Irvine vs. Los Angeles
Chip Martin
Chip Martin

Irvine vs Los Angeles 🆚 | Living in Los Angeles Versus Irvine [Pros & Cons + Comparison]

There is a common debate among Southern California locals as to which is better living in Irvine vs Los Angeles. Irvine is a master-planned city in Southern Orange County that offers good schools and plenty of job opportunities. Known as the city of angels, Los Angeles is a sprawling metropolis that is famous for being the central hub of Hollywood and the entertainment industry.

Both cities offer unique advantages and disadvantages, so it can be hard to know how to choose between Irvine versus Los Angeles. So, if you are planning on making a move to one of these popular cities, here is a side-by-side comparison.

Living in Irvine Pros

There are countless advantages to living in Irvine, including the welcoming atmosphere, family-friendly community, and easy access to employment. Here are some of the top Irvine pros.

  • Low crime: Irvine is very safe for a city of its size, and the violent crime rate is 80% lower than the national average.
  • Excellent schools: The public schools in Irvine are considered top-notch, and it's also home to UC Irvine, which ranks among the top 10 public universities in the country.
  • Strong economy: Another one of the fantastic benefits of living in Irvine is a strong job market supported by industries like pharmaceuticals, real estate, and finance & insurance.


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Living in Irvine Cons

Although it offers plenty of advantages, there are also several drawbacks of living in Irvine versus Los Angeles. Here are some of Irvine's cons.

  • High cost of living: The cost of living in Irvine is fairly high compared to the rest of the country, especially when it comes to housing, and the median home price is around $1.4 million.
  • Lack of nightlife: One of Irvine’s pros and cons is that it's a quiet, family-friendly city but also lacks a true nightlife scene compared to other parts of Southern California. You'll find a few neighborhood bars, but anyone looking for late-night fun may be disappointed.

Living in Los Angeles Pros

Los Angeles is the second largest city in the United States and a major cultural hub and the creative epicenter of the West Coast. Here are the pros and cons of Los Angeles versus Irvine.

  • Culture and diversity: Los Angeles is one of the most diverse and culturally important cities in the nation (and the world). From Hollywood Boulevard to the Venice boardwalk, you'll find all kinds of unique attractions and interesting areas living in LA.
  • Action and excitement: There is always something fun to do in Los Angeles, from its many museums and parks to live entertainment and nightclubs. It's also full of award-winning restaurants and sports stadiums, so no matter what you're into, you can find a way to stay entertained.
  • Haven for artists and creatives: Los Angeles is a major center for creative industries such as film and television, music, and fashion, and it's a city that attracts artists and entrepreneurs from all over the world, looking to collaborate and spread new ideas.

Living in Los Angeles Cons

  • Competitive job market: The competitive job market is one of Los Angeles’s pros and cons. Although you will find plenty of great opportunities in unique and fulfilling industries, you'll also be competing against everyone else with the same dreams, making the job market harder to break into than in cities like Irvine.
  • Crime and homelessness: Being a major urban center, one of the top Los Angeles cons is its social problems, which include a high rate of crime and homelessness.


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Living in Irvine vs Los Angeles

So now that you understand the pros and cons of living in Irvine vs Los Angeles, it's easier to compare them side by side. Here are the positives and negatives of living in

Irvine vs LA.

Irvine vs Los Angeles Population:

Los Angeles is a much larger city than Irvine with a population that is nearly 10x larger. According to the 2020 census, the Los Angeles population is 3,898,747 versus 307,670 residents living in Irvine.

Irvine vs Los Angeles Cost of Living

Both cities are more expensive than the national average, although there is a difference in the cost of living in Irvine vs Los Angeles. The cost of living index for Irvine is 181.1, while in Los Angeles, it's 149.3. That indicates Irvine is 81.1% more expensive than the rest of the US and 31.8% more expensive than Los Angeles. The main cause of the high cost of living in Irvine vs Los Angeles is housing. The median listing price of a home in Irvine is $1.4 million, compared to $998,000 in LA.

Irvine vs Los Angeles Crime Rates:

Although it may be more expensive, Irvine is also less dangerous than LA. Here is a look at the Irvine vs Los Angeles crime rate.

