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Irvine has consistently been ranked among the safest cities in the country, and has also been listed among the 10 best places to live in the U.S. more than three times. It’s also quite popular with young professionals due to the thriving business opportunities and is a preferred destination for families.
Irvine is the fifth-largest city in the Los Angeles metropolitan area with a population of 256,877. And, with its 66 square miles, it’s physically the largest LA suburb — even though it’s 7.5 times smaller than Los Angeles.
The planned city of Irvine is one of the main suburbs of LA located in Orange County, California. It’s situated about 46 miles southeast of Los Angeles, which can be accessed via Interstate 5.
Thanks to its proximity to the coast, Irvine experiences slightly cooler weather than other cities in California, which can often result in increased periods of rain (14.3 inches annually). The hottest months are July and August, with average highs of 85°F. January is the coldest month, with average lows of 41°F.
The benefits of living in Irvine are plentiful. The city is continuously listed among the cleanest, safest cities in the country, boasting extremely low crime rates. Meanwhile, local schools and colleges rank high on national lists. The large number of international businesses present in the city offer ample employment opportunities for residents, and the city’s proximity to outdoor national parks and the beach are additional highlights. It’s also close enough to the big city that residents can enjoy the nightlife and culture, which they say is lacking in Irvine.
Despite being a college town, Irvine is quite quiet and has limited options when it comes to art.
The local public transportation system connects residents to different parts of Irvine, as well as other large cities, including San Diego and LA. The city’s train station is served by both Amtrak Services and Metro Orange, and the journey to LA takes about 1 hour and 20 minutes. The city is also served by iShuttle, which is managed and maintained by the Orange County Transportation Authority. Many locals get around by car, but the commute times near LA can be long and frustrating, and gasoline isn’t exactly cheap, either ($.96 per liter).
A one-way ticket for Metrolink starts at $10.75 and costs $21.50 to return. Additionally, seven-day passes will set you back $75.25, while a monthly pass costs $301. Conversely, a one-way fare on the OCTA is priced at $2, with express fares costing $7 one-way. Regular 30-day passes ($69) and express 30-day passes ($210) are also available to residents.
A three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant in Irvine costs $72.50, on average. A cappuccino is generally priced at $4.59.
Monthly basic utilities in Irvine cost $144.71, on average, for a 915-square-foot home, and a good internet connection will cost you $64.84.
The average rent for an apartment in Irvine is $3,069 per month.
The average apartment size in Irvine is 922 sq. ft.
Rent for a studio apartment in Irvine ranges between $949 and $5,334 per month.
Rent for a 1-bedroom apartment in Irvine ranges between $1,790 and $9,782 per month.
Rent for a 2-bedroom apartment in Irvine ranges between $2,590 and $18,921 per month.
Rent for a 3-bedroom apartment in Irvine ranges between $3,715 and $20,480 per month.
The median household income is $91,999 per year in Irvine, which is nearly double the national average of $53,482. Employment opportunities are spread evenly across various industries as the city is home to headquarters, plants, and offices of various local and global businesses. The most popular industries in the city are in the professional, scientific and technical services sectors, followed by healthcare, manufacturing and education. Most people work in management roles and sales, as well as business and finance positions. However, the highest-paid residents work mostly in architecture, engineering, legal and law enforcement roles.
Toshiba Corporation; Samsung Electronics; Sega; Mazda Motor Corporation; Bosch and Siemens; Asics; the Blizzard Entertainment; LA Fitness; and Quicksilver Software are some of the largest companies headquartered in Irvine.
|Not for Profit Companies||9,045|
The city’s schools are mainly served by the Irvine Unified School District, with a few — including Beckman High School — falling under the Tustin Unified School District. Specifically, the city is home to 88 public schools, many of which are consistently ranked among the best in California. In addition to these, there are also 21 private schools in the city.
Northwood High School is listed as the sixth-best in California, and Rancho San Joaquin Middle School places 13th in the state, while Turtle Rock Elementary School is ranked the 27th-best in California. Another five Irvine high schools rank among the top 50 in the state, with Orange County School of the Arts ranking second in the city.
Numerous colleges and universities can be found in Irvine, including the University of California.
Residents have access to more than 40 neighborhoods and 20 community parks that offer a wide range of diverse facilities. The Mason Regional Park — with its 339 acres of parkland — is a fantastic option for those looking for nature and biking trails or a nice place to walk the dog.
The city is abundant in shopping options, with the Oak Creek Shopping Center boasting a great combination of small boutique shops and big-name brands. Those in search of a different kind of shopping experience should check out The LAB (Little American Business) Anti-Mall, which pays homage to small, independent stores — instead of large corporations.
The city is a haven for foodies, offering a wide range of dishes from around the globe and an impressive supply of quality Asian restaurants. Shopping centers can be found throughout the city and have a strong presence in various shopping malls, as well.
Irvine is a fantastic base for anyone who prefers a quieter location compared to the hustle and bustle of big-city life. It’s great if you still crave some facilities, but wish to spend more time in the outdoors. In particular, it’s many city parks, natural parks, trails, beaches and forests — along with its fine year-round weather — enable you to fully immerse yourself in the natural wonders of its surroundings.
Those relocating from LA will find a change in pace, with a slower, quieter atmosphere and scarce late-night entertainment options.
Individuals relocating from Boston or other northern cities will need some time to adjust to the warm summers and mild winters, even though the city’s climate is cooler than others in California. Additionally, the lack of history — due to the fact that Irvine is planned and newly built — is another interesting aspect that you may need to get accustomed to.