A combination of its small-town feel, low crime and quality schools have earned Irvine a place among the top 10 best small cities to live in the U.S., according to rankings by Money magazine.
The city was named the No. 6 most desirable home address in the annual list, which considers an area’s population, schools, job availability, local crime rate and the availability of quality healthcare.
Irvine is one of the most populous cities to make the list at 213,600 residents, and the largest city to make the top 10; most places named in the rankings average less than 100,000 residents. However, Money reported that Irvine's 40 residential villages with their own parks and open space make the city feel smaller and more intimate.
The small, intimate neighborhoods lauded by the publication comprise the four Villages of Irvine, which are owned and managed by the Irvine Company and its residential real estate subsidiaries.
“It is an exceptional honor that Money magazine would recognize … that Irvine is one of the best places to live in America, and tops in California,” said Tom Veal, vice president of Residential Sales and Marketing for Irvine Company Community Development.
The magazine also praises Irvine’s commitment to add five acres of park space for every 1,000 new residents, 44 miles of bike trails, 20,000 acres of parks and proximity to the beach. The city’s average home price –– $904,753 –– is one of the highest on the list, but the magazine identifies the region’s new development as “creating more affordable options.”
“Irvine residents enjoy a unique lifestyle unmatched in the region – some of the best schools in the state; America’s safest city for eight straight years; abundant open space, parks and recreational opportunities; and world-class dining, entertainment and employment,” Veal said. The city has been identified by the FBI as having the lowest crime rates for a city larger than 100,000 residents.
Other Southern California cities to make the list are Chino Hills (ranked No. 34 on the list), Cupertino (27) and Diamond Bar (41), as well as Yorba Linda (42), the only other O.C. city. The rankings are published in the September issue of Money magazine.
Irvine honored as home to some of the nation's most successful businesses
Report: Irvine is safest large city in the nation
Report: Violent crimes decline in local cities