Total Crime Violent Crime Murder Rate Property Crime
Irvine 1150 per 100k 51 per 100k 0 per 100K 1499 per 100k
39.9% lower than the state 88.5% lower than the state 100% lower than the state 29.9% lower than the state
33.9% lower than the country 86.8% lower than the country 100% lower than the country 23.5% lower than the state
Los Angeles 2870 per 100k 722 per 100k 9 per 100k 2148 per 100k
11.2% higher than the state 63.3% higher than the state 60.7% higher than the state 0.4% higher than the state
22.3% higher than the country 86.2% higher than the country 37.5% higher than the country 9.7% higher than the country

So that means the Irvine vs Los Angeles crime rate is 85% lower. Crime across the board is low in Irvine, including virtually no murders and very little violent crime. Los Angeles is still relatively safe for a major city but not as safe as Irvine.


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Irvine vs Los Angeles Things to Do

You'll find a wider variety of things to do living in LA versus Irvine. LA is home to world famous attractions such as Universal Studios, the Getty Museum, and Griffith Park. It also features an amazing nightlife scene and some of the best restaurants, clubs, and music venues in the country. Irvine also has a great restaurant scene, plenty of parks, and unique local attractions such as the Spectrum Center and Boomers Irvine. However one of the drawbacks of living in LA vs Irvine is it doesn't offer quite as much diversity and excitement.

Los Angeles vs Irvine Climate and Weather

Los Angeles tends to be slightly hotter and gets more rain. The summer high in Los Angeles is 83.6°F compared to 81.5°F in Irvine. Plus, Los Angeles averages about 15.5 inches of rainfall per year versus 12.9 inches per year in Irvine. Both cities experience fantastic weather throughout the year, although you won't get much seasonal variety.

Los Angeles vs Irvine Traffic and Public Transportation

Traffic and lack of public transportation are a significant disadvantage of living in both cities. Although being a more densely populated area, Los Angeles tends to be worse. The average resident living in Irvine spends about 25.1 minutes per day commuting to work, compared to 31.6 minutes in Los Angeles.

LA does have an extensive public transportation system that includes buses, light rails and subways. However, it's often considered among the slowest and most unreliable of all the public transit systems in major US cities. The city of Irvine is also served by The Orange County Transportation Authority, which consists of buses, Metrolink, and Amtrak trains. However, it's still a fairly car-centric community, and many residents report needing a vehicle to get around.

Los Angeles vs. Irvine Jobs

A strong job market is another major highlight of both Irvine and Los Angeles, although the economies are very different. Los Angeles is more known for being the home of Hollywood and the entertainment business and also features opportunities in fields like healthcare, manufacturing, tourism, and construction. Irvine, on the other hand, is home to more than 900 tech companies and other major employers like UC Irvine. It offers employment in fields like health care and finance and was ranked the best city in Southern California to find a job by WalletHub. So, while there are more companies and employment opportunities in Los Angeles versus Irvine, there's also more competition and not as much stability.

Los Angeles vs. Irvine Sports

Los Angeles is home to 14 major sports teams, including the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Angels in the MLB, the Clippers and the Lakers in the NBA, the Chargers and the Rams in the NFL, and the Los Angeles FC and Galaxy in the MLS. Irvine does not have any pro sports teams but it is home to the UC Irvine Anteaters.

Irvine to Los Angeles Distance

The distance from Irvine to Los Angeles is about 40 miles or a 1 hour drive. The best way to get from Irvine to Los Angeles is to take Alton Parkway to get on I-5.

Irvine vs Los Angeles: Where Are You Moving?

So now that you understand the pros and cons of living in Irvine vs LA, you're ready to decide which Southern California city is right for you. Wherever you choose to settle down, you can trust Daly Movers to make your relocation easy and stress-free. Our Orange County intrastate movers are at your service. Call 714-538-2831 for a free quote from the award-winning team at Daly Movers.

Chip Martin
Chip Martin
BA in philosophy, Long Beach State 1974, various trades after college including cabinet maker and boat refinisher, then became a local moving driver in 1976, bought Daly Movers in 1979, managed company, and drove local and long distance until 1995 when I transitioned into sales/office full time. Almost fifty years later Daly Movers and I have sold, worked, and familiarized ourselves with virtually every type of household and O&I relocation.

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