. London, United Kingdom
  17. Hangzhou, China
  18. Marseille, France
  19. Taipie, Tiawan
  20. Chonqing, China
  21. Changsha, China
  22. Guangzhou, China
  23. Shenzhen, China
  24. Shenyang, China
  25. Manchester, United Kingdom
(According to TomTom Traffic Index)

22.00 Minutes

Average commute time for Sacramento residents.

A survey conducted by the California Association of Realtors (C.A.R.) found that most people would choose the super power: make traffic disappear.

pages-from-09-29-2016_expo_forecast_traffic
SOURCE: CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®

Want to find out more about the Sacramento Valley?

Visit our community profiles below to find out why we don't just sell the Sacramento Valley, we love the Sacramento Valley.
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