Moving to California Advice
Before moving to California, you should know one thing: there are a lot of people living here. At last count, almost 38 million. This isn’t to say that you’ll have to learn to fight for elbow room just to get around.
In fact, there are many places in the state where you can lead a life with plenty of breathing (and elbow) room. And if you’re coming from a sizable metropolitan area elsewhere in the nation, you might not even notice much of a change.
If, however, you’re moving to CA from a comparatively sparsely populated region, you’re likely to take one look at the vast freeway-bound throngs and wonder how more people don’t succumb to ochlophobia (fear of crowds).
If you’re moving to California and headed for one of the state’s bigger metro areas like San Francisco, San Jose, San Diego or Los Angeles, you’ll do well to arrange your schedule around the high probability of freeway traffic
Cities and Metro Areas
Of the 366 officially defined metropolitan statistical areas (MSA) in the country, California alone holds 26, with four ranking in the top 20.
The majority of cities and towns in California are within one of five major metropolitan areas in the state.
The six most populous MSAs in the state are:
- Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana (approx. 12.8 million)
- San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont (approx. 4.3 million)
- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara (approx. 1.8 million)
- Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario (approx. 4.2 million)
- Sacrament-Arden-Arcade-Roseville (approx. 2.1 million)
If you’re moving to California with kids, one of the first things you’ll want to look at is the quality of schools in the area. You may even decide to plan your move around the best possible educational opportunities for your kids.
California’s open enrollment policy allows for you to send your child to any school (including charter schools) within your home district, provided there’s enough room.
Here is a ranking of the top five best schools in California broken out by elementary, junior high and high school levels.
Top 5 Elementary Schools
- William Faria Elementary (Cupertino)
- Nelson S. Dillworth Elementary (San Jose)
- Mission San Jose Elementary (Fremont)
- Millikin Elementary (Santa Clara)
- Herbert Hoover Elementary (Palo Alto)
Top 5 Junior High Schools
- American Indian Public Charter School II (Oakland)
- William Hopkins Junior High (Fremont)
- Redwood Middle (Saratoga)
- John F. Kennedy Middle (Cupertino)
- Ardis G. Egan Junior High (Los Altos)
Top 5 High Schools
- Gretchen Whitney High (Cerritos)
- Oxford Academy (Cypress)
- La Canada High (La Canada)
- Soar High (Lancaster)
- William & Marian Ghidotti High (Grass Valley)
Top 5 School Districts
- Hillsborough School District
- Las Lomitas School District
- Los Altos School District
- Lakeside Joint School District
- La Canada School District
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