Many people move to a new city or state for a better quality of life. When surveyed, the top reasons given for migration were traffic, living expenses, economic opportunity, arts, culture and a sense of community. Check out these four reasons that everyone is coming to Oakland.
1. Exploding Job Opportunities
Oakland has enjoyed robust job growth in recent years. The city enjoys an unemployment rate that’s a full percentage point below the national average of 4%. As of 2017, Oakland's median hourly pay rate of $33.50 was nearly $10 more than the average median hourly pay for the country.
Historically, Oakland’s largest employment sectors have been in the city, state and county government, and at UCSF Children's Hospital in Oakland, BART and Kaiser. Oakland is also home to a healthy startup community and high-profile employers like Pixar.
2. Everyone Hates SoCal Traffic
Southern California has spent several years as the United States worst location for traffic congestion and delays. While experts agree that the worst time to drive through LA County, Orange County, and San Diego County is during the holidays, drivers from Los Angeles to Long Beach spend more than 100 hours per year idling in rush hour traffic. People who visit Oakland from places like Los Angeles and New York are impressed by the relative ease of driving in Oakland.
Oakland and The Bay Area experience traffic congestion like other urban areas in the world, but they have one of the most predictable traffic patterns. An excellent and constantly improving public transit system and a large network of toll highways both help keep commutes running relatively smoothly
3. Plenty to Do
There are so many things to do in Oakland—whether it be doing something in nature or experiencing its diverse culture. Beauty surrounds Oakland, with its proximity to the San Francisco Bay. The stunning scenery attracts both visitors and people looking to move. Lake Merritt is a tidal lagoon that’s centrally located in the city. Oakland boasts urban park areas and miles of jogging trails along the shore.
Culture also abounds in Oakland. The Oakland Zoo features historic native species, and Oakland Museum of California chronicles state art and history. Oakland continues to come into its own artistically. Joyce Gordon Gallery and the Johansson Projects barely scratch the surface of what Oakland has to offer its art community.
4. Close to San Francisco and Berkeley With Lower Rent
Oakland has more affordable living costs than San Francisco. Oakland residents pay a median $1,800 monthly rent, while their neighbors across the Bay can pay $3,300 for the same type of apartment. Berkeley renters pay a whopping $3,770. Oakland is about 5 miles from Berkeley and 13 miles from San Francisco, and both places are easy to reach by public transit from Oakland.
Oakland is an attractive destination—both for living and for visiting. Southern Californians move there for better infrastructure and more tolerable traffic conditions. Northern Californians seek cheaper housing, and young Midwesterners seek art, culture and better opportunities in a place where they can afford to live out West. No matter what your motivations are for coming to Oakland, you are sure to have a great time experiencing all it has to offer